Monday, December 12, 2016

The Women Film Critics Circle Nomination Award Picks For 2016

The Women Film Critics Circle Nomination Award Picks For 2016: Hidden Figures and Loving Sweep The Nominations 

The Women Film Critics Circle has announced its 2O16 nominations for the best movies this year by and about women, and outstanding achievements by women, who get to be rarely honored historically, in the film world.
The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of 80 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.


BEST FEMALE ACTION HERO NOMINEE: The Women Of Free State Of Jones
  
BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN
Certain Women
Christine
Hidden Figures
20th Century Women

BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN
Certain Women
Queen Of Katwe
The Dressmaker
13TH

                           AVA DUVERNAY, DIRECTOR OF 13TH

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]
Certain Women, Kelly Reichardt
Equity, Amy Fox
Maggie's Plan, Rebecca Miller
13TH, Ava Duvernay

BEST ACTRESS
Rebecca Hall, Christine
Taraji P.  Henson, Hidden Figures
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie


                                 REBECCA HALL IS CHRISTINE

BEST ACTOR
Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea
Joel Edgerton, Loving
Matthew McConaughey, Free State Of Jones
Christopher Plummer, Remember

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS

Sasha Lane, American Honey
Roylaty Hightower, The Fits
Madina Nalwanga, Queen Of Katwe
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge Of Seventeen

BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS
Judy Davis, The Dressmaker
Sally Field, Hello My Name is Doris
Greta Gerwig, Maggie's Plan
Kate McKinnon, Ghostbusters

BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
Julieta
The Handmaiden
Things To Come
Toni Erdmann

BEST DOCUMENTARY BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
Audrie & Daisy
Miss Sarah Jones
The Eagle Huntress
13TH

BEST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE
Certain Women
Hidden Figures
Loving
Queen Of Katwe

WORST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE
Elle
Neighbors 2
Nocturnal Animals [The obese naked women dancing]
Zoolander 2

BEST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE
Free State Of Jones
Loving
Paterson
Snowden

WORST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

Dirty Grandpa
Frank & Lola
Weiner
Zoolander 2

WOMEN'S WORK/BEST ENSEMBLE

Ghostbusters
Hidden Figures
The Dressmaker
20th Century Women

SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS

COURAGE IN FILMMAKING
Ava Duvernay, 13TH
Janet Grillo, Jack Of The Red Hearts
Meera Menon, Equity
Kelly Reichardt, Certain Women

COURAGE IN ACTING [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Lily Gladstone, Certain Women
Rebecca Hall, Christine
Zoe Saldana, Nina

*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: For a film that most passionately opposes violence against womenAmerican Honey
Audrie & Daisy
Colonia
The Uncondemned

*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America

Hidden Figures
Loving
Moonlight
Nina

*KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman's place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity
Christine
Hidden Figures
Loving
Things To Come

*THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD: [Performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]

Lily Gladstone, Certain Women
Rebecca Hall, Christine
The women of Hidden Figures
Theresa Saldana, Nina

BEST SCREEN COUPLE
Allied
Loving
Paterson
Snowden

BEST FEMALE ACTION HERO

Emma Watson, Colonia
The women of Free State Of Jones
The women of Ghostbusters
Wonder Woman: Gal Gadot in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
MOMMIE DEAREST WORST SCREEN MOM OF THE YEAR AWARD
Mila Kunis, Bad Moms
Laura Linney, Nocturnal Animals
Emma Thompson, Barney Thomson
Renée Zellweger, The Whole Truth

 BEST LINE IN A MOVIE
:
"I believe the characters we read on the page become more real than the men who stand beside us." - Jackie

ACTING AND ACTIVISM AWARD:

SHAILENE WOODLEY MUGSHOT: STANDING WITH THE WATER PROTECTORS OF STANDING ROCK

Geena Davis: She has put in many decades of political service to feminist causes and has never held back even when speaking out could potentially harm her career. Her screen roles reinforce her beliefs. The Geena Davis Institute does research and advocacy.

Jane Fonda: For a lifetime of activism both on screen and off. 

Emma Watson: UN Goodwill Ambassador, tells the UN General Assembly that universities need to be a safe space against campus sexual and racial assault, for women and people of color.

Shailene Woodley: For standing with the Water Protectors at Standing Rock and jailed for her activism there.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Julia Andrews
Annette Bening
Martha Coolidge
Viola Davis

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES
Allied
Hidden Figures
Loving
Paterson

BEST ANIMATED FEMALE
Finding Dory
Moana
The BFG
Your Name  

BEST FAMILY FILM
Hidden Figures
Kubo
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Queen Of Katwe

WFCC Hall Of Shame
Women Dating Their Rapists In Movies:
Elle
Frank & Lola
Sunset Song


CONTACT: Criticalwomen@gmail.com

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Arts Express: James Baldwin, The Other John Brown, Iceland Uprising, Class And Cyberspace

    The Other John Brown: Aaron Briggs And The HMS Gaspee

 **I Am Not Your Negro: Director Raoul Peck completes the late African American writer James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript in this speculative documentary. A memoir in tribute to Baldwin's three assassinated Civil Rights era comrades, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. While Samuel Jackson remarkably disappears into the persona of Baldwin on screen. At the NY Film Festival and opening in theaters later this year. A commentary.

**Filmmaker Andrew Stewart Talks Aaron Briggs And The HMS Gaspee.
Delving into the buried history of Northern slavery. And a very different John Brown linked to a shameful and brutal Rhode Island past of chains, ships, sugar cane and molasses used as slave trade currency, and the roots of globalization funded by slavery back then.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**"You're Not The Master Of The Universe." Australian actor James Frecheville phones in from LA to discuss the cyberthriller, I.T. And going toe to toe as a young hacker have-not, with the filthy rich financier played by Pierce Brosnan. While Frecheville and I disagree.

**Autumn Lights: Actor Guy Kent in a conversation about his dramatic feature filmed in Iceland, in search of an emotional landscape amidst the remote isolation, dark themes, and endless surreal light of the midnight sun. Along with what Kent encountered about mass uprising against the Icelandic bankers, and the victorious emergence of the rebel Pirate Party shaking up the government there.

More information about the NY Film Festival is online at Filmlinc.org

 LOVING: "All this talk of civil rights. You need to get you some civil rights."


