Friday, May 29, 2009


Opening in New York this weekend: Offshore, directed by Diane Cheklich

Sounds a little strange, but potentially interesting, from the film's website's synopsis:

Fairfax Furniture’s call center is about to come under attack. CEO Derek Abernathy must cut costs or lose his job, so he does what any modern businessman would do: he sacrifices others. He declares Voxx of India their new call center, putting the jobs of lifers like Carol Silvers and Gen-Xers like Bridgette Mars on the block.

But first they must train their replacements.

In India, businessman Devendra Tiwari and his earnest halfwit son Ajay have their work cut out for them: Voxx doesn’t actually exist. Yet. From the masses desperate for work, they pick three candidates to go to America to be turned into trainers. Nikhil, Anjali and Reva are thrilled to land these prestigious jobs, but when they arrive in Detroit they find they are not at all welcome. In fact, Carol and her furious co-workers have declared war.

The job thieves are tormented at every turn. Carol gives them the wrong training information, makes sure they are socially ostracized, and even rallies the local television muckraker to her cause.

Meanwhile, in India, Voxx’s call center is cobbled together with mismatched phones, malfunctioning computers, employees straining to adjust to the night shift and the prayers of a swami.

All Voxx needs now are its trainers.

But back in America, the trainers are broken, one by one. Carol has nearly won her war against the Indians. But Abernathy is determined to make good on this faltering deal. He tells Voxx they’ve got 24 hours to go live – or they will all lose everything.

The trainers return home to utter chaos – and the unbreakable belief that this ragtag start-up can accomplish their impossible mission.

OFFSHORE is the corporate war between the Fairfax cowboys and the Indians.

Can anyone win?

New York Times review here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pressure Cooker

Opening today: Pressure Cooker, directed by Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker

Synopsis from the film's website:

Pressure Cooker highlights two semesters in the culinary arts class of Wilma Stephenson, an irreverent high school teacher in Northeast Philadelphia whose no-holds-barred teaching style helps her students earn scholarships to college. Mrs. Stephenson spells it out on the first day of school by telling the newcomers that eleven members of last year's class earned over three-quarters of a million dollars in scholarships, a staggering amount. She offers her students her version of the American Dream: You choose a realistic goal. You work hard. You work the system. You get out of Northeast Philly.

New York Times review here, and IndieWire interview with the directors here. They will also be doing several post-screening Q&A's at the IFC Center this week.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Screening sponsored by New York Women in Film and Television: Unspeakable, directed by Sally Heckel

Synopsis from the film's website:

On a bright spring morning in May, Dr. George Heckel climbed the stairs to the attic of his home in Rochester, New York, and shot himself. He had a thriving medical practice, a wife and three children, and a beautiful home. Why would a man who seemed to have it all take his life and leave his family devastated?

Twenty years later, his daughter, filmmaker Sally Heckel, 17 at the time of her father's death, started making a non-fiction film exploring her father's despondent state of mind. It soon grew to an expression of anger and accusation toward her father, ultimately leading to an in-depth perusal of the suicide and the years surrounding it.

In a storyline that bridges past and present, Heckel weaves home movies of what appears to be an idyllic post-war American childhood with dramatic silent recreations of a home life that reveal a darker side of the American family. The film paints a picture of a man few people really knew, who had, in pursuit of a successful societal and professional position, gradually and inexorably alienated himself from his family, with profound consequences to himself and those around him.

Acting as the film's narrator, Heckel coaxes her family and friends out of their silence. Through their voice-over recollections and reflections, Heckel crafts a layered portrait of an idealized but ambivalent American patriarch, his family, and the tensions that simmered beneath the surface and beyond public view.

More information about the screening here.

The trailer:

You can find more clips from the movie here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Andrea Arnold Shares Jury Prize Win

Congratulations to Andrea Arnold, whose Fish Tank won the Jury Prize at Cannes, sharing the laurels with Thirst, directed by Chan-wook Park.
A clip from Fish Tank:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight

Opening this weekend in New York: Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight, directed by Wendy Keys

His presence is so integral to American iconography that even those who have never heard the name will instantly recognize the work of graphic designer Milton Glaser. Glaser's manifold accomplishments, exhibiting a vast array of styles and approaches, include the "I [Heart] NY" campaign, the multicolored menus at the Rainbow Room, and the now-iconic album covers by Townes Van Zandt, Nina Simone, Lightnin' Hopkins, and many other artists, and literally scores of other accomplishments — making him not only synonymous with graphic design in the U.S., but a veritable godfather of pop-culture publicity. As helmed by neophyte director Wendy Keys, Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight introduces audiences to the legendary creator, with glimpses of his exhaustive portfolio, and candid discussions revealing his intelligence, insight, sense of humor, and boundless creative spirit. — Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide

The full New York Times review is here, and the trailer is below.

