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.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Netflix:Loosely based on true events, this drama follows Ron Woodroof, who refuses to accept he'll die in 30 days when he's diagnosed with AIDS in 1986. He extends his life and eventually helps many other AIDS patients by smuggling medications from abroad.

From the Web: A son of Texas, Ron Woodroof is an electrician and rodeo cowboy. In 1985, he is well into an unexamined existence with a devil-may-care lifestyle. Suddenly, Ron is blindsided by being diagnosed as H.I.V.-positive and given 30 days to live. Yet he will not, and does not, accept a death sentence. His crash course of research reveals a lack of approved treatments and medications in the U.S., so Ron crosses the border into Mexico. There, he learns about alternative treatments and begins smuggling them into the U.S., challenging the medical and scientific community including his concerned physician, Dr. Eve Saks. An outsider to the gay community, Ron finds an unlikely ally in fellow AIDS patient Rayon, a transsexual who shares Ron's lust for life. Rayon also shares Ron's entrepreneurial spirit: seeking to avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, they establish a "buyers club," where H.I.V.-positive people pay monthly dues for access to the newly acquired supplies. Deep in the heart of Texas, Ron's pioneering underground collective beats loud and strong. With a growing community of friends and clients, Ron fights for dignity, education, and acceptance. In the years following his diagnosis, the embattled Lone Star loner lives life to the fullest like never before.  (2013.  117 minutes)

DJE: The Dallas Buyers Club highlights the roadblocks the FDA placed for patients to get needed care and the greed of PhRMA and many physician "researchers" who benefited from the drugs they were developing.