Hollywood stories on screen about courageous struggles against social injustice are rare. But dramas delving into workingclass life from their own perspective, particularly when true, are even fewer and far between.

Which is exactly what renders the dramatic biopic Loving a unique moment in movies - indeed in film culture itself. The true story of the Virginia interracial, salt of the earth couple The Lovings, who challenged the Virginia criminal statutes against their marriage back in the mid-20th century as the Civil Rights Movement uprisings loomed and exploded, is uncommonly compassionate, raw and real on screen.

Playing out in rural Virginia back then, Jeff Nichols' Loving with its determined and resonant double meaning as a title, revisits the tragic but ultimately triumphant events that befell Richard and pregnant Mildred Loving when their forbidden marriage in the Jim Crow South but performed in DC, is discovered by local authorities. Following their arrests, the couple, played by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Neggia, flee to inner city DC.

But Mildred, homesick for the only rural life she ever knew, insists they and their three children  return and live there in secrecy. But not before Mildred, inspired by images of the Civil Rights Movement protests on television, contacts Robert Kennedy Jr. for legal assistance. And his referral to the ACLU eventually leads to the historic US Supreme Court case overturning all existing laws against interracial marriage across this country.

But this enormously inspiring story is also noted for it's genuinely conceived, salt of the earth portrait of blue collar culture - and bricklayer Richard Loving's politically unconscious sense of the world -  yet vividly etched in terms of an adamant and unrelenting notion of right and wrong. There is as well within this narrative much that is conveyed, however tacitly, about race relations and racial identity, even under the oppressive weight of Jim Crow segregation.

And in particular for Richard, a white man reared along with other whites there, in a predominantly black rural community existing rather remotely from the institutionalized brutal racism going down in Virginia. Rendering in a larger, tremendously optimistic context, how spontaneous racial harmony and relations can actually be, when untainted by politically motivated repression unnaturally imposed on people through manufactured difference and fear.

And that these two characters, Richard and Mildred are played with such exquisitely conveyed humanity by an Australian and Ethiopian actor respectively, lends additional resonance and enlightenment to a planet in great need of such hope in these troubled times.

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network And Affiliate Stations

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Arts Express: Rapists In The White House


**Accused Rapists In The White House - No Matter Who Wins The Election. Whether Donald Trump, or co-president and aspiring First Lewd-y, Bill Clinton. CNN reporter and The Uncondemned filmmaker Michele Mitchell on the hot seat.

** "I'm a journalist first and a human being second"
The Lennon Report: A conversation with Jeremy Profe, the director of this dramatic feature revisiting the night John Lennon died. Along with an indictment of an out of control commercial media and celebrity culture.

** "Don't worry about me" Tom Hayden, The Last Interview.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE 

**Bro On The World Film Beat: Arts Express Paris correspondent Professor Dennis Broe phones in. Delving into the politics of horror in movies, leading up to Halloween. And referencing the stifling of all collective feeling; the history of military and religious fanaticism in the western; the contemporary US urban nightmare; villainizing the masses; and a sadism reflecting Middle East colonial wars.

** "Please don't call rape a sex crime"
CNN reporter Michele Mitchell is on the line to Arts Express to talk about her documentary, The Uncondemned
. Detailing internationally unprecedented war crimes trials in Rwanda, indicting rape as a weapon of war. While fielding questions during the interview, about why this country has always evaded or ignored their own war crimes charges. Along with accusations against CNN and the corporate media, of biased news. And Accused Rapists In The White House - no matter who wins the election. Whether Donald Trump, or co-president and aspiring First Lewd-y, Bill Clinton.

NY FILM FESTIVAL: I Am Not Your Negro

Delving into the life, work, politics and literary imagination of African American writer and activist James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro mixes recollections, period footage of both the writer and historical events primarily surrounding the turbulent years of the US Civil Rights Movement - and readings from Baldwin's work delivered by Samuel Jackson. Who seemingly in a bid not to overshadow the iconic scribe with his own dramatic charisma, has disappeared so entirely into Baldwin's persona as to create a mystifying lost and found entity of himself within this production.

That said, Jackson is perhaps one of the most intriguing elements within the crafting of this screen memoir. A somewhat disorganized collage constructed by Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck which, rather than building political and dramatic momentum and comprehension, shifts indecisively at repeated moments just when a propulsive point is about to be made. And an implication concerning the cinematic outsider's point of view about US culture that can often be an asset objectively speaking, but with the potential of, on the other hand, lending itself to unfamiliarity and uncertainty as well. 

I Am Not Your Negro is based on Remember This House, an unfinished manuscript at the time of Baldwin's passing in 1987, that had been compiled as a memoir of his recollections of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. And for this both personal and political record of the Civil Rights era, Peck has impressively amassed assorted historical and literary material 

What is ultimately lacking, is a coherent fusion of what has been gathered, along with serious omissions. Including a nowhere in sight ideological embrace by Baldwin of a social struggle going beyond race to advocate a massive societal shakeup and revolution - as exemplified in the parallel ideological class conscious evolution of Martin and Malcolm on whose lives this film is based - and actual significant factors leading to their assassinations, in effect turning against the entire system itself. Why Peck chose to ignore this essential evidence is disappointing, but here it is in Baldwin's own words at a District 65 union meeting:

"...It is not simply a question of equality. It is impossible for any Negro in this country to be fitted into the social structure as it is. The structure must be changed...The point is that neither party can move on this question. Both are useless in this revolution."

Leading to Peck's objectionable conclusion that Baldwin would have felt his life work and struggle against racism complete were he still alive, with the ultimate election of a black president, Barak Obama. Indeed. A leader who has done nothing to improve the lives of African Americans, while presiding over a society and economy further impoverishing people of color and continuing to incarcerate them in the millions, while having nothing to say as they are murdered in the streets by the enforcers of an evolving police state.

Along with a dubious, enormously positive critical response to the documentary so far, which begs the question of Baldwin's intent to disturb and provoke, not placate the mindset of white privilege and guilt-free self-satisfaction when it comes to racism.  And with the apparently ironic effect of the film twisting the notion of The Other, not as oppressed people of color in this alternate pandering context, but instead as not me, but 'those whites over there.'

So the question of I Am Not Your Negro, might have been posed by Baldwin, directly to Peck instead.

