April 18, 2020

Eric Schaal/Life Magazine, via University of Wyoming   I cry so easily these days. I am on day 33 of quarantine in this time of the Corona-19 virus. Watching movies like “Jump Shot” moved me greatly and made me sob. Maybe its because of the innocence of the story, and the humility of the man who “invented” the jump shot as a 13 year-old kid in 1933 in Wyoming, playing hoops with his much taller brother. It was a basketball... Read more

March 20, 2020

Bobby (James Le Gros) is middle-aged, divorced and a brilliant unpublished graphic novel artist. He lives alone in a  trailer somewhere behind the main street of Phoenix, Oregon where he works as a bartender at a restaurant owned by his obnoxious boss Kyle (Diedrich Bader)  who steals from the tip jar.  When Bobby goes home at night he muses over his art and wonders if his ex-wife ever thinks of him. His old friend Carlos (Jesse Borrego) is the head... Read more

March 13, 2020

Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) is a construction worker who lives alone, works all day and drinks away his evenings at the local bar, Harold’s Place, near the port. He’s a full-fledged alcoholic and manages to hide it from all except the men in the bar who help him get home every night. He starts drinking beer as soon as he gets up. He puts hard liquor in his water bottle and coffee cup. One day, out of the blue, Father... Read more

February 1, 2020

The tragic reality depicted in this year’s Oscar-nominated documentary “The Cave” from director Feras Fayyad (previously nominated for “Last Man in Aleppo”), though filmed in 2018, is real and it is current. Dr. Amani Ballour, a pediatrician and the featured hospital manager in the bombed-out city of Al Ghouta, Syria that is the subject of the film told me in an interview last week: “This movie is the truth, I want the audience to know this. This war on Syria’s... Read more

December 27, 2019

  “1917” is a relentless video game-like imagining of one day during World War I. Though it shows the horrors of war, Sam Mendes’ indulgent spectacle fails to take into account the audiences’ will or ability to sustain almost two hours of horror for a five-minute denouement. As a whole, the film fails cinematically even if some scenes are effective. It is not based on one true story, but an amalgamation of memories. Set in the trenches in France, mild-mannered British... Read more

May 8, 2019

CNN’s new original series, The Redemption Project with Van Jones, premiered at Easter and concludes in June. Be sure not to miss any of the remaining episodes airing on Sunday evenings at 9 PM Et/PT. You can catch past episodes on CNN mobile apps. This series, week after week, is an adventure is restorative justice through asking, giving and receiving forgiveness, opportunities for perpetrators of crimes to take responsibility for their actions. Restorative justice is the opposite of punitive justice... Read more

May 4, 2019

  I would like to introduce you to a film by the writer-director Richard Linklater of France: Oliver Assayas. This is so at least in his new film “Non-Fiction.” Why, you ask? Because he, the screenwriter, just cannot stop talking. After the first ten minutes of the film I thought I was listening to Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy talking and talking as they do in Linklater’s “Before” trilogy, hoping they would actually do something other than pose and re-pose at... Read more

May 2, 2019

Photo courtesy of (c) Amazon StudiosRafi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) lives in Mumbai with several other young men working to support themselves and send money back home. Rafi is particularly focused on earning enough to pay off debts and buy back the family home in his village. One day he takes a photo of Miloni (Sanya Malhotra), a young woman who is visiting the tourist attraction where he has stationed himself to take pictures and develop them on the spot for money.... Read more

May 2, 2019

This documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of this year and is now available on Netflix. It documents the primary campaigns of four female Democratic candidates who decide to run for the seats in Congress: Amy Vilela of Nevada, Cori Bush of Missouri, Paula Jean Swearengin of West Virginia, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Each of these candidates was chosen through the efforts of two organizations made up of people who supported Bernie Sanders in the... Read more

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