Saturday, December 19, 2015

Arts Express - Star Wars: The Emperor's Old Clothes

                                           Banksy On Target

First, the disclaimer that no, I am not now nor have I ever been a Star Wars junkie. Which may make for a far less receptive critique in the face of those throngs of worshipful masses in question. But on the other hand, an exceedingly more impartial position viewing a film that should stand on its own merits, and not propped up by a built in fan base. Or for that matter, clearly intimidated critic colleagues who may say one thing publicly, but whisper something quite different off camera. Though which situates any neutrality in the discomforting position of say, an atheist taking to the podium at a church service.

Brandishing both a wand and a wink at audiences and splitting itself in catch-all mode somewhere between colossal and cartoonish, the latest, future ironically as past preaching to the choir Star Wars saga continues with this seventh entry billed as Episode VII - The Force Awakens. And the first financed by Disney.

Embarking as a brand new trilogy, and make no mistake with equal if not more emphasis on brand as in merchandising, The Force Awakens follows as aftermath to Return Of The Jedi.The inter-generational proceedings find Ford's Solo and Carrie Fisher's Leia mixing in with newcomers John Boyega as black intergalactic superhero combat soldier turned whistleblower Finn. And Daisy Ridley's fierce female insurgent Rey, with an obedient robotic boy toy following behind. Along with a hide and seek narrative as second fiddle to the main character centerpiece - war and weaponry - encircling a lost and found plot point quest for Luke Skywalker.

And though slim plot points are dangled before enraptured audiences who essentially need none because just being there is what it's all about, the real main attraction as the farce awakens so to speak, is blowing things up. And in more ways than one, whether the interminable explosions or offscreen blown out of proportion franchise collectibles to come. Or have very likely already arrived.

So what inevitably ensues is less of a focus on all the paradoxical cartoonish carnage and mayhem in progress on screen, than interest in what's up with the popcorn and Kool-Aid ingesting swooning audiences in the theaters. And the strange notion of this breathlessly anticipated theatrical event in a nation traumatized by endless wars in the real world - in a country that even before its founding has been at war for 214 out of the 235 years of existence. And with most in the audience never knowing a time in their own lives without US wars, assaults and invasions around the planet.

So why the massive flocking to theaters to pay for more war and massacre, military slaughter, fear and terror as spectacle - and dare I say, entertainment. Perhaps in bizarre, safe space psychological mode, akin to controlled demolition of buildings - as opposed to say, the helplessly unanticipated public trauma of 9/11.

And war itself, co-starring state of the art weaponry, as the biggest moneymaker for this country enriching both the military industrial complex and Hollywood. Along with the Pentagon's lucrative sideline as the major props department in movies, with inevitable final cut privilege over how they get portrayed. 

Okay, my two cents, there it is. And likely the fate that awaits this intrepid critic: Let the haters be with you. Bring it on.

Prairie Miller

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

*George Lucas Thumbs Down Review Of The Force Awakens - But He Won't Be Told Like Me, That His Vagina Hurts

The Dark Side Of George Lucas' $4bn Star Wars Sale: Filmmaker Compares Disney To 'White Slavers'...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Arts Express Global Television Beat: Paris, Copenhagen Phoning In

Director Joshua Oppenheimer Comforts Indonesian Victim Survivor At The Screening Of The Look Of Silence

**Broe On The World Television Beat: Professor Broe on location in Paris, is on the line to Arts Express conceptualizing how the post-9/11 world order is restored each week on the small screen. Broe also reports on updates regarding the fallout from the Climate Conference, French martial law, and the latest developments regarding the refugee crisis there.


**Joshua Oppenheimer Talks The Look of Silence: The director phones in from Copenhagen to discuss the documentary followup to his provocative The Act of Killing. Naming the names of Indonesian genocidal anti-communist death squads and the shadow government there, enabled by CIA intervention. And this sequel focusing on the victims and survivors of the government sanctioned atrocities.

Prairie Miller

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Women Film Critics Circle Award Nominations 2015

        Carey Mulligan Nominated as Best Female Action Hero

The Women Film Critics Circle has announced its 2O15 unique nominations for the best movies this year by and about women. And outstanding achievements by women, who rarely get to be honored historically in the film world.

The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of 75 women film critics and scholars from around the country and internationally, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media.

They came together in 2004 to form the first women critics' organization in the United States, in the belief that women's perspectives and voices in film criticism need to be recognized fully. WFCC also prides itself on being the most culturally and racially diverse critics group in the country by far, and best reflecting the diversity of movie audiences.

Critical Women On Film, a presentation of The Women Film Critics Circle, is their journal of discussion and theory. And a gathering of women's voices expressing a fresh and differently experienced perspective from the primarily male dominated film criticism world.

The Keeping Room

Diary Of A Teenage Girl: Marielle Heller
Mustang: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Suffragette: Sarah Gavron
The Second Mother: Anna Muylaert

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]
Carol: Phyllis Nagy
Mustang: Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Alice Winocour
Room: Emma Donoghue
Suffragette: Abi Morgan

Alicia Vikander: Testament Of Youth
Carey Mulligan: Suffragette
Cate Blanchett: Carol
Charlotte Rampling: 45 Years

Abraham Attah: Beasts Of No Nation
Andrew Garfield: 99 Homes
Bryan Cranston: Trumbo
Eddie Redmayne: The Danish Girl

Bel Powley: Diary Of A Teenage Girl
Brie Larson: Room
Dakota Fanning: Effie Gray
Saoirse Ronan: Brooklyn

Amy Schumer: Trainwreck
Greta Gerwig: Mistress America
Maggie Smith: Lady In the Van
Melissa McCarthy: Spy

The Second Mother

Mad Max: Fury Road
Testament Of Youth

Everly: All the women
Jurassic World: Bryce Dallas Howard
Fifty Shades Of Grey: Dakota Johnson
Trumbo: Helen Mirren

Bridge Of Spies
Lady In The Van
Mr. Holmes

Magic Mike XXL
Steve Jobs
The Big Short

Sworn Virgin
The Book Of Negroes
The Dressmaker

The Second Mother


Angelina Jolie: By The Sea
Sarah Gavron: Suffragette

*COURAGE IN ACTING [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]
Brie Larson: Room
Julianne Moore: Freeheld

*THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD: [Performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]
Julianne Moore: Freeheld
Alicia Vikander: The Danish Woman

He Named Me Malala
India's Daughter
What Happened, Miss Simone?

