“I look at myself as a historian with a camera.”
Director Dawn Porter (John Lewis: Good Trouble) delivers again with another political documentary wrought with emotion. Inspired by the best-selling book, The Way I See It tells the story of Pete Souza, former photographer for the Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama administrations.
On that fateful day in January 2017 when Donald Trump was sworn in as president and Obama left the White House, Souza sensed that the country had lost somethi...
Hollywood Hates Hitler!
Jew-baiting, Anti-Nazism, and the Senate Investigation into Warmongering in Motion Pictures
by Chris Yogerst
University Press of Mississippi
Paperback ISBN: 9781496829764
Amazon — Barnes and Noble — Powell's
“Those skeptical of motion pictures had long spread fear about the medium’s ability to influence.” — Chris Yogerst
Many of us classic film enthusiasts are well aware of the House Un-American Activities Committee's communist witch hunt that ...
Versatile method actress Anne Bancroft is best known for her performance as the iconic Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967). Even though Bancroft was only Dustin Hoffman’s senior by six years, she wasn’t afraid to take on the role of playing a much older woman. However, that was not even the pinnacle of Bancroft’s long and storied career as an actress on stage, TV, and film. She was never afraid to try something new and different as long as she could flex her acting muscles in a creative way....
Character actress Mary Wickes had a passion for performance. In his biography Mary Wickes: I Know I’ve Seen That Face Before, author Steve Taravella writes: “Singularly devoted to her craft, Mary was happiest when at work.”
Born in 1910, Mary Wickes fell in love with acting as a teenager living in St. Louis, Missouri. Wickes had great comedic timing, an imposing presence, and always stood out even when relegated to small or bit parts. She was tall, had a severe underbite, and lacked the looks...
West Side Story
The Jets, the Sharks, and the Making of a Classic
by Richard Barrios
TCM & Running Press
Hardcover ISBN: 9780762469482
Amazon — Barnes and Noble — Powell's
When West Side Story was released in 1961, moviegoers had never seen anything quite like it. It threw out all conventions of what a musical should be, offering instead a young cast, an urban setting, on location shooting and ethnic strife. As author and musicals expert Richard Barrios writes, West Side S...
Inspired by producer Patrick Lovell’s own personal experience with fraudulent mortgage lenders, The Con is a five-part docuseries that explores the intricacies of the 2008 financial crisis and how greed led the powers at be to steal from the poor to give to the rich. The financial crisis, the stock market crash and the subsequent days of the Great Recession didn’t just materialize out of thin air. It was the direct result of a banking and mortgage industry that was rife with corruption and al...
Science fiction broadens our perspectives and allows us to imagine a world that is different from our own. With the advent of film, science fiction found a natural place in that new medium of storytelling. Filmmakers got creative in order to bring these other worlds and all of the creations within them to life. These films challenge us as much as they entertain and the earliest of these films, from the silent era, laid the groundwork for how science fiction stories would be portrayed on scree...
I Know I’ve Seen That Face Before
by Steve Taravella
University Press of Mississippi
Hardcover ISBN: 9781604739053
Amazon — Barnes and Noble — Powells
“Mary was one of the most recognizable character actresses in the United States. Though the general public might not have been able to recall her name immediately, generations of moviegoers, television viewers, and theatre lovers delighted in her distinctive presence.” — Steve Taravella
I have always admired ambit...
Birds are falling from the sky. Fish are floating dead in the water. Electronic devices suddenly stop working. And local fisherman Tom (Neville Archambault) is having regular blackouts. What is this mysterious force that is causing chaos on Block Island?
Tom’s son Harry (Chris Sheffield) and daughter Audry (Michaela McManus) try to help their dad whose drinking and hallucinations are getting increasingly out of control. Harry’s friend Dale (Jim Cummings) thinks it’s all a government conspirac...
Celebrated filmmaker Yasujirō Ozu made over 50 films in his native Japan. His films are simply works of art. Relatively quiet stories are elevated by complex visuals and masterful direction. Common themes include familial angst, the intergenerational divide, romantic relationships, and the struggle between maintaining cultural traditions and adapting to changing modern times. Ozu’s films are time capsules of early-to-mid 20th Century Japan, and perhaps his most well-known film is the highly r...
When 17-year-old Nayeli (Ruth Ramos) is raped by the neighborhood gringo Rayan (Cesar Mijangos), she seeks help from her brother Uri (Daniel Fuentes Lobo). Uri sides with his friend rather than his sister calling her a whore. Spurned by her brother, she visits the local coven of witches to enact her revenge. Not only is Rayan about to pay the price for his violent act against Nayeli but Uri will have to watch it all go down.
Directed by Ashley George and set in present day Mexico, Diabla pack...
With his piercing blue eyes, aloof demeanor and natural charisma, it was inevitable that French actor Alain Delon would become an international sensation. The suave French film star became known for playing brooding anti-heroes on both sides of the law. He catapulted to fame in Rene Clement’s PURPLE NOON (’61), the sun-baked drama based on Patricia Highsmith’s celebrated mystery novel. Other plum roles came his way including films such as the art-house darling L’ECLISSE (’62) and acclaimed cr...
Directed by Mariel Sharp and Kaye Adelaide, Don’t Text Back! is a highly satisfying queer horror-comedy short film about toxic masculinity and the literal horrors of dating.
Kelly (Danielle LaPointe) is a 30-something woman who is seeking the help of an energy healer Jaren (Nancy Webb). She’s in dire straits as the necklace she wears is strangling her and cannot be removed. It tightens every time the guy she’s seeing texts her and only lets up when she texts him back. Jaren helps Kelly uncove...
When cartoonist Matt Furie created Pepe the Frog, he had no clue that his seemingly benign humanoid frog character would take over the internet and evolve into a symbol of hate speech. Directed by Arthur Jones, the documentary Feels Good, Man chronicles the long journey that Furie’s creation took over the years and it offers revelations about fringe internet culture that are eye-opening and alarming.
Furie’s story is an extraordinary one. This mild-mannered artist is the opposite of who you m...
"A life well-lived goes on and on."
If ever a documentary filled me with hope and broke my heart at the same time, it's this one. A Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story is a poignant film about a visionary filmmaker who followed the beat of his own drum and inspired generations of others to do the same. It's also about the heroes in his life, fellow visionaries, inventors, athletes and filmmakers who weren't afraid to pursue their dreams and while doing so made their mark.