MILTON GLASER: TO INFORM AND DELIGHT: Movie Trailer - The best free videos are right here

Cendres et Sang

Opening today at Cannes: Cendres et Sang, written and directed by Fanny Ardant

Fanny Ardant, French film legend, steps behind the camera for Cendres et Sang, a juicy-looking family drama. Synopsis from the film's website:

Exiled from her country since her husband's murder ten years earlier, Judith lives in Marseille with her three children.

After having refused to see her family for years, Judith, in spite of her fears and secrets, allows herself to be influenced by her children's wishes and accepts an invitation to their cousin's wedding. They set off to spend a summer in the old country, discovering their roots and their past. But Judith's return revives old hatreds between rival clans. The spiral of violence is inexorably set in motion, blood will tell...

A couple of clips seem to be making the rounds as well...

Map of the Sounds of Tokyo

Showing at Cannes tomorrow: The Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, directed by Isabel Coixet

Isabel Coixet is a Spanish director whose best-known films in the US are My Life Without Me (starring Sarah Polley, a director in her own right) and Elegy (starring Ben Kingsley). The Map of the Sounds of Tokyo debuts at Cannes tomorrow, so here is a synopsis from the film's website:

Ryu is a solitary girl whose fragile appearance is in stark contrast with the double life she leads, working nights at a Tokyo fishmarket and sporadically taking on jobs as a hit-woman.

Mr Nagara is a powerful impresario mourning the loss of his daughter Midori, who has committed suicide. He blames David, a Spaniard who runs a wine business in Tokyo.

Mr Nagara's employee, Ishida, was silently in love with Midori and hires Ryu to murder David.

A sound engineer, obsessed with the sounds of the Japanese city and fascinated with Ryu, witnesses this love story which searches the shadows of the human soul, reaching deep into places where only silence has the power of eloquence.

Here's the trailer (definitely not safe for work):

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rooftop Films: Romance

Yes, a scad of really intriguing-looking women-directed films are being shown in Cannes right now, but let's face it: Cannes is really far away. And, I'm just taking a wild guess here, but it's probably extremely hard to get tickets, unless your name is Marion Cotillard or George Lucas or something. There is, however, a much closer, much cheaper alternative: this Friday (May 22nd) at 8pm at 350 Grand Street (Grand & Essex), Rooftop Films is showing a slate of short films about romance,  many of which are directed by women.


The full lineup:


Receive Bacon (James M. Johnston | Ft. Worth, Texas | 7:00) 
James Johnston is the Producer of David Lowery’s St. Nick, which will be playing later this summer at Rooftop Films. He also directed this naughty little short about a bathroom tryst that gets interrupted by a case of the giggles. 


Sweet Dreams (Kirsten Lepore | Maryland | 9:56) 
Whatever our dietary preferences, we pretty much all love food of some sort. And most of us love cupcakes. But what kind of food do you think your cupcake loves? 


The Kinda Sutra (Jessica Yu | Los Angeles | 8:00) 
Academy Award Winner Jessica Yu sat down with kids, asked them how babies are made, and animated their responses. 


Young Love (Emily Carmichael | New York City | 9:20) 
Two lovers lie in bed, tentatively exploring the first stages of sexual role playing. But soon the game gets a little too serious to be simply fun. But maybe that is the point of role-playing? We all remember how naïve we were about sex when we were little, but in Young Love, Emily Carmichael reminds us just how difficult it can be to figure out what we can and can’t handle in bed. 


The Blindness of the Woods (Martin Jalfen, Javier Lourenco | Argentina | 11:00) 
Partly a parody of 1970’s Nordic porn, partly a lesson in crocheting, this unforgettable Argentinian short marks the birth of a new genre: Cute Porn. 


