November 16, 2007
November 15, 2007
The Iron Ladies of Liberia is an incredible documentary about modern women fighting against adversity beyond anything we can imagine. Liberia, wracked by 14 years of civil war, 4 bilion dollars in debt, short of almost all electricity and running water, and governed by a police force without guns or handcuffs, is about to go through a democratic election. In January 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the first ever freely elected female head of state in Africa, and despite rebel armies, a fiercely oppositional speaker of the house, and a populace sometime slow to take to change, she and her cabinet begin to turn the country around. Through honesty, hard nosed strength and the patience and capacity to listen that earned her the nickname "Old Ma", we watch her deftly manage the local market women, the workers at the firestone rubber plant, rallying army strikers and even George Bush himself. Amazing. Iron Ladies of Liberia
Director Takeshi Kitano takes us through a series of fictional false starts as he searches for a film that both satisfies and makes money. More loosely structured than it should be, and slooow in the pacing, the film still manages a few funny homages and parodies of the types of stories we tell on film. He makes fun of Ozu, which was fun for me. Laboured and opaque in its second half, the film needed to be a lot tighter. Glory to the Filmmaker!
A delicate, subtle and believable portrayal of girls negotiating womanhood. Reminiscent of Show Me Love, Fat Girl, Ghost World and My Summer of Love, in that it describes one of these odd, unspoken relationships--the friend crush, a mix of admiration, comfort, and affection. Naissance des Pieuvres
Dalton Trumbo, writer of such films as The Brave One, Exodus and Spartacus, was also a member of the Hollywood Ten--film professionals blacklisted by the HUAC in 1947. Trumbo is an articulate film about an articulate screenwriter who, through his actions, protestations and correspondences regarding the Hollywood Ten Blacklist, showed himself to be a true humanist, activist and American. As his powerful and funny letters are read by some of America's great actors, they clearly describe his strength of character; a letter to his daughter's elementary school principal is staggering in its sensibility and critique. One wishes the production values were higher, and that the readings were sometimes simply that, and not pseudo performances, but regardless, you walk away with mountains of profound respect for this strong, and deeply passionate man. Trumbo
Alright folks; it took a while, but there are the reviews. Thanks for reading!