Review: Outside In

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Outside In opens with the camera looking down on an ex-con, Chris, heading home for the first time in twenty years. Chris (Jay Duplass) sits in the back of a rain-spattered car window, eating a french fry with a dreamy look in his eyes. It’s probably the best thing he’s eaten in a long time. He will soon be delivered to a room filled with people awaiting his return. But there’s only one person he really wants to see: Carol, his old high school teacher, the person who fought hardest for his early release.

Carol is played by Edie Falco, and from the moment we first see her, she radiates goodness, intelligence, longing, and confusion. She’s in as much of a transitional period as Chris. She’s devoted years of her life to disputing Chris’s conviction, and in doing so, has discovered new reserves of intellectual and spiritual energy. She’s also become very close to her former student. She might be in love with him; he’s definitely in love with her. But she’s married, with a teenage daughter. And she’s still teaching at the high school where she first met Chris as an 18-year-old boy. So things are complicated. Continue reading “Review: Outside In”

Female Filmmakers at BAM Cinemafest

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Lots of women filmmakers at the BAM Cinemafest, upcoming from June 20 – July 1. I’m going to try to make a couple of screenings. I’m especially intrigued by Wild Nights With Emily (pictured above) which is a comedy about Emily Dickinson’s secret life. Tickets are on sale now!

CLARA’S GHOST
Writer & Director: Bridey Elliott

LEAVE NO TRACE
Writer & Director Debra Granik

MADELINE’S MADELINE
Writer & Director Josephine Decker

SHIRKERS
Writer & Director Sandi Tan

TWO PLAINS & A FANCY
Dirs. Whitney Horn and Lev Kalman

WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY
Writer & Director Madeline Olnek

Female Filmmakers at the Brooklyn Film Festival

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There are several women-directed films narrative feature films at this year’s Brooklyn Film Festival. Here’s a list, with links to showtimes.

ARE YOU GLAD I’M HERE  (film still above)
Director: Noor Fay Gharzeddine

BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS
Director: Wendy McColm

CAN HITLER HAPPEN HERE?
Director: Saskia Rifkin

ICE CREAM
Director: Saba Riazi

LIFE IS FARE
Director: Sephora Woldu

10 Netflix Original Movies That Are Directed by Women

Here’s a simple list gleaned from a huge one at New York Magazine that ranks all the Netflix Original films. From that compilation, I picked out ten films directed by women. I made this list for myself, so that I would have a go-to group of Netflix movies instead of getting overwhelmed by the selection on the screen. Most of them I haven’t yet seen, though the two that I have—Mudbound and On Body and Soul—were so good that I’m very excited to dig in. Continue reading “10 Netflix Original Movies That Are Directed by Women”

Hooked by The Lure

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The fishermen never had a chance. Once they saw the beautiful faces of Golden and Silver, two young mermaids swimming in the bay, they were goners.

“Help us come ashore, we won’t eat you!”

First rule of fairy tales: If someone says they won’t eat you, it means they’ve thought about eating you, and they won’t be able to stop thinking about it until they’ve eaten you.

Continue reading “Hooked by The Lure”

Chilly Scenes of Winter

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Last weekend it was Mother’s Day, which meant that my husband made me breakfast and then I got to do whatever I wanted all day while he watched the kids. I took a yoga class, read for a few hours, and then, in late afternoon, I went to see Chilly Scenes of Winter at BAM. The screening was part of a film series, “A Different Picture: Women Filmmakers in the New Hollywood Era 1967-1980.”

I knew nothing about this movie except that it was based on an Ann Beattie novel that I’m pretty sure I read when I was a teenager, because there were a bunch of her novels in our home library. (I guess my mom went through an Ann Beattie phase at some point—isn’t it funny how, when you’re a kid reader, you end up going on the same reading binges as your parents?) Continue reading “Chilly Scenes of Winter”