EYE ON MEDIA: Keeping Up With Hugh Grant — Profile by Martha Nochimson

hugh grant head 2On IMDb.com, a biographical note by Steve Shelokhonov, who has made his mark, such as it is, as the author of IMDb mini-biographies, describes Hugh Grant as an actor known for “playing characters projecting warmth and sincere happiness.” It’s not an important piece of scholarship, but it is widely read, due to its venue, and it is, unfortunately, typical of the kind of entertainment journalism that promotes reductive stereotypes of star reputations. It’s undated, but couldn’t have been written much after 2003, so it grows out of Grant’s early work. Even so, it is a distortion. Continue reading on EYE ON MEDIA

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EYE ON MEDIA: Wakonda Forever! BLACK PANTHER – Review by Martha P. Nochimson

black pantherFull disclosure: I don’t like superhero movies as a rule and might not have seen Black Panther for years if I hadn’t been bored during a flight to Seattle. Thus, I am late to the parade of journalists and academics offering their opinions about the film, but I hope not too late to ask you to join me in a march to a somewhat different drummer, as I comment on the subtext of this movie devised by Joe Robert Cole, writer, and Ryan Coogler, writer/director. Continue reading on EYE ON MEDIA

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EYE ON MEDIA: Conflicts between Civilization and Chaos in THE SQUARE — Essay by Martha P. Nochimson

the square posterSwedish writer/director Ruben Östlund explores the nature of art, the relationship between art and life, but most of all whether human nature is wired to fulfill the ideals of openness and inclusiveness that The Square embodies, a question that is particularly sensitive, painful, and timely as we battle the duly elected (?) fascist now in the White House. Östlund’s perspective, his provocative, off-beat, dry, very dark and enigmatically humorous approach to his story represents a rare expression of civilization in chaos. The Square played at New York Film Festival in 2017 and won the Palme D’Or at Cannes. Its most bizarre, surrealistic scenes are based on real events. Continue reading on EYE ON MEDIA.

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EYE ON MEDIA: Representing Trump — Martha P. Nochimson comments

nochimson trump 1The recent furor about Oskar Eustis’ open air production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in New York City in which Caesar was dressed up to look like Donald Trump and Calpurnia had a Slavic accent started me thinking about the larger issue of imaginatively representing the current occupant of the White House. There is an obvious desire to reflect on the terrible plight of America under the Trump administration through humor and storytelling, and our friends around the world support that inclination. Continue reading on EYE ON MEDIA.

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It’s a Wrap: AWFJ Looks Back at 2016

AWFJ is completing our tenth anniversary year, and it’s time to take stock and evolve. What has our organization accomplished during 2016, and what are our goals for 2017. But as we look back to evaluate our accomplishments and before we set forth plans for a new year filled with worthwhile projects, let’s pause for a moment to give due credit to the AWFJ members who’ve contributed their ideas, time and energy to make our 2016 programs and enterprises so successful. Well done! And here’s round of applause and a virtual pat on the back to each of you in recognition of your collegiality and activism. Now on to the nitty gritty about what AWFJ has done curing 2016, with shout outs to individual members who helmed projects and made them happen. Read on…

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EQUITY — Review by Martha P. Nochimson

equity movie posterEquity, directed by Meera Menon and written by Amy Fox, starring Anna Gunn, is an economic fable for our times, with the punch and cultural insight of The Big Short, without the faux celebrity razzle dazzle of The Wolf of Wall Street, and with much greater freshness than either. It’s a movie by and about women in the upper echelons of investment banking and the drinking, sex, and wheels and deals this entails that propels independent production with a female perspective to new heights of achievement. Read the full review in EYE ON MEDIA

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@ NYFF: BROOKLYN – Review by Martha P. Nochimson

broojlyn poster verticalWhat’s not to like about Brooklyn? Director John Crowley delivers a small, but polished, intentionally artful looking indie; moderate budget but not low enough to preclude a set of multi-national locations—Enniscorthy, County Wexford Ireland; New York; and Montreal–and quiet, well-turned performances by stars who like to work in hand crafted films: Saoirse Ronan, Julie Walters, and Jim Broadbent. And it gives you an opportunity to learn about Irish culture and what America was like just after World War II, which is when it is set. Well OK, maybe you don’t learn that much because if there was any reference to the war I don’t remember it, and there certainly was no attention paid to the equivocal shot in the arm that the destruction of European economies gave to the American GNP. Read the full review in EYE ON MEDIA.

