4 items from 2017
A fateful day is re-examined by its survivors, whose stories are told via a brilliant narrative arrangement, and the use of animated recreations is only one aspect of it. The Texas tower shootings put our present, everyday reign of violent terror in a humanist context. It’s not exploitative — the killer’s name is barely mentioned. It works, it’s riveting, and its positive message is one of calm sanity. Highly recommended.
2016 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 82 96 min. / Street Date March 21, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 34.95
Film Editor: Austin Reedy
Original Music: Osei Essed
Directed by Keith Maitland
- Glenn Erickson
Abortion. Alcoholism. Pedophilia. Slumlords. Assisted suicide. Civil rights. Criminal justice reform.
These are all timely topics for television drama in 2017. But they were also tackled, with gritty realism, more than a half century ago on two landmark CBS series: “The Defenders” (1961-65), starring E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed as crusading father-and-son defense attorneys, and “East Side/West Side” (1963-64), featuring George C. Scott as a New York City social worker, with Cicely Tyson as his able secretary. Tyson’s series regular role, coupled with the fact that she appeared with her natural hair, was groundbreaking in a fraught period of civil rights struggles.
The New Frontier era ushered in by President John F. Kennedy’s election marked a moment when the networks made room for “prestige” narrative series that dealt with weighty social issues. The appetite for serious fare was stoked by the May 1961 declaration by Kennedy’s FCC chairman, Newton »
- Cynthia Littleton
The Oscars celebrating the best of 1976 were a rarity, in that, almost all of the nominees for Best Picture are truly excellent and have gone on to become celebrated classics.
While Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky ultimately triumphed against its formidable competition, I feel, despite loving Rocky and the franchise it spawned, that it perhaps didn’t deserve to be named as Best Picture of 1976.
To me, the award should have gone to the brilliant razor sharp media satire that is Network.
Network follows the exploits of TV network Ubs and the complete and utter breakdown of its long-standing news anchor Howard Beale, who at has just been told he is to be fired in two weeks due to increasingly dwindling viewing figures.
Left on by his ratings-hungry bosses for his final broadcasts, Beale manages to »
- Graeme Robertson
‘Manchester by the Sea’ (Courtesy: Amazon Studios)
By: Carson Blackwelder
A fourth chance at an Oscar is right around the corner for Michelle Williams — despite how little screen time the actress racked up in Manchester by the Sea. Should the stars align, Williams will score a best supporting actress nomination at the 2017 ceremony. After you hear just how little of the film featured the 36-year-old, it might shock you — but let us just assure you that this isn’t a new accomplishment.
This site’s namesake, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, lists Williams as a frontrunner in the best supporting actress category this year alongside Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), and Greta Gerwig (20th Century Women). The Montana-born actress has already scored three Oscar nominations: in the best supporting actress category for 2005’s Brokeback Mountain as well as in the best actress category »
- Carson Blackwelder
4 items from 2017
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