Prairie Miller
Host and Executive Producer, Arts Express
WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations

Thursday, October 20, 2016

NYFF: NLF Revolutionary Leader Saadi Yacef Talks The Battle of Algiers


"...On the day that you invade Iraq, that's the day you lose the war."
**Saadi Yacef Talks The Battle Of Algiers. On the occasion of the restoration of the Gillo Pontecorvo cinematic classic on its 50th anniversary, the National Liberation Front revolutionary leader revisits writing the very personal narrative of the film while a political prisoner sentenced to death. And recreating his own struggle for the drama as he faced the challenge of slipping into the skin of an actor to portray his life. Also, what Yacef told the CIA and the Pentagon when they approached him to view the film, in order to pick up pointers for the US invasion of Iraq. And, what all of this may have to do with Napoleon, Paul Newman, and the lessons of Vietnam.
At the NY Film Festival

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE


**Doctor Thorne: A conversation with Julian Fellowes, the creator and writer of the Anthony Trollope adapted novel for the small screen. Delving into the Victorian convergence of class and privilege, political rivalries, moral conscience - if any - and money. The eminent British screenwriter, novelist, film director, actor and creator of Downtown Abbey who once assumed the identity of a female as a  writer and has played Churchill twice, also mulls a comparison of Brexit to the strange US presidential election period in progress.

"...I certainly know as an actor, you can lose track of who you are because you spend so much time behaving like somebody else." And playing a CIA agent, "how long before you lose your authentic self, and what would be the first thing to go - I assume that would be your moral compass."

**Berlin Station: A look at the dramatic television series scrutinizing the CIA and whistleblowers like Snowden, in an exchange with the stars, Richard Armitage and Michelle Forbes. While comparing actors and undercover agents, when it comes to masks, deceptions and multiple identities - whether dramatic or political.

NY FILM FESTIVAL: FIRE AT SEA

"We Cried On Our Knees. What Shall We Do. The People Could Not Hide Us. And We Ran To The Sea."

Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea begins by presenting the grim statistics that 400,000 migrants have continually arrived on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, while 15,000 have died during the dangerous journey, setting the documentary within a context thematically. Or does it?

Rossi's cinematic strategy configures two parallel universe human worlds, much like the incongruous combination of fire and water of the title - that of the migrants in distress, alongside a serene local population nearly indifferent to their plight. But if human indifference is the implication and interpretation here, the director whether intentionally or not, would seem to have succumbed somewhat to that state of mind himself.

As horrifying as the intermittent scenes of hysteria, trauma, suffering and apparent if not imminent death are for these tragic migrants, Rosi has situated them as increasingly offensive backdrop to the ordinary, eccentric or humorous lives of the oblivious locals. And continuing a rather odious tradition in Western cinema, of poverty porn and the exotic rendering of the Other.

And with no background material as to what led to this horrific predicament brought upon these unfortunate Third World victims - ironically fleeing war or exploitation visited upon them by these very Europeans from whom they seek sanctuary in the first place, their plight is rendered as essentially enigmatic. And seemingly as inevitable as the weather, rather than an indictment of those countries to blame. 

More information about the screenings of Fire At Sea and The Battle Of Algiers at the NY Film Festival, is online at filmlinc.org.

Prairie Miller

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Arts Express: Zora Neale Hurston - A Theatrical Biography


**Shadow World: A Conversation With The Filmmakers. What do Reagan, Thatcher, Tony Blair and Obama have in common? According to Shadow World, plenty. And having to do with covert roles as brokers for the arms trade in perpetrating endless war. A look at the investigative documentary and a discussion with the filmmakers Johan Grimonprez and Andrew Feinstein. Touching on connections to the Panama Papers, the 35,000 lobbyists in DC; the Pentagon as metaphorical self-licking ice cream cone; and the Gucci Shoe Guys complicit with the US corporate coup d'etat in slow motion.

**Theater Corner. Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography
. Delving into the both triumphant and tragic life and work of the late famed novelist and folklorist. And a tribute to the African American writer revered as 'Queen Of The Harlem Renaissance.' Though in her final years a housemaid in rural Florida, and subsequently buried in an unmarked grave. A roundtable gathering with playwright Laurence Holder, actress Elizabeth Van Dyke who plays Hurston, and Joseph Edwards as multiple characters - among them Langston Hughes and Richard Wright. A production of the New Federal Theatre. Chris Butters reports.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE
 

**Radio Drama Corner: All Robots Go To Heaven. Arts Express contributor Bradley Firebird with his latest on air presentation. A cautionary futuristic tale when escalating regimentation may render humans problematic, if not obsolete. The African American writer, producer and director fuses sci fi, horror, satire, drama, and a commitment to social justice - while serving up Twilight Zone storytelling. And, characterizing himself as a black Rod Serling.

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

**NY FILM FESTIVAL SPOTLIGHT ON DOCUMENTARY: UNCLE HOWARD

In a cinematic journey into a both personal and literary landscape of the vibrant creative downtown New York City scene of the 1970s and 1980s, director Aaron Brookner embarks on a quest to decipher the artistic flowering of the time. And of his uncle, filmmaker Howard Brookner who was at the center of this vortex of a collective imagination, until his untimely death when stricken with AIDS like so many others back then, just a few days before his 35th birthday.

And while Aaron was working on the restoration of Howard's 1983 documentary, Burroughs: The Movie, he happened to discover an immense trove of unassembled archives shelved away for thirty years. Expressing however haphazardly, a chronicle of the time connected to an alternative community of writers, filmmakers, performers and artists.

And though the found material is more than worthy of its own documentary, the film Uncle Howard does not unfortunately, evolve as up to the task at hand. And more akin to an unfocused, visually and analytically scattered, between takes kind of home movie. 

And though the core of Aaron's passion and inspiration feels genuine, his own assertion that 'Howard's was an unfinished story long after he left this earthly world' unfortunately comes off in the film as all too true - a production that required more narrative momentum, structure and emotional depth and context to effectively resonate and honor its subject matter. And ultimately fulfill the intended imagery on screen of 'a sort of lost soul walking through his work, how your work lives on through your work or not. And how you see without words.

More information about the screening of Uncle Howard and the NY Film Festival is online at filmlinc.org.

