AUTHOR | Anthony Francis

ARCHIVES

“THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD,” from child stardom to edge of the precipice

From this year's Sundance Film Festival
Annike Andresen, Björn Andrésen and Silva Filmer
Directed by Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri

For Luchino Visconti’s cinematic adaptation of Thomas Mann’s “Death in Venice,” the filmmaker sought otherworldly beauty in whichever actor he chose to play Tadzio, the young teenager who is the subject of the main character Gustav’s infatuation. Fifteen-year-old Björn Andrésen was chosen, as his entire persona captivated the filmmaker. As Visconti’s casting director Margaret Krantz states, ... more >

“Passing” or when society quashes identity, forcing you into a corner

Pretending to be white
Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga and André Holland
Directed by Rebecca Hall

Actress Rebecca Hall adapts and directs the intoxicating, and intricately-designed, “Passing,” a new film (Hall’s first as a director) based on the 1929 novella from author Nella Larsen. This is a story that confronts the realities of the act of “passing,” which refers to when members of minority communities (blacks, Jews, etc) were forced to pass as white to sidestep societal ... more >

She changed the future by simply believing in it. Nichelle Nichols in “WOMAN IN MOTION,” the Todd Thompson documentary on a one-woman drive to bring NASA into the 21st century

Nichelle Nichols, Vivica A. Fox, Ashley Eckstein and Michael Dorn
Directed by Todd Thompson

“We’re not just fancy little things. We are human beings and we come in all forms.” From the world of jazz and dance to an historical television series to leading the effort to get more people of color in the space program, actress Nichelle Nichols has had a full life on and off screen. It is a life of dotted with history-making accomplishments though one that, frankly, I was not familiar with ... more >

“Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” | REVIEW

The long-running children's show had many layers to it
Joan Ganz Cooney, Jim Henson and Jon Stone
Directed by Marilyn Agrelo

(this film premiered at the recent Sundance Film Festival) “Time it was And what a time it was It was . . . A time of innocence A time of confidences Long ago . . . it must be . . . I have a photograph Preserve your memories They're all that's left you” The friendships we make in our youth live and breathe in our souls for the rest of our lives. There is nothing like ... more >

SUNDANCE: “JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH”; America is on fire, it sure was then, also

A new time for revolution
Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield and Jesse Plemons
Directed by Shaka King

(this film appeared as part of the recent Sundance Film Festival’s selection) Martyrdom. Not everyone deserves it but when someone truly earns the moniker, their life can (or should) change the world. Director Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah” is confirmation that Fred Hampton was a true witness to his cause and his community. A man of passion and commitment, he was cut down at ... more >

SUNDANCE : Robin Wright makes strong start in directing films with “LAND”

In the mountains, there you feel free
Robin Wright, Demián Bichir and Sarah Dawn Pledge
Directed by Robin Wright

Robin Wright has long been one of our best actresses. Her work in much of her filmography over the decades has shown an intensity and depth, making her one of the most dedicated thespians of her time. To her impressive resume Robin Wright now adds the title of director with her debut film “Land.” Wright stars as Edee Mathis, a woman who carries the burden of an unimaginable tragedy but one ... more >

SUNDANCE: “CODA,” a coming-of-age story loaded with emotional range

Making tough choices too early in life
Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin and Daniel Durant
Directed by Sian Heder

The life of a teenager is so many things. It is a time of growth and independence, a time of friendship and self-discovery. But life as a teenager is also hard. You want to be independent and be your own person. You feel grown up and are beginning to make future life decisions while on the books, the law still considers you a child. In writer/director Sian Heder’s new film “CODA”, (Child of ... more >