The Sapphires is a feel-good film about being "black" in a cross-cultural context. I loved it.
Based on the true story of four Aboriginal women who form a singing group and are invited to Vietnam to perform for American troops during the 1960's, the film has been lazily dubbed "the Australian version of Dreamgirls." But it's a lot more than that. So, when I saw the American DVD cover of the film, I cringed a little. It's at left below, compared to the original Australian cover:
Photo: Kristin Wiig, crying some beach tears in Girl Most Likely.
There's a certain risk involved in being excited for a film. High expectations often lead to disappointment, especially when you spend two years anticipating a film.
Such was the case with Girl Most Likelyand me. When I first heard about this film, it was called Imogene and still in pre-production. The premise intrigued me immediately: a female playwright fakes a suicide attempt and is forced into the custody of her overbearing mother.
Isn't there room in the '80s sex-comedy canon for comedies that let girls be just as goofy, hedonistic, and—perhaps most important—consequence-free as their dumb-fun boy counterparts? There is—it's just that it hasn't come out until now.
"Oh, I believe [Martin] played a huge role in his death.[...] When George confronted him, he could have walked away and gone home." —Juror B37, State of Florida vs George Zimmerman
Director Ryan Coogler's new filmFruitvale Station is everywhere. The small-budget drama about the life and death of 22-year-old Bay Area resident Oscar Grant has become a national hit and, while the film is a sensation, its beauty lies in the level of attention it pays to the life and setting that it captures. The film dwells on the details of Hayward, Oakland, the rumble of BART trains, a mother, a daughter, and the frustrations and concerns of a young man named Oscar Grant.
The statistics from the 2011 National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs are grim. Trans people were almost two times as likely to experience injuries than cis people. Transgender people of color were 28 percent more likely to experience physical violence compared to people who were not transgender people of color. And people under 30 were the most likely to experience sexual and physical violence.
2011 was also the year that Shelley "Treasure" Hilliard was horrifically murdered in Detroit. Only 19 years old, Hilliard was an active member in Detroit's LGBTQ youth community, and her death shook the activists, family, and friends around her. But TransParent, a new film, is going beyond the statistics to share the story of Shelley, her mother, and the community around them.
Now boarding at Gate 39: director Pedro Almodóvar takes his audience on a giddy ride with a frivolous sex comedy, leveling out at cruising altitude for ecstatic silliness.
Almodovar's new film I'm So Excited! Is a brightly colored 60's style pop art farce set on an airplane that's full of troubled characters and has no way to land. Think Airplane! but with even more sex, drugs, and relationship jokes (yes, it's possible).
A teen girl waits inside a creepy, empty house with a knife. She knows the killer is outside and she knows he's coming to kill her next. Her friends are dead, her clothes have been ripped to shreds, she is covered in blood, and she is all alone in the deserted house. But she is ready. She waits, ready to avenge her friends and save her own life. She is the Final Girl.