THE 40 YEAR OLD VERSION – Review by April Neale

Filmmaker Radha Blank’s starring turn as the fictional Radha is one to watch. She’s at a trifecta milestone in life, ruing her age, grieving for her mother and trying to make sense of career and survive in a high cost city. What’s an artist to do? This observant, perfectly lense and written comedic sidewinder follows this likeable woman’s path to getting her groove back by reinventing her creative outlets.

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FLY LIKE A GIRL – Review by April Neale

Misogyny and misconceptions about women abound in every walk of life, especially in the field of aviation. Societal stigma and educational gaps for women and men are part of the percolating conversation in filmmaker Katie McEntire Wiatt’s informative documentary, Fly Like A Girl. The film’s message is clear, do not be afraid to be the first or let someone else put an idea in your head that prevents you from exploring all your options in this life. And for that encouragement, this film soars above the pack.

And for that encouragement, this film soars above the pack.

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ONCE UPON A RIVER – Review by April Neale

There is a point where our internal critic asks, why are we watching this film? For Once Upon A River, it is to witness the miracle of kindness, and the randomness of human decency which can make or break someone’s spirit that is the underpinning of this story. The message is that all children need guidance and a watchful eye as they learn the ways of life so they can take eventually take educated chances and bet on themselves.

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Marc Ostrick on STRIPPED: LOS ANGELES and Women’s Choices – April Neale interviews

Elite dancers and sex workers in Los Angeles are given a closeup and a platform in Marc Ostrick’s new documentary, Stripped: Los Angeles, where they share their own unique career paths and their attitudes toward the adult entertainment industry. Ostrick, an Emmy®-nominated filmmaker with over 25 years of producing and directing documentaries, was interested in exploring the motivations of women who took to the stage, not as actors but as sensual performance artists.

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DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD – Review by April Neale

Our culture does little to alleviate anxiety about the end of life, and this documentary succeeds in allowing us to lose some of the dread and delight along with Dick Johnson as his daughter, filmmaker Kirsten Johnson, cooks up very dramatic, well-staged and crafted ways to end it all: Heart attacks, impalings, having an A/C unit fall on his head — all while Dick Johnson discusses the merits to each calamity and gives amusing post-mortems of every potential demise.

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FIRST ONE IN – Review by April Neale

Indie comedy First One In is a really funny film that cloaks female empowerment and hard won camaraderie in humor. It’s a terrific first effort from Gina O’Brien. Her take on the subtle cues women give each other in conversations and her ability to convey them in believable comedic banter and visually interesting shots holds promise for more excellent work to come. Don’t overlook this one.

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THE AUGUST VIRGIN – Review by April Neale

The August Virgin is an immersive Sangria-soaked sight-seeing trip to Madrid during the month when many of its citizens abandon her. This film will likely resonate more for women than it will with men. You will recognize many of the emotions and longings that Eva has come to consider in her quiet metamorphosis into female adulthood.

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Monique Marvez on THE ART OF COMEDY and Women in Comedy – April Neale interviews

Monique Marvez is author, podcaster, radio host and rescuer of pound puppies headed for the big goodbye. She’s a comic’s comic, a populist player, a fiercely intelligent and funny woman who’s served as San Diego’s top voice on Jack FM’s Monique and the Man, Next up: HBO Max’s HA Comedy Festival: The Art of Comedy.

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