TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL – Review by Martha K Baker

Last October, Nature set loose a terrible disease. It was named, in the scientific fashion, Covid 19, for the year it started and for “corona,” describing the virus. Alex Gibney, along with Ophelia Harutyunyan, and Suzanne Hillinger, has directed a fiery documentary blast at the handling of the pandemic in America by the Trump Administration.

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THE WAY I SEE IT – Review by Martha K Baker

Long before Pete Souza became the Official White House photographer for President Barak Obama, he served in the same capacity for President Ronald Reagan. The two jobs and the two Presidents were very different. Souza responded in kind. For Pres. Obama, Souza had top-secret clearance plus total access to the President.

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JIMMY CARTER: ROCK AND ROLL PRESIDENT – Review by Martha K Baker

Most people think of Jimmy Carter as a Southern peanut farmer, a home-builder for the unhoused, or a Sunday School teacher. They might allow that he knows a few old hymns, but they do not think of him as a rebellious rock ‘n’ roller or a jazz aficionado. They might not pair him with Willie Nelson or Rosalyn Cash, Bob Dylan or the Allman Brothers.

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ON THE RECORD – Review by Martha K Baker

Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, who co-directed the searing documentary, The Hunting Ground, about serial rapes on college campuses, have directed another outstanding wedge film. “On the Record” reveals the story principally of one woman’s accusation of rape against the Godfather of Hip-Hop, Russell Simmons (he claims her charges, and other women’s, are false).

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THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 – Review by Martha K Baker

Those who did not live through the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 or follow coverage of the trial of seven men, the excellent film, The Trial of the Chicago Seven will read as incredible. Just unbelievable. For starters, men accused of being in a conspiracy had never met before that August. For another, a judge appeared to be unqualified at least, viciously loony-tunes at most.

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THE GLORIAS – Review by Martha K Baker

Twin a feminist icon with a theater icon, and you produce one remarkable film. Director Julie Taymor (The Lion King on stage and screen) based her screenplay for The Glorias on Gloria Steinem’s 2015 memoir, My Life on the Road. As a theatrical director, she knows the power of metaphor, of design, of production.

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THE COASTAL ELITES – Review by Martha K Baker

Anyone who has followed Paul Rudnick’s career and appreciates it knows to keep following, nuisance-close lest missing a word. The Coastal Elites outshines his every other brilliance. It expands upon what it means to manage these agonizing days with heart and soul, laughter and vinegar.

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THE SECRETS WE KEEP – Review by Martha K Baker

One of the first clues that the film exceeds the definition of escapist, creepy thriller is the cast. Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, and Chris Messina took Yuval Adler’s script and sounded its depths with commitment. Rapace and Messina play Maja and Lewis, married parents of a boy. Kinnaman’s character is nameless but not blameless.

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THE PUBLIC TRUST – Review by Martha K Baker

Public Trust director David Garrett Byars begins softly with his and Drew Xanthopoulos’ cinematography of sweeping shots of canoes in water and of clouds over red rocks and green trees. Then, going harder, Byars interviewed whistleblowers turning against the brazen Trump Administration, including Ryan Zinke. He was replaced as Secretary of the Interior by David Barnhart, who is moving the office into a building with Exxon.

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