Prairie Miller
 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Arts Express: Ava DuVernay, Jason Stuart, Paterson, The Healthcare Blues


**The 13TH At The NY Film Festival: A Conversation With Director Ava DuVernay: "A revolution is happening, and nobody knows about it." From redesigning slave labor via legislated criminalization, and privatized mass incarceration, and  inmate bondage enriching corporations, to the slave labor prison strikes sweeping the country.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Jason Stuart Talks The Birth Of A Nation: And getting inside the head of a slave owner he plays, 'dead inside, never questioning anything, and accepting the world as is. The  actor and comedian is on the line from LA.
  
**NY Film Festival: The Workingclass Artist In Economic Hard Times - Paterson. Directed by Jim Jarmusch. The poet as self-effacing whimsical working stiff and youth today left behind, in a soci-economic portrait of our time.

**Arts Express Best Of The Net Hotspot: The Health Care Blues. Carpe
nter and Arts Express listener Tom Rowley out of our affiliate station in the rural Missouri Ozarks, has produced a mass movement video about the current health care crisis, and the working poor without adequate access to medical care.

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

Prairie Miller

Sunday, October 2, 2016

NY Film Festival 2016: 'Paterson' As Poetic And Socio-Economic Portait Of Our Time

Paterson, The Movie And The Melancholy Muse: The Artist As Whimsical Working Stiff In These Economic Hard Times

 The workingclass rarely or more likely never writes about themselves, much less makes movies about their lives. So it's virtually up to middle class filmmakers to do so by default, which is rarely a good thing - not to mention ever a genuine or even respectful representation.

So what we're usually subjected to - and with the workingclass ironically the largest demographic viewing movies either in theaters or at home - is stereotypical portraits on screen projecting primarily ridicule in comedies or moral condemnation in violent thrillers. Which is unfortunately the case in one subplot within this film, of a both frightening and ludicrously portrayed jilted African-American stalker.

But Jim Jarmusch in his latest, mostly humane pensive portrait laced with delicate, dignified humor, Paterson, has clearly done his homework. And burrowed into both the minimalist, muted inner world and social perspective of a humble Paterson, New Jersey city bus driver (Adam Driver) who also happens to be named Paterson. Which is very much a part of the signature Jarmusch, tapestry balanced subtlely between quirky and daffy. And in the case of the character Paterson, a man who has metaphorically and anonymously faded nearly unnoticed with the baggage of his melancholy muse, into his surroundings that likewise bear his name.

Paterson inhabits this typical economically depressed town in the symbolically laden shadow of that bustling NYC metropolis. And writing down poems (actually written by septuagenarian Oklahoma poet Ron Padgett), old school style in his rumpled notebook, from observations and passenger conversations gleaned all around him on his daily bus rounds. While likewise refusing the entrenched gadgetized culture of cell phones or computers, and inspired instead by the kind of poetic purity of the town's famed local bard, William Carlos Williams. And in similar fashion as his wife Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) - lacking as well as a similarly thwarted housewife, an artistic voice in a commercially driven culture. And resorting instead to wildly creative homegrown drapes, furniture covers and wallpaper, along with imagination laden cupcakes she designs to sell at local farmers markets.

And that Jarmusch has caught the unfamiliar essence of Paterson's suppressed existence with such quiet but determined authority, may have much to do with the times we are living in right now. That is, as the country's economic crisis deepens and weighs particularly hard on this demographic of millennials - the first generation since WWII that will not do as well as their parents, if well at all as the middle class disappears. And perhaps the elixir of poetry and the fueled artistic imagination as balm for the stifled but awakened soul.

Prairie Miller

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

Friday, September 30, 2016

NY Film Festival 2016: Ava DuVernay's THE 13TH


 **THE 13TH

Ava DuVernay's breathlessly explosive documentary THE 13TH burrows into the devastating and heartbreaking legacy of racial injustice, incarceration and sanctioned murders of African Americans throughout US history - and even as this essential documentary plays out on screen this week, as the first ever documentary with the extraordinary acclaim as Opening Night feature of the NY Film Festival.

The director of the Oscar nominated Civil Rights Movement drama SELMA, has created with THE 13TH a simultaneously explosively informative and emotionally spellbinding documentary that is a crushing indictment of the 13th Amendment of the title. Presumably ending slavery but in fact reviving the brutal horrors through its disgraceful escape clause - "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime" - leading to the millions in 'monetized' mass incarceration in the multi-billion dollar accelerating corporate prisons for profit, and slave labor for consumer goods corporations. Exploiting  inmate slavery fed by the nationwide criminalization of the African American community - when not their outright slaughter across the nation today. And slavery in fact not ended, but 'redesigned' to enrich corporations.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

And by extension, a concept as well that with the increasingly essential and critical importance of documentaries like THE 13TH, that the Oscars will hopefully recognize this film category's importance. And that documentaries should and must take their place to qualify for awards in the Best Film and Best Director categories in the future.


**NY FILM FESTIVAL EXPLORATIONS SECTION: THE DEATH OF LOUIS XIV

Though human beings born without privilege or status tend to take meager comfort in the inevitability that everyone is eventually equal in death, that path leading to mortality may very well be a different matter behind closed doors. And though Catalan writer/director Albert Serra is more than obsessed in making this grim when not satirical point about the terminally ill invalid French Sun King in The Death Of Louis XIV, this somewhat too much information death bed drama tends to instill less reflection than audience fatigue.

Which is not to say that the visual canvas up on the screen isn't sumptuously crafted with the splendor of its delicately delineated imagery, even while the main subject of the narrative in contrast slowly rots away from untreated, very probably diabetes precipitated gangrene. But as with many such cinematically conceived landscapes favoring a preference for reflection over action, unfortunately films are not paintings. But which by peculiar coincidence tends to repeatedly elicit that notion about watching paint dry instead of a movie.

Eminent French actor Jean-Pierre Leaud is hardly the one at fault here, doing his best to breathe life into a 72 year old man who barely has any left in him. And for whom that eternal notion of celebrity surrounding him is beginning to be progressively diminished into a meaningless concept, until he can't even bear the intolerable odor of his own flash rotting away - while the worshipful attending to him, servants and doctors, are the ones into incorrigibly oblivious denial.