45 Years: Charlotte Rampling/Tom Courtenay
Freeheld: Julianne Moore/Ellen Page
Iris: Iris Apfel/Albert Maysles
Room: Brie Larson/Jacob Tremblay

Mad Max: Charlize Theron
Sicario: Emily Blunt
Suffragette: Carey Mulligan
The Keeping Room: Brit Marling

Cinderella: Cate Blanchett
Diary Of A Teenage Girl: Kristen Wiig

*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women
He Named Me Malala
India's Daughter

*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America
The Keeping Room: Muna Otaru
What Happened, Miss Simone?

*KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman's place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity
Learning To Drive

ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: Adrienne Shelly was a promising actress and filmmaker who was brutally strangled in her apartment in 2006 at the age of forty by a construction worker in the building, after she complained about noise. Her killer tried to cover up his crime by hanging her from a shower rack in her bathroom, to make it look like a suicide. He later confessed that he was having a "bad day." Shelly, who left behind a baby daughter, had just completed her film Waitress, which she also starred in, and which was honored at Sundance after her death.

JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: The daughter of a laundress and a musician, Baker overcame being born black, female and poor, and marriage at age fifteen, to become an internationally acclaimed legendary performer, starring in the films Princess Tam Tam, Moulin Rouge and Zou Zou. She also survived the race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois as a child, and later expatriated to France to escape US racism. After participating heroically in the underground French Resistance during WWII, Baker returned to the US where she was a crusader for racial equality. Her activism led to attacks against her by reporter Walter Winchell who denounced her as a communist, leading her to wage a battle against him. Baker was instrumental in ending segregation in many theaters and clubs, where she refused to perform unless integration was implemented.

KAREN MORLEY AWARD: Karen Morley was a promising Hollywood star in the 1930s, in such films as Mata Hari and Our Daily Bread. She was driven out of Hollywood for her leftist political convictions by the Blacklist and for refusing to testify against other actors, while Robert Taylor and Sterling Hayden were informants against her. And also for daring to have a child and become a mother, unacceptable for female stars in those days. Morley maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Trumbo: Naming Names - Richly Satirical Roll Call Outing The Hollywood Blacklist Persecutors Instead

While most movies are just movies and nothing more, there are some that stand out, not only as exemplary social artifacts succinctly representative of their historical moment in time. But in the case of a raw visionary work like the striking dramatic feature Trumbo, a mainstream film that could in no way have been made before now.

In other words, it took another century and a generation at least once removed from the traumatic  state terror of the 20th century McCarthy period in the United States, to grasp a clear sense of the repression and harm done to the ensuing damaged population and soul of a people. And to at least have partially recovered from that reeling PTSD emanating from the anti-communist purges in this country back then. And oddly enough, without a collective clue, subconsciously or otherwise, as to why or how it all ended up this way.

And a shameful US history so concealed and buried, that any collective consciousness sense of recall is a blurred vision of a barely conceived political reality today. In which nowhere beyond the left and alternative media in this country, is there a discussion or even awareness of why communist candidates flourish in national elections elsewhere around the world, but in the United States a mainstream politician would be as likely to declare themselves a communist ideologically, as running on the pedophile ticket.

But Trumbo, as courageously and candidly scripted by John McNamara and based on the Bruce Cook biography, unearths that repressive time when, following WW II during which the Soviet Union in the vanguard of defeating Nazi Germany and an ally and friend, became demonized instead as an emerging world power and a formidable ideological competitor to capitalism. And suddenly those Americans with communist ideals and affiliations were deemed criminals, and were in substantial numbers systematically destroyed economically, imprisoned and driven into exile or suicides.

And among those were the politically outspoken Hollywood filmmakers like Dalton Trumbo, brave and unrepentant, and willing to sacrifice their careers and even freedom as political prisoners, and known as the Hollywood Ten. And as conceived with cartoonish satirical flair by director Jay Roach in 'I'm a communist and it's okay' Trumbo, these movie martyrs are afforded not only celebratory redemption from a dark period in time, but in the stinging wit devised to 'name names', there's a bold switchup in exposing by roll call instead, the Hollywood honcho and actor villains who perpetrated the horror.

Likewise commendable, is that while most conventional and misleading recollections of that period tend to portray HUAC's accused communists as either dupes or a case of mistaken identity, this film not only defiantly declares personal ideological convictions to be a civil right, but that one can be a communist and proud. A point which is perhaps most vividly emphasized in a conversation Trumbo has with his young daughter in one scene where she asks, am I a communist too. And he replies through a compelling anecdote that, yes you are if you share your lunch with a hungry classmate in school.

And Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, who winks his way with determined honor and devilish dignity through the subversive escapades as Trumbo, disappears so thoroughly into this role - as Trumbo himself triumphantly did when demolishing the Blacklist by continuing to write scripts under assumed names - that if he doesn't grab this year's Oscar for Best Actor, there's no justice at that podium. Along with supporting actor John Goodman as a producer and Trumbo ally, who relishes a more furiously confrontational approach to dealing with a studio red baiter stopping by.

And a stage in question which sixteen years ago, shamefully saw the lavish honoring of the Blacklist's supreme snitch, Elia Kazan, while many Academy members immune from that convenient memory lapse protested during the Oscar ceremony. So will the Oscars this year celebrate a movie that not only emphatically redeems their persecuted colleagues but ironically accuses and shakes up Hollywood itself as the perpetrator? An Academy Award moment that will surely be indelibly inscribed in movie history.

Prairie Miller

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Carey Mulligan Talks Suffragette: 'Feminism Isn't Anti-Male'

**Exclusive: Carey Mulligan, the female action hero extraordinaire star of Suffragette, is on the line to Arts Express to describe the tremendous effect of this most important passion project for her. And above all, being part of movies that matter in the world. Along with the privilege of portraying a workingclass female swept into the struggle for women's rights in England a century ago, and ''the chance to play someone ordinary who becomes extraordinary, finding her own voice despite everything."
 And not unlike in some ways, Mulligan's own struggle in the male dominated film world, enduring "a fair number of years in my career just trying to sort of be polite. And you know, worrying about having my voice heard. Or, worrying that I couldn't get my voice heard. Or that I would need to sort of man up to get my voice heard."
Mulligan also praised the courageous red carpet rebel female takeover protesting domestic violence at the London premiere of Suffragette. And that "if people want to use the film as a platform to talk about things that matter, then that's brilliant."


