BLIND, THE BLACK PANTHERS, DIRTY WEEKEND and Other September 4 Openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

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blind posterBlind, Eskil Vogt’s fascinating first feature, focuses on Ingrid (Ellen Dorrit Petersen), who recently lost her sight and stays at home, where she develops a rich fantasy life that’s interwoven with her learning to cope with everyday tasks. The Black Panters: Vanguard of the Revolution, Stanley Nelson’s must see documentary, focuses on the male leaders of the civil rights group who militantly fought police brutality against people of color from the 1960s until 1982, but recognizes that women were the rank and file of the movement, insisting that men share responsibility for child care, cooking, housework and work outside the home. In Neil LaBute’s Dirty Weekend, co-workers Natalie (Alice Eve) and Les (Matthew Broderick), on a business trip, have an overnight strand in Albuquerque that, excluding romance, becomes an exploration of each others’ sexual psyches. Plus Before We Go, another Alice Eve starrer. Read the reviews…

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is also a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).