And including bizarre scenes where they continue to attempt to feed a man obviously descended into a coma preceding death if not already arrived there, repeatedly wiping away the food rendered impossible to enter his shuttered mouth - as if they were just accidental morsels surrounding his lips. And with an ironic hand-wringing medical concurrence kicking in, that the monarch's life could quite likely have been saved with a limb amputation, but such an act could not be blasphemously imposed on one deemed a godly, celestial figure.

While throughout this 115 minute long running time bedside vigil, the characters displaying far greater endurance than we do within this extreme reality check-free zone ordeal, is not a good sign. Though competing doctors opportunistically vying for court favoritism based predominantly on a varied treatment menu comprising everything from quackery to wishful thinking, is fairly relatable in the here and now, rather than a conceptual relic from the distant past.

Prairie Miller

THE 13TH will open in theaters and be available to a mass audience simultaneously on Netflix. And more information about The 13TH and  The Death Of Louis XIV at the NY Film Festival, is online at FilmLinc.org.

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

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Arts Express: War Dogs, Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes 'The Weary Blues,' Female Uprising In India

                Parched: Oppressed Indian Women Rising Up

**Guy Lawson Talks War Dogs: Rolling Stones journalist, upon whose investigative report this political satire starring Jonah Hill as the real life US military gun runner is based, sheds light in this conversation on how weaponry feeds the military industrial complex, as depicted in this scathing dramatic feature. And actually a second war in progress - the apparently legal arms dealer bidding war online. Lawson's original report adapted to the big screen, is titled: 'The Stoner Arms Dealers: How Two American Kids Became Big-Time Weapons Traders - And How The Pentagon Later Turned On Them.'

**Call Mr. Robeson: A Life With Songs.
UK African-British actor and performer Tayo Aluko phones in from Vancouver to the Arts Express Theater Corner, to describe the worldwide tour on stage of his passionate and illuminating labor of love solo show dedicated to the life, legacy, political persecution and art of the late persecuted actor and activist Paul Robeson. And which is scheduled to return for theatrical performances here in the US in September.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Parched: Filmmaker Leena Yadav is on the line from India to talk about her latest movie, a dramatic feature focusing on the troubled but resilient lives of oppressed rural women there, as systemic victims of violence. And both based on and dedicated to those women who endure that horror and shared their stories.

**Poetry Corner: The vintage jazz poetry of Langston Hughes.
The late African American poet reads 'The Weary Blues' in 1925, with jazz accompaniment from the Doug Parker Band. The Arts Express Best Of The Net Hotspot this week.

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Arts Express: Australian New Wave Director Gillian Armstrong Talks Women He's Undressed


Bro On the 'Game Of Thrones 2016' US Presidential Election; Filmmaker Andrew Morgan Talks Toxic Global Garment Industry Oppression, Commercial Advertising Propaganda In Collusion, And 'Poverty Is Not An Accident'; Australian Director Gillian Armstrong On Her Designer Orry-Kelly Doc 'Women He's Undressed,' And Something To Do With Kathryn Hepburn, Busby Berkeley And Betty Davis Bras, Not Eyes,

**Andrew Morgan Talks The True Cost: 'Poverty Is Not An Accident.' The filmmaker is on the line to Arts Express from London to talk about the greed, power, poverty and fear surrounding the global fashion industry, that is exposed in his documentary. The LA based director delves into what deeply disturbed him about the clothing manufacturing multinationals, that led him to embark on an investigation traveling the globe to uncover the massive criminal evidence targeting those exploited and victimized garment workers everywhere, making clothes for the world. Morgan also considers what is to be done, along with scrutinizing how the toxic effects of commercial propaganda known as advertising, factor in. Out on DVD.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Bro On The Euro-Cultural Beat: Arts Express Paris Correspondent Professor Dennis Broe's outsider analysis of the US presidential race, '2016's Game Of Thrones.' Probing one of the most bizarre election periods in US history, where 'each is not the other, and the other is unthinkable.'
Broe also presents on location updates on the current mass uprising protests across France, verging on revolution.

**Women He's Undressed: Australian New Wave director Gillian Armstrong [My Brilliant Career] phones in from Toronto to delve into her multimedia documentary biopic out on DVD, about the late distinguished Hollywood costume designer, Orry-Kelly. And the many screen actresses he dressed through the years, including Kathryn Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Betty Grable, Ingrid Bergman, Marilyn Monroe, and the women of the Busby Berkeley chorus lines. And something having to do, not with Bette Davis eyes, but rather Bette Davis bras.
  
Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Arts Express: Tony Danza Talks Standards & Stories, Taxi, Tupac Shakur Friendship; Baton Rouge Radio: Sister Station Conversation; Triumph Of The Hill

        Clinton's Leni Riefenstahl Moment: Triumph Of The Hill

**Hillary's America: The Secret History Of The Democratic Party. Right wing filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza plummets the disturbing dark side, duplicitous depths of the Democrats and Hillary. But in his bid to promote the Republicans as a presidential election alternative, his documentary may ironically send audiences in droves left, to Jill Stein's Green Party instead. A Commentary.

**Tony Danza Talks Standards & Stories. The veteran star of the small screen classic Taxi, phone in to Arts Express to describe his latest on stage unique fusion of storytelling, music and song. Along with sharing memories of his special friendship with the late rapper legend Tupac Shakur when Tupac was behind bars. Also, how Danza's blue collar roots as the son of a garbage collector, has informed the genuinely conceived workingclass characters he's portrayed.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Sister Station Conversations: Our continuing series featuring affiliate stations airing Arts Express. This week, Arts Scouts on WHYR-FM, Baton Rouge Community Radio, presents a segment examining the legacy of racism and brutality traced back through the horrific history of slavery in Louisiana. The episode is The Art Of Understanding. From plantations to mass incarcerations, personified in particular at the former slave plantation that is Angola Prison, and a difficult history resurrected today in museums and historic sites there.
  

Pete's Dragon

Adapted from the 1977 Disney original - or rather re-imagined from a musical into a lost and found kid in the woods adventure, Pete's Dragon has moved away from full blown fantasy mode into a somewhat parallel universe of hallucination and reality. But with the curious effect that neither dominates nor effectively intertwines.