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THE JENNIFER-PENNY CHRONICLES: MAKING HISSS – Chapter Eight – Martha P. Nochimson comments (Exclusive Eight-Part Series)

hisssposter160THE REMOVED OBSERVER GETS THE LAST WORD is the seventh chapter in an eight part exploration of the failure of the American-East Indian co-production of >Hisss (2010), filmmaker Jennifer Lynch’s greatly anticipated third feature film. Despite Lynch’s previous cinematic successes, Hisss, a tale about the Indian snake goddess Nagin, turned into an artistic and box office disaster that derailed its talented director. The making of Hisss and the aftermath for Lynch are the subject of Despite the Gods, an intimate documentary by Penny Vozniak, whose feminist perspective offers rare insight about the troubled production and its outcome. Read more>>

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THE JENNIFER-PENNY CHRONICLES: MAKING HISSS – Chapter Seven – Martha P. Nochimson comments

hisssposter160IT ENDS BADLY is the seventh chapter in an eight part exploration of the failure of the American-East Indian co-production of >Hisss (2010), filmmaker Jennifer Lynch’s greatly anticipated third feature film. Despite Lynch’s previous cinematic successes, Hisss, a tale about the Indian snake goddess Nagin, turned into an artistic and box office disaster that derailed its talented director. The making of Hisss and the aftermath for Lynch are the subject of Despite the Gods, an intimate documentary by Penny Vozniak, whose feminist perspective offers rare insight about the troubled production and its outcome. Read more>>

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THE JENNIFER-PENNY CHRONICLES: MAKING HISSS – Chapter Six – Martha P. Nochimson comments

hisssposter160A SILENT WATCHER is the sixth chapter in an eight part exploration of the failure of the American-East Indian co-production of Hisss (2010), filmmaker Jennifer Lynch’s greatly anticipated third feature film. Despite Lynch’s previous cinematic successes, Hisss, a tale about the Indian snake goddess Nagin, turned into an artistic and box office disaster that derailed its talented director. The making of Hisss and aftermath for Lynch are the subject of Despite the Gods, an intimate documentary by Penny Vozniak, whose feminist perspective offers rare insight about the troubled production and its outcome. Read on…

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Making HISSS: A Silent Watcher – Martha P. Nochimson comments

hisssposter160A SILENT WATCHER is the fifth chapter in an eight part exploration of the failure of the American-East Indian co-production of Hisss (2010), filmmaker Jennifer Lynch’s greatly anticipated third feature film. Despite Lynch’s previous cinematic successes, Hisss, a tale about the Indian snake goddess Nagin, turned into an artistic and box office disaster that derailed its talented director. The making of Hisss and the aftermath for Lynch are the subject of Despite the Gods, an intimate documentary by Penny Vozniak, whose feminist perspective offers rare insight about the troubled production and its outcome. Read more…

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HOUSE OF CARDS: Will Frank Underwood be the Next Captain Kirk? – Martha Nochimson comments

beauwillimonI’m aware that this blog might make it seem that I’m out to get Beau Willimon, and for that appearance I apologize in advance. I’m not. My only reason for taking apart House of Cards, Season 3, in such detail is that it has been hyped as a prestige television production and I think that the reality is otherwise. It is a missed opportunity that requires attention from that part of entertainment journalism that seriously delves into what is really going on in the American media, which is such an important part of our culture. That said, read on….

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HOUSE OF CARDS Season 3: Knock it Down – Martha P. Nochimson Comments

housecardsdeckcropped160After watching the second episode of Season 3 of Beau Willimon’s House of Cards, a horrible thought occurred to me. I began to wonder if Willimon was doing to me, that is to say to the audience, what Frank Underwood, played perhaps too well by Kevin Spacey, was doing to his colleagues in Willimon’s fictional Washington, D. C.: hitting me/us with dishonest, manipulative plots, for his own self-promotion. And Spacey, that talented, idealistic actor was LETTING HIS TALENT BE CO-OPTED IN THIS WAY? I’d been having suspicions about this series since Season 2. But Season 3 is starting off in way that more than justifies them, and not only because the first two eps have left me actually feeling queasy. Read on…

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MAD MEN are Sad Men — Martha P. Nochimson comments

madmenMy recent marathon re-watch of Matthew Weiner’s smartly conceived and beautifully realized Mad Men series turned into a provocation to thought. I became increasingly aware that the AMC/Lionsgate television series, now available on DVD and other platforms, is a very clever portrayal of current society as a network of disconnection, an entrapping tangle in which manipulative behavior and thinking only of one’s own interests is mandatory for success. But the show also reveals that the Mad Men and their peers — both women and men — are left craving, in a million different ways, the loyalty and empathy that is missing from their lives. Read on…

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