Reynolda Film Festival

March 27, 2011

Check out the schedule for the Reynolda Film Festival:

There are lots of great films, speakers, and special events.  This is a student run festival that focuses on student films in competition.  All events are open to the public, and many of them are free of charge.  BTW…I think special speaker Jason Reitman’s best film is his first, Thank You for Smoking.  If you haven’t seen it yet, take advantage of this opportunity!

March March 30 - April 2



March 27, 2011

I finished reading, Just Kids, Patti Smith’s memoir (dealing largely with her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe and her emergence as an artist).  What a smart, brave, innovative woman…an honest book that captures and conveys more than the words on the page.

Last night, as I neared the end of the book, I turned to my computer to listen to some of her major works and look at images of her and of Mapplethorpe that are not included in the book (though my electronic edition does have some photos and illustrations).  So nice to have so much at our fingertips…

Triangle Doc to Air on CNN Tonight

March 26, 2011

If you don’t have HBO but do have cable, check out Triangle:  Remembering the Fire tonight at 11 p.m. on CNN.  You won’t regret making the effort.

This is a profoundly moving and still relevant film.  Take a look.



March 25, 2011

It’s true that The Office has fallen off (sometimes precipitously) in recent years with a funny, insightful episodes becoming the exception instead of the rule, but I was moved by Michael’s proposal to Holly last night.  These two characters are perfect for one another, and this is a graceful way to take Steve Carell off the series.  Despite the fact that he infuriates me, I could never really hate Michael.  That was part of the beauty of the series:  getting me to continue to pull for the guy despite having so many reasons not to do so.


March 24, 2011

I’m no hipster and don’t really find them all that interesting typically (though the Montreal setting is fun).  But, I do understand a thing or two about desire and longing.

Heartbeats pivots on a love triangle:  a young woman and her male friend both fall for the same guy, and I’m a little confounded by that because, though he is cute, he is also a bit of a cipher.  Maybe it is just pheromones or some other form of that ineffable je ne sais quoi.  Whatever.

This is the second feature by 21-year-old Québécois Xavier Dolan, and Heartbeats (French title Les Amours Imaginaires, which conveys a bit more about the story) won critical praise as an Official Selection at Cannes last year.

If the director is precocious (and it appears he is), so is the film.

While I think it has some pacing issues and I never developed any affection for or  deeep connection with the characters, it is hard to deny the palpability of their angst and…well…the ache rising out of all that intense longing.  Who hasn’t been in that spot at some point or another?

There are also some lovely moments in the film, some that are authentic on an emotional level and others that are just gorgeous cinematically.  Certainly, this film is worth seeing, especially if you are long past finding fulfillment with formulaic romantic comedies.

Opening at a/perture April 1st.




March 24, 2011

If you have HBO, watch/record the documentary Triangle:  Remembering the Fire when it airs again tomorrow night.  (Is also available for a limited time on HBO on Demand.)

The film (running time about 45 minutes) premiered on March 21, 2011 to mark the 100th anniversary of the factory fire that killed 146 workers – most of them young immigrant women and girls – and provoked public outrage that gave the labor movement traction it had found difficult to gain before the tragedy.

Some people believe we are entering a new Gilded Age, and various economic statistics suggest troubling trends in this direction.  Triangle:  Remembering the Fire is more than a profoundly moving historical documentary; it is also a cautionary tale that speaks to our own time.


March 22, 2011

The documentary Budrus will be screened on the Wake Forest campus in Annenberg Forum of Carswell Hall on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m.  Producer Jessica Devaney will be onhand to answer questions following the film.

Budrus is the name of a Palestinean village in the West Bank, and this film looks at a largely non-violent protest during 2003-2004 when Israeli forces started construction of a security fence that was to uproot hundreds of olive trees in Budrus.  This film, which has enjoyed a successful run on the film festival circuit, offers an inside look at that conflict, and it is a compelling story.

The screening is free and open to the public.