**The Activist: A political thriller surrounding the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee, and starring Lakota Nation actor Michael Spears. A conversation with the film's director, screenwriter and composer, Cyril Morin. And touching on Nixon, Nam, economic sacrifice zones, uranium, tanks, Leonard Peltier, Brando, Johnny Depp and 12 Angry Men.

**Hard Labor: A socio-economic workplace horror thriller conjuring the metaphorical legacy of fascism and repression in Brazil. Filmmakers Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas phone in to talk about the fusion of politics, history and horror in the movie, delving into joblessness, werewolves, money, racism, slave shackles, interrogations, Brazilian historical amnesia surrounding military repression, and the beast behind the merchandise rack in a local grocery store.

Prairie Miller

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Arts Express: Halloween Visitation, Yiddish Death Of A Salesman, Musical Muse On Stage

**Halloween Visitation: Cult Horror Director Sam Raimi Drops In. Delving into the various dark motives fueling his new small screen series debuting on Halloween weekend, Ash vs. Evil Dead And joined by the star and longtime collaborator, Bruce Campbell, as they hold forth on why movies should be hard to make; the joy and fulfillment of frightening audiences with the unknown; mirrors; pause buttons; and the art and challenge of leading actors off the cliff in movies.

**Death Of A Salesman In Yiddish: A radically new theatrical interpretation. This emotionally stinging story of a man caught up in the illusions of the American Dream, achieves a further resonance touching on the plight of immigrants, and performed with English super-titles projected on stage. Included in this segment are interviews with the current director and star of the Arthur Miller play, and a compilation of past clips of the various productions with recorded reflections and conversations with the late Arthur Miller, on this centennial commemoration year of his birth. And touching on his struggles against the Blacklist, and against Columbia Pictures as well in its McCarthyite attempt to bury the film and its anti-capitalist elements.


** Music Corner: Multi-talented classical concert pianist, poet, singer and filmmaker Hannah Reimann performs her tribute to music legend Joni Mitchell, recreating her body of work on stage. Arts Express stopped by to catch the show, and talk to Reimann about why Mitchell resonates as her chosen muse; how the piano led her down the creative path to poetry, and raising awareness about Alzheimer's with a film she's putting together in tribute to her dad - My Father's House. And how of all this in one way or another helped her heal, and 'allowed me to feel whole again when I felt broken into a million pieces.'

Prairie Miller

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tab Hunter And the Hollywood Male Meat Market; Occupy The Red Carpets; Net Hotspots

**Tab Hunter Confidential: A conversation with the actor about surviving the rather tainted Golden Age of Hollywood, and the male celebrity meat market that is the subject of this big screen confessional documentary memoir. As the former fifties teen idol recalls his troubling memory lane identity crisis, being bought, sold and traded by Hollywood studios, in possession of nearly every aspect of his fabricated persona. And the rather strange ultimate emotional closure that 'I am happy to be forgotten.' Along with exhilarating memories of Gary Cooper, Sophia Loren, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner and Natalie Wood.

**The Refugee Crisis In Europe: A timely message from Storm Clouds Gathering, and what's really going down over there these days. Our Arts Express Best Of The Net Hotspot for this week.

**Occupy The Red Carpets: The insular world of film festivals and galas is being to crack lately, and most evident on those red carpets. More recently at the London premiere of Suffragette, as hundreds of contemporary female rebels, Sisters Uncut, protesting government withdrawal of funding of domestic violence programs with chants of 'dead women can't vote' staged a takeover of the proceedings. And with the surprising support of the Suffragette cast and filmmakers in attendance. Footage from the protest, and a conversation with Suffragette screenwriter Sarah Gavron.


**Michael Moore's Dissident Doc, Where To Invade Next. Or maybe not. A sociopolitical critique of the elusively titled entry into this year's NY Film Festival. 

**The Inhabitants: Sinister screen siblings Michael and Shawn Rasmussen phone in to Arts Express from Boston, delving into their latest Halloween supernatural invasion thriller. Touching on the Salem witch hunts and persecution of historically feared colonial era midwives revisited, along with burrowing into the dark side of moviemaking as apprentices to John Carpenter.

Prairie Miller

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

Friday, October 2, 2015

NY Film Festival 2015: Where To Invade Next: Benevolent Capitalism, A Love Story

NY Film Festival 2015: The Movie Where To Invade Next Coulda And Shoulda Been, And That The Measure Of A Man Was: Air France Bosses Clothes Ripped Off By Angry Laid Off Workers

It's clear that Michael Moore makes documentaries foremost, to inspire social change. But apparently criticism from a highly conservative American public regarding his blue collar class warfare approach in movies like Roger & Me, and advocating the benefits of socialism in Capitalism: A Love Story and  praise for the Cuban health care system in Sicko, have taken their ideological toll on the filmmaker. And subsequently seemingly more interested in the powers of persuasion than truth.

Moore remains adamantly in opposition to the inequality, injustice and oppression so endemic to US society as detailed in Where To Invade Next. But in his determination to raise the resistant collective consciousness in this country, the chosen method to his particular ideological madness is as misleading as the title of his latest documentary - which has little to do with US invasion and occupation around the planet.


Instead, in a playful bait and switching about of conventional approaches to the criticism of US policies that are the basis of investigative documentaries, Moore sets out to metaphorically invade countries in order to steal, not their resources, but their ideas and policies that might improve the dismal socio-political state of affairs here. In other words, a sort of contemporary quest for the proverbial holy grail. But excuse me, Europe as the utopia of choice?

Clearly in evasive cherry picking mode, Moore selects only positive examples of superior quality of life situations overseas. Including far more appetizing public school lunches in France, better working conditions and longer employee vacations in Italy, free higher education in Slovenia, an economy cleansed of corruption because women have become in charge as bankers in Iceland, and anti-war, anti-Nazi Holocaust remorse as a compulsory subject in German schools.

