MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 25, 2019: SERENDIPITY

Thoughtful, contemplative, and deeply personal, French artist Prune Nourry’s documentary “Serendipity” is an intimate glimpse inside the mind of a woman coping with the unexpected. Blindsided by a breast cancer diagnosis at age 31, Nourry channels her anger and fear over her health into art, documenting her treatment, her feelings, and the profound changes her body goes through.

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Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble on THE ELEPHANT QUEEN – Sandie Angulo Chen interviews

Award-winning wildlife filmmakers Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble’s latest nature documentary, The Elephant Queen, is Apple’s first theatrical release. The married filmmakers have spent more than 30 years living and working in East Africa, and The Elephant Queen is the culmination of a 10-year-dream and four-year labor of love. Stone calls the film an homage to female power and wisdom. It is the story of Athena, a 50-year-old elephant matriarch, and her herd of females and juveniles.

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Irene Taylor Brodsky on MOONLIGHT SONATA: DEAFNESS IN THREE MOVEMENTS – Jennifer Merin interviews

Irene Taylor Brodsky’s Moonlight Sonata is a film about the generations of deaf people: the filmmaker’s deaf son growing up, his deaf grandparents growing older and, a century before them, Beethoven — a composer who wrote his iconic Moonlight Sonata as he went deaf. Here, Brodsky shares her thoughts and experiences making this highly personal documentary.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 11, 2019: DILILI IN PARIS

Michel Ocelot’s Dilili in Paris isn’t your standard animated kids’ fare — not by a long shot. And that’s a good thing. With its sophisticated Belle Epoque setting and parade of cultural and artistic figures and references, it’s almost like taking a trip to a colorful, informative, interactive museum. Which is somewhat apropos, given that we first meet young Dilili (voiced by Prunelle Charles-Ambron) when she’s participating in a living cultural exhibit of the Kanak people.

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EASY RIDER — Revisited by Diane Carson

For all the information available about Easy Rider — the motorcycle builders, the heated arguments over the screenplay, the production conflicts and crises, the yin and yang of the meditative Wyatt and the volatile Billy, the improvised insults of the locals, and other incredible minutiae — to me what distinguishes and elevates the film is the visceral experience of it.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 13, 2019: ANGEL OF MINE

Moody and atmospheric, Kim Farrant’s Angel of Mine is part psychodrama, part thriller. Thanks to Farrant’s strong storytelling and confidently convincing performances from stars Noomi Rapace and Yvonne Strahovski, the film brings depth and nuance to its compelling tale of a woman convinced that her long-dead baby is actually alive and being raised by another family.

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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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