Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Late Quartet (2012)

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A Late Quartet is a 2012 American drama film co-written (with Seth Grossman), produced, and directed by Yaron Zilberman.[3][4] The film uses chamber music played by the Brentano String Quartet and especially, Beethoven's Op. 131.[5] The film was released in Australia as Performance.

As the Fugue String quartet approaches its 25th anniversary, the onset of a debilitating illness to cellist, Peter Mitchell (Christopher Walken), forces its members to reevaluate their relationships. After being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, Peter announces his decision to play one final concert before he retires. Meanwhile the second violinist, Robert (Philip Seymour Hoffman), voices his desire to alternate the first violinist role, long held by Daniel (Mark Ivanir). Robert is married to Juliette (Catherine Keener), the viola player of the group. Upon discovering Juliette does not support him in this matter, Robert has a one-night stand. Further complicating matters, their daughter, Alexandra (Imogen Poots), begins an affair with Daniel, whom her mother once pined for. Yet bound together by their years of collaboration, the quartet will search for a fitting farewell to their shared passion of music and perhaps even a new beginning.

Definitely high-brow.  Beautifully done and ethereal music!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Obvious Child (2014)

This is a fine exploration of the impact of an unwanted pregnancy on a 20-something woman in Brooklyn.  It's funny, crude, and deep enough to be meaningful and memorable.  Importantly, it is entertaining as well.

For aspiring comedian Donna Stern, everyday life as a female twenty-something provides ample material for her incredibly relatable brand of humor. On stage, Donna is unapologetically herself, joking about topics as intimate as her sex life and as crude as her day-old underwear. But when Donna gets dumped, loses her job, and finds herself pregnant just in time for Valentine’s Day, she has to navigate the murky waters of independent adulthood for the first time. As she grapples with an uncertain financial future, an unwanted pregnancy, and a surprising new suitor, Donna begins to discover that the most terrifying thing about adulthood isn’t facing it all on her own.

Review

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Anonymous People (2012)

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THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE is a feature documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Historically, intense social stigma and discrimination have kept recovery voices silent. Mass media depictions of people with addiction have filled this vacuum, reinforcing stereotypes about people with a preventable and treatable health condition. There are over 23 million Americans in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. They, their family members, friends and allies are building a grass roots social justice movement. Courageous addiction recovery advocates have come out of the shadows and are organizing to end discrimination and the criminalization of addiction, and advance recovery-based solutions.

With the release of The Anonymous People documentary film, Faces & Voices of Recovery and our partners are collaborating to launch a new campaign, MANYFACES-1VOICE.ORG to engage and mobilize the newly emerging constituency to transform public attitudes and policies affecting people seeking or in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Whether behind the scenes or on the front line, every recovery voice is needed.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Once Were Warriors (1994)

Director Lee Tamahori's (Along Came a Spider) powerful adaptation of author Alan Duff's best-selling novel centers on the troubled life of a Maori family crippled by poverty, bigotry, alcoholism and domestic violence. Rena Owen stars as Beth Heke, a beleaguered mother who struggles to care for her three children while battling the demons of her erratic, often violent husband, Jake (Temuera Morrison).  103 minutes

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Dormant Beauty (2014)

Bella Adormantata (Ialian with English subtitles)

In 2009 the young Eluana Englaro because of an incident remains in a coma. The girl is deemed incurable and therefore the parents opt to commit an act of euthanasia for their daughter; but in Italy it isn't a legal to do this particular process, for which the Church and politics are hurled ruthlessly against the parents of Eluana. In the mean time some episodes occur among acquaintances of the girl, a young woman decides to kill herself wanting to ingest a massive dose of heroin, but she is persuaded to stop by a nurse; while a member of the political government of Berlusconi refuses to align himself with the party and plans to vote against a bill that will make euthanasia illegal.

NY Times Review June 6, 2014

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Finding Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was an American street photographer born in New York City. Although born in the U.S., it was in France that Maier spent most of her youth. Maier returned to the U.S. in 1951 where she took up work as a nanny and care-giver for the rest of her life. In her leisure however, Maier had begun to venture into the art of photography. Consistently taking photos over the course of five decades, she would ultimately leave over 100,000 negatives, most of them shot in Chicago and New York City. Vivian would further indulge in her passionate devotion to documenting the world around her through homemade films, recordings and collections, assembling one of the most fascinating windows into American life in the second half of the twentieth century.

This documentary is a portrait of a fascinating and reclusive woman.  She is, perhaps, the Emily Dickenson of street photography.

Finding Vivian Maier: Trailer and Website






Thursday, January 16, 2014

Life According to Sam (2013)

Documentary Website.

What is aging in Sam Berns, is aging in all of us. But in Sam’s body, the process is rapidly accelerated. When Sam was diagnosed with progeria at age two, his parents, Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns refused to accept that they would lose their son by age 13, the average age of death of a child with this disease. Eleven years later, Sam is 13 and his parents’ incredible race to save their son, has led to testing the first experimental drug that might prolong the lives of Sam and 28 other children from around the world that share this disease. Their discoveries may one day shed light on unlocking the aging process in us all. Life According to Sam is an inspiring film about the power of family and how we make the most of our lives in the time we are given.

Sam Berns died at age 17 on January 10, 2014.  See: Sam Berns/C2S.

This is an HBO film.  I will try to find out how to obtain a copy. Not available on NetFlix yet.