Well, just a minute. Benevolent capitalists in Europe? Don't tell that to the millions of masses on the continent currently suffering and demonstrating against joblessness, poverty, homelessness - and yes, suicide as a result of the drastic measures there known as austerity. And supposedly better societies because they're not warmongers like the US? Isn't that widespread adversity endured by the masses related to engaging in all those Middle Eastern wars over there, in league with the US through NATO coalition offenses?

And what about those cautionary history lessons in German schools. Well, they seem to exist simultaneously with a rising tide of fascism and anti-Muslim, anti-immigration racism among the youth as well there today, and across Moore's fantastical entire Euro-Disney theme park continent he seems to have crafted. And women as potential progressive saviors of a world ruined by men? Sure, if you don't examine the record too closely of say, Margaret Thatcher for starters. Or the many right wing Tea Party type women in politics here, ranging from Palin and Bachman to Fiorina, and including Coulter and all the news actresses at Murdoch's Fox television.

Then there's Moore's distortion of history, as he extols free higher education in Slovenia as somehow a novel idea floating around. Apparently distancing himself as much as possible from any notion of socialism which might heap criticism upon his approval-obsessed agenda, Moore seems to have 'forgotten' that free education, health care, shelter and guaranteed employment for everyone, were cornerstones of the socialist principles of the USSR - which happened to include Slovenia before the 'benevolent' capitalist overthrow of the Soviet Union. Moore then goes on to mock what he deems the indifference and passivity of American youth - while pretending the Occupy Movement and Black Lives Matter have never existed.

Well, why bother with those pesky facts, when your primary objective is a feelgood film for the frustrated US population back home. Karl Marx once said that it's not enough to be right, you have to be convincing. Apparently Michael Moore embraces the latter notion in his film, with far too faulty fact checking regarding the former.

Prairie Miller

More information about the NY Film Festival 2015 is online at:

Arts Express, Thursdays 2pm ET: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY 99.5 FM, and streaming live and archived everywhere at

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Clutter: A Conversation With Carol Kane About The Dark Side of Consumerism - Hoarding

Carol Kane As Allison In Annie Hall 

**Clutter: A Conversation With Actress Carol Kane. What about stuff in our society today, and how capitalism pushes stuff in place of necessities in pursuit of profits, diminishing and devaluing what's really meaningful in our lives. A look at the bittersweet dramatic feature Clutter, starring Carol Kane. Touching on the stepchild of consumerism - hoarding - as an expression in this DVD release of abandonment, loss and the emotional meaning of things.

**Broe On The World Film Beat: Laws Of The Market Episode. Professor Broe is on location in Paris, covering the Air France worker protests ripping off the shirts of the airline bosses firing thousands of workers. And what it has to do with his assessment of the best movie at Cannes this year, the misleadingly retitled The Measure Of A Man. And, its rather ideologically confused press reception at the NY Film Festival in progress as well.


**Writers Corner: Miguel Gardel reads from his short story, The Man From Arizona. Touching on brutal garment center sweatshops as metaphorical human slaughterhouses; boarding room despair; surviving the monotonous machines by singing the blues; one fuzzy revolutionary goatee; and an abandoned prosthetic leg still wearing a sock and a shoe.

More information about the NY Film Festival 2015 is online at:

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

NY Film Festival 2015: Michael Moore's Daring Doc, Where To Invade Next

Arts Express Best Of The Net Hotspot: Michael Moore lifts the lid of secrecy and fields questions pertaining to his latest film taking on the military industrial complex, Where To Invade Next. 

Where To Invade next Trailer

The daring documentary delving into the most recent malevolent machinations going down at the Pentagon, will be unveiled at Toronto then proceed to the NY Film Festival in September.


Djimon Hounsou Talks Air. Or rather, the lack of it on a poisoned planet destroyed by endless wars. As the Oscar nominated African born actor perhaps best known for his role as slave rebel leader Cinque in Steven Spielberg's Amistad, goes toe to toe with The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus in a bid to save the world, in this new sci-fi eco-thriller. Hounsou phones in to Arts Express to reflect on survival issues on and off screen as well, as an immigrant and actor of color who was once jobless and homeless in Paris, sleeping under bridges and hunting in trash cans for food; the refugee immigrant crisis in Europe today; and resisting stereotyping in movies of 'Africans in loincloths chasing gazelles.'

The Report: A conversation with Fringe Festival playwright, Martin Casella. While much fanfare has been taking place this year remembering World World II during this 70th anniversary, there's been lots of forgetting as well, and much of it being covered on Arts Express. The Report is a new Lynn Redgrave Theater August production delving into yet another chapter in that buried history, the government culpability and coverup of the worst death toll in the UK, the Bethnal Green London East End underground tube tragedy crushing to death nearly two hundred civilians. Casella is on the line to Arts Express to talk about the implications of this production concerning human memory and all wars, what his play George Bush Goes To Hell is all about, and what led him to move on from Hollywood and working for Spielberg, Coppola, Disney, Universal and HBO to his labor of love in theater.

Writers Corner: A gathering of the contributors and creators of the literary magazine, And Then. Mitchel Cohen reports.
More information about the NY Film Festival 2015 is online at:

Prairie Miller

Arts Express, Airing On The WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations

Sunday, September 27, 2015

NY Film Festival 2015: The Walk - 'And The Outside World Starts To Disappear.' Indeed...

               The Walk: Inches Away From Death - Literally

The magic of gravity defying 3D special effects may have initially amazed on screen. But through endless repetitive stunts and ongoing artificial green screen revelations at the plexes, what paradoxically results over the course of time and in this latest Robert Zemeckis extravaganza, is less digital dazzle than deja vu.


And The Walk is no exception, an essentially seeing is not believing cinematic con playing out a mere short distance off the ground - and ironically far closer to earth than say, the elevated Imax theater seating in question - then wrapped in distracting hocus pocus layers of optical illusions. And likely astonishing only preschoolers and those who have never been to the movies.

So what remains is a concoction of dramatic digressions consisting of cartoonish caricatures and scenery chewing silliness, just in case everything else going on tends to dull audience senses. And primarily a perpetually grimacing Joseph Gordon-Levitt doing his hyperactive best to walk a more metaphorical tightrope, reenacting Philippe Petit's 1974 danger junkie high wire stroll between the World Trade Center Twin Towers.

