FIRST DATE – Review by Lois Alter Mark

First Date is the directorial feature debut from Darren Knapp and Manuel Crosby. The dark comedy revolves around a shy teen who finally gets up the nerve to call the girl he has a crush on. They make a plan to go out that night but Mike doesn’t have a car so he buys a beat up old ’65 Chrysler from a sleazy guy and ends up with way more problems than he bargained for, including a lot of gun-toting criminals.

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I CARRY YOU WITH ME – Review by Lois Alter Mark

You’d have to be heartless not to be touched by this moving film about a gay couple who emigrate from Mexico to the United States not just in pursuit of the American Dream but simply to be together without fear of being killed. Director Heidi Ewing, renowned for her documentaries, adds a twist to her narrative feature debut by including the actual couple in the movie.

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A CRIME ON THE BAYOU – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Nancy Buirski’s must-see documentary focuses on an incident that happened in 1966 but is, infuriatingly, still timely and relevant and makes it clear that rallying together and acting as advocates for each other is the only way change will happen. It also makes it clear that the system is not broken; it’s working exactly the way it was intended to – and that’s the problem.

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TRUMAN AND TENNESSEE – Review by Lois Alter Mark

I admit that my first reaction to this documentary was, “Do I really want to listen to two white men prove they’re the alpha male for an hour and a half?” But when those two men are Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams and the director is Lisa Immordino Vreeland, the answer is yes.

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THE DARK HOBBY – Review by Lois Alter Mark

In case you didn’t have enough to worry about, you can now add the torturing of fish to your list. Paula Fouce’s powerful documentary, The Dark Hobby, literally goes below the surface to explore the world of aquarium collectors. If you haven’t heard of this before, you’re not alone, but once you’ve watched the movie, you’ll never look at a fish tank the same way again.

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MY WONDERFUL WANDA – Review by Lois Alter Mark

My Wonderful Wanda is such a trip, you’re better off not knowing much about the movie ahead of time so you can just let writer-director, Bettina Oberli, take you for a ride. Because, oh, what a ride it is. Oberli has created a satire that gets to the heart of family dynamics, privilege, motherhood, class – and lack of it. In so many ways, My Wonderful Wanda is pretty wonderful.

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SHIVA BABY – Review by Lois Alter Mark

It says so much about Shiva Baby that audiences are calling it a horror movie although there is literally nothing violent or scary about it. What’s terrifying is college senior, Danielle, attending a shiva (a Jewish post-funeral ritual where mourners gather to eat and socialize at the home of the deceased) with her parents, only to be forced to deal with the yentas she grew up with and some unexpected guests including her sugar daddy, Max, and the wife and baby she didn’t know he had. Oh, and, also, her ex-girlfriend, Maya.

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FOOD CLUB – Review by Lois Alter Mark

If we weren’t grounded at home because of a pandemic and if we hadn’t all become smitten with Stanley Tucci during our weekly trips to Italy with him, I might have just written off Food Club. But we are and we have, and you could do worse than spend an hour and a half with these middle-aged Danish gal pals as they drown their sorrows at a cooking retreat in Puglia.

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MARTHA: A PICTURE STORY – Review by Lois Alter Mark

What makes this movie about Martha Cooper so much more thrilling than most documentaries about photographers is the subject herself. From the outside – white, female – she was an unlikely chronicler of the New York City graffiti scene. But her respect for those street artists and her enthusiasm for their art – she often accompanied them into dark train stations in the middle of the night to get the shot – turned her into a beloved icon (a word she hates) and makes her a joy to get to know.

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