‘Trailblazers in Habits’ documents extraordinary women doing extraordinary things

Trailblazers5

 When I was growing up, I had a friend who went to Catholic school. For several years, I would spend the night at her house for New Year's Eve. We would try to stay up until midnight, but I never made it. What this public-school kid really liked about visiting her house, though, were the Catholic books and comic books she had. The most memorable of the comic books was, to me, the one about Bishop F.X. Ford of Maryknoll. My mom used to send $5 every Christmas to Maryknoll in memory of … [Read more...]

PBS Documentary marks 50th anniversary of the march on Washington

Unknown

 Almost every American above the age of 6 knows who Martin Luther King Jr. was because his name is attached to a federal holiday. No school and for some, no work. We learn, or we know, that because of what he and a group of courageous colleagues and collaborators organized in Washington, D.C., 50 years ago, the American South was legally desegregated in 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.In this new documentary on PBS, I learned a lot more about the … [Read more...]

“Kind Hearted Woman” story of a woman rising to new life PBS 4/1 Part One, 4/2 Part Two

KindHeartWoman

 April 1 Part One ET/PT 9-11PM  (check local listings)April 2 Part Two  ET/ 9PM-12AM (check local listings)Independent Lens/FrontlineRobin Charboneau is a young divorced single mother of two, an Oglala Sioux woman living on the Sprit Lake Reservation in North Dakota.  We first meet her as she walks home in subzero weather after twenty days in a rehab facility for alcohol abuse and its causes – extreme sexual abuse form a young age. Once home she invites a tribe elder to c … [Read more...]

“Oz the Great and Wonderful” is about the wizard of ‘id’

Michelle Williams stars in a scene from the movie "Oz the Great and Powerful." (CNS/Disney)

 "Oz the Great and Powerful" opens with Oscar "Oz" Diggs (James Franco), a self-centered small-time carnival magician and would-be ladies' man in Kansas more than a century ago. He tries to woo young women by including them in his shows, just as he tries to con the meager profits out of his assistant, Frank (Zach Braff). As the show is about to begin, Annie (Michelle Williams), perhaps the one woman Oscar truly loves, comes to tell him another man has asked her to marry him. She … [Read more...]

Three-part PBS documentary shines spotlight on key abolitionists

0107 The Abolitionists

 "The Abolitionists" American Experience, PBS 10 p.m./9 p.m. Central, Jan. 8, Jan. 15 and Jan. 22Tonight, a three-part documentary premieres on PBS that tells the story of the abolitionists and the movement they created in the United States to end slavery. The series comes at the right moment by providing the historical context, biographies and background to the passage of the 13th Amendment as shown in the Steven Spielberg's film "Lincoln," now in theaters. Yet Abraham Lincoln's … [Read more...]

‘Les Misérables’ a fusion of heaven and earth, sight and sound

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway star as Jean Valjean and Fantine, respectively, in "Les Miserables," the big-screen adaptation of the long-running stage show. (Universal Studios)

 Millions of people have seen the musical "Les Misérables" since the English version premiered in London in 1985 and New York in 1987. Countless others have read the original 1862 novel by Victor Hugo or seen the more than 70 film adaptations in 15 languages. (My personal favorites are the 1978 British telefilm starring Richard Jordan and the 1998 feature film with Liam Neeson, both playing Jean Valjean.)The tale of the suffering poor of France in the years following the French … [Read more...]

Children’s Holiday Collection: Ten animated classic stories

ClaymationWeb

 This wonderful collection of animated classic stories is a perfect stocking-stuffer for children of all ages. Created by Billy Budd Films in New York City, the films are child-friendly and most are done in wonderful claymation. The entire collection runs for 247 minutes allowing for variety and guaranteeing return visits by youngsters. Of all the films "Martin the Cobbler" by Leo Tolstoy is my favorite. Tolstoy's daughter Alexandria, is the narrator.   The Christmas stories on … [Read more...]

Seven Psychopaths – derivative retread hell

seven-psychopaths-poster

 "Seven Psychopaths" is what a filmmaker makes when he thinks no one is looking.  Writer/director Michael McDonagh has hit the skids of derivative and retread hell – think “Pulp Fiction” only on a smaller budget, if that’s possible. He says his new film has a moral conundrum (NY Times Magazine October 14, 2012) but if it does he does not commit to it.McDonagh also says he finds Shakespeare boring. Fine, everyone has a right to their own opinion. But why did you choose to become b … [Read more...]

“A Whisper to a Roar” tells of democracy’s heroes

A Whisper To A Roar

Dragons come in many forms.And so do heroes.This feature-length documentary from filmmaker Ben Moses chronicles the stories of key activists - and their close supporters - working for freedom and democracy in five countries: Robert Patino of Venezuela, Esraa Ahmed Fattah and Ahmed Maher of Egypt, Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia, Morgan Tsvangerai of Zimbabwe, and Viktor Yushchecko of Ukraine.Their stories are marked by incredible courage and sacrifice.Mr. Moses took his inspiration for … [Read more...]

“Weaving Life” “Where Do We Go Now?” and a “Girl with a Book” Images of peacemaking in the Middle East

9654

In the last month or so, a narrative film, a documentary and a poster on Facebook came across my desk. The films were sent for review, but the Facebook poster (or image) arrived in my newsfeed this morning, unbidden, a "share" from my youngest sister."Weaving Life" a documentary on The Life and Death of Peacemaker Dan Terry - is a film from MennoMedia that will air on participating ABC stations beginning Oct. 21 (check local listings). It is the story of Dan Terry, one of 10 humanitarian w … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X