Defining Feminist Film Criticism – Nell Minow comments

My feminist point of view is reflected in my standards for female characters. For example, the dreadful Book Club starred four of Hollywood’s greatest actresses playing characters of significant professional achievement and yet still didn’t pass the Bechdel test. It is also reflected in the way I write about female filmmakers, as for example, Band-Aid, a film made with an all-female crew.

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Common Sense Media Scores Kids’ Movies’ For Kindness – Betsy Bozdech reports

Raising a kind kid takes a lot more than showing them good movies, but the films Common Sense Media has selected can spark conversations about kindness and why it’s important. From learning to appreciate differences to seeing the importance of friendship, acceptance, and tolerance, these movies might help inspire random acts of kindness in your kids.

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ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA – Commentary by Martha P. Nochimson

Ultimately, this show about brief, ambiguous escapes is reminiscent of the fatalism of the early 20th century American naturalist novels in which the plight of trapped characters becomes a microcosm of the American macrocosm, a culture depicted gloomily as the habitation of beings with no real place either in nature or culture, no core identity, no coherence outside of the deadening rules and conventions society has invented. This is a vision that is too bleak for my taste, but I respect it because it goes well beyond being the same old familiar jailbreak story. It has a perspective.

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Sarah Jacobson: American Genre Film Archive Retrospective at Austin’s Fantastic Fest – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

Declaring herself as nothing less than “the queen of underground film” and having learnt the craft through revered underground filmmaker George Kuchar, Jacobson’s well-earned legacy as one of the most vital and original filmmakers of the late 20th century had until recently been hidden from view, This retrospective illuminates her work for cinephiles hungry genuine punk- feminist cinema.

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New York Film Festival 2018 Top Female Performances – Liz Whittemore reports

NYFF is reliable in presenting meaty roles for women. This year’s notable performances include Juliette Binoche and Regina King, an actress who is often underappreciated. Also on my list are Molly Shannon, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, among others presented here in no particular order.

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

It’s not realistic to expect that we can shield kids from scary or gory content forever. And, in fact, it can be counterproductive to prevent children from seeing any kind of conflict, loss, or trauma on screen. Far better to use these moments, when they come, as opportunities to help them through hard stuff in a safe place. Continue reading…

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Copyright and Fair Use, Part Two: Historical View and Contemporary Application in Nonfiction Film — Diane Carson

That the U.S. Constitution authorizes copyright AND fair use surprises many, but it follows. In order to encourage new works of any type, creators must be allowed to quote and comment an existing work in order to discuss, analyze, debate, or praise. The concept of “transformative” use has emerged as a guiding principle in ruling on the use of copyrighted assets in documentaries.

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Copyright & Fair Use, Part One: A Critic’s Concerns — Commentary by Diane Carson

The theft of intellectual property is one of the most serious crimes of our time. Balancing this (and equally important) is the creation of new works contributing to a vigorous marketplace of ideas involving the analysis and repurposing of existing works. As film critics, to advance analysis, we want to be quoted, accurately and with acknowledgement just as we may cite someone’s review for praise, discussion or debate.

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