BODY PARTS (Tribeca 2022) – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Early in the documentary Body Parts, Rosanna Arquette remembers auditioning in a bikini for a part in the 1991 comedy S.O.B. One day while shooting, director Blake Edwards told her to take her top off. Then nineteen, Arquette hedged, not realizing the role called for nudity. Afraid she’d lose her job, she relented. Such affecting interviews are but one facet of Body Parts, a film that discusses how some creatives are pushing back against exploiting the female body, especially in nude scenes and sex scenes.

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BRAINWASHED: SEX-CAMERA-POWER (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

In her new documentary Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, director Nina Menkes cues up a bathtub scene from 1972’s Superfly. Guess what happens? From a close-up of a man and a woman, the camera glides down the woman’s back to her buttocks, then shows her breasts while the man stays discreetly in the suds. Compiling nearly 200 clips since 1896 from popular, classic, and indie films, Brainwashed analyzes certain filmmaking techniques that continually view women as objects

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BRAINWASHED: SEX-CAMERA-POWER (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Leslie Combemale

In her documentary Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, which is inspired by her lecture “Sex and Power: The Visual Language of Cinema”, Menkes uses over 170 clips from films from the 1940s to the present from all genres to demonstrate that shot design is gendered. She makes a strong case for the idea that the visual grammar of cinema creates an environment that encourages discrimination, pay inequality, and sexual harassment, both inside and outside the film industry. Cinephiles may find themselves defensive about their favorite flicks, but it’s hard to ignore the many points she backs up with examples. Brainwashed may well fundamentally change the way we watch films, and it should.

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BRAINWASHED: SEX-CAMERA-POWER (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

Through the use of film clips, filmmaker Nina Menkes shows how a male-perspective-based film vocabulary has formed and hardened into accepted practice—one used even by women filmmakers. It is Menkes’ contention that these internalized norms of film construction influence how men and women behave in the real world. If women cannot be heard in a film, it’s only a short leap to silencing them in workplaces, public spaces, and relationships. If women are sexualized and give in to men’s sexual demands with pleasure in the movies without negative consequences, then sexually harassing and raping them in real life won’t seem so wrong.

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LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE – Review by Martha K Baker

You can have your Marvel movies, your thrillers, and your animé, but every once in awhile, a dear little film about human connection matters even more. Love Is Love Is Love proves to be more than its parts. It nestles in with the basics — from the title’s love to grief, to humor, patience, and sisterhood.

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LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE – Review by Lois Alter Mark

The whole thing feels completely inauthentic and is full of platitudes but because the actors – who include Rita Wilson, Rosanna Arquette, Cybill Shepherd and Polly Draper – are so good, you just wish you could join them at the table to have a real conversation. At the very least, you wish writer/director Eleanor Coppola had written a better conversation for them to have.

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THE ETRUSCAN SMILE – Review by Roxana Hadadi

Some lessons about life never change: do what you love, surrounded by people you love, before it’s too late. That’s a simple but reassuring series of messages that are the through line for the sometimes satisfying but fundamentally patronizing The Etruscan Smile, director Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis’s adaptation of the bestselling 1985 novel La Sonrisa Etrusca.

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