And while the steadfast one dimensional focus remains on head in the clouds logistics for the duration, all sorts of more earthbound disappearing acts ensue. Including that tumultuous and traumatic historical moment in time witnessing the Vietnam anti-war protest movements, racial upheaval, and youth rebellion. And apparently juxtaposed here with the usual capitalist wet dream - whether in or outside of Hollywood. And not coincidentally promoting this economic crisis period movie tagline: Show the world that anything is possible.

Which lends a curious context to Petit's sort of celestial epiphany when the character takes time out momentarily from mime antics to exclaim, 'And the outside world starts to disappear.' Indeed...

Prairie Miller

More information about the NY Film Festival 2015 is online at:

Arts Express, Thursdays 2pm ET: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY 99.5 FM, and streaming live and archived everywhere at

Friday, September 18, 2015

Venice Film Festival 2015: Barefoot Refugees On The Red Carpet

WORLD FILM BEAT: Dennis Broe On Location Report

This is Broe on the World Film Beat, live from the Lido, with my coverage of the Venice Film Festival. The big story on the opening of the festival this year the way the rivalry between the major studios and the online services, becoming studios themselves, played out on the Lido. Venice had led off the last two years with the Academy Award Winners Gravity and Birdman, both of which were anointed at the festival and went on to easily sweep the awards. This year the major studio opening was Everest with Jake Gyllenhaal whose film Demolition also opened the Toronto fest. This alpine snoozer is not going to win the Academy Award, and even festival director Alberto Barbera described it as a film that had ‘great special effects,’ the kiss of death because it implies ‘and nothing else,’ which is the way most critics judged the film.


Going head to head with the studio powerhouse opening was Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation. Netflix did not produce the film, merely picked it up for distribution as the majors often do, planning on distributing mainly not in theaters but to its 67 million subscribers. The mode of distribution is very different with the streaming service claiming it never looks at box office numbers.  The major theaters have refused to pick up the film for its October 16th release, judging it a threat to their industry but it will be released in Mark Cuban’s Landmark theaters where it will qualify for the Academy Awards....


...This is Broe on the World Film Beat signing off from the Lido. Next week, in time for their foray into cinemas this fall, I’ll be discussing my best and worst, including Tsai Ming Ling’s extraordinary bow out of filmmaking and the non-return of Johnny Depp.

Arts Express, Thursdays 2pm ET: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY 99.5 FM, and streaming live and archived everywhere at

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Suffragette Film Review: The Iron Ladies, Female Action Heroes Extraordinaire

While the mass movement for women's voting rights in the United States that reached its most heated moment back in the early 20th century is remembered mostly as a tame affair, apparently the more militant struggle back then in England is barely remembered at all. That is, until now when that one hundred year buried history has been boldly and brilliantly exhumed and brought back to life in the defiant and devastating historical drama, Suffragette.

And in stark contrast to the US where the organized movement was mostly a middle class affair, those fiery female rebels in England were thrust progressively through a combination of oppression and frustration into an explosive battle of the sexes. And fueled in no small part by outright class warfare. Provoked apparently by the rigid British class system, and by England divisively first granting voting rights solely to women of property. Which led to targeting in large part "the sacred ideology of property if we must."

Originally titled The Fury, Suffragette is crafted as a tense period thriller and stunningly seamless collage of historical truth and raw emotional energy. And marks the second collaboration following their solemn drama about that female sacrificial sexual enslaving ritual know as arranged marriage, Brick Lane (2007) - of director Sarah Gavron and screenwriter Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, The Invisible Woman, Shame).

And with a beyond boldly eloquent dramatic performance by Carey Mulligan, so rare in movies, and barely in need of words. As a thwarted workingclass woman too initially imprisoned in her own personal struggle surviving as a woman and laundry plant worker among those brutally laboring with 'crushed fingers and ulcerated legs.' While barely making ends meet to comprehend or make sense of her daily persecution. But when lifted through a convergence of persecution as a woman and wife with consciousness igniting inspiration,  astonishingly rising to the occasion swept into the tremendously passionate heat of that historical moment.

In a more subdued, ideologically meditative performance is Helena Bonham Carter as a pharmacist by day and moonlighting anarchist, one of a number of characters created out of a collection of real lives at the time. While Meryl Streep in a hide and seek cameo as similarly real life middle class movement leader firebrand Emmeline Pankhurst, spends too much of the film in hiding to get a solid sense of her contribution to this struggle.

Equally commendable about Suffragette, is its scope and attention to the larger picture, a fusion of contributing factors and injustices that comprised a far greater amalgam of decisive ingredients precipitating that mass female rebellion. Including child labor and the sexual exploitation of worker women and girls in those factories. And the legal status of women as little more than mere human bondage, the property along with their children, of their spouses who had absolute entitlement to offspring in cases of separation and divorce.

There is also within the narrative of Suffragette, the disturbing roots of officially sanctioned practices today revealed in Guantanamo atrocities, and the dubious machinations of COINTELPRO and the NSA. And counting the torture tactic of force feedings, political imprisonments, and forcing activist inmates into police espionage in exchange for their release following trumped up charges.

Suffragette was screened at a special premiere on Women’s Equality Day in New York City, August 26th. A date 'selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.'

Suffragette director Sarah Gavron and writer Abi Morgan were present following the film, and responded to questions about the inspiration to bring this story to the screen, a project struggling for fruition for ten years. And marking only the third UK film in 53 years made by women.

"We hope this untold story for one hundred years sparks audiences today, for women all over the world challenging oppression," said Gavron. Creating this movie "made me believe in the sisterhood again, and how powerful we are" added Morgan. "And it's made me a feminist writer now."

The filmmakers also described how the utterly powerful climactic scene featuring actual period footage of the huge outpouring of female anger and empowerment, came into their possession quite by accident. And as "an underdeveloped role of film that we had no idea what was on it." Also poignantly imbuing this story was the potent significance of seemingly smaller details. Such as one Sufraggette martyr's purse discovered by her side after death, and containing "a single coin and a return ticket home." And the stones the women threw in protest, "wrapped in psalms and bearing messages and poetry."   

