MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 11, 2022: CALENDAR GIRL

The devil may wear Prada, but Ruth Finley — the spunky powerhouse behind the fashion industry-defining Fashion Calendar (who’s far more angelic than devilish, anyway) — isn’t really one to play favorites when it comes to haute couture. She’s always loved it all: The creativity, the pageantry, the gorgeous clothes. Her decades-long career at the heart of New York City’s fashion scene is the subject of director Christian D. Bruun’s affectionate documentary Calendar Girl.

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CALENDAR GIRL – Review by Loren King

Christian D. Brunn’s Calendar Girl is part of the fashion documentary tradition that includes Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, The September Issue and Unzipped, among many others. It’s tangentially about fashion; what makes it so compelling and important is its true subject, Ruth Finley.

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CALENDAR GIRL – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

The documentary Calendar Girl isn’t about pin-ups or models. Instead, it focuses on the life of Ruth Finley, who changed the fashion world as we knew it just by creating a time table for American designers to show off their haute-couture wares at Fashion Week in New York City. For more than seven decades, Ruth Finley held the reigns to a calendar that scheduled every fashion event in New York City each year. She might have been petite, but Finley was a big deal when it came to making sure that designers were given an assigned space on the annual program.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 4, 2022: LUCY AND DESI

If watching Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem in Being the Ricardos left you craving even more details about the lives of one of Hollywood’s most famous TV power couples, director Amy Poehler has you covered. Her documentary Lucy and Desi is simultaneously informative and intimate, telling the fascinating story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s lifelong love for each other and how it was both fueled and frustrated by their shared passion for showbiz.

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LUCY AND DESI – Review by Loren King

If Being the Ricardos, despite Nicole Kidman’s and Javier Bardem’s Oscar nominated performances, didn’t convey the seismic impact of the personal and professional partnership of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on the entertainment world, then and now, the corrective is the documentary Lucy and Desi. Amy Poehler directed this treasure of rare, candid photographs and film clips including home movies that traces their careers, marriage and creation of the groundbreaking TV comedy I Love Lucy. Poehler lets the story unfold largely in their own words, through film footage and audio recordings.

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LUCY AND DESI – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

As a card-carrying Baby Boomer, I watched the ground-breaking sitcom I Love Lucy as well as the reruns that continue to be recycled throughout the TV universe to this day. Why? Because the multi-talented Lucille Ball was one of my female idols growing up. The reason? Unlike the moms on such family comedies as The Donna Reed Show, Leave It to Beaver or, heaven forbid, Father Knows Best, they were domestic goddesses who wore pearls and frilly aprons while happily caring for their broadcast clans. However, on-air, Lucy wasn’t so keen on being a housewife. But Lucy desperately wanted to be an entertainer like her musical husband Ricky.

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WHY IS WE AMERICANS? – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

The documentary Why Is We Americans? bursts with ambition, much like the dynamic Newark, New Jersey family at its core. Taking its title from one of its patriarch’s poems, the film pays tribute to 1960s Black Arts poet, playwright, and civil rights activist Amiri Baraka. It also connects the influence of the late Baraka and his wife, poet and writer Amina Baraka, on their children, particularly son Ras J. Baraka, who has been Newark’s mayor since 2014.

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AUDREY – Review by Carol Cling

Audrey Hepburn wanted, more than anything, to be a ballerina. But the desperate struggle to survive World War II in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands precluded that. Instead, she became a beloved silver-screen legend, back in the days when the people who lit up those silver screens truly were legends. The new documentary Audrey chronicles Hepburn’s familiar public life — and her less familiar personal history — in engaging fashion.

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OLIVER SACKS: HIS OWN LIFE -Review by Liz Braun

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life is an engaging and moving account of a truly extraordinary life. And you need know nothing about the revered British neurologist and prolific author to be completely engaged by Ric Burns’ fine documentary. It does seem safe to predict a sudden increase in sales of Sacks’ books after the documentary is released.

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