Tag Archives: women studies

Video Film Review: WADJDA opens doors to new worlds

WADJDA introduces us to a new voice and sight within a society rarely on view.

Today’s host, Justine Harrison, does a solo act at Videology, the unique movie theatre, video rental and bar hybrid located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to review the international award-winning independent film, Wadjda.

Wadjda, the independent film from Saudia Arabia

In this episode’s video review, our host, Justine Harrison, discusses Wadjda, the directorial debut of Haifaa al-Mansour, the first female writer and director of Saudi Arabia.  This inspiring independent film is also the first to be shot in this country and has received numerous international accolades for its efforts.  Check out Justine’s take on this film and discover why she believes this should be seen by everyone.

Also featured is Mimi Spilllane, our “Video on Demand Pick of the Week” correspondent. She takes a stroll in Central Park in New York City while reviewing “Good Ol’ Freda”, the story of the former secretary to the Beatles, Freda Kelly.

About Us
Justine S Harrison, host for 10/14/13 of "let's talk film"

Mimi Spillane






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Film Review: FRIENDS WITH KIDS plays well with others

Today’s panelists, Jessy Blanchard, the owner of her own cupcake company; Danielle Winston, a screenwriter and yoga instructor; and Shirley Joel, a retired advertising veteran who currently executive produces a bi-monthly cable television program; hook up with our host, Stefanie Alleyne, at the Wix Lounge, a free work and event space for creative professionals in the Flatiron District in New York City to discuss the thoroughly modern romantic comedy, “Friends with Kids.”

Based on her own life experiences with friends having kids and falling off the radar, Jennifer Westfeldt’s directorial debut, “Friends with Kids,” grapples with a number of contemporary parenting scenarios. Expect shrewd observations on age and gender as well as Continue reading

Film Review: RAMPART cruises with the demons of a dirty cop

 Our host, Stefanie Alleyne, sits down to discuss the consuming film, “Rampart,” with today’s panelist, Robyn Ferrari, a theatrical actress; Olivia Narcisse, project manager for a commercial furniture design company; and Ashley Benzwie, a multidisciplinary artist; at the upscale retro restaurant, The Highliner Diner in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.

It’s 1999 Los Angeles and Rodney King’s request for us all to just get along has come and gone, as have the riots that followed. Most residents are eager to move on from these embarrassing events in the City of Angels, while a precious few can not. Meet Dave Brown…Vietnam Vet and a battle scarred cop who has more fondness for his moniker, “Date Rape Dave,” than he does for his badge. A vigilante in the express lane on the Highway to Hell, Dave Brown hates all people equally yet is a master in the art of seduction that no woman can rebuff. Confident and eloquent, he has the word or action for every scenario…good, bad and all in between.

Loosely based on true events, “Rampart” is co-written by James Ellroy (who also wrote “L.A. Confidential”) and Oren Moverman, who is also the Director of this film. “Rampart,” is a character study set in the Wild, Wild West of present day. Woody Harrelson gives a irresistible performance as Dave Brown. You wanna hate him but damn yourself for extending compassion to a rogue…and a rogue cop at that! The cast is rich with surprise performances including Broadway legend and operatic diva, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, of Sex and the City fame, and even rapper-turn- actor, Ice Cube, pops up for some fab face time. Expect to also encounter Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright and Ann Heche, some caricatures and some not. Brie Larson commands the screen in her every scene as Helen, Dave’s teenage daughter coming to terms with the character (or lack of) of her dad. Deliberately slow paced but intense with ambiguity, “Rampart” is a hypnotic ride on cruise control in low gear. But, don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt; it’s still going to be a very, bumpy ride.

More About our Fabulous Panel

Ashley Benzwie is a multidisciplinary artist. She studied studio art at New York University concentrating in Sculpture and Installation. Ashley spent a few years in Berlin, Germany establishing two artist collectives. There she became drawn to film making, mesmerized by the element of possibility the medium offers.  Currently she divides her time between Berlin and New York collaborating with various artists to transform spaces, and create interactive experiences. Additionally she works as a Director of Photography and an Editor. Ashley chooses not to define herself as any one thing. She is a firm believer in taking on many roles, embracing the unknown, and adapting to it.
See her work at ashleybenzwie.com

Olivia Narcisse is a Brooklyn, New York native.  Olivia studied Dance in New York University. Her love for set design lead her to pursue a career in Interior Design. She is currently a Project Manager for a commercial furniture design company in New York City and teaches dance part-time at various venues throughout New York City.  A serial hobbyist, she is currently studying furniture design and woodworking and enjoys playing capoeira.


Robyn Ferrari is in love with the art of performance! Bringing characters to life and telling stories through words, music and movement fascinates her every day. Robyn began her training in the arts as a dancer and has gone on to earn her Bachelors of Music from New York University in Classical Vocal Performance. She currently studies acting with Anthony Abeson, and voice with Tom Burke in NYC while working in all three of her disciplines. She has worked in theatre, concert, voice over, and film, and feels at home singing everything from Mozart to Musical Theatre to Madonna!  Robyn looks forward to performance opportunities that allow her to continue to grow both artistically and professionally.

Discover more about The Highliner Diner.

Find out more about today’s film, Rampart.





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