THE WEIGHT OF GOLD – Review by Diane Carson

The Weight of Gold examines mental health issues of Olympic athletes. The frank discussion of depression, including suicidal thoughts, applies to more than just elite athletes, because perhaps one in five Americans are affected, making this film important to large audiences

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THE GREEN YEARS – Review by Diane Carson

A bonus of enjoying restorations is discovering previously unfamiliar directors and their work. That’s the case with Portuguese director Paulo Rocha whose 1963 The Green Years didn’t receive a U.S. release. Now available, Rocha’s debut film takes its place among new wave gems shot on location, in beautiful black and white, following its protagonist through coming-of-age romantic experiences.

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SONG WITHOUT A NAME – Review by Diane Carson

In Song Without a Name, Peruvian director Melina León with tender compassion tells a tragic tale of abducted newborns. Never hurried, the story unfolds at a measured pace with maximum impact devoid of sensationalism. With the perfect choice of black and white cinematography, the images complement the 1988 time frame and the milieu of the indigenous mother Georgina Condori.

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SUNLESS SHADOWS – Review by Diane Carson

Iranian director Mehrdad Oskouei’s documentary Sunless Shadows explores the lives of six teenage women confined to a juvenile detention center for murder. All the victims are men: fathers, husbands, brothers-in-law. Through unmediated footage of daily interactions and direct address to a camera they control alone in a room, the subjects reveal their personal and political reasons.

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DAYS OF THE WHALE – Review by Diane Carson

Medellín, Colombia. Drug trafficking and the violence accompanying it dominate news and film coverage connected with Colombia. What a breath of fresh air, then, to watch writer/director Catalina Arroyave’s Days of the Whale situated firmly in the Colombian middle class, though control of the streets through intimidation and retaliation ominously limits the freedom of graffiti artists Cris and Simón.

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HELMUT NEWTON: THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL – Review by Diane Carson

Director Gero von Boehm’s fawning documentary delivers an uncritical profile of the unconventional photographer Helmet Newton, who often stunned portrait and fashion circles with his women, nude, posed defiantly and seductively. For Newton, two dirty words in photography are “art” and “good taste.” He is, he proudly asserts, a professional voyeur.

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Karin Fong’s JACK RYAN Titles Inaugurate A World – Diane Carson comments

A movie’s title sequence must quickly and efficiently whisk viewers from the thoughts and concerns of their multifaceted realities into a receptive embrace of the film. In Jack Ryan, title designer Karin Fong shows great mastery of the art.

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