Tag Archives: film critique

Video-on-Demand Pick of the Week: 20 Feet From Stardom

Meet the unsung heroes behind the greatest music of our time.

20 Feet From Stardom, the award-winning documentary film, is this week’s Video-on-Demand pick by our Video-on-Demand correspondent, Mimi Spillane.
Poster of 20 Feet From Stardom

Recently released on Video-on-Demand, it is one of the selections in the category for Best Documentary for this year’s Academy Award ceremonies. It is directed by filmmaker, Morgan Neville, who has also produced and written numerous documentaries for both the big screen and television on such luminaries as Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and the band Pearl Jam. Rumors have it that Mick Jagger is in the process of creating a Broadway production based on this film. But, Mimi has a few things of her own to say about this one from the comfort of her own living room. Take a peek.
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Video Film Review: BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR has many shades of grey

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR is a journey of self discovery.

Our host, Danielle Winston meets up with today’s panelist, Dr. Linda Succi, at Sottocasa, an authentic Italian pizzeria located in the Boerum Hill neighborhood of downtown Brooklyn, New York, to discuss the award winning and controversial film, Blue is the Warmest Color, with an original title of  “La Vie d’Adele”. The film is based on the comic book, “Le Bleu est une couleur chaude” by Julie Maroh. The screenplay was written by Ghalia Lacroix and the film’s French-Tunisian director, Abdellatif Kechiche. It stars French actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos in the title roles.

The controversy over whether this is a straight or gay film has only elevated the curiosity associated with Blue is the Warmest Color. To be sure, it is a film that explores and observes non-traditional relationships in a fashion rarely viewed by the masses. In the video film review above, today’s host, Danielle Winston and our panelist, Dr. Linda Succi, examine these issues and explore a lot more. Don’t miss their insightful observations.

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Video Film Review: 12 YEARS A SLAVE transforms historical narrative into art

12 YEARS A SLAVE epitomizes the character of the human spirit.

Today’s panelists, Rachel V. Byrd and Dami Akinnusi join our host, Safitya Songhai, in Manhattan at the downtown Lower East Side wine bar, Amuse, to discuss and review the stylistic, ground-breaking film, 12 Years a Slave. Directed by British filmmaker, Steve McQueen and featuring a screenplay by John Ridley.  It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodward, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lupita Nyong’o, Paul Giamatti and Brad Pitt. Considered by many to be one of the most important films of this year, 12 Years a Slave is based on the true story of Solomon Northrup, a 19th century free black man from upstate New York who finds himself sold into slavery.  After an arduous twelve years, he manages to reclaim his life and write a book about his harrowing experience detailing the dark side of a chapter in American history.

What happens in today’s video film review when these three women: a recent Harvard grad, an award-winning British filmmaker and a film grad from New York University’s MFA program come together to discuss and review a historical drama of this significance? A most prolific conversation not to be missed. See for yourself.

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Safiya Songhai, host for "12 Years a Slave"
Panelist Rachel V. Byrd


Panelist Dami Akinnusi
"12 Years a Slave" move poster
Amuse Wine Bar

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