Oakes Fegley is the Pete in question, a child abruptly orphaned when his parents die in a car crash while the family is driving in the wilderness on vacation. A terrified Pete finds himself quite alone and threatened by animals roaming the forest, but an enormous dragon living there saves and protects the boy. Some years later, Pete is now a wild child inhabiting the woodland. That is, until a forest ranger (Bryce Dallas Howard) discovers him hiding there.

And following a pursuit of the frightened boy clearly terrified of humans, she brings him home for some maternal domestication. Which happens to include Robert Redford as the presiding patriarch of the household, who is somewhat nearly as much into a belief in the existence of supernatural beings as the boy is.

Meanwhile several subplots ensue, including the lonely dragon pining for his disappeared pal, and a gang of suspect lumberjacks with malice on their minds regarding intent to corner and capture the dragon - for what purpose is never made quite clear. At the same time, the forest is alarmingly being decimated of its trees, though the oversized creature bears some of the blame along with the loggers.

Pete's Dragon seems a bit off the beaten path, narratively as well as visually, with an alternately dark and daffy story seemingly having lost its way in lagging behind assorted loose ends that could use some tying up. Along with subplots concerning loss, grief, imaginary friends and environmental consciousness for kids that never materialize enough for this predominantly somber tall tale, to latch on to a clearing out of these woods. Not to mention a little Paul Bunyan pick-me-up that would have been in order, to lighten up this solemn when not magical yarn.

Prairie Miller

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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Arts Express: Matthew Modine, Bro On The Euro-Cultural Beat, And French Bosses Telling Laid Off Suicidal Workers To 'Leave By The Door Or The Window.'

      MODINE IN THE ANTI-WAR CLASSIC, FULL METAL JACKET

**Matthew Modine Talks Stranger Things: While referencing Kubrick, Altman, Ferrara, Oliver Stone, and what those iconic filmmakers taught him about creative inspiration while starring in their movies; filming about Occupy Movement; Hitchcock, the pyramids, his father's drive-in theater, Hitler's bunker in Berlin; terror on screen and in the real world, and sci-fi government oppression on the small screen in Stranger Things.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Bro On The Euro-Cultural Beat: Arts Express Paris Correspondent Professor Dennis Broe presenting unfiltered global news with a cultural perspective. And connecting Nice, Syria, financial fraud and Icelandic bankers; mass protests in the streets across France, multinational tax shelters infamously known as Treasure Islands; French workers bullied in the workplace by disembodied robotic voices known as The Talkman, and labor layoffs and suicides with bosses declaring that workers leave 'one way or another - either by the door or by the window.'

**Outlaws And Angels: A Conversation With Francis Fisher. The actress is on the line from LA discussing revisionist, anti-mythologized westerns; starring alongside daughter Francesca Eastwood who plays an enigmatic frontier rebel in the movie; what violent westerns are saying about the society we find ourselves in today; and what's up with massive disappeared California ballots and the strange presidential election currently in progress. 

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

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Free State Of Jones: Buried US History Of Righteous Rural Guerrilla Warfare Reignites On Screen

       
        Women In Black: Female Action Hero Women Warriors

As foreign and alien a concept as mass uprising and guerilla warfare have been made to appear in official US history - and more recently by its ideological accomplice, the corporate media - a fiery history of such events has existed, however buried but defiantly bubbling beneath the surface. And films, whether documentary or docudrama, have increasingly emerged to bring to life the truth, courage, sacrifices and indeed inspiration of that suppressed past.

And which could not be more vividly and defiantly portrayed at the moment, in the historical drama, Free State Of Jones - a breathlessly captivating chronicle of no less than a guerrilla warfare peasant uprising revolutionary movement in this country back during the Civil War. And yet a film that very possibly could have only been made at the historical moment in time. As seemingly ignited by the Occupy Movement, Black Lives Matter, and the current mass momentum of youth in economic crisis today fueling the newly emerging rebel anti-establishment political impulses shaking up the presidential election period right now - and immune to the enduring post-McCarthyite state terrorism propaganda that previous generations have been steeped in.

The film is directed by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games), son of the late Red Scare blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Arthur Ross - best known for the Oscar-nominated Brubaker and as co-writer of The Creature From The Black Lagoon. Free State Of Jones resurrects the deliberately deleted history of a rural Mississippi insurrectionary uprising in the South during the Civil War, and led by farmer and Confederate Army deserter, Newt Knight - in a mesmerizing gritty, humble and courageously stoic performance by Matthew McConaughey. And Knight became increasingly horrified and disgusted not only by the senseless and massive slaughter of the war - with over 600,000 deaths, second only to the Vietnam loss of US lives - and in terms of the US population today what would have represented seven million deaths on the battlefield. Along with thirty percent of the Southern white male population wiped out in that war, most of them poor farmers - while plantation slaveholders were declared exempt from the draft.

At the same time as depicted in the film, was the naked brutality of the Confederate Army, seizing the crops, livestock and possessions of terrorized farmers for war supplies - and their male offspring to serve as child soldiers  - consigning the population to virtual starvation. Which leads Knight to amass a fierce and fiery, salt of the earth rural revolutionary guerrilla army staked out in the swamps, with escaped slaves and women warriors as well battling the army and plantation owners alike.

And these swamp guerrillas inspired, not just as anti-war or abolitionist, but in class struggle shaped by a collective consciousness conveyed through Knight's words and ideas - encapsulated as rebellion against a 'rich man's war,' seizing the socialist notion  - along with the confiscated crops of their labor in the fields - that "what you put in the ground nobody can take from you. It's as simple as that.' - and, "we say no man stay poor so another be rich." While the Union Army apparently opportunistically welcomed but later betrayed this Southern insurrection and mobilization of that Free State Of Jones County territory which Newt established.

And if there are insights to be gleaned from this short lived but heroic chapter in US history today, it's not just intimations of Democratic party vote rigging today that ensued during the repressive death squad Klan emergence following the war. But the US government as well, turning against them after exploiting them against the Confederacy during the war - evidently to extinguish a new and dangerous radical notion of social and economic equality sabotaging an emerging capitalism - ideas that just might spread North. As reported by Knight to his disheartened, now men without a country betrayed followers, "It seems we ain't got no country - only inside. So we'll be our own country."

Not that these ideas and impulses were anything new on the world stage. Witness the valiant uprising of that Paris Commune during that same period. And several decades earlier, two young men in their twenties collaborating on a pamphlet that would endure and inflame the masses everywhere, declaring - 'Workers of the World, Unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!' And those words of Marx and Engels back then, that still today reignite against capitalism - whether in the streets of Paris or on the screen with Free State Of Jones right now.

