HANNAH MARKS on Shooting DON’T MAKE ME GO in New Zealand – Nell Minow interviews

It is too late to call Hannah Marks a “promising” young director. She has more than delivered on the promise and quality of her first two films, After Everything and Banana Split with Don’t Make Me Go, starring Mia Isaac and John Cho as a teenage daughter and father on a car trip. Marks again demonstrates her exceptional skill in working with actors and in cinematic storytelling. In an interview, she talked about making New Zealand stand in for Southwestern USA, why road trip stories are an enduring theme, and telling a story about characters who are not talking to each other about what concerns them most.

Read more

Hannah Marks and Mia Isaacs on DON’T MAKE ME GO – Pamela Powell interviews

Don’t Make Me Go is an extraordinarily smart, uplifting and heartfelt movie that combines coming of age tropes with unusual roadtrip elements as it revolves around a truly loving father and daughter relationship that’s put under severe pressure because of health issues. Mia Isaacs plays the teenage daughter of single parent Jon Cho, and their family chemistry shimmers on the screen as they drive across the US. racing to forge a plan for the future. AWFJ’s Pam Powell, who cheers this film as her favorite of the year, claimed the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Marks and Isaacs to discuss the film and the highlights of making it.

Read more

THE FIRST LADY – Review by Susan Granger

I had such high hopes for Showtime’s 10-episode series, The First Lady, But, created by Aaron Cooley with Cathy Schulman as showrunner and stiffly directed by Suzanne Bier, the interlocking narratives, utilizing archival footage, are oddly structured, profiling First Ladies Betty Ford, Michelle Obama and Eleanor Roosevelt – before, during and after their East Wing experience.

Read more

A VERY BRITISH SCANDAL – Review by Susan Granger

Based on a true story, A Very British Scandal delves into the notorious sex scandal that riveted Britain in 1963. It revolves around arrogant, ambitious Margaret Whigham, born in Scotland to a self-made Scottish textiles millionaire who moved the family to New York when she was 14. After several highly publicized romances during her London debutante season and a disastrous first marriage that ended in divorce, scheming socialite Margaret (Claire Foy) married Ian Campbell (Paul Bettany), Duke of Argyll, in 1951. Already unhappy in his second marriage, dissolute Ian was intrigued not only by Margaret’s beauty but also by her generous dowry.

Read more

SHADOW LINES – Review by Diane Carson

Based on historical records, Shadow Lines dramatizes a complicated, multilayered series of events in 1956, as Urho Kaleva Kekkonen becomes Finland’s President. A flash point for the Cold War, Finland must struggle and surreptitiously fight to maintain its neutrality as Russia infringes on its fragile, threatened independence. With more overtones than feel comfortable right now, the 18 episode series echoes across the decades with contemporary geopolitical issues.

Read more

REACHER – Review by Diane Carson

The The Amazon Prime eight-episode series Reacher manages a suspenseful, amusing achievement, balancing an admirably diverse, atypical cast and a weighty dig at heartless corporate greed. Based on Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels, the first season adapts Killing Floor, Child’s 1997 debut, as its blueprint. And, as with many series, a murder provides the catalyst for subsequent events.eight-episode series Reacher manages a suspenseful, amusing achievement, balancing an admirably diverse, atypical cast and a weighty dig at heartless corporate greed. Based on Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels, the first season adapts Killing Floor, Child’s 1997 debut, as its blueprint. And, as with many series, a murder provides the catalyst for subsequent events.

Read more

Mariama Diallo on Ghosts, Empowerment and MASTER (Sundance FF 2022) – Pamela Powell interviews

Writer/Director Mariama Diallo’s gripping first feature, Master, is a horror tale centering on the experiences of a Black young woman who is enrolled at a New England college with a predominantly White student body. Receiving many accolades at it’s Sundance 2022 premiere, the film has been picked up for distribution via Amazon Prime Video beginning March 18, 2022. Diallo discusses all the real-life inspiration that lead her to tell this haunting tale.

Read more

ENCOUNTER – Review by Diane Carson

In Encounter, the decorated Special Forces Marine combat veteran and father Malik Khan lovingly delights and amuses, then dominates and terrifies his two sons Jay and Bobby after he kidnaps them, certain he’s saving them from aliens. With Riz Ahmed as Malik, through intense physical scenes and a psychological labyrinth, the story moves through hairpin turns and tense confrontations.

Read more

BINGO HELL – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Exclusive Photos)

Aging and having your life revolve around bingo might sound like a living hell. But in Gigi Saul Guerrero’s sophomore feature – bingo is a bond. It tethers friends and neighbors together in a fun, regular ritual at the community hall which forms the foundations of their day-to-day lives. They share their highs and lows, accomplishments and losses, struggles and triumphs. If someone is going through a tough time, the others do what they can to help. They cut each other’s hair. They fix each other’s cars. They listen to each other’s family dramas, never afraid to speak up and call someone out if they are the one being the jerk.

Read more