Horror Movies and Kids: A Scary Combination — Betsy Bozdech, with Brandy McDonnell, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow and Liz Whittemore

Back in 2017, a CableTV survey about horror movies revealed, among other things, that the average age at which the (presumably adult) respondents saw their first horror movie was 7.2 years old. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that today’s kids are in the same boat, we’ve all noticed members of the PG crowd at decidedly R-rated movies. What is the level of fear they experience during these movies and how does onscreen blood and gore influence their social expectations.?

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BARBENHEIMER Rules: Conflating BARBIE and OPPENHEIMER – Pam Grady Comments

There are places where the two films intersect, making Barbenheimer less ridiculous than the memes suggest: Both Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) and Barbie (Margot Robbie) are midcentury icons, Oppenheimer as the father of the atomic bomb that forever changed the way humans live in the world, and Barbie as the doll that broke the mold, freeing little girls from the tyranny of baby dolls and forever changing the way children play with dolls.

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Tribeca 2023 Women’s Performances To Watch – Liz Whittemore reports

The 2023 edition of The Tribeca Film Festival upped the ante for female filmmakers. Femme-centric storytelling gave us innumerable outstanding performances from women of all ages. As usual, I begin my annual roundup with the caveat that this list pertains solely to the films I watched. You can read more about the festival lineup in our collective AWFJ coverage, and it is aplenty this year. Here is my 2023 list of Women to Watch from Tribeca.

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African-American Film Critics Association Awards – Nikki Fowler reports

The African-American Film Critics Association’s (AAFCA) awards ceremony, held on March 1 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, marked a much-deserved moment of celebration for Black creators and actors who’ve been unexpectedly snubbed by other awards groups this year. Although no longer tagged as #OscarsSoWhite, the Academy Award nominations slate had glaring omissions of Black creatives and actors, including Gina-Prince Bythewood and The Woman King, Chinouye Chukwu and Till and Elegance Branton and The Inspection, and all of the brilliant talent associated with those and other superb Black films.

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The Most (and Least) Fun at the Movies in 2022 – Commentary by Chaz Ebert

This is my joyous listing of six films I am glad I saw, and a seventh film that was the least fun! The most fun I had is during the screening of Indian director S. S. Rajamouli’s epic RRR. I did not know about the active cult following Rajamouli had acquired in the United States, so I was unprepared for the high excitement that rippled through the Music Box Theatre in Chicago as he made his way to the stage. Not only were there rambunctious hoops and hollers, but some people were dressed in festive cultural attire.

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In Memoriam: Julia Reichert (1946-2022)

Moviemakers, movie lovers social justice advocates are mourning the loss of the great Julia Reichert, known to those who admired and adored her as the “Godmother of American independent documentaries.” When she and In her partner Steven Bognar accepted the Robert and Anne Drew Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking at DOC NYC’s 2019 Visionaries Tribute, Julia Reichert, then fighting the disease that eventually took her life, tweaked the audience a bit with a teaser about “stumbling upon the secret to great documentary cinematography.” A full four minutes later, she finally revealed the answer: “Editing.”

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My TIFF 2022 Diary: Highlighting Day-to-Day ‘IRL’ – Johanna Schneller reports (Exclusive)

After two minutes, I realize I’m levitating an inch from my seat with happiness. This movie is everything I’d hoped and more. There is not one wasted syllable. I keep swatting away tears of anger (on behalf of the characters, and their real-life counterparts). I can feel the emotion rolling up and down the rows, that feeling you can only get in a theatre full of people who are having a collective experience. I won’t know this until a few days later, but Women Talking sets the tone for my whole TIFF: brilliant women directors, squaring their sites on the patriarchy. And experiencing their work in public again, finally.

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10 International Animated Films That Showcase World Cultures – Dana Ziyasheva reports (Guest Post)

The United States has always been a culturally diverse country, and it will become even more so in the future. In 2019, more than half of Americans under age 16 identified as a racial or ethnic minority for the first time – so not really a minority after all! Young audiences want to relate to what they’re watching, explore their heritage, and learn about their friends’ cultural background. And Hollywood has started to take notice: Moana, Mulan, Coco, and Encanto added ethnic diversity to Disney/Pixar’s time-tested formula, with action-packed, broad-stroke narratives centered on their title characters’ identity search.

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Mid-Life Women Trend in European Films and Series – Jennifer Green Comments

The European films and series mentioned here all end on a promising note of self-empowerment for their female characters. The message shared across these stories seems to be that there is plenty of life left to be explored and a realm of new experiences – physical, emotional, spiritual and professional – still to be had for women well into and even past middle age. The market for their stories is wide open.

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Suzanne Bauman (1945-2022): A Life in Film – Profile by Marilyn Ferdinand

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists mourns the passing of Suzanne Bauman, a producer, director, and writer of more than 80 documentary and feature films, as well as a teacher of documentary filmmaking. Bauman succumbed to cancer on January 2, 2022, surrounded by family in her home in Wrightwood, California.

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