Tag Archives: women in film

Video Film Review: BEFORE MIDNIGHT is fair in love and war and humor

BEFORE MIDNIGHT explores the real issues of love and life with wit and humor.

Today’s panelist, Justine Harrison, connects with our host, Danielle Winston, to discuss one of this summer’s best films thus far, Before Midnight. They get comfy and share a couch at the West Village gastropub favorite, West 3rd Common.
Before Midnite Movie Poster

In our video review above, Danielle and Justine each bring an interesting perspective to this conversation about this perfect-for-summer and beyond film that you won’t want to miss.

Before Midnight is the third film of a cult-like romantic trilogy.  In case you missed the previous two, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, they are must-see viewing to truly appreciate this latest installment. All three have all been directed by Richard Linklater. Although he is credited with writing the first two, the writing this time, however, is also credited to the romantic leads Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, who each deliver outstanding performances here. Shot in Southern Greece in the coastal towns of Messinia and Kardamili, the scenery is gorgeous, breathtaking and ever so inviting.

Also included in this episode is our Video-On-Demand (VOD) Pick of the Week.  See why our correspondent, Mimi Spillane believes, “We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks” is essential viewing for us all in this current political and social climate.

About Us
Today's Host Danielle Winston

Today's panelist Justine Harrison

Mimi Spillane

Website for film Before Midnight

Website info for We Steal Secrets



















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let’s talk film: who let the cat(fight) out of the bag?

“Fighting is essentially a masculine idea; a woman’s weapon is her tongue.”  – Hermione Gingold

It’s March, which means it’s officially Women’s History Month and a little over a week since the Academy Awards were broadcast. The post-Oscar chatter has been staggering. Sure, there was the usual on the merits of the winners and losers, as well as on this year’s host and his misogynist antics. But, we have somehow managed to step it up a notch (or down, depending on how you look at it) and added something you probably already know too well as the “Why We Love to Hate Anne Hathaway” debacle. It’s the fabricated spin that just keeps on giving.

I didn’t get the depth of this saga until I recently posted an article with reference to this on Facebook. The comments were almost immediate. And they were either strongly for or against. There was no sitting on the fence. I, personally, couldn’t believe how quickly people had become vested into this web of absurdity. Do we all need to get a life? I was so sure that many of you already had one…until now.

jennifer lawrence and anne hathaway at the oscars

Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway

My fascination forced me to take this one step further.  So, I got on Google and searched for “hating Anne Hathaway,” and you know what?? I found over 20 web pages of news listings with regards to this. It seems everyone has a point of view about the snarky, but lovable Jennifer Lawrence vs. the contrived, hate-worthy Anne Hathaway debate. These are two talented actresses whom the Academy deemed worthy of their awards.  They each gave the performance of their career thus far. Yet, we, as women (and some men as well) choose to discuss and write in depth about how one must be more appreciated than the other.

In this day and age of reality overkill with sensationalized “stars” (wanna-be-somebodies in designer wear with good skin, high cheekbones and great hair dressers) on every channel, almost every day–have we become void of integrity? We have too easily become conditioned to believe that if it doesn’t end with a winner, a loser, a million likes and/or follows, it lacks significance.

Quvenzhane Wallis

Take it one step further and consider the quandary of our youngest ever Oscar nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis. During the broadcast of the Oscars, she was called a derogatory name on Twitter. A term that she probably didn’t even know existed, let alone what it means (rhymes with hunt and begins with a “C”…yes that one). Even this fiasco, which begged to be discussed for so many reasons on so many levels, didn’t get that many web news pages. (Imagine for a second, being her mother and having to explain to a nine-year-old how she should respond to this should the question pop up during press Q and A sessions.)  Welcome to the real world in America, Quvenzhané. Your days of innocence have officially come to an abrupt end. In retrospect, the Bathtub might not have been such a bad place for a kid after all.

What these incidents suggest to me is that the time has come for us to stop acquiescing to the propaganda and to use our collective power to put a stop to the media minimizing our achievements. With all of the great strides women made this past film season, engaging in the conquering and dividing within our own ranks is downright despicable. Instead, let us take pride in our triumphs of the year. Here are just a few of the issues that are more deserving of our focus and support:

– The increased visibility and participation of women directors in international film festivals, ceremonies and award shows

– The diverse pool of female award nominees and winners (often first time) both nationally and internationally

– The ongoing discussion on the status (and lack thereof) of women in Hollywood

– Strategies for shattering the perennial glass ceiling…once and for all

Some are old issues and some are new. But they all warrant our full attention. So, c’mon, ladies, let’s take a pledge, old-school-Girl-Scout-style and make a promise not to find ourselves sitting at this same table with the same whine and cheese (yeah…I went there) this time, next year.  It’s the beginning of a new film season! A time that should be full of hope and promise for new highs, less hurdles and even fewer defeats. I’m rooting for us in 2013….poms-poms and all.

Happy Women’s History Month, everyone!

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Video Film Review: SIDE EFFECTS

Graphic movie poster for Side Effects

The film, Side Effects, is a jagged little pill.

See our video review below as today’s host, Danielle Winston speaks with our panelist about the  psychological thriller, SIDE EFFECTS, at Stand 4 Restaurant near Union Square in New York City.

Listen to this review online here.

Rumored to be director, Steven Soderbergh’s final cinematic endeavor, SIDE EFFECTS, is a fitting but, complexly intricate swan song that concludes the long and illustrious career of the man who put the indie film genre in the conscious mind of the mainstream. With a screenplay written by Scott Z. Burns, this story is so deeply entrenched with twists, that just as you sense the film may be nearing its end, it takes yet another dramatic, wild turn. The original music created here by Thomas Newman is moody yet synthesizes harmoniously with the shifting pace.

To say anything is to say too much. As the intensity fluctuates, a shift in protagonist follows suit. What begins as a satirical observation of the dubious practices of the pharmaceutical industry takes a sharp detour and transforms into a well-crafted and highly suspenseful journey about perceptions. Relish in the powerful performances by Rooney Mara and Jude Law. They are two of the reasons why the film is so great. You will also get a kick out of the character played by Catherine Zeta-Jones. She is deliciously wicked out of her comfort zone (something she should do a little more often).  Channing Tatum is affable and the great eye candy he has become known for on screen. Word-on-the-street has it that at one time, Justin Timberlake was up for his role as well as Lindsay Lohan being considered for Rooney Mara’s part. So glad all involved came to their senses as anything other than this cast is hard to imagine being as splendid.

Make no mistake, this is a Steven Soderbergh production from beginning to end. He is also the film’s editor and cinematographer, although in the credits for these two roles he uses the pseudonyms, Mary Ann Bernard and Peter Andrews, respectively. Crafty to the final frame! It is hard to believe that a talent of this caliber is walking away from the big screen forever. But, perhaps what we are really seeing is a man’s need for a change in direction (pun intended) and taking control of his life to make it happen…something that we all could experience a little more of in our own lives. And, we, as loyal viewers, can only hope that this is merely a brief reprieve and not a final goodbye. Either way, if you are a Soderbergh fan, this thriller is for you.

More About our Fabulous Panelist
Danielle Winston



Today’s Film
Film Side Effect



Today’s Venue




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