ReFocus: The Films of Elaine May – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Exclusive Book Excerpt)

Across her impressive career, the manifestation of Elaine May’s remarkable skillset reveals itself primarily through a three-pronged attack of writer, filmmaker, and performer. That these overlap so significantly in her 1971 debut feature film as director-writer-actor A New Leaf typify how difficult it is at times to individually extract each thread for analysis, yet this chapter seeks to do precisely that.

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Waad al-Khateab, Hamza al-Khateab, Edward Watts Talk FOR SAMA – Sarah Knight Adamson interviews

For Sama has been championed as, “One of the most important films you’ll ever see in your life.” At the age of 21, Wadd al-Khateab, a college student in Aleppo, began filming the uprising in Syria. She continued filming for five years, capturing over 500 hours of film. “For Sama” is a love letter to her daughter Sama, a record of war conditions that presents Waad and husband Dr. Hamza al-Khateab’s reasons for staying in Aleppo until the end. Sarah Knight Adamson interviews Waad, Hamza and co-director Edward Watts about For Sama.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 26, 2019: FOR SAMA

Raw, intimate, and devastating, Waad Al-Khateab’s documentary For Sama is a powerful story of what it was like to live in Aleppo during several years of Syria’s destructive civil war. Co-directed by Edward Watts, the film explores the human consequences and casualties of battle, while simultaneously proving that life can continue — and even flourish — in even the most hellish circumstances.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Halle Bailey Cast as Little Mermaid Live – Brandy McDonnell reports

Halle Bailey is going under the sea, and not surprisingly, not everyone is happy about it. Bailey, who is best known as half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle with her sister Chloe Bailey, has been cast as Ariel in Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Although director Rob Marshall has spent the last few months meeting with potential stars for the project, Bailey has been a frontrunner from the start.

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HOUSE OWNER – Review by Mythily Ramachandran

Indian actor-director Lakshmy Ramakrishnan stands apart with her stories pivoted around women characters who are complex and fully realized. Her fourth Tamil (south Indian language) film, House Owner is about a loving woman who lives with a spouse suffering from Alzheimer’s–a premise not much explored in south Indian cinema or even Indian cinema.

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DARK PHOENIX – Review by Susan Granger

The line of dialogue – “You’re always sorry and there’s always a speech, but nobody cares anymore” – pretty well sums up the entire enterprise. Dark Phoenix is a fizzle, causing the iconic, stand-alone series to crash-and-burn. Will the heroic mutants now join the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Who knows? Who cares?

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Melbourne FF Premiere’s Kim Farrant’s ANGEL OF MINE – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Reports

The Melbourne International Film Festival has just released first glance highlights from this year’s forthcoming festival that will run from 1 – 18 August. Amongst the many local and international premieres is the announcement that the festival will screen the world premiere of Australian filmmaker Kim Farrant’s sophomore feature Angel of Mine.

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Nitrate Picture Show Festival of Film Conservation – Diane Carson reports

Many festivals feature contemporary films, domestic and international. The Nitrate Picture Show Festival of Film Conservation, as its title signals, celebrates nitrate film through gorgeous black and white as well as color selections from archives around the world: The fifth iteration of this festival took place, as always, at the George Eastman Museum Dryden Theatre in Rochester, New York.

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