As a solemn footnote to Suffragette, the screen credits are followed by a troubling list of the dates when various countries finally granted women's voting rights - a number of them not until the 21st century. And most disturbing of all, the US staunch Mideast ally Saudi Arabia listed last, as still not allowing women there to vote, but they have been 'promised.'

Prairie Miller

Arts Express, Airing On The WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations

Saturday, August 15, 2015

NY Film Festival 2015: Mortal Transience Issues Upstage Mass Movements In Mia Madre

    Dazed And Confused Direction Of The Italian Working Class

Midlife crisis and mortality fixations meet mass movement impulses to the unfortunate disadvantage of the latter, in Nanni Moretti's Mia Madre [My Mother]. A far too heaping thematic plate overflowing with existential fixations and middle class alienation from the masses, the emotionally insular family drama with its blurred inside looking out, melancholy perspective positions the notion of art struggling not politically, but to rise above subjugation to the implicit domination of fleeting existence on this planet.

Margherita Buy is Margherita, a sullen, rigid movie director concurrently facing the terminal illness of her mother (Giulia Lazzarini). A character reportedly based on Moretti himself as he faced the loss of his own mother, Margherita is in the process of filming a drama about a factory worker uprising and plant occupation to protest layoffs along with job and salary cuts.

But Margherita's distraction related to her mother's imminent demise, along with a somewhat baffled, alienated cast as to what it really means to be workingclass - and more in tune with mounting a more familiar conventional action thriller of sorts - nearly brings the production to intermittent standstill. And further exacerbated by the import of flamboyant American actor Barry Huggins (John Turturro) to the proceedings, to play the new domineering factory owner. An introduction to the disorderly situation at hand which fumbles both comically and thematically, as Huggins struggles with both the language barrier and repeatedly forgotten lines, along with an annoyingly itchy fake mustache.

With this uneasy balance of too many plot points shoe horned into too little time as the elderly invalid's condition progressively worsens, pressing themes are given too little space to breathe. Including regrettably the mass movement film production reflecting the pressing issue of Italy's current socio-economic chaotic reality. And how and why artists are compelled to continue to create in the face of their inevitable mortality, in particular mirrored with alarm when loved ones are passing away. While Moretti's insertion of his own thinly fleshed out role as the filmmaker's slightly less dazed and confused sibling Giovanni, doesn't help matters either.

All of which results in an ethereal, lyrically textured group portrait of family loss and disintegration, with a fragile, tentative future hope focused on a vague 'tomorrow' to continue to somehow creatively carry on. But too many less is in no way more, narrative strands abandoned by the wayside, of both the film within a film and Moretti's Mia Madre.

More information about the NY Film Festival 2015 is online at:

Prairie Miller

Arts Express, Airing On The WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations


Monday, August 10, 2015

NY Film Festival 2015: Experimenter, An Exploration In Negative Preconceived Notions?

Central to the Michael Almereyda biopic Experimenter, delving into the controversial early 1960s 'obedience experiments' of social psychologist Stanley Milgram and in which he set out to demonstrate passive human compliance with the oppression and torture of others historically, is Danish philosopher Kierkegaard's quote uttered by Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard) and emphasized in the course of the narrative. Namely,  'Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.'

If only this overly reverential, strangely decontextualized cinematic exploration of human behavior, whether on the part of Milgram or the filmmaker himself possibly setting out to prove questions he had decided upon beforehand did so. But that appears to present a different sort of irony. That is, the reactive rather than proactive psychological notion, whether that of a scientist or movie director, of faith versus factual inquiry.

And I say this - disclaimer alert - as a film critic rather than a Milgram scholar, and as such may have missed some of his many assertions and deductions along the way. So any issues that I challenge here, are primarily addressing the movie itself. And what may appear to be present or absent in its rather uncritical embrace of Milgram, despite those colleagues and opponents challenging his assertions through the years.

Milgram's unconventional psychological experiments involved hiring subjects to submit electric shocks to an unseen 'learner' they initially meet, and who in another room reacts loudly in pain when 'punished' for giving wrong answers or none at all, to a series of questions. The subjects themselves are determined to yield to authority and continue administering increasing shock voltage, because they're intimidated into obeying authority over empathizing with the victims in pain (actually a tape recording of a hired actor played in the other room).

And Milgram, an American Jew driven emotionally in his experiments by the horrors of the Holocaust, repeatedly concluded on this basis that humans are primarily a loathsome lot, insensitive to human atrocities out of fear of questioning authority. And the somewhat more fan than filmmaker Almereyda would seem to wholeheartedly agree. So would this by any chance be yet another case of deference to the authority, of a prominent scientific public figure as well?

Crafting the film and the personality of Milgram in a more playful than probing light in which magical realism oddly and repeatedly upstages sobering reflections regarding the dark subject matter on hand, Almereyda would seem to be disregarding a whole menu of presenting issues. Including for starters, the fact that two thirds of the subjects responded to the experiments  in a manner satisfactory to Milgram.

But what about the other third - a rather large figure that might entail a different sort of conclusion. For instance, the fact that rebels and revolutionaries who fearlessly push human progress forward historically, along with the heroic masses who join up with them, are never in the majority. But without whose instincts and qualities we'd still all be living prehistoric lives. Why no study as well of those who do question authority and why? Perhaps another unintended irony as to where authority is challenged, but where Milgram may have feared to tread.

And at this point, I offer some intriguing speculation, that such a subsidiary inquiry may have made for some murky waters beyond simplistic pronouncements. Such as the rather conformist looking human subjects presented in the film. If Milgram's studies extended into the subversive '60s, where were all those masses of anti-war, civil rights anti-racist and feminist activists to choose from? Or say study, as a major mass movement historical moment?

And what about an exploration of the herd instinct itself, without which no species, human or otherwise, would survive on the planet. And while conformity and that tribal instinct can and has been misguided and reprehensible throughout history, it's an instinct nevertheless, and primarily one of the most basic survival instincts of all life on earth.

Then there's the question left hanging of the Holocaust victims who first inspired Milgram. Why no explanation of how those victims then became aggressive victimizers of the Palestinians in Israel. And ruthlessly engaging in genocidal behavior of their own, with no lessons learned from history.

And finally, what about these actors in Experimenter along with the filmmaker, all willing 'participants' in that dubious enterprise known as Hollywood. And in some sense, obedient to that standard of moviemaking there enforcing repeatedly ad nauseum, violence on screen as entertainment. Case closed.