Don McCloskey “Mister Novocaine” (Peter Rhoads | New York | 4:00) 
In a fever dream where hands are people, one hand fights the pleasure of the bottle by telling his story through song. 


2 Birds (Runar Runarsson | Iceland | 15:00) 
A group of young teenagers embark on a journey that transports them too quickly away from innocence and towards the stark realities of sex, adulthood, and sacrifice. 


Sister Wife (Jill Orschel | Utah | 10:00) 
Over time, we all come to realize that a long-term relationship requires us to make substantial sacrifices. But how many of us are willing to share our spouse with another person? And what if that other person were our sibling? Jill Orshel's powerful documentary gives voice to a woman in a polygamist marriage and asks us to question our own attitudes about love, commitment, and selflessness. 


Please Say Something (David O’Reilly | Ireland | 10:00) 
A 10 minute short concerning a troubled relationship between a Cat and Mouse set in the distant Future. The final film was completed in January 2009 and contains 23 episodes of exactly 25 seconds each. Images from it can be seen on the Flickr Page. The film won the Golden Bear for best short at the 2009 Berlinale.


Babeland (the women-owned sex shop) is a co-sponsor, so free condoms and other accessories are probably in the mix. Plus, open bar afterwards. This is really a gift to New York singles, a whole date night wrapped up in a bow for $9. More details here. Enjoy!

A Brand New Life

Showing at Cannes tomorrow: A Brand New Life, directed by Ounie Lecomte

Synopsis from the Cannes website:

Seoul, 1975. Jinhee is 9. Her father has placed her in an orphanage run by Catholic nuns. The little girl has to deal with the ordeal of separation and the long wait for a new family. As the seasons pass, the departures of adopted children allow her to glimpse the dream that awaits her but shatter the friendships that she has just formed. Jinhee resists because she knows that the promise of a brand-new life will separate her for good from those she loves.


Showing at Cannes tomorrow: Altiplano, directed by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth


Synopsis from the film's website: War photographer Grace, devastated by a violent incident in Iraq, renounces her profession. Her Belgian husband, Max, is a cataract surgeon working at an eye clinic in the high Andes of Peru. Nearby, the villagers of Turubamba succumb to illnesses caused by a mercury spill from a local mine. Saturnina, a young woman in Turubamba, loses her fiancé to the contamination. The villagers turn their rage on the foreign doctors, and in the ensuing riot Max is killed. Saturnina takes drastic measures to protest against the endless violations towards her people and their land. Grace sets out on a journey of mourning to the place of Max’s death. Altiplano is a lyrical and probing film about our divided but inextricably linked world.



La famille Wolberg

Showing at Cannes tomorrow: La famille Wolberg, written and directed by Axelle Ropert

Synopsis from the Cannes website:

He can deliver a breathtaking speech on the American soul to flabbergasted schoolboys, get mixed up in the private lives of his citizens, and even get his 18-year-old daughter to swear that never, but never, would she leave home. Meet Simon Wolberg, mayor of a small provincial city, madly in love with his wife, an interfering father and provocative son. This man is driven by an obsession with his family. Which leads him to test the force and fragility of these bonds.

La Pivellina

Showing at Cannes tonight: La Pivellina, written and directed by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel

From the film's website:

Abandoned in a park, the two-year-old girl Asia is found by Patti, a circus woman living with her husband Walter in a trailer park in San Basilio on the outskirts of Rome. With the help of Tairo, a teenager who lives with his grandma in an adjacent container, Patti starts to search for the girl's mother and gives the girl a new home for an uncertain period of time. La Pivellina is a film about a cosmos of outcasts in present-day Italy: a moving tale of courage and discrimination, of loss and togetherness, a look behind the corrugated-iron fence of a gated community.