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

Prairie Miller

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Arts Express: Domenica Scorsese Talks Almost Paris - And Taking The Economy Personally


**Like Father, Not Like Daughter: A Conversation With Actress Turned Director Domenica Scorsese. The offspring of Martin Scorsese takes the economy personally in her first dramatic feature film, Almost Paris. Delving into the current economic crisis in this country and the stock market disaster, reflected in the class tensions and divisions within one suburban family. And a title incidentally taking on new meaning with the current Paris uprisings. Perhaps best known for her turn when just a teenager in father Martin Scorsese's scary thriller, Cape Fear in 1991, Domenica phones in to Arts Express from the Tribeca Film Festival where her movie premiered. And discussing her venture into filmmaking as dodging those stereotypical typecasting traps for actresses, of 'the mother, the whore and the crone.' Also, what Domenica and Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver happen to have in common; and a secret she has to share about her father.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Alessandro Rossellini Talks Viva Ingrid: The grandson of the late iconic director Roberto Rosselini is on the line from Rome to talk about the legacy of his eminent grandfather, and how he reinvented the existing landscape of cinema in the last century as the founder of the socio-economically fueled Neo-Realism - also known as the Golden Age of Italian Cinema. And Alessandro, like Domenica, has embarked on his first film - a tribute to his grandfather's muse and spouse Ingrid Bergman, in his short documentary Viva Ingrid. Premiering at the current Open Roads: New Italian Cinema series at Lincoln Center, the cinematic collage explores what Ingrid Bergman meant to both his family personally, and to the world. Including Rossellini's vividly raw innovative filmmaking that led Bergman to depart Hollywood stardom, and her subsequent public persecution in the US for her relationship with Rossellini while both were still married to others - a denunciation and blacklisting reaching into the highest levels of the US government back then. Our conversation touches as well on Karl Marx, McCarthyism, and how Roberto Rossellini's venture into filmmaking first surprisingly flourished under Mussolini.

**Hello, My Name Is Doris 


In no way Norma Rae and even less Mary Todd Lincoln regarding those characters she played, Sally Field nevertheless is not into complying with whatever stereotypical scraps  - the narrow spectrum of witches or grannies - are allotted to older actresses in movies. Embracing her role with geriatric gusto in Michael Showalter's Hello, My Name Is Doris. Field displays elder empowerment with eccentric charm and bold sexual desire - however freaky or fantastical.

Field as Doris is a cheerful but resentful Staten Island hoarding spinster and office clerk who as the sole female child in her family, got stuck with taking care of her widowed mother until she passed away in Doris' old age. And, while her brother as the conventionally privileged male, got to take off to get an education and raise a family. But when her mother dies, Doris is hit with the realization of how life has passed her by.

That is, until she rediscover long dormant erotic desires when John (Max Greenfield), a friendly young art director is hired by the office. Mistaking his attention for affection, Doris in frantic makeover mode and daffy day-glo duds, ends up going to great lengths to make a fool of herself. But so not what it seems, her inner sassy senior is rejuvenating as hell, illusion and whatnot.

Field oozes a giddy and kooky self-confidence throughout, though at times veering toward self-parody when a little less might have been a lot more. But her take it or leave it journey into Doris' world, is best consumed discarding any preconceived notions at the door.

Prairie Miller

**The Phenom

In odd ways a sports movie about baseball for eggheads and equally baseball for dummies, The Phenom seems to have as much on its mind literally as what's going down on the playing field. Which may somehow go a long way towards engaging both audiences, as to what turns them on about movies.

The Phenom also touches on a troubling topic trending lately on the big screen, namely younger generations in deep economic crisis today - and an older generation not enthused about guiding the way. The same might be said of a film opening at the same time - The Neon Demon. But tackling those disturbing realities from a female perspective instead.

The Phenom is steeped in the existential funk of an emotionally despairing small town youth Hopper (Johnny Simmons) who discovers - much to his perplexed ambivalence - a rare talent as a top baseball pitcher - which gets him fast tracked by coaches into the major leagues. But a lack of self-confidence compounded by a dysfunctional family counting a kind of ruthless stage parent type of ex-con father (Ethan Hawke), sends him back into the minor leagues and time out for sports therapy from a philosophical shrink (Paul Giamatti) as the prescribed cure.

Written and directed by Noah Buschel, The Phenom  - despite a final narrative inning that feels abrupt and incomplete - has an ample supply of intellectual reflections on hand to ponder for competitive sports couch potatoes like myself. Including references to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marx and Paul Robeson along the way. And though the film may feel as incongruous as other side of the tracks Hopper's odd couple relationship with upscale brainy coed Dorothy (Sophie Kennedy Clark) to those anticipating an all action no introspective gab movie - the rewards for this dramatic excursion with much more to share than simply baseball, can deliver quality spectator satisfaction.

Prairie Miller

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Arts Express: Ken Loach Anti-Capitalist Top Prize Triumph At Cannes; Paul Winter, Pete Seeger



            PAUL WINTER CONSORT: WONDERING SOUND

**A Conversation With Paul Winter. The eminent musician discusses Pete-Pak, an original compilation he put together to honor the late iconic legend and friend, Pete Seeger. A collectors edition treasure trove of activist songs and performances incorporating Beethoven, Martin Luther King, coal mining country wordsmith Don West, and Brazilian musical collaboration. Winter also delves into the energy and joy inspiring his own music, and his upcoming Summer Solstice event at NY's massive St John's Cathedral in June. Musical interludes will air throughout this segment.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Broe On The World Film Beat: Highlighting the anti-capitalist Ken Loach drama 'I, Daniel Blake' taking top prize at Cannes. Arts Express Paris correspondent Dennis Broe on location at Cannes with a full report. Including Sonia Braga battling greedy land developers in Aquarius, and the modeling industry horror film Neon Dreams.  In which the literally cutthroat fashion world is plagued by undead models even further divorced from their bodies, when not clad in gold attire signifying their transformation into commodities.

Also, excerpts from the Ken Loach Cannes press conference. And, Loach remarking how strange to receive the award in such glamorous surroundings, considering the conditions endured by those people who inspired the film.  "We must say that another world is possible and necessary."  

