The conversation on the bias and inequality in the entertainment industry has been going on for some time now. In 2015, the movement behind raising the bar for women in film and entertainment has thankfully stretched beyond idol mentions and has consistently boiled up into action beyond words. Tonight’s Moonfaze Feminist Film festival at LA Mother aims to “disrupt the status quo” of homogeneity and patriarchy by dedicating a night solely to outstanding talent in feminist film.
starz docnight - following sean - THURSDAY, JUNE 7
It’s been almost 40 years since the flower children were running around the streets of San Francisco with flowers in their hair. The camera has always been shown on the psychedelic streets of the Haight Ashbury district and the people of that time, turning society on their ear. But what about the actual children of those flower children?
Thursday, Starz FilmCenter and Denver Post’s Lisa Kennedy will host the monthly DocNight series, which will feature Following Sean, a documentary film by Ralph Arlyck and his young, four year-old neighbor at that time. The fifteen minute black and white film, originally titled Sean, shines with the bright and angelic face of Sean, who lived in from upstairs from Arlyck. You see him frolicking about the street barefoot and providing the young filmmaker with adult-like candor about smoking pot and other aspects of his lifestyle in this commune style apartment in San Francisco.
The Fog Of War (2003, Errol Morris)
Errol Morris's documentary on Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense under Kennedy and Johnson, somehow doesn't feel like a documentary. There are no other viewpoints, just an interview with McNamara, now 85, occasional tapes of conversations between McNamara and either of the two presidents he served under, and lots of war footage. Unlike so many documentaries, you are not piecing together a life from various opinions, but rather deciding what to believe and what not to believe, out of the mouth of a very skilled politician.
Morris has created a work that makes you think very seriously about the nature of war. McNamara is careful not to give clear answers--one of his bits of advice is to "Never answer the question you were asked, answer the question you wish you were asked," but the questions he is presumably answering (you rarely hear the voice of the interviewer) are such that almost no one would presume to be able to answer them. There could not be a much better time for this film than the present, as we're in a state of debate about what is a proper reason to go to war. One of the few definite statements McNamara makes is that a country should never go to war unilaterally: he says, "If you can't convince like-minded countries to go along with you, maybe you need to rethink your position."
fahrenheit 9/11 (michael moore)
There are staunch conservatives and Republicans that are already rallying against this movie site unseen, and for good reason. One can expect that their scared of losing control of the White House. Of those that were on the fence and were part of a focus group in Michigan, they left with their minds more than made up that Bush was not going to receive their vote for president. "We found that if you entered the theater on the fence, you fell off it somewhere during those two hours," Moore told the New York Times. "It ignites a fire in people who had given up."
After I left the Mayan Theater, the misty, rainy day met my mood of immense anger, frustration, and sadness, much like the day when the two towers fell. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore's new film fills in the blanks left by the national media's neglect in finding out the real facts behind the Bush administration's role in the war in Iraq, his family's ongoing business relationship with Saudi royals, and his friend's role in making money off of the war itself.
Kill Bill, Volume 1. (2003, Quentin Tarantino)
Oh, how happy am I to be able to type that name as the director of a movie again. Tarantino, it's been too long. But the master of American independent film is back, going over budget and over time in magnificent, gore-filled style.
Uma Thurman is The Bride, whose boss and husband-to-be (Bill) double-crossed her at the altar and left her for dead. Four years later, she's out to settle the score. She starts small, though, with O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu), of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (Think Charlie's Angels, but a lot more violent.)
Tarantino had to divide the film in half because he couldn't stomach the idea of trimming his baby down, but I think it's worth it. He switches film stocks, shooting the climactic fight scene in black and white, and even tossing in an anime sequence, all gloriously tongue-in-cheek. This homage to grind-house kung-fu flicks is well-choreographed, witty (though not as dialogue-heavy as his earlier movies), and of course, gory. I can't wait for Volume 2.
AMERICAN JOBS (GREG SPOTTS )
"If Nafta tonight threatened the jobs of editorial writers and network news anchors and Wall Street bankers, this bill wouldn't have a prayer."
That hard-hitting argument was made by Democratic Representative David R. Obey from Wisconsin as the House voted to renew NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement that has taken American jobs to other countries, from India to China.