This is the couple's first feature film; there is an interesting interview with them here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Le père de mes enfants

At Cannes yesterday: Le père de mes enfants, written and directed by Mia Hansen-Love

From the Cannes website:

Grégoire Canvel has everything a man could want. A wife he loves, three delightful children and a stimulating job. He's a film producer. Discovering talented filmmakers and developing films that fit his conception of the cinema—free and true to life—is precisely his reason for living. His vocation. It fulfills him and Grégoire devotes almost all his time and energy to his work. He's hyperactive, he never stops. Except on weekends, which he spends in the country with his family—gentle interludes, as precious as they are fragile. With his bearing and exceptional charisma, Grégoire commands admiration. He seems invincible. Yet his prestigious production company, Moon Films, is on its last legs. Too many productions, too many risks, too many debts. Storm clouds are gathering. But Grégoire plows on at all costs. Where will his blind obstinacy lead him? One day, he is obliged to face the facts. In one word: failure. He is overwhelmed by fatigue. Which soon, secretly, turns into despair.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Showing at Cannes today: Jaffa, directed by Keren Yedaya

From the Cannes website:

In the heart of Jaffa, a city nicknamed "the Bride of the Sea" by the Israelis, Reuven's garage is a family business. His daughter Mali and his son Meir, as well as Toufik and Hassan, a young Palestinian and his father, work there for Reuven. No one suspects that Mali and Toufik have been in love for years. As the two lovers are secretly making their wedding arrangements, tension builds between Meir and Toufik…

Keren Yedaya won the Camera d'Or in 2004 for her film Or (My Treasure).

Trailer (with French subtitles):

Lost Persons Area

Showing at Cannes today: Lost Persons Area, directed by Caroline Strubbe

Not too much information available about this one on the web, though the synopsis from the film's own website pops up quite frequently:

Bettina and Marcus, a passionate couple, life in a canteen in the middle of a vast field with endless lines of pylons. Marcus, trying to set up his own business, works as a foreman in the maintenance of these power-lines. Bettina, bored and longing for a better life, runs the canteen for the workingmen. Their 9-years-old daughter Tessa, wanders the industrial area, looking for bits and pieces to occupy her mind, skipping school whenever she can. When Marcus hires a Hungarian engineer, Szabolcs, to become part of his company, their unconventional way of living takes a new turn. A tragic accident although will shatter everyone’s pursuit of happiness. 

Lost Persons Area is a story about people lost in the meanders of life.

On a side note, I love that someone whose first language is probably Flemish taught me that "meanders" can be used as a noun. You learn something new every day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Neighbor, My Killer

Playing at the Cannes Film Festival: My Neighbor, My Killer, directed by Anne Aghion

For someone I had never heard of before I started this blog, Anne Aghion is an extremely busy woman. Her film about the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, My Neighbor, My Killer, is showing at Cannes this week. From the film's press release:

At the core of the film are two survivors, Félicité Nyirasangwa and Euphrasie Mukarwemera, and two of the men accused in the killing of their families. The women are both Hutu widows of Tutsi husbands, whose children were considered Tutsi. Abraham Rwamfizi is a former low-level local leader who works to find his way back into the community on his return from prison. Vianney Byirabo, another suspected killer, gives matter-of-fact confessions that paint a chillingly vivid picture of how the genocide was carried out on that hill. These four people, along with others from their community, speak with an eloquence that can be poetic, profound and heartbreaking, and often terrifying.

As ordinary Rwandans try to make sense of the violence, the film grapples with age-old questions about humanity and inhumanity: What turns neighbor against neighbor? How do neighbors live together again after mass atrocity? Such universal concerns link this hill in Rwanda with Nazi-occupied Poland, with the Khmer Rouge’s Cambodia, with Bosnia, and with Darfur.

The movie's website has more information, and the New Yorker recently ran an interesting article on the same topic. (Annoyingly, you have to jump through some hoops to read the article, but I linked to an audio clip.)

Bright Star

Debuting at Cannes Film Festival today: Bright Star, directed by Jane Campion

Jane Campion has the distinction of being the only woman ever to win the Palme d'Or (The Piano), and one of only three women to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director (also The Piano).

From the Cannes Film Festival website

London 1818: a secret love affair begins between 23 year old English poet, John Keats, and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne, an outspoken student of fashion. This unlikely pair started at odds; he thinking her a stylish minx, she unimpressed by literature in general. It was the illness of Keats’s younger brother that drew them together. Keats was touched by Fanny’s efforts to help and agreed to teach her poetry. By the time Fanny’s alarmed mother and Keats’s best friend Brown realised their attachment, the relationship had an unstoppable momentum. Intensely and helplessly absorbed in each other, the young lovers were swept into powerful new sensations, "I have the feeling as if I were dissolving", Keats wrote to her. Together they rode a wave of romantic obsession that deepened as their troubles mounted. Only Keats’s illness proved insurmountable.

