Marvel’s Behind the Mask is an hour-long documentary seeking to explore identity and what it means when it comes to wearing the mask. Who wears the mask? Not so much the superhero character but the people who put on these masks. Who exactly are they and what makes them do what they do? This question really comes down to the core of identity. Through the course of an hour, a number of scholars, historians, filmmakers,…"Marvel’s Behind the Mask Hits Disney+ on Friday"
The Beatles arrived to the United States during a time when America needed them and I Wanna Hold Your Hand captures the Beatlemania. Americans were still mourning the late President John F. Kennedy in February 1964. They needed this almost as much as The Beatles themselves. All eyes were tuned into The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS that evening for a record-setting 73 million Americans tuned in for their first U.S. performance. Television programmers today…"I Wanna Hold Your Hand Celebrates Beatlemania"
Happy Times, the new film from director Michael Mayer, has a Quentin Tarantino vibe in this what-could-possibly-go-wrong film. I have a bone to pick about the film’s synopsis. It is described as a Shabbat dinner party. This could not be more wrong. For one, aside from the pre-dinner activities, the whole dinner party takes place following Shabbas. In this regard, the film should be billed as a Havdalah party because THAT is what is happening. …"Happy Times Has A Quentin Tarantino Vibe"
Actress Rebecca Hall marks her directorial debut with Passing as she beautifully adapts Nella Larsen’s Harlem-set novella for the screen. When I found out that Rebecca Hall was making this film her directorial debut, I thought how is she qualified to tell a story about two Black women. I never looked up Hall’s background before. I would subsequently learn that her mother is opera singer Marie Ewing. Ewing happens to be of a mixed racial…"Sundance 2021: Passing"
Edgar Wright brings Ron and Russell Mael’s story to the screen in The Sparks Brothers and their impact on rock music after 50 years. There’s a chance that you’ve probably never heard of Sparks. But what you don’t know is that they are an inspiration to your favorite band. Or at least one of them, anyway. Ron and Russell Mael’s story starts in California. It later takes them across the pond to the United Kingdom. …"Sundance 2021: The Sparks Brothers"
Wild Indian is a compelling thriller about a Native American who has essentially rebuilt his life in order to move beyond his past. Makwa (Michael Greyeyes) has long since moved away from the reservation where he grew up. It isn’t only that he grew up there but he covered up a classmates murder decades earlier. But here’s the thing about covering up a murder, nobody is ever really safe. Even if one thinks they are…"Sundance 2021: Wild Indian"
Malcolm and Marie isn’t just a comment on filmmaking but it’s a film that takes the best advantage of creativity during a pandemic. I’ve seen a few films so far that have been shot during the Covid-19 pandemic. Or they were finished after the pandemic. In any event, this film takes the prize. THIS is how you direct and produce a film during a pandemic. Every aspect of production was completed between April and September…"Malcolm and Marie: A Bona Fide Awards Contender"
Misha and the Wolves tells the story of Misha Defonseca in this-really-happened documentary that is truly stranger-than-fiction. Misha Defonseca was only 7 years old when her parents were arrested and taken by the Nazis. They were taken to Auschwitz. Sadly, we all know what happens next. You cannot blame her for doing what she can to survive. From watching films like Defiance, we know that many Jews would turn to the woods and hide. Misha…"Sundance 2021: Misha and the Wolves"
My Name is Pauli Murray, the newest film from Julie Cohen and Betsy West, introduces a new generation to the social justice activist. The film is a tight 91 minutes (including the credits, of course) but hits on all the main points. Going into the film, I didn’t know much about Pauli Murray. To be fair, I had never even heard of them until I saw that Cohen and West were making this documentary. In…"Sundance 2021: My Name is Pauli Murray"
The World to Come–launching in Venice last year–is the third period lesbian romance drama to grace the screen in as many years. Your eyes do not deceive you. Rather than France (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) or the United Kingdom (Ammonite), we find ourselves in the United States. The American Northeast to be exact. This is where we find Abigail (Katherine Waterston) and new neighbor Tallie (Vanessa Kirby). To no surprise, Abigail and Tallie…"Sundance 2021: The World to Come"