THE SALT OF THE EARTH – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

saltearthposter

I think the first time I became aware of the work of Sebastião Salgado was when his stark black-and-white photographs of the hellish landscape of the burning oil fields in Kuwait in 1991 were all over magazines at the time. You may also have seen his harrowing yet powerfully humanistic images of people impacted by war, famine, displacement, and other 20th-century nightmares: he has documented such now infamous places-and-times as early-80s Ethiopia and Bosnia and Congo in the 1990s. Of his work in Bosnia, Salgado says here, sadly: “Everyone should see these images to see how terrible our species is.” And that’s why this film is so essential, too. Read more>>

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THE GALLOWS – Review by Susan Granger

Kathie Lee Gifford’s daughter Cassidy is a new scream-queen in this paranormal “found footage” thriller. Growing up as the daughter of the “Today” show co-host and NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, Cassidy enjoyed many privileges, including a having her foot-in-the-show business door. After an inauspicious debut in “God’s Not Dead” (2014), she landed a plum role in this horror thriller. First-time filmmakers Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing obviously recognized a good publicity hook when it was dangled in front of them, particularly since their incoherent script doesn’t contain a shred of suspense or originality. Read more…

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Playwright Donald Margulies On Writing THE END OF THE TOUR

Donald Margulies

Donald Margulies

There’s really only one thing you need to know about Donald Margulies, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his play “Dinner With Friends” (1998) — he will field any question graciously. This generosity is the defining characteristic of someone at the top of their craft. So when The End of The Tour (starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg) opens in theaters on July 31, Margulies, as the screenwriter who adapted the David Lipsky memoir about David Foster Wallace, will be discovered by a whole new generation of film audiences. Read more>>

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MR. HOLMES – Review by Susan Granger

Ian McKellan plays craggy, cranky Sherlock Holmes, as the 93 year-old British detective attempts not only to ‘solve’ his last case but also to separate fact from fiction about his life. Retired to Dover on the southeast coast of England, Holmes lives in a cottage with a housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her curious, precocious son, Roger (Milo Parker), who helps him tend his beloved beehives. Resd on…

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THESE FINAL HOURS – Review by Liz Whittemore

these final hours posterWe’ve come to expect over the top action sequences and huge action stars when approaching the subject of the end of days. In this edition of Sunday Bloody Sunday, we’re looking at apocalyptic poignance in the new Netflix release These Final Hours. Taking a step back from the usual fare, this film gets to the heart of coming face to face with ones demise. Read more>>

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THE FEMALE GAZE: Shira Geffen on BOREG, Filmmaking and Israeli Women – Dana Knight Interviews (Exclusive)

Film Title: Les Meduses.Shira Geffen is an Israeli actress, screenwriter and film director. Her first feature Jellyfish (or Medzudot), which she co-directed with her husband Etgar Keret, won the Camera d’Or in Cannes 2007. Self Made (or Boreg), her second feature film, is a dark but humorous drama that tells the story of two women – one Israeli, the other Palestinian- who are trapped within their respective worlds. After a mix-up at a checkpoint, they find themselves living the life of the other on the opposite side of the border and their all-too human characteristics are revealed against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. THE FEMALE GAZE contributor Dana Knight interviewed Geffen at the !F Istanbul Film Festival in March, 2015. Read more>>

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TRAINWRECK – Review by Susan Granger

Confession: I had never seen Amy Schumer on Comedy Central, so her earthy brand of brash humor was, at first, a bit unnerving. Her culturally relevant, confessional comedy has no limits: nothing is too intimate or inappropriate for her to say – or write – in this raunchy, role-reversal rom-com. Her story begins with a flashback, as their philandering father (Colin Quinn) informs young Amy Townsend and her little sister why he and their mother are divorcing, having them repeat: “Monogamy isn’t realistic.” Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, July 13-19: THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT

Opening July 17, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is The Stanford Prison Experimentthe dramatisation of events which occurred at Stanford University in 1971. Professor Philip Zimbardo (played by Billy Crudup, Almost Famous) cast 24 of his students in the roles of prisoners and guards in a mocked up prison in the university’s basement; an experiment to examine human behaviour under such circumstances. Despite the students’ initial camaraderie, it doesn’t take long for them for friendships to break down and extreme behaviours to emerge. Read on…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: AMY Doc, MINIONS, Comic Con and AMPAS – Brandy McDonnell comments

Asif Kapadia’s compelling new documentary “Amy” truly takes our entire culture to task, revealing inherent sexism that women face in their everyday lives, sexism that only intensifies when women dare to pursue careers as artists or become famous – even when, as seems to be the case with Amy Winehouse, they don’t really desire their celebrity status. Plus, more women characters for better female cosplay at Comic Con, women ascend to the Board of Directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and isn’t it odd that there are no women Minions? Read The Week In Women…

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ANT-MAN – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

antmanposter

Marvel’s tiniest hero! Now starring in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s smallest movie so far. Also it’s most run-of-the-mill movie so far. This was bound to happen eventually. There are only so many ways you can take a guy — always a guy! — who’s a little bit messed up but basically a decent fellow who just needs a little redemption to set him on the right road, expose him to a little magical mad science, give him a special suit to run around in, and set him loose on the bad guys. Read more>>

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