SHARP STICK (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Lauren Anderson

After a decade away from feature films, Lena Dunham return to the Sundance Film Festival in 2022 with Sharp Stick, a witty sex comedy that explores coming-of-age through female sexuality. Starring Dunham, Sharp Stick is the story of a 26-year-old woman’s desire to explore sex in the most grandiose and bizarre way. Sharp Stick is a hilarious and engaging return to the screen for the Girls creator. Much like the HBO series did during its six-season run, Sharp Stick demonstrates growth and change through some of the oddest occurrences.

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SPOTLIGHT December 2021: Ari Wegner, Cinematographer, THE POWER OF THE DOG and ZOLA

While she won’t speculate on her own awards prospects, Ari Wegner recently told me how happy she is to see the way women are now being more welcomed in the field of cinematography. She hopes this will continue to increase as female DPs start to see the recognition that has eluded them for so long. She discusses both the art and science of filmmaking with such a degree of passion and poetry, that her love for the medium is contagious. She is a leader, a champion, and a gifted artist, giving the world not only beautiful images, but a sense of hope and fascination too.

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ZOLA – Review by Liz Braun

A stripper gets more than she bargained for in Zola, a bawdy road trip about sex work, female friendship and the messy world of men. This is ostensibly a comedy, but there’s a dark side to it all that makes Zola a real innocence-to-experience trip, most of that captured through the performance of Taylour Paige in the title role. To put the best possible light on things, it’s a great yarn about storytelling.

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ZOLA – Review by April Neale

Noir dramedies based on “real people” and “true events” always resonate deeper and more receptively with those who find the characters familiar, relatable, and through the magic of great scriptwriters and stellar acting, redeemable.

In Zola, writer and director Janicza Bravo gives us a female “almost buddy” film that goes horribly south, showing off the worst of a particular class of white people, black people, and skeevy characters in-between the lot. Nobody, save for Zola, is someone you would want to know, but they sure can be funny.

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