So sad! Time Out London and the London Evening Standard have weighed in so far, and the New York Times ran an article about the film today.

Fish Tank

Debuted at Cannes Film Festival yesterday: Fish Tank, directed by Andrea Arnold

Hard to find any US reviews of this, as it just got shown at Cannes, but this story of the relationship between a 15-year-old girl and her stepfather has been getting rave reviews from the Brits. While waiting for Fish Tank to be released over here, you might want to stick Red Road, Arnold's first feature, in your Netflix queue.

Update - Here's a much more thorough synopsis, from the TIFF website:

Andrea Arnold's pure, potent Fish Tank is many things: a taboo-breaking love story, a searing portrait of working-class Britain today, a film Ken Loach could have made had he been born a woman. But above all, her film is a girl's own fantasy. Arnold began exploring the precise perspective of a woman's desire in her terrific debut, Red Road. With Fish Tank, the view is broader and the focus even sharper.

Mia is a tough, wiry teenager with a mouth like a sailor and only one way to escape the brutality of her daily life: she dances, always by herself with her headphones on, and always to the point of ecstasy.

She has a lot to escape. Her mother is a bottle-blond party girl who favours skirts shorter than her daughter's, and men on the rough side. One day she brings home her latest catch, Connor, who is played by Hunger's Michael Fassbender. He soon proves irresistible.

Once Fish Tank sets its dangerous premise in motion, it observes its characters with generosity. The environment may be harsh, but Arnold's approach is lyrical, even loving.While the story goes to some dark places, Arnold never strays from her spare, beautiful aesthetic. Shooting in old-school 1.33 aspect ratio, she composes her frames with rigorous symmetry. The effect is to bring the simple order of a fable to the seeming chaos of Mia's life.

Even better, Arnold lets the sociology remain unspoken. The fact that Mia's mother must have had her as a teenager, that alcohol fuels so much of the characters' bad behaviour, that Mia adopts rage as a cover for more complicated feelings – these are left to the viewer to infer. Instead, Fish Tank focuses on getting the details of Mia's life right – contrasting her love of rapid-fire dance music to her mother's reggae and Connor's Bobby Womack soul, for instance – and on following her desire wherever it goes.

The Big Shot-Caller

Opening this weekend: The Big Shot-Caller, directed by Marlene Rhein

In The Big Shot-Caller, David Rhein, the younger brother of the movie’s writer and director, Marlene Rhein, plays Jamie, a shy, friendless accountant living in Manhattan. Jamie suffers from an ocular disorder that renders him severely nearsighted; a symptom is the way his eyes continually dart from side to side like those of a hunted animal. Security guards patrolling the entrances to nightclubs he visits, hoping to meet girls and indulge his passion for salsa dancing, assume that he must be high and refuse to admit him. Early in the movie an omniscient, grandfatherly narrator, whose voice, booming intermittently over the soundtrack, propels the story forward, informs us that as a boy Jamie watched Strictly Ballroom 97 times. He dreamed of becoming a salsa dancer but was shamed out of it by his father, Rudy (Robert Costanzo), a boorish, poker-playing slob who cracks feng shui jokes about the arrangement of his lawn furniture. Fired from his job, his heart broken by a party-loving Dominican woman who drops him after his old-fashioned courtship proceeds at a snail’s pace, Jamie is forced to move in with his estranged older sister, Lianne (Ms. Rhein). As alienated in her own way as Jamie, she regales him with tough self-help bromides and inspirational gobbledygook in which God is “the big shot-caller.” Jamie convinces Lianne to be his salsa dancing partner, and together they venture into the night. — Stephen Holden, The New York Times

The New York Times review isn't much longer than this synopsis; the film's website is here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Netflix It: Chocolat

