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THE BIKERIDERS – Review by Diane Carson

The Bikeriders depicts a 1960s Chicago motorcycle gang. As predictable as the sun setting in the west, The Bikeriders features a motorcycle gang revving their bikes, fighting among themselves and with interlopers, and treating women badly. Photojournalist Danny Lyon spent years with the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club in preparation for his 1968 photojournalistic book The Bikeriders which writer/director Jeff Nichols adapted, calling the group The Vandals.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Film Independent’s 2024 Amplifier Grant Recipients – Brandy McDonnell reports

Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, has announced the six Fellows and their projects selected for its Amplifier Fellowship. The Amplifier Fellowship program provides direct support to emerging and mid-career Black or African American filmmakers. The 2024 Film Independent Amplifier Fellowship is supported by the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity, This year, five of the six fellows are women.

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MY HEART IS THAT ETERNAL ROSE – Review by Diane Carson

My Heart Is That Eternal Rose is vintage 1980s Hong Kong New Wave. It is a special treat to see influential films of the mentors of iconic directors. That’s exactly the bonus for newly restored Hong Kong director Patrick Tam’s 1989 My Heart Is That Eternal Rose. In the ‘80s, Tam distinguished himself as part of the Hong Kong New Wave and clearly influenced Wong Kar Wai.

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THE VEIL – Review by Susan Granger

Having established her versatility in Mad Men and The Handmaid’s Tale, Elisabeth Moss stars in The Veil in which she plays an enigmatic rogue MI6 operative determined to uncover a mysterious enemy agent, the mastermind behind an upcoming ISIS terrorist attack on the United States. Her quest begins in a remote Syrian refugee camp near the border with Turkey, where several women identify and accuse Adilah El Idrissi (Yumna Marwan) of being the ISS agent who tortured them and murdered their families.

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FEDERER: TWELVE FINAL DAYS – Review by Diane Carson

Federer: Twelve Final Days honors tennis legend Roger Federer. Granted exclusive, private access, directors Asif Kapadia and Joe Sabia shot the documentary Federer: Twelve Final Days never intending a public viewing. Thankfully, via Amazon Prime Video, tennis fans can joyfully share Federer’s expertise and the regret that his phenomenal competitive career has ended. For those not into sports, Federer is Roger Federer, tennis phenomenon for over twenty-four years.

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THE EVERYTHING POT (Tribeca 2024) – Review by Sherin Nicole

Around 30 minutes into watching The Everything Pot, I asked myself: Is everyone in this movie whacked out, kooky beyond belief, 100% bananas? Why, yes. Yes, they are. That’s my review (just kidding). Before any concerns develop about my introduction, I’m not talking about mental illness. Instead, I’m marveling at this eye-popping pile-up of social blunders that will redden your checks in several shades of secondhand embarrassment.

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THE WEEKEND (Tribeca 2024) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

All hail the mighty Daniel Orihai, who bursts out of Nigeria with a pounding, intoxicating instant horror classic, The Weekend. Nikiya is everything her gentle vegetarian fiancé Luc could have dreamed of; she’s confident, beautiful and as in love with him as he is with her. But with no family of her own, she yearns for a place in a traditional family, which clashes directly with Luc’s years-long decision to sever all ties with his mother, father and sister. With an invitation to attend his parent’s wedding anniversary celebrations in the village where he grew up, Luc begrudgingly relents, but upon arrival it does not take long for him to remember why he wanted to keep his distance in the first place.

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BAD SHABBOS (Tribeca 2024) – Sherin Nicole

If one person behaved rationally in Bad Shabbos the movie would end after 20 minutes with a 911 call. But that wouldn’t be a NYC story, and this most definitely is. Directed by Daniel Robbins with co-writer Zach Weiner, Bad Shabbos is a religious culture clash comedy that brings together a zany ensemble led by Kyra Sedgwick and Clifford Smith AKA Method Man. The film thematically flips the traditional greeting “Good Shabbos,” unfolding over a chaotic Friday night.

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Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Trish Dalton reflect on DIANE VON FURSTENBERG (Tribeca 2024) – Valerie Kalfrin interviews

Diane von Furstenberg’s outlook is as lively as her eye-catching designs. The fashion and feminist icon is a quote machine of practical wisdom. Watch her Tribeca 2024 documentary Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge, attend a Q&A with her, or visit with her, and you’ll be tempted to take notes, even if you’re not a journalist or a film critic. The directors recently talked with AWFJ about designing this project and what they absorbed from the experience.

Her “isms,” as Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Trish Dalton, the directors behind Woman in Charge call them, touch on everything from taking responsibility for yourself to equality to thoughts on aging. Age means living, as von Furstenberg, now seventy-seven, says in the film, so you should say how long you’ve lived, not how old you are.

“If you take all your wrinkles away, the map of your life is different,” the designer muses in the film as the camera watches her apply makeup while sitting on the bathroom counter with her feet in the sink.

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BRIEF HISTORY OF A FAMILY (Sydney FF 2024) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

There is a throbbing undercurrent in Brief History of a Family that silently grants this family drama the tonal energy of a thriller, reaching almost Hanekeian heights at moments. But it is also distinctly Chinese; mentioning the spectre of the country’s one child policy that ran from 1979 to 2015 to help curb a population explosion as a kind of omnipresent geopolitical factor that adds tragedy to this vision of an imperfect family’s search for perfection. It might not have the climactic whistles and bells of Parasite or Saltburn, but in this instance anything else would feel almost dishonest; this is a careful, considered film of enormous intelligence and emotional resonance.

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