RUSTIN – Review by T.J. Callahan

Rustin: “Either you believe in freedom and justice for all or you do not.” Bayard Rustin believed. Rustin was the man who transformed the civil rights movement. He was the architect of the 1963 March on Washington that changed history. Yet we needed a feature film to truly find out who he was. Rustin championed civil and social rights, gay rights and nonviolence, but has been overlooked in our social studies lessons…possibly because he embodied all those things.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Sofia Coppola’s PRISCILLA is NYFF Centerpiece – Brandy McDonnell reports

Writer-director Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla will screen as the Centerpiece selection for the 61st New York Film Festival, making its North American premiere Oct. 6 at Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center. Adapted from Priscilla Presley’s best-selling 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, the biopic stars Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and Jacob Elordi as Elvis. Priscilla is a culminating triumph for Sofia Coppola, a filmmaker with a singular gift for illuminating the interior lives of her characters,” said Dennis Lim, artistic director of the New York Film Festival.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 14, 2023: HILMA

One of modern art’s most significant — and simultaneously least well-known — figures gets her moment in the spotlight in Lasse Hallström’s lovingly filmed biopic Hilma. The film tells the story of Hilma af Klint, a Swedish painter whose affinity for mysticism and the spiritual world led her to create large-scale abstract art that you’d swear was influenced by Kandinsky … if you didn’t know with certainty that af Klint’s work predated his.

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HILMA – Review by Jennifer Merin

Hilma is a sumptuous truth-based period drama that chronicles the life and work of Swedish artist Hilma aft Klint (1862 – 1944). Hilma was a brilliant and innovative artist whose abstract paintings preceded those of the better-known Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944), who has, until recently, been credited by art historians with the invention of abstract art.

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HILMA – Review by Nikki Fowler

Swedish writer and director Lasse Hallström’s new truth–based period drama, Hilma, shares a vibrant and mystical take on the extraordinary and secluded artist Hilma af Klint, exploring her dedication to spiritualism and painting. Hilma was a radical painter in early 1900s Sweden, making her the first abstract painter in Western art history. Hilma was ahead of her time as her paintings predate the likes of artists such as Kandinsky, Mondrian, and Malevich; however, as a woman, she was denied the same recognition, only to have her work finally unboxed in 1967. Kandinsky was, until recently, acknowledged as the inventor of abstract art. Hilma is a captivating must-watch.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Sofia Coppola Takes on Priscilla Presley’s ELVIS AND ME – Brandy McDonnell reports

Oscar-winning writer-director Sofia Coppola is adapting Priscilla Presley’s best-selling 1985 memoir Elvis and Me into a feature film titled =Priscilla. The biopic will star Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and Jacob Elordi as Elvis. In the 1980s, Presley’s book quickly became an international sensation as a chronicle of her passionate marriage to The King. She was just 14 years old when she caught the eye of Elvis, who was 24 at the time, during his military service in Germany. They married in 1967, and welcomed a daughter, Lisa Marie, before splitting up in 1972.

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THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN – Review by Susan Granger

While Academy voters are weighing Oscar votes for his performance in The Power of the Dog, Benedict Cumberbatch made another 2021 film that somehow slid under the radar. Narrated by Olivia Colman, this story revolves around British artist Louis Wain (1860-1939) who became famous for his brightly colored drawings of anthropomorphized cats. He was also an eccentric who believed electricity could transform everyday life.

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SPENCER – Review by Diane Carson

As Princess Diana, Kristen Stewart gives a magnetic performance. Most impressive was her ability to capture Diana’s nonverbal subtleties and her verbal rhythms, to communicate her entrapment and then the release of dancing spontaneously, exuberantly. Stewart was asked to dance at the conclusion of many production days, and the editing together of this extemporaneous, free expression conveys what Diana has been suppressing.

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TOVE – Review by Martha K Baker

If you were a big fan of the Moomins but had no idea who created them, Tove will fill in all the blanks. Tove Jansson was an artist and a writer in her public life but also in her private adult life, she started with a man, then with a woman, so the feature film is perfect for Pride month.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 4, 2021: TOVE

It’s no surprise by now to discover that the private lives of the authors and artists behind some of the world’s most beloved children’s books were anything but calm (or G-rated). But it’s always fascinating to get a glimpse into the events, people, and places that shaped them and led to their iconic creations, and Zaida Bergroth’s Tove — which stars the excellent Alma Pöysti as Finnish Moomin mastermind Tove Jansson — is no exception.

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