Screenwriter Anthony McCarten on THE TWO POPES – Nell Minow interviews

Sometimes history is made by groups of people in labs or courtrooms or legislative bodies or battlefields. Sometimes history is made by two people talking to each other quietly. We hear those stories less often. It may be that what makes those changes possible is keeping them secret. Perhaps that is what makes imagining them so irresistible. That is what screenwriter Anthony McCarten has done in fact-based films like Bohemian Rhapsody, The Darkest Hour, and his latest, The Two Popes.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 20, 2019: WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL

In an era in which a cacophony of critical voices competes for potential moviegoers’ time and attention — and yet not nearly enough of those voices represent the diversity of the public they’re speaking to — Pauline Kael’s iconic status seems like even more of an achievement. Her remarkable career is the subject of Rob Garver’s insightful documentary What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael.

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Alice Waddington on PARADISE HILLS and DISCO INFERNO – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas interviews

Dazzling with an artistry that straddles a deep love of the past with a slick high-tech future, the feature debut Paradise Hills from Spanish filmmaker Alice Waddington is as fearless politically as it is stylistically. With a superstar cast featuring Emma Roberts, Awkwafina, Danielle Macdonald, Eiza González, and cult film icon Milla Jovovich, Paradise Hills is a masterclass in how feminism and femininity can coexist in profoundly engaging, meaningful ways.

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KNIVES AND SKIN – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

American filmmaker and artist Jennifer Reeder’s most recent film Knives and Skin is the crowning achievement of a career that has shown a notable interest in the experiences of young women. In the film, Reeder’s career as both a celebrated visual artist and a filmmaker collide here with spectacular effect; Knives and Skin is not just visually captivating, but also marked by an emotional intelligence and dark humor that renders it one of the year’s most unique cinema experiences.

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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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