Currently Browsing: Jan Lisa Huttner

SHADOWS FROM MY PAST

Wishing does not make it so. Over 70 years after Gita Weinrauch Kaufman escaped from Austria, she returns to Vienna with her Archival Photos and Family Letters to interview Austrian and Jewish Luminaries… But we have now have access to so much about the Holocaust that this primitive film–no matter how sincere–begs more questions than it answers. […]

CONTINUE READING

IF I STAY

Yet another adaptation of a YA novel wipes out trying to surf the TWILIGHT wave. This time our perfect high school heroine is a classical cellist who falls for a local Rocker. And then–oh, no–Mom & Dad are killed in a car crash & our heroine must decide whether to join them [presumably in Heaven] […]

CONTINUE READING

WITASWAN 10th Anniversary

August 16, 2014: 10th Anniversary Celebration of the WITASWAN Project at the CineMark in Evanston, Illinois (preceded by a brunch at Bravo Restaurant) Jan Lisa Huttner: Wow, it is so great to see so many old—and new—faces here today! Now I know that I’m big and loud and I make a lot of fuss, but WITASWAN […]

CONTINUE READING

RICH HILL

Two cousins who share happy summer memories — Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo — return to the Missouri town in which their grandparents lived to document conditions now that the coal mines have been exhausted and wide-spread economic depression has set in. But their fly-on-the-wall view of 3 tween boys yields little insight. With no […]

CONTINUE READING

WAR STORY

Well-intentioned, timely drama. A photojournalist (Keener) struggles to regain her footing after a traumatic assignment in Libya, but it takes way too long to figure out who she is, where she is, & how she finds herself in her current predicament. Film asks critical questions, but the filmmakers fail to fully utilize their enormously talented […]

CONTINUE READING

VERY GOOD GIRLS

Wonderful film. Terrible title. Dakota Fanning does a brilliant job of bringing the main character – a teenage girl named Lilly – to vivid life on screen. (JLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner (with two cents from both Associate Editor Brigid Presecky & Contributing Editor Jessica Perry added at the very […]

CONTINUE READING

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

A motherless kid named Hushpuppy lives with her father in a primitive coastal Eden on the Gulf of Mexico. Hushpuppy’s father, Wink, is very ill, and when her teacher Miss Bathsheba tells her about extinct monsters called aurochs, Hushpuppy transposes all her fears onto the aurochs. Wink is teaching Hushpuppy how to survive without him […]

CONTINUE READING

ANNA KARENINA

Joe Wright’s new film Anna Karenina is based on a very long novel by Count Leo Tolstoy that has been adapted for the screen several times already, but never better. Set in Imperial Russia in 1874, Anna Karenina is about two women: Anna, a 27 year old woman married to a much older man, and […]

CONTINUE READING

RETURN

Completing her National Guard service in Iraq, “Kelli” has only one goal: get home & make life as normal as possible again for her husband & daughters. But it’s not so simple. Kelli can’t quite settle in & the family has new routines that don’t include her anymore. Linda Cardellini’s performance as Kelli is deeply moving. If […]

CONTINUE READING

ONE FOR THE MONEY

Like a long TV caper episode, but fun for all that. Katherine Heigl stars as a Jersey girl who starts working for her cousin the bail-bondsman after she loses her fancy sales job. Knowing nothing but her need for cash, “Stephanie” quickly learns how to shoot straight, keep her cool, & track down perps on the lam. And her […]

CONTINUE READING

CONVICTION

After a difficult childhood spent in and out of foster care, “Betty Anne Waters” (Hilary Swank) marries young and starts building a little nest. But when her volatile older brother “Kenny” (Sam Rockwell) is arrested, Betty Anne’s world slowly turns inside out. Much to her own surprise, Betty Anne learns she’s not the kind of […]

CONTINUE READING

New Bugler Girl!

Click HERE for Chgo Dinner eVite (8/26/10) Today is the anniversary of the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, NY on July 19-20, 1848. Wow, what a great day to release our new Women’s Equality Day buttons on Cafe Press 🙂 “New Bugler Girl” was designed in honor of this year’s Women’s Equality Day (8/26/10), the 90th […]

CONTINUE READING

An Open Letter to the Women of AMPAS

Why YOU should vote for The Hurt Locker “The ‘cumulative’ factor of a series of pre-Oscar wins can be a powerful aphrodisiac for Academy voters.”  So says Pete Hammond of the LA Times, quoting “one producer and former studio head who told me he very much understands the psychology of Oscar voting.” Yes, ladies, the […]

CONTINUE READING

9/21/08: HOUNDDOG Reception

Huge thanks to everyone who came to yesterday’s HOUNDDOG reception at O’Briens Restaurant on Wells! Here are some of the comments entered in the sign-in book after the screening: “Great, heartfelt work;” A very profound film—keep up the good work;” “Loved it—you captured the essence of what it feels like to be a little girl;”  […]

CONTINUE READING

7/21/08: AAUW-Illinois Honors WITASWAN!

On July 21, 2008, Linda Henning Cohen, the new President of AAUW-Illinois, sent me a letter concluding as follows: “The AAUW-Illinois Board thanks you for your years of developing and promoting WITASWAN and wishes to acknowledge your outstanding accomplishments with the enclosed proclamation.” THANK YOU, AAUW-ILLINOIS!!! You will always be credited as the original incubator […]

CONTINUE READING

FROZEN RIVER

Two women, one white (Melissa Leo) and one Native American (Misty Upham), form an unlikely bond in perilous circumstances, smuggling illegal immigrants across the frozen St. Lawrence River in the dead of winter.  Filmmaker Courtney Hunt’s first feature won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.  The Hot Pink Pen agrees: Frozen […]

CONTINUE READING

Chatting about BRICK LANE

Brick Lane is a beautiful film that could have been even better. Based on a well-regarded novel of the same name by Monica Ali, Sarah Gavron’s film is about a young Bangladeshi woman named “Nazneen,” who is sent to London as a teenager to marry a man she has never met… (JLH: 4/5) Click here […]

CONTINUE READING

SHUT UP & SING

The Dixie Chicks run afoul of their country music fan base when lead singer Natalie Maines publicly mocks President Bush in the early days of the War in Iraq. Almost everyone & everything in this documentary was new to us, but the directors stitch together a highly compelling narrative for both novices & aficionados. (JLH: 4.5/5.) Click […]

CONTINUE READING

“Jane” @ Oakton Community College

Third stop on my “Jane Addams Day” roadshow: I was supposed to show Dinner at Jane’s to AAUW-Illinois members from Districts 4 & 5 attending the Fall District Conference-North, but I was carrying so much stuff with me that I forgot to bring my VHS tapes! Luckily keynote speaker Louise W. Knight (aka “Lucy”) agreed to stay after lunch to lead an […]

CONTINUE READING