Film & TV

Arde Madrid! (Burn Madrid Burn!) -- With Help From Ava Gardner

Sandra Bertrand

There are enough allusions to the star’s life in this tale for a younger audience to be intrigued.  References to her great affection for “Papa” Hemingway are well founded.  Ava made three films based on his stories: The Killers with Burt Lancaster, The Snows of Kilmanjairo with Gregory Peck, and The Sun Also Rises with Humphrey Bogart, forming a fast friendship with the author.  Mazar’s free-wheeling character defends her “Papa’s” philosophy that “it’s the castration of desire that is indecent.”

From Patty Hearst to Pakistani Marriages: Highlights of the Female Eye Film Festival

Sandra Bertrand

This YouTube original documentary is a harrowing look at the exploitation of young women who are forcibly pushed into marriage by their families, many as young as 13.  Out of indifference or ignorance or economic necessity, their elders sell or surrender their female offspring to the demands of the greater society.  Rukhshanda Naz has spent her life working on behalf of women and the prevailing view in society that women’s place is “in the home or the grave.” 

Mourning the Loss of an Icon: The Disappearing Comic Book Store

Christopher Karr

“My hope is that the documentary inspires its viewers to reflect on the places and rituals (comic shops and otherwise) that have given them a sense of belonging, as my comic shop did for me,” Desiato said in a statement. And to the extent that the movie prompted me to reflect on my own experiences at a comic shop, it’s successful. The problem is that reflection isn’t necessarily the most engaging response to elicit from a viewer.

Philanthropy and Generosity: The Legacy of C.J. Walker

Tyrone McKinely Freeman

Her philanthropic legacy didn’t make the cut – aside from a few visual footnotes just before final credits roll. Those footnotes touch on her charitable giving to black colleges, social services and activism with the NAACP. While viewers will enjoy the series, I want them to learn that Walker didn’t just live a life of hard-won opulence. She exemplified black women’s generosity. Walker distinguished herself on a philanthropic landscape dominated by white people.

Hollywood Suffers the Sting of Coronavirus as Cinemas Shutter Nationwide

TRT Editors

U.S. movie theaters have closed nationwide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, turning dark nearly all of the country's 40,000-plus screens in an unprecedented shutdown. With most of Hollywood's March and April releases already postponed, the Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday also cleared out its May releases as well, including Marvel's Black Widow. The largest chains had tried to remain open even as Hollywood postponed its upcoming release plans and guidelines for social distancing steadily diminished the recommended size of crowds.

Why Are Children’s TV Shows So Strange?

Linda Geddes

A 2D cutout of a lamb spins down onto a plain green screen while the narrator says: “It’s a lamb.” The same thing happens twice more. Then the whole sequence repeats again, only this time, the narrator says “One, two, three,” as each lamb lands. It’s boring. It’s repetitive. But when the same babies who watched Baby Einstein were shown this, their eyes tracked the arrival of each lamb, suggesting that they were engaged and following it.

With the Best Picture Nominations, the Oscars Unleashed the Monsters’ Journey

Neil Gordon

In examining the daunting reality we face every day, we consider the journey of the monster who perpetuates it. And when we consider the journey of this monster from beginning to end, we see how the nightmare unfolds. It’s common for us to see someone like a psychopath (Jojo Rabbit) or a sociopath (The Irishmanand trace their history back to a point or a series of points of trauma. Without this confluence of events, they may not have turned out to be as destructive as they are. They experience hardship at an early, tender time, and thus their worldview is tainted from then on.

The 2020 Academy Awards: And the Oscar Goes To…

Christopher Karr

Parasite is the best movie of the year, and Joker is a close second. Still, it’s hard to imagine the Academy resisting Quentin Tarantino’s exquisite plunge into 1969 Hollywood. The movie is catnip for voters. Plus, Parasite is destined to get its due in other categories. The screenplay for Parasite is one of the greatest original scripts in recent memory. It has a dazzling, Shakespearean depth. Quentin Tarantino’s screenplay is flawed (especially that unacceptable ending, which flirts with canceling out the significance of everything that leads up to it), but the vision he expressed on the page merits recognition. 

‘Bombshell’ Is a Hit-and-Miss Attempt at Depicting Corrupt Newsroom Culture

Christopher Karr

The film never settles on a protagonist, and the storytelling mimics The Big Short, which was itself a poor aesthetic rip-off of the seminal movie of the decade, The Wolf of Wall Street. The screenplay relies heavily on telling instead of showing; the info-dumps pile up into a mountainous heap of superfluous details. Charlize Theron’s impressive transformation into Megyn Kelly notwithstanding, Bombshell ultimately doesn’t live up to its title because of Roach’s lack of style, perspective, and insight.

Welcome to the World of Crime and Punishment

Adam Gravano

Although of an earlier vintage, the scene is reminiscent of one of the final scenes in Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street, in which the FBI agent sits alone on a sad subway ride home. A shallow read of this type of scene describes it as a glorification of the life of the criminal: as if to say you'll find real family there, not in the hollow accolades and awards that come alongside a life of privation. Of course, a more fictional portrayal of an undercover operation, The Departed, makes no effort to be ambivalent on the nature of membership in a criminal organization.

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