Though one Vietnam War era observation by Sarsgaard's Milgram in Experimenter, does hold chilling, conclusive weight. With his devastating insight at one point that 'the results are disturbing that one can't be protected in US society from a malevolent authority.'

More information about the NY Film Festival 2015 is online at:

Prairie Miller

Arts Express, Airing On The WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Keeping Room Movie Review: Gone With The Wallflower Feminist Western

A bold and ballsy retro-futuristic fantasy feminist western with tall tale truth telling at its core, The Keeping Room provocatively and subversively sets in motion 19th century gender reinvention at the climactic moment of a defeated Dixie during the Civil War. Reimagined through the irreverent outsider Brit perspective of director Daniel Barber (Harry Brown), the film likewise sexually tests the limits of traditional storytelling conventions via female screenwriter Julia Hart.

It's 1865 in rural South Carolina, and young matriarch by default Augusta (Brit Marling)- no Scarlett O'Hara shrinking violet -  is anxiously presiding over the modest family plantation along with her teenage sister Louise (Hailee Steinfeld) and their slave Mad (Muna Otaru). The three females barely survive collectively on what meager sustenance they can grow themselves, which tends to stir in Mad a growing, rebellious sense of her own worth and independence. And that does not sit well with the condescending spoiled and sullen Louise.

And with little sense of what's going on with the war and why in their isolation, the women bide their time awaiting the return of the men. And in the case of Mad, her sweetheart who may have fled to freedom in the north or joined up with the Union Army, or perhaps both.

But when Union soldiers turn up with malice on their minds that has nothing to do with battle, including a brutal crime spree of pillaging, rape and slaughter, the lines between war and murder are pointedly blurred, along with any typical notions of  'good guys' in that war. As an unrelenting and terrifying home invasion thriller kicks in for the duration, and occasional more awkward 'can't we all just get along' moments that present themselves as well.

The Keeping Room sustains a cinematically mystical atmospheric glow in stark contrast to its horror. And with an ultimate, strangely triumphant gender challenging vicarious reinvention, as the reborn warrior women shed their own socially connected sexual identities in a wild, vicarious fashion statement reassignment bid. Fed by fury, however reckless, and an impulse for feminist freedom enlightened by the notion that women are always consigned to fighting a different war - characterized by sexual brutality against them - no matter which side of whatever conflict.

And facilitated no doubt at the time, by the fluid post-war 'manifest destiny' frontier ripe for identity reincarnation. Which would be populated as well by that historically hidden Southern post-traumatic stress disorder human wreckage known instead ever since then, as those mythologized wild west outlaws.

Prairie Miller

Arts Express, Airing On The WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Boy: Memory Lane Greed Decade Noir Channels The Present Moment In Time

In no way Boyhood, The Bad Seed/Bates Motel coincidental spinoff with figurative morbidity rates, meets Greed Decade Noir in The Boy. Rather a 20th century memory lane melancholy lapse into economic crisis period doom not unlike today, as the bad boy in question (Jared Breeze) veers in this slowly simmering, psychologically dense portrait, between victim and villain. And mischievously confounding audience senses, as much as the festering young psychopath Ted sadistically toys with his selected human targets.

Ted is a sullen, bored nine year old consigned to seemingly living against his will with his single dad at their remote, isolated and barely visited mountain top family motel. Ted's mother apparently bolted from the financially struggling establishment for Florida long ago, with a trucker checking in one night. And since then, Ted has been abnormally self-entertaining somewhat during the long, lonely days, by setting primitive road kill traps out of discarded food scraps, for unfortunate wild animals crossing the adjoining highway. And bizarre trophies which his too distracted for quality time dad (David Morse) inexplicably rewards with spare change, eagerly detailed by the boy in the motel ledger.

But this pathological pastime takes a progressively darker turn, as occasional guests arrive inspiring Ted to experimental fantasies with human subjects instead. And in part on a more sympathetic note for the psychopathic, scarred kid - if possible - to emotionally ensure he's never traumatically abandoned again as his mother did. And even if that means a kind of terminal roach motel scenario, with those transients never checking out again. A notion Ted picks up in part from a mysterious nomadic guest (Rainn Wilson) likewise into inconsolable grief manifested by carting around the bagged cremated remains of a loved one.

The Boy (directed by Craig William Macneill and adapted from the Clay McLeod Chapman novel), would likewise seem to be part of a trend in movies (Dark Places, Chloe And Theo, The Boy Next Door, Sinister 2) with children lashing out against the older generation during this period of profound economic crisis. And not unlike the Greed Decade and its primary obsession with money during which the story is set - for depriving them of any sense of future - financial, emotional or otherwise, in the process.

On a side note, Elijah Wood is a producer of The Boy. An interesting twist to the proceedings, as Wood segued in his own boyhood reveries on screen from Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, into the more sinister fare lately of Grand Piano, Cooties, Wilfred, Open Windows, and The Last Witch Hunter.

Prairie Miller

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Arts Express: Hiroshima Poetry, Stopped Clocks, Nicolas Cage No Jimmy Stewart, And Televisions On Fire

**Hiroshima Remembrance Day Poetry: On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Japanese civilians, a gathering of poets speaking out. And why the US government said it had to happen, but why it really did.

**Book Corner: Dr. Seuss and the legacy of Hiroshima. Referencing hidden socio-political metaphors in his books for children, along with a rediscovered manuscript hidden away in a box. Dustin Hoffman reads from one relevant allegorical tale, and the late political cartoonist turned author's former art director Cathy Goldsmith disagrees when phoning in.


**The Runner: An ecological thriller starring Nicolas Cage and Peter Fonda, opening this week. And taking on the hot topics of multinational corporate abuse of power, the BP Gulf oil spill disaster, and DC lobbyists destroying remaining remnants of democracy. Along with a distraught youth perspective today on screen that is the opposite of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. A conversation with writer/director Austin Stark.

**Art Corner: Mixed media muralist and neighborhood outsider artist Don Porcella is on the line to Arts Express to discuss his latest wordscape fusion of language and images. And some surprising connections he creates related to folk themes, crayons, science fiction, cartoons, shape shifting, a chocolate mountain, cactuses, eyeballs, a naked beekeeper, televisions on fire, a podiatry appointment and happy accidents.

