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THE BOOK CLUB

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A number of years ago a friend challenged me to read the “50 Shades Trilogy”; over a 10- day time span I tackled E. L. James’ salacious scenario only to discover that she capitalized, and brought into the twenty-first-century, what had been practiced for millenniums in Asian cultures; Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele became paradigms of kinky, cutting edge, contemporary ... Read More »

RBG

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Amazing, that this tiny, wizened vessel houses one of the finest legal minds of the twenty-first century. Ruther Bader Ginsburg, born in Brooklyn, 1933, the beautiful second child of immigrants, soared from an early age until the present. She is a mega-force as a Supreme Court Justice (appointed by President Clinton in 1993), now known more for her dissents than ... Read More »

DISOBEDIENCE

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Director Sebastian Lelio (“Fantastic Woman”) gifts viewers a profound glimpse into a world of concrete, inflexible dictates; religious dogma that shuns flexibility, turning away from an alternate lifestyle; cauterizing, condemning individuality; painful to experience but impossible to ignore. “Disobedience” focuses on “Ronit” (dazzling Rachel Weisz) a photographer, living in New York, returning to London, after her father’s death; her agony ... Read More »

TULLY

Charlize Theron stars as Marlo in Jason Reitman's TULLY, a Focus Features release.

Actors Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis give worthy performances in a film that never satisfies, just overwhelms in its averageness. Theron, as  “Marlo” a pneumatic, beleaguered housewife, sinking unconstrained, into an emotional morass after the birth of her third child; enter “Tully” (Davis) a night nanny, designed to cure postpartum depression with huge injections of effervescence. It works for awhile ... Read More »

THE RIDER

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There’s a quiet serenity, gentle integrity informing the entirety of this autobiographical movie; real people recording a traumatic, life-altering episode in their lives; Brady “Blackburn”(Jandreau) a Lakota Sioux cowboy, plays himself; he has sustained a severe head injury in a rodeo ring, his performance is staggering in its sincerity, not an ounce of self-aggrandizement, or pity touches his young spirit; ... Read More »

KINGS

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The single redeeming factor of  director/writer Deniz Gamze Ergoven’s (“Mustang”) “Kings” is the archival footage of the March 3rd, 1991 beating of Rodney King and the subsequent riots on April 29th, 1992 after three police officers were acquitted of the crime; South Central L.A. suffered a conflagration of catastrophic proportions; one of the bleakest, historical stains of the twentieth century. ... Read More »

TRAFFIK

Paula Patton stars in Traffik
Photo: Scott Everett White/Codeblack Films

Human trafficking is a mega, insidious business, a pandemic that has infected a myriad of countries; it is the fastest growing source, behind drugs and arms trade, of income for organized crime. Television and film(“Human Trafficking”, “The Whistleblower”, “The Jammed”) have focused on this cancer to little avail; millions of young lives (primarily female) are sacrificed to the highest bidders, ... Read More »

KODACHROME (NETFLIX & IN THEATRES)

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From its commencement in the 5th century B.C. with the camera obscura,  followed by the collaboration of Joseph Niepce and Louis Daguerre, with the Daguerreotype to the invention of Kodachrome (1955-2010) by Eastman Kodak, man’s fascination with codifying the moment, freezing forever, a portrait of what was, has been ubiquitous through time. “Kodachrome” is a study in nostalgia, a whimsical ... Read More »

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

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This disturbing, fragmented film directed by Lynne Ramsay is an episode, a “bubble” in a troubled, haunted, suicidal man, “Joe”; only Joaquin Phoenix could grasp the intricacies, trauma of this overwhelmingly disenfranchised, complicated character’s life.  Joe, a defender of the righteous, a slayer of the untoward, a savior of the unprotected; his mission accomplished with “hammer” like precision. With the ... Read More »

BEIRUT

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In 1972, Beirut, Lebanon (one of the oldest civilizations in the world), a magnificent city referred to as the “Paris of the East”, lives U.S. diplomat “Mason Skiles” (Jon Hamm) his wife “Nadia” (Leila Bekhit) and their ward “Karim” (Yoav Sadian Rosenberg), a thirteen-year-old Palestinian refugee; into a benign, multi-cultural cocktail party, a terrorist group shatters, irrevocably, Mason’s harmonious lifestyle. ... Read More »

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