JUST DON’T THINK I’LL SCREAM – Review by Diane Carson

With text on screen before any image appears in Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream, writer/director Frank Beauvais writes, “I watched over 400 films between April and October 2016. This footage comes from them.” This information in no way prepares viewers for the overwhelming onslaught of thousands of shots, a mere few seconds each, that follows for seventy-five minutes in this impressionistic documentary..

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THE WHITE TIGER – Review by Diane Carson

Tackling India’s repressive, inflexible caste system, The White Tiger chronicles Balram Halwai’s fawning deference, growing resentment, and eventual violent rejection of his submissive station. Adapted from Aravind Adiga’s 2008 Man Booker Prize winning novel, director Ramin Bahrani manages to create a quirky, even occasionally and unexpectedly amusing presentation of Balram’s abject subservience evolving into self-assured entitlement.

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HERSELF – Review by Diane Carson

Director Phyllida Lloyd dramatizes a complex, difficult issue in Herself, namely, domestic abuse and the struggle to escape its emotional and physical toll. Nurturing her girls Emma and Molly, while fending off husband Gary’s manipulative intimidation, Sandra must honor his court-required weekend visitations, even though Molly sobs and begs to opt out of any time with her father.

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ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – Review by Diane Carson

One Night in Miami dramatizes four Black men’s extraordinary interaction

Imagine February 25, 1964, and four extraordinary Black men coming together for an evening of camaraderie. Then imagine these amazing men are Sam Cooke, Jim Brown, Cassius Clay, and Malcolm X. This is exactly what director Regina King’s One Night in Miami spectacularly presents as this remarkable foursome talks, laughs, argues, and probes the most significant issues of Black America.

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FATALE – Review by Diane Carson

Individuals with a couple hours to waste in a thoroughly preposterous plot will find a home in Fatale, with its retrograde plot and few redeeming features. I was attracted to it by two actors I admire immensely—Hilary Swank and Michael Ealy. Scripts crossing their desks must be terrible for them to accept this misadventure. Nevertheless, they soldier on, delivering good performances in ludicrous roles.

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LET THEM ALL TALK – Review by Diane Carson

Director Steven Soderbergh takes a casual approach in his latest film, Let Them All Talk. In fact, so casual that his cast improvised the lion’s share of the interactions, spontaneously expressing what they thought and felt. When the three central actresses are Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, and Dianne Wiest, that’s not too risky a venture, though conversations often meander.

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THE MIDNIGHT SKY – Review by Diane Carson

Two storylines compete for attention in director George Clooney’s sci-fi film The Midnight Sky. The central plotline begins with onscreen titles: Arctic Circle, 2049, three weeks after what is called the Event. That means Earth is now uninhabitable from an unspecified cause. However, the astronomer scientist Augustine Lofthouse and eight-year-old stowaway Iris survive in an Arctic research station.

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TWO WAYS HOME – Review by Diane Carson

In Two Ways Home, director Ron Vignone addresses a prevalent, persistent issue. How does a bipolar individual, working toward self-respect, gain understanding, much less acceptance, by people unfamiliar with the condition? Add to this challenge a young woman, identified only as Kathy, recently released from prison and now returning to her rural Iowa home and hostile relatives, including her very angry twelve-year-old daughter Cori.

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CITY HALL – Review by Diane Carson

City Hall goes behind the scenes of Boston’s government. Documentarian Frederick Wiseman does not make the viewer’s life easy. Quite intentionally he provides no voiceover narration and abhors flashy edits. Moreover, his latest film, City Hall, runs four and a half hours. What he does do, and has for over five decades, is burrow deeply into the institution or experience he’s detailing.

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