Arts Express, Airing On The WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I'll See You In My Dreams, Paulette: Sassy Seniors Shine On Screen As Wild Women For A Change


It's taken three years for the French kooky when not kinky confection Paulette to turn up in US theaters, which is not unlike the rare appearance of older women in starring roles on screen, if at all. That is, when not stereotypically playing shrews, dingbats or witches.

And which is hopefully indicative of a rebellion of sorts, not just as defiant characters grabbing a rare spotlight front and center in movies, but older actresses receiving long overdue recognition in their own right. And the late Bernadette Lafont plays just the sort of brutally forthright French elder babe doing exactly that, in the  insightful when not inebriated satirical outing, Paulette.

A shameless, ranting racist Parisian who brutally speaks her mind at any opportunity against people of color and the mounting immigrant French population, Paulette is similarly unkind to her black son-in-law and young biracial grandson. Which one might say tends to land her as a leading proponent in the ranks of bad grandparenting.

But as it comes to light that the anger mismanagement widow is a victim herself of the EU economy in shambles - having lost her restaurant and currently consigned to a pitiful pension and picking out her dinner from the local garbage dump discards - peculiar pity sets in for this damaged but apparently not entirely unredeemable bitter woman. Which is exactly what transpires when Paulette quite by accident crosses paths with the drug dealers on duty at her ghetto housing project, and rather strangely rises in the ranks herself as a major weed supplier in the Parisian hood to make ends meet and then some, don't ask.

At which point this contact high comedy turns somewhat terminally silly, as if filmmaker Jerome Enrico decided to light up too and ran out of  any further bracing ideas along the way. But that rare and complex senior spotlight on screen of Lafont who sadly passed away in 2013 at the ago of 74, for the most part transcends that excessively daffy detour.

On a side note, the not surprisingly defiant thespian and only child, disappointed her mother who had always wanted a boy to name Bernard. So when she gave birth to a girl instead, the peeved parent blamed Catholics in general as proof that their God either was blind or didn't exist. Along with often dressing her daughter as a boy she would call Bernard instead.


**I'll See You In My Dreams: Actress Blythe Danner reflects on the highs and lows in rites of passage for her both on and off screen, of older people. And her starring role along with Rhea Perlman and Sam Elliott, in this bittersweet tale channeling the female experience of aging. And the cross-generational bonding that awkwardly kicks in.  DVD release September 1st. 


**Mexican Dream: Migrants, meatpacking plants, labor struggles and Mexican minimum wage workers in Minnesota. And a tale of two countries, as economically desperate migrant workers journey from Mexico to Minnesota to toil in the grueling meatpacking factories and slaughterhouses there, among the unwelcoming white population. And what it has to do with difficult worker solidarity, crushing unions, and a Nelson Mandela mural. All part of a new documentary, in a discussion with the filmmakers, the ironically titled Mexican Dream.

**Writers Corner: Miguel Gardel mines as memoir his conflicted past doing time as a Latino soldier in the US military, reading from his short story, Up On A Hill.

Arts Express, Thursdays 2pm ET: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY 99.5 FM, and streaming live and archived everywhere at

Friday, July 17, 2015

Lila & Eve: Badly Scripted Bold Women Bypass Black Lives Matter For Black On Black Revenge Scenario

Or rather, Dirty Harriet. A combo female revenge thriller/ballsy babe buddy movie, Lila & Eve finds Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez as the title characters respectively, grieving mothers who set out to blow away the unknown killers who gunned down Lila's teenage son in a drive-by on the inner city streets of Atlanta.

A movie with its heart but not its head in the right place - literally, Lila & Eve gets it right when telegraphing raw emotion and the stinging heartbreak of losing a child. Especially in terms of a society not only teeming with senseless violence, but obsessed with it, both in terms of media hype and a culture hooked on that predominant brand of destructive problem solving solutions.

The Davis/Lopez hookup is psychologically potent and feisty. And not without standout satirical touches, as when Lopez embraces kickass female empowerment as a handy tool that could have helped Tina Turner straighten out Ike. Or Davis dissing a suspicious cop on her tail, when leaving a slim tip for the waitress after interrogating her at the local diner, on the basis that 'you have no idea what women go through.'

But where the film derails has lots to do with a sorely needed reality check and exceedingly poor timing, about the true meaning of justice - from a mass organizing rather than meaningless individual anger mismanagement, retaliatory body count perspective. In other words, bold women badly scripted by male filmmakers, who sadly bypass the Black Lives Matter movement in potent progress right now, with police race slayings on a daily basis.

And instead favoring a cop-out, so to speak, black on black violence, civilian vigilante in collusion with cheering, congratulatory cops scenario. Not to mention that the movie inappropriately opens on the tragic anniversary this July 17th, when the NYPD choked Eric Garner to death a year ago.

Prairie Miller   

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Arts Express: Neo-Nazis In The Hood, Homeless Foreclosure Broken Dreams


**Welcome To Leith: The too hot to handle doc details perhaps US exceptionalism domestically come home to roost, as North Dakota neo-nazis scheme somewhat legally to invade and occupy this town and drive out the locals. While ironically the controversial film has had a tougher struggle finding its own home in theaters. A commentary.

**Poetry Corner: Young Haitian-American movement poet Richard Renelique reads from his work touching on identity, social transformation and 'too many bullets on the television screen.'
And, Deep South labor organizer and seasoned people's poet Stewart Acuff delves into so-called right-to-work resistance, homeless foreclosure broken dreams, and 'families on the peanut butter and baloney plan.'


**Meet Me In Montenegro: Berlin based filmakers Alex Holdridge and Linnea Sassen phone in to discuss strategy for making movies outside the Hollywood system. Along with reporting on what's going down right now in Europe, in the midst of socio-economic struggles, right wing resurgence, and a triumphant rent mass mobilization in Berlin as potential blueprint for housing action here.

**Actress Anne Archer Talks The Squeeze: Along with revisiting her role in Fatal Attraction and perceptions of women on screen, sports capitalism, and what Lamont Cranston and The Shadow may or may not have to do with any of this. 

Arts Express, Thursdays 2pm ET: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY 99.5 FM, and streaming live and archived everywhere at