MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 22, 2020: LUCKY GRANDMA

It’s not often that a sharp-tongued, chain-smoking grandmother is the main character in a movie. Tsai Chin’s gutsy, riveting performance as the acerbic, chain-smoking titular character in Lucky Grandma, Sasie Sealy’s tight script and admirable direction, a stellar ensemble and a strong sense of place make the film a sure winner.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 15, 2020: SOUTH MOUNTAIN

Marriage, like life, is a complicated beast — and there often aren’t clear-cut answers and easy resolutions when things get messy. That compelling theme is the dynamic at the heart of Hilary Brougher’s intimate, poignant drama South Mountain, which follows Lila (Talia Balsam) over the course of a summer as her marriage crumbles and the world she knows shifts into new and discomforting directions.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 8, 2020: A SECRET LOVE

There may be no crying in baseball, but you’ll be hard pressed not to shed a tear or two while watching A Secret Love. Chris Bolan’s moving documentary details the 65-year relationship of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, which saw them through everything from traveling with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League to the relief of coming out to family members in their 80s.

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DuVernay and Jenks get Funko Pops, per AWFJ’s Suggestion! Yes!!! – Jennifer Merin reports

There’s no way to know how much, if any, Funko’s introduction of Female Film Director Pops was influenced by Leslie Combemale’s essay for AWFJ.org in 2018, but in March, 2020, Funko introduced it’s Ava DuVernay Pop. The Patty Jenkins Pop followed in April.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 1, 2020: BULL

Gritty and sometimes bleak, Annie Silverstein’s Bull is a haunting drama about 14-year-old Kris (Amber Havard), whose future looks about as bright as the dusty neighborhood she lives in on the outskirts of Houston. An unexpected connection offers her a glimpse at new possibilities, but is it enough to permanently change her trajectory?

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BLUE STORY – Review by Jennifer Merin

In Blue Story, we have a well-crafted film that presents quite a compelling, if not unfamiliar tale about London youths caught up in an ongoing cycle of violence and, while following several tough young characters battling with each other and fate, poses a chicken or egg question: which comes first? Violence in the streets or violence on the screen?

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 24, 2020: TO THE STARS

A transformative friendship between two teenage girls takes center stage in Martha Stephens’ earnest coming-of-age drama To the Stars. The film features exceptionally strong performances from its stars, Liana Liberato and Kara Hayward, who play the two teen girls who are chafing at the social restrictions and conventional expectations of life in 1960s rural Oklahoma.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 17, 2020 – BEYOND THE VISIBLE: HILMA AF KLINT

If, in a post-Hidden Figures world, anyone doubts that there are stories of amazing, accomplished women just waiting to be told, have them watch Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint. Halina Dyrschka’s fascinating documentary introduces viewers to a groundbreaking Swedish artist whom it’s safe to say that few had heard of — despite the fact that her work upends everything you thought you knew about abstract art.

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Uniqueness in the Age of Global Aesthetics – Katia Shannon (Guest Post)

Filmmakers are encouraged to develop a distinguishable aesthetic to pierce through the clutter. But it might be harder than ever to achieve. Where you are from and what your films should look like, are not interdependant anymore. That’s exciting, but the globalization of aesthetics is both a brilliant opportunity and a trap. The challenge lies in embracing the opportunity of a cross-cultural digital dialogue while recognizing what makes your world view unique and inimitable. The good news is, that it’s already around you, beckoning for attention.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 10, 2020: THE OTHER LAMB

Stylish, intense, and thought-provoking, Malgorzata Szumowska’s The Other Lamb is both a gripping coming-of-age story and a dark, disturbing fable about a community of women who find the necessary strength to push back against and escape from a stifling patriarchy that dictates everything about their behavior and expectations in life.

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