MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 24, 2023: SMOKE SAUNA SISTERHOOD

Women of all shapes and sizes come together in a traditional Estonian sauna to sweat out their pain and fear in filmmaker Anna Hints’ meditative documentary Smoke Sauna Sisterhood. As the steam swirls around them, the women tell their stories, sharing joys and sorrows, trauma and triumph. Underlying everything is the reality of what it means to be a woman — and how essential it is for women to support one another.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 8, 2023: JOYCE CAROL OATES: A BODY IN THE SERVICE OF MIND

Prolific author, keen observer, insightful storyteller, compulsive writer, incisive tweeter. Joyce Carol Oates is all of these things and more, as director Stig Björkman makes abundantly clear in his thoughtfully constructed, affectionate documentary Joyce Carol Oates: A Body in Service of Mind. Tracing Oates’ life and career over the course of several decades, Björkman makes it clear that she has well earned her reputation as an iconic American writer.

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JOYCE CAROL OATES: A BODY IN SERVICE OF MIND – Review by Nikki Fowler

Greenwich Entertainment’s documentary Joyce Carol Oates: A Body in the Service of Mind is a beautiful and informative look into the life and work of the beloved and award-winning novelist by the same name, who not only wrote a series of novels drenched immensely in gender, race, socioeconomics, and politics but who wrote dramatic novels sans politics under pseudonyms which she described as getting to “start over” and “to write as if she were “writing for the first time.”

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RIVER – Review by Liz Braun

Mother was right — you really can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It certainly works for River, a visually spectacular documentary about the earth’s waterways that delivers a powerful environmental message by leading with positive images. River introduces the absolute magnificence of the rivers of this world, seducing a viewer with remarkable footage and inspiring an appreciation of the natural world before bringing down the hammer.

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PREPARATIONS TO BE TOGETHER FOR AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME – Review by Diane Carson

The intriguing title suggesting an unusual, challenging film will follow, Hungarian director Lili Horvát’s Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time delivers on that promise. For the first image on screen is the last stanza of Sylvia Plath’s poem, Mad Girl’s Love Song, in which the speaker wonders if “I made you up inside my head.”

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