6 items from 2015
Anne Marie of "A Year With Kate" fame returning to Tfe with a new series!
Welcome to Women’s Pictures, a new series dedicated to celebrating female directors. From the matriarchal melodramas of the 50s (from which this series draws its name), to the 90s chick flicks, to the surprisingly durable stereotype that female filmmakers aren’t mainstream enough for “big” pictures, films for women or by women continue to be ignored or maligned. To this I say: Screw that! Women directors are as varied and interesting as the many movies they make.
Each month, we will examine four(ish) movies by a female director in chronological order. All genres, time periods, creeds, colors, and languages are open for examination. We’ll meet auteurs we might have missed, shine a light on corners of cinema previously obscured, and maybe even redefine what “Women’s Pictures” means.
This month, in honor of Black History Month, »
- Anne Marie
Ava DuVernay does not possess a romantic view of filmmaking or the film industry. The former publicist admits to never having considered filmmaking as a career growing up and did not make her first short film “until” her early 30s. In the ten years since, she’s helmed a bevy of projects including impressive and underrated dramatic indie features like Middle of Nowhere and I Will Follow, documentaries on subjects ranging from hip-hop to Venus Williams, numerous shorts, and even an episode of Scandal. And as the director of the magnificent Selma, she’s reached a level of recognition that’s rarely permitted to women filmmakers of color, even despite the Academy’s embarrassing Best Director snub. Selma has created a platform of renewed attention toward DuVernay’s earlier narrative features, recently made available on disc and streaming. These films together paint the picture of a confident, incisive, and elegant filmmaking style never satisfied to reside in »
- Landon Palmer
Let's take a break from the "Selma" Oscar snub controversy and just talk about how director Ava DuVernay got here. She was a longtime film publicist who, just under a decade ago, ventured into moviemaking with short films, made her first documentary, "This is the Life," in 2008, and followed up with features "I Will Follow" in 2010 and "Middle of Nowhere" 2012. The latter really put her on the radar, marked her first pairing with David Oyelowo, who would go on to lead her Best Picture nominee "Selma," and now, you too can check out the movie that really got the buzz on DuVernay going. Featuring Emayatzy Corinealdi, Omari Hardwick, Edwina Findley, Sharon Lawrence, and Lorraine Toussaint (also in "Selma"), the movie follows Ruby, a medical student whose marriage to Derek hits a roadblock when he goes to prison four years ago. As she struggles to keep hope alive, she crosses paths with. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
As "Middle of Nowhere" is released on DVD this week, the film she made before that, "I Will Follow," is now streaming on Netflix. So a double punch of Ava DuVernay, coming to you in the same week. Although we could make that a triple, since her latest, "Selma," is now in wide theatrical release. All major platforms covered: a new film in theaters; the film she made before that one, new on DVD and digital download (to buy or rent); and the film she made before that one, available to stream, via Netflix. But regarding "I Will Follow," as I said in my review of it 4 years ago, it’s an ambitious little film, given its really thin budget (much less »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Following the New York premiere of “Selma,” a dramatic account of a pivotal chapter in the civil rights movement, director Ava DuVernay, actor David Oyelowo and other cast members took to the steps of the city’s public library, raising their arms in the “don’t shoot” pose and wearing T-shirts bearing the last words of slain Staten Island resident Eric Garner: “I can’t breathe.” The red-carpet event and protest unfolded on the same December weekend that saw more than 25,000 demonstrators march through the streets of Manhattan after a grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the choking death of Garner.
It was a surprisingly blunt statement of political and artistic intent for a film that likely would have struck a resonant chord in any year — not least because it’s the first theatrical feature ever made about the life of Martin Luther Jr. (Oyelowo), and »
- Justin Chang
'Selma' movie review: Politically salient in the early 21st century and 'beautiful in all the ways of cinema' (photo: David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. in 'Selma') The title of director Ava DuVernay's historical drama Selma tells us what the film is about, while implying what it isn't about. In other words, Selma is not about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. -- wonderfully played by British actor David Oyelowo -- even though the reverend is the film's gravitational center and its emotional weight accrues to him. Just like what took place in Selma, Alabama, back in 1965. In fact, Oyelowo's presence is as transfixing as that of the young Ben Kingsley in his transformative interpretation of Gandhi in Sir Richard Attenborough's 1982 titular classic about one of Dr. King's inspirational figures. Unlike Gandhi, however, Selma is a single canvas on which a few months in Dr. »
- Tim Cogshell
6 items from 2015
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