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MY DIRTY LITTLE SECRET: I LOVE WESTERNS (BUT “THE KID” MISSES THE MARK)

Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D'Onofrio all previously starred together in another western, "The Magnificent Seven"
Starring Jake Schur, Leila George and Chris Pratt
Directed by Vincent D'Onofrio

I must divulge two important facts. The first one is that the Western is my favorite film genre, and the second, my favorite Western (and third favorite film ever made) is Sam Peckinpah’s “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” starring James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson (1973). I am of the opinion that Peckinpah’s work on that film is profound and special, and impossible to match. To this, I admit that ... more >

A SEARCH FOR ADVENTURE AT SEA, BUT NOT JUST: “MAIDEN”

They were the first all-female crew
Tracy Edwards, Jeni Mundy, Mikaela Von Koskull
Directed by Alex Holmes

Documentary filmmaker Alex Holmes brings to the screen the true adventure of the first all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World race. To achieve their goal to enter and be respected in the race, Tracy Edwards and her all-woman crew stood up to the sexism in the 1989 sailing world which was equally as harsh as their 33,000-mile ocean journey. The main focus of “Maiden” is on ... more >

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EASY RIDER TURNS 50 – Half a century later, still riding, still searching

It was awarded the first film award at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival
Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson
Directed by Dennis Hopper

In 1969 when a surge of protests against discrimination, the Vietnam War (at its most intensive then) and outdated political and social mindsets was taking place, in came a low-budget, counterculture, film that would speak for a generation and give filmmakers new artistic freedom. The film’s success would cause a seismic shift in the Hollywood system and see studios wrest power back from the ... more >

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A BEAUTIFUL MIND: AUTHOR TONI MORRISON IN “TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES THAT I AM”

Her self-fulfillment, her struggles, enlightenment, success
Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

“The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.” This is the striking quote that begins this wonderful documentary that looks at the legacy and life of this consummate author and scholar. “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” is a straightforward documentary that works due to the power of its ... more >

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UNDER THE INFLUENCE: “Midsommar,” directed by Ari Aster

The family will take care of you, have no fear
Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor and William Jackson Harper
Directed by Ari Aster

Ari Aster has not only proven himself to be a great director of horror (as he did so expertly in his 2018 feature debut “Hereditary”) but a great filmmaker as he takes his new film, “Midsommar” to the level of Art. According to Aster, a very bad breakup led to the creation of this spine-chilling nightmare, one made even more frightening due to the fact that it all takes place under the bright ... more >

OH MY LOVE! Leonard Cohen, his muse Marianne, front and center in “Marianne & Leonard: Words of love”

The documentary starts on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960
Distributed by Roadside Attractions
Directed by Nick Broomfield

“...when your woman becomes her own content, and you become her content, that’s love.” “Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love” is a soulful documentary examining the relationship between a pure artist and his often-ignored partner, who became the most important person in his life. For many, the relationship between an artist and their work is more important than any lover or longtime companion. ... more >

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Chantal Akerman rising

In this male-dominated business women filmmakers have always been too small a minority. There is progress being made but women’s voices deserve better recognition. Chantal Akerman was a founder of the art-of-turning-traditional-narrative-on-its-head school of filmmaking. This is evident in one of her finest works, 1975’s “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Qai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.” This notable film ... more >