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  Female Film Critics 24/365  Recent Blog Posts

MICKEY SUMNER on WITH/in, iPhone filmmaking and Trudie Styler – Jennifer Merin interviews

Mickey Sumner’s I’m Listening was shot in response to Maven Screen Media’s WITH/IN short film initiative for Tribeca Film Festival 2021. The directive was simple: Using an iPhone and whatever’s easily at your disposal, shoot a short film dealing with quarantine life in 2020. It’s not as if there wasn’t a surplus of storytelling angles, themes and emotions available, considering how much everyone’s lives changed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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JULIA SCOTTI: FUNNY THAT WAY – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

A funny thing happened when Susan Sandler, the Golden Globe nominated screenwriter behind the 1988 film Crossing Delancey, went to a comedy club in 2015. She witnessed a set performed by a 60-something older trans-woman whose stand-up persona has been described as a cross between a shouty, profane Sam Kinison and huggable Mrs. Doubtfire. She and Scotti hit it off at the bar, so much so that Sandler was inspired to become a first-time director so she could share this ex-Jersey boy’s endearingly poignant journey that allowed this funny lady to embrace her own inner female self.

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A CRIME IN THE BAYOU – Review by Martha K Baker

A Crime on the Bayou is a defining documentary, excellent and exhilarating. The place: the Bayou of Louisiana. The time: the Sixties. The Crime: one boy touching another to stop a fight. Because the touching was effected by a black teenager, the attempted deterent turned into a federal case that with ancillary cases that re-defined the Constitution.

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THE SPARKS BROTHERS – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

For someone who is incredibly fond of clever puns, there was no way I could keep from buying the album Kimono My House in 1974. That was my initial introduction to the cultish art-pop group Sparks. The bombastic hit single from that LP was This Town Isn’t Big Enough for the Both of Us but my fave cut was Hasta Manana, Monsieur, which featured the kimono wordplay in its lyrics.

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IN THE HEIGHTS – Review by Susan Granger

Jon Chu’s In the Heights”is the most dazzling movie musical in years! Adapted from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway show, the eye-popping cinematography and awesome choreography make it the summer’s first fun, feel-good movie. Washington Heights is a predominantly Latino neighborhood in Upper Manhattan near the George Washington Bridge.

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RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT – Review by Martha K Baker

In her 70 years in show biz, Rita Moreno has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. That’s how versatile she is as an actor, singer, and dancer. But this excellent biodoc about her long life shows her to be also political, persuasive, puckish, and dedicated — attributes that also led to all those awards.

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LUCA – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Luca, the latest under-the-sea Disney-produced animated adventure, might be a few leagues below such House of Mouse ‘toon classics as The Little Mermaid with its show tunes and Finding Nemo with its tale of fatherly love. But this buoyantly engaging Pixar tale directed by Enrico Casarosa, the maker of the Oscar-nominated 2011 short La Luna, provides enough catchy hooks to please most family viewers.

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IT’S NOT A BURDEN – Review by Susan Granger

I think there are few jobs in the world that are as important as being an adult caring for a parent,” says Ilene Mitnick, who spent the first 18 years of her life in her parents’ home, and then her late father Howie spent most of his last 18 years living in hers. She’s just one of the nearly 42 million Americans who serve as unpaid caregivers for elderly relatives.

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