Chocolat, not to be confused with the 2000 Lasse Hallström movie of the same title, tells the semi-autobiographical story of Claire Denis’s childhood in northern Cameroon. The film opens with a shot of an African father and son playing in the surf, as a young white woman sits nearby, listening to her Walkman. The young woman, (a bit heavy-handedly) named France Dalens, has just returned to Cameroon at the beginning of the film, and most of the film plays out in extended flashback, exploring the dynamic in the household among the members of the Dalens family, their various European houseguests and their African servants. France’s mother, Aimée, and the head servant, Protée, manage to communicate (to us, and to everyone else in the film but M. Dalens) their quiet but powerful sexual attraction with a bare minimum of smoldering glances. Not exactly a plot-driven movie, Chocolat (whose title derives from 1950s French slang for being cheated) takes its time exploring the thoughtless humiliations of colonialism’s dying days (including, but obviously not limited to, public outdoors showers for the servants). Definitely worth checking out if you are in a contemplative mood, Chocolat is the first film of a trilogy that includes S’en fout la mort and J’ai pas sommeil.

 A plus for Francophiles: the DVD has the option of French subtitles.

There's an interesting essay about the film here, and an interview with Claire Denis about Chocolat and S'en fout la mort here, but be forewarned: there are minor spoilers. (However, as noted, it's not like there is a twist ending or any shocking revelations.) Also, the New York Times loved the hell out of this movie back in 1988.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sunshine Cleaning

One of the downfalls in creating a blog inspired by how few there are of something is... is when you don't have anything to blog about. Out of all the movies being released in New York this weekend, not one was directed by a woman. (On a side note, I watched two movies yesterday—one had a prostitute as a main character, and the other had a secondary who was a stripper. Hmm.) Anyway, Sunshine Cleaning, directed by Christine Jeffs, is still in theaters, so you can go see that if the spirit moves you—I saw it a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I didn't agree with the New York Times on this one, but you can read the reviews in the Boston Globe or the SF Gate. One thing that the Boston Globe points out: even though it was marketed as a comedy, it's really more along the lines of You Can Count on Me than Little Miss Sunshine.

If the premise has piqued your curiosity about biohazard cleanup, you can read more in this LA Times piece.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kim Longinotto Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art

The retrospective opens tonight, so it might be a little late to catch the first film (Rough Aunties, which just won the World Cinema Jury Prize in Documentary at Sundance), but it continues for two weeks, so don't fear! There is plenty of internationally-acclaimed-documentarian goodness to go around. 

Full schedule, and more information about Kim Longinotto here.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Opening this weekend:

Home, directed by Mary Haverstick
A woman coping with a serious illness must face issues in her relationship with her daughter as she recalls her own troubled past in this independent drama. Inga (Marca Gay Harden) is a wife and mother who lives in Pennsylvania farm country with her husband Herman (Michael Gaston) and young daughter Indigo (Eulala Scheel). Inga is recovering from a bout with breast cancer, and her illness has cast a pall on her already rocky relationship with Herman, with both turning to liquor to drown their sorrows. Indigo, meanwhile, has few friends and is very close to Inga; her mother's illness has been difficult for the child, and Inga isn't certain how to ease the girl's worries. Meanwhile, an elderly woman living nearby, Mary (Marian Seldes), is considering selling the home where she's lived most of her life. Inga is fascinated with Mary's house because it closely resembles the place where she grew up, and as she explores the old house she is reminded of her relationship with her own mother, who like her struggled with cancer. Home received its world premiere at the 2008 Montreal World Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

You can find the New York Times review here, and more information about Mary Haverstick on her website, here.

Ice People

Opening in New York this weekend:

Ice People, directed by Anne Aghion
Culled from a four-month trip to Antarctica, this reserved, tough-minded documentary sinks something of the feel and routine of a scientific expedition into your bones. — Nathan Lee, The New York Times

The official website for the movie is here, and the full New York Times review is here.

Jazz in the Diamond District

Opening in New York this weekend:

Jazz in the Diamond District, directed by Lindsey Christian
This coming-of-age story set in Washington is deadeningly familiar — two sisters, each with performing dreams, face the usual complications of urban life — but the music, that brand of funk known as go-go, is awfully good and some of the unknown actors make an impression. — Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

Full New York Times review here, and you can check out the movie's website here.

A Wink and a Smile

Opening in New York this week:

A Wink and a Smile, directed by Deirdre Timmons
Students in the fall 2007 class at Academy of Burlesque in Seattle are profiled in this blandly well-intentioned documentary about sexual performance art as vehicle for self-esteem boosting. — Nathan Lee, The New York Times

Read the Times review here, and find more information on the movie here.