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ART & KRIMES BY KRIMES – Review by Carol Cling

Focusing on the life, times — and crimes — of artist Jesse Krimes, this award-winning documentary offers a compelling portrait of the artist as a young man, delving into how and why art helps artists discover not only their artistry but themselves. Krimes’ recollects his “train wreck” youth, which culminated in losing a college art scholarship — and being convicted of selling cocaine, ultimately landing him in federal prison. For Krimes, incarceration leads to a true artistic breakthrough. After experiencing Krimes’ journey, chances are you’ll understand how this artist’s mind works — and appreciate the opportunity to do so.

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PINOCCHIO – Review by Susan Granger

If you have young children, they’ll probably enjoy Robert Zemeckis’ live-action/animation reboot of Pinocchio, starring Tom Hanks and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This timeless tale opens with Jiminy Cricket (Gordon-Levitt) singing “When You Wish Upon a Star,” which was first introduced in the 1940 cartoon. After fashioning a boy marionette made of pine, the lonely, widowed woodcarver Geppetto (Tom Hanks) makes a heartfelt wish for a ‘real’ son.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Chinonye Chukwu’s TILL premieres at NYFF opening weekend Brandy McDonnell reports

Chinonye Chukwu’s anticipated feature film Till will have its world premiere at the 60th New York Film Festival on opening weekend.
The 60th New York Film Festival, presented by Film at Lincoln Center, will take place Sept. 30-Oct. 16. Till” tells the true story of Mamie Till Mobley’s relentless pursuit of justice for her 14-year-old son Emmett Till. In 1955, Emmett was lynched while visiting his cousins in Mississippi. In Mamie’s poignant journey of grief turned to action, audiences will witness the universal power of a mother’s courage and its ability to change the world.

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HOLD ME TIGHT – Review by Diane Carson

From the opening moments of Hold Me Tight (Serre moi fort), French director Mathieu Amalric invites us to put assorted jigsaw puzzle pieces together. Soon revealed as the mother of son Paul and daughter Lucie, Clarisse sits before a dozen face down photos which she turns up and then back to face down, repeating angrily, Let’s start again.

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THE WOMAN KING – Review by Susan Granger

One of the many benefits of inclusion is the ability to learn about historical events that have never before been chronicled on the big screen. Set in 1823, this story follows Nawi (Thuso Mbebu), a rebellious Dahomey teenager who refuses an arranged marriage; infuriated, her father forces her to join warrior force known as the Agojie, commanded by General Nanisca (Viola Davis). Working from a jumbled, often overly melodramatic script by Maria Bello and Dana Stevens, director Gina Prince-Blythewood delivers a rousing, action-packed adventure.

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MONA LISA AND THE BLOOD MOON – Review by Jennifer Merin

Ana Lily Amirpour’s thrilling fourth feature film, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon, is set in trippy New Orleans. The film’s opening sequence sees a young woman — the titular Mona Lisa Lee (Jeon Jong-seo) — using her extraordinary power of psychokinesis to escape from the padded cell where she’s been warehoused since her early childhood. The film requires your suspension of disbelief. Go along for the ride and be thoroughly entertained by Mona Lisa’s story which delivers all the tantalizing empathy-laced twists, quirks and oddities we’ve come to expect from Ana Lily Amirpour, and for which we adore her work. Stunning cinematography, sound design, costumes and set decor conspire to make Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon another singularly impressive work of cinematic art from the brilliant Ana Lily Amirpour.

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SANCTUARY (TIFF 2022) – Review by Ulkar Alakbarova

Has a thought such as ‘stop the world I want to get off’ crossed your mind while watching a specific film? A film that you have no clue what it’s about; neither its concept nor what it tries to tell you? The film that you have no words to describe. I will tell you what I planned to write about Zachary Wigon’s Sanctuary – this is just a phenomenal film that you won’t be able to not tell your friends about. So just go and watch it. End of review. But as a film critic, I should probably do better than that.

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MONA LISA AND THE BLOOD MOON – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour delivers a tasty walk on the wild side with her fourth feature, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon. The film opens in a dark boggy terrain with the sounds of croaking frogs and other creatures as the song made famous by Nat King Cole is heard in the background.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 23, 2022: THE WOMAN KING

In the African kingdom of Dahomey, now a part of Benin, an elite all-female military regiment of warriors called the Agojie guarded the king and his subjects from the 1600s through the 1800s. By the mid-19th century, they accounted for a third of the entire Dahomey army. That’s history, and the inspiration for director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s historical epic The Woman King, starring Viola Davis, one of the few studio films releasing in 2022 directed by a female filmmaker.

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