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Arts Express: Ciaran Hinds Talks Last Days In The Desert, The Crucible, And Devils On Demand



**Ciaran Hinds discusses his starring role in Last Days In The Desert. In which Ewan McGregor portrays both Christ and the devil, and with Hinds playing devils of his own at least three times on stage and in movies. Also, the Irish actor's current stage performance on Broadway in Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

**Rosie O'Donnell at the Fountain House Suicide Symposium: Talking about mental health issues - others and her own. And doing her best to make the Republican swells and donors on the premises laugh, while referencing Eugene O'Neill and Donald Trump. 

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Fathers And Grandsons: Following in the enormous shoes of preceding patriarchs: A conversation with Ethan Gregory Peck, grandson of Gregory. And Ethan's starring role in the revisionist terror tale, The Curse Of Sleeping Beauty, in which a woman takes charge and he's the dude in distress. Also up for discussion is Gregory Peck's screen production of Daniel Berrigan's The Trial of The Catonsville Nine, Peck's name on Nixon's Enemies List, and his Nam anti-war activism. And how if Gregory Peck were still around, Ethan would ask his advice on 'how to be a man.' 


**Rob Reiner Talks Being Charlie: And, was his right wing father-in-law Archie Bunker in All In The Family, a premonition of Donald Trump's presidential bid to come? A conversation with Reiner about his directing collaboration on being Charlie with screenwriter son, Nick Reiner, focusing on Nick's struggle with drug addiction. And both of them faced with the challenge of 'coming out from the long shadow of a successful father.'
 

**The Cannes Film Festival Report: Arts Express correspondent Professor Dennis Broe on the world film beat at Cannes, investigating: Can the spectacle of cinema erase the spectacle of joblessness. Plus money monsters on and off screen; financial terrorism,  mercenaries and five hundred surveillance cameras; And, totalitarian entertainment: condemnation or collusion.

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

Arts Express: Rob Reiner Talks Being Charlie; The Cannes Film Festival Report



**Rob Reiner Talks Being Charlie: And, was his right wing father-in-law Archie Bunker in All In The Family, a premonition of Donald Trump's presidential bid to come? A conversation with Reiner about his directing collaboration on being Charlie with screenwriter son, Nick Reiner, focusing on Nick's struggle with drug addiction. And both of them faced with the challenge of 'coming out from the long shadow of a successful father.'
 

**The Cannes Film Festival Report: Arts Express correspondent Professor Dennis Broe on the world film beat at Cannes, investigating: Can the spectacle of cinema erase the spectacle of joblessness. Plus money monsters on and off screen; financial terrorism,  mercenaries and five hundred surveillance cameras; And, totalitarian entertainment: condemnation or collusion.

**Rosie O'Donnell at the Fountain House Suicide Symposium:
Talking about mental health issues - others and her own. And doing her best to make the Republican swells and donors on the premises laugh, while referencing Eugene O'Neill and Donald Trump.


LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Fathers And Grandsons: Following in the enormous shoes of preceding patriarchs: A conversation with Ethan Gregory Peck, grandson of Gregory. And Ethan's starring role in the revisionist terror tale, The Curse Of Sleeping Beauty, in which a woman takes charge and he's the dude in distress. Also up for discussion is Gregory Peck's screen production of Daniel Berrigan's The Trial of The Catonsville Nine, Peck's name on Nixon's Enemies List, and his Nam anti-war activism. And how if Gregory Peck were still around, Ethan would ask his advice on 'how to be a man.'

**Ciaran Hinds discusses yet another revisionist film, his starring role in Last Days In The Desert. In which Ewan McGregor portrays both Christ and the devil, and with Hinds playing devils of his own at least three times on stage and in movies.
Also, the Irish actor's current stage performance on Broadway in Arthur Miller's The Crucible.


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


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mr. Smith Does Not Go To Washington: Treat Williams Talks Dismayed And Dropping Out Of DC Politics, In The Congressman.


**Mr. Smith Does Not Go To Washington: Treat Williams talks dismayed and dropping out of DC politics, in his latest movie as, The Congressman. Along with thoughts about his own representative from up at his Vermont farm where the actor lives to get away from it all, Bernie Sanders.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Blood At The Root: Race on stage dramatizing the case of the Jena Six
, a production of the National Black Theatre. A conversation with the director John McCrory and producer Camille Forbes. Chris Butters reports.

**Nuit Debout - Why Not!: French screen legend and Godard muse Anna Karina phones in to Arts Express to discuss a New Wave classics retrospective touring this country. And her thoughts about new generations of French youth breaking ground as well, in the streets.

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

 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Arts Express: Mothers and Daughters; The Nuit Debut Diaries; Janis Joplin; Carousels, McCarthyism and Twilight Zone Aliens



ELAINE AND VIRGINIA MADSEN: I KNOW A WOMAN LIKE THAT

**I Know A Woman Like That: Mother/daughter documentary collaboration of actress Virginia Madsen and filmmaker Elaine Madsen, celebrating the vital and creative lives of older women. And featuring Rita Moreno, the only Latina actress to have ever won an Oscar - and that was over half a century ago, for West Side Story in 1961. Elaine is on the line from LA, and Virginia is phoning in to the show from Toronto, where she's filming future television episodes of American Gothic.

**Broe On The European Cultural Beat: The Nuit Debout Diaries. A continuing series of Arts Express Paris correspondent Professor Dennis Broe, on location there with updates from the mass labor and student protest movements. Which he indicates have spread to sixty cities across France, while currently spilling into Belgium as well. And with the possibility that Nuit Debut may turn up at the Cannes Film Festival, where Broe will be filing his on location report next week.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Janis: Little Girl Blue: A two part series of remembrance of the life and work of the late iconic performer Janis Joplin, on the occasion of the debut release of the Amy Berg director's cut documentary on television. Celebrating the rock legend's musical impact and legacy. Older sister Laura Joplin phones in from California.

**The Carousel: A Size Doesn't Matter series at the Tribeca Film Festival. A look at the Jonathan Napolitano documentary short documentary screening at the Festival, and touching on the connection between Rod Serling's Twilight Zone, carousels, and McCarthyism. And Serling's observation about his television series during that repressive time, that aliens can say things others cannot.

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