MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 10, 2019: Mary Harron’s CHARLIE SAYS

motw logo 1-35Bringing a female gaze to one of the 20th century’s most notorious criminals and the influence he exerted over his zealous followers Mary Harron’s Charlie Says is a compelling look at the power of community and the need to belong. By focusing her film on the women around Charles Manson, rather than directly on Manson himself, Harron shows us how that need can lead to delusion, denial, and destruction.

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CHARLIE SAYS – Review by Loren King

Two new feature films mark the 50th anniversary of the still- disturbing, endlessly fascinating Tate/LaBianca murders that shook the tony enclaves of Los Angeles to the core in August, 1969. Quentin Tarantino’s star studded Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will get more attention. Mary Harron’s Charlie Says, with its focus on the women in Charles Manson’s “family” who committed the heinous murders, may be the more interesting.

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CHARLIE SAYS – Review by Pam Grady

Director Mary Harron, who previously found the humanity in would-be assassin Valeria Solanas with I Shot Andy Warhol and Bret Easton Ellis’ twisted master of the universe in American Psycho tries to the same with Charles Manson acolytes and murderers Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkle, and Susan Atkins with her latest, Charlie Says. It is a mixed bag, but intriguing enough to make it a worthy addition to Harron’s oeuvre despite some glaring weaknesses.

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CHARLIE SAYS – Review by Jennifer Merin

Charlie Says is a truth-based narrative that explores the lives and mindsets of the vulnerable young women who were key members of Charles Manson’s ‘family’ and were brainwashed into complete acceptance of his warped philosophy–and into following his orders in daily life and in the unimaginably brutal 1969 slayings of actress Sharon Tate and friends who had gathered at her Los Angeles home.

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CHARLIE SAYS – Review by Sheila Roberts

Canadian filmmaker Mary Harron’s bio crime drama, Charlie Says, offers a provocative new perspective on a notorious case as it examines the Manson Family women at the center of the gruesome Tate-LaBianca murders in the summer of 1969. Like many of Harron’s films, it’s definitely outside the mainstream and involves controversial characters.

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Mary Harron on THE NOTORIOUS BETTY PAGE – Rebecca Murray interviews

Mary Harron continues to tackle edgy subject matter. In The Notorious Betty Page, she the story of one of the most fascinating pin-up girls in American history to the big screen. Starring Gretchen Mol as the legendary 1950s model who made a name for herself in fetish poses, the film follows Page’s transformation from the daughter of conservative religious parents to aspiring actress to the vibrant young woman whose provocative photos graced the pages of men’s magazines and made her the target of a Senate investigation into pornography.

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