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February 21, 2017 – 11:54 am

Spoiler Alert: The answer is “yes.”

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Shut Up and Sing!

October 20, 2016 – 5:01 pm
shut-up-and-sing-poster

Monkeys on the barricades
Are warning us to back away
They form commissions trying to find
The next one they can crucify
–“Easy Silence,” The Dixie Chicks

Call For Papers: Critical Essays on the Films of Hirokazu Koreeda

October 14, 2016 – 9:37 pm
Photo credit: Georges Biard 
Permission to reprint posted at Wikipedia

The editors of Faith and Spirituality in Masters of World Cinema (three volumes, Cambridge Scholars Publishing) are seeking proposals for the first volume of a …

Killing Reagan (Lurie, 2016)

October 13, 2016 – 2:21 pm
Geoff Pierson (as Jim Baker), Cynthia Nixon (as Nancy Reagan), Jeff Harlan (as Mike Deaver), Joel Murray (as Ed Meese) and Tim Matheson (as Ronald Reagan) in Killing Reagan.
(Photo Credit: National Geographic Channels/ Hopper Stone, SMPSP)

Killing Reagan is not great art and it certainly isn’t great politics. But in an election year that seemingly reveals America is more polarized than ever before, there is some cultural value in its ability to humanize a controversial figure.

Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story (Heikin, 2014)

October 11, 2016 – 8:34 pm
frank-morgan-1

“We were inclined to accept a little erratic behavior, given his status,” says Ron Carter, jazz bassist, “when he (Frank Morgan) played the horn, you forgot about those things.”

Coming Out (Peters, 2015)

October 4, 2016 – 1:54 pm
rick-peters-left-and-alden-peters-right-in-coming-out-courtesy-of-wolfe-video

Peters’ inclusion of other perspectives, as well as the universality of much of the film’s message, makes it an emotionally moving and thought-provoking 72 minutes for viewers of all backgrounds.

The Ruins of Lifta (Daum & Rudavsky, 2016)

September 25, 2016 – 11:49 am
ruins-of-lifta-3

Lifta is described in this documentary’s press materials as “the only Palestinian village abandoned during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that has not been destoryed or repopulated by Jews.”

Miss Stevens (Hart, 2016)

September 20, 2016 – 9:27 am
miss-stevens

Josh Wartel catches up with this award winner from SXSW film festival and is not quite as charmed as the festival jury….

The Unknown Girl (Dardenne & Dardenne, 2016)

September 12, 2016 – 5:59 pm
unknowngirl_01

Why do we hate her inscrutability so much? Why do we want another, more cynical explanation except, perhaps, to feel better about ourselves? Why is it so much easier to be inspired by and cheer the one big gesture than the daily minute ones?

3 Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks (Reed, 2016)

September 9, 2016 – 11:42 am
3-days-of-terror

In fifty-nine exhausting minutes, the film deftly interweaves archival footage of Paris in January of 2015. In a seventy-two hour span, attacks from ISIS and Al-Qaeda targeted the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a related standoff at a kosher supermarket in the same city.

TIFF 2016 Preview: Queen of Katwe

September 3, 2016 – 5:05 pm
Queen of Katwe poster

The following teaser trailer pushed me off the fence. This definitely looks like a major studio production with Christian themes as opposed to a Christian-niche movie. Check out the featurette and see if you don’t agree.