Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Review of Finnerty Steeves' Feature Film Before/During/After: An Honest and Visually Appealing Story of a Marriage Gone Awry and the Hope for After

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

I just wanted to tell her it was all going to be okay.

Finnerty Steeves' first feature film, Before/During/After, is inspired by the consequences of her choice of a mate in her own life. Finnerty is an actress best known for her role as Beth Hoefler on Orange is the New Black.  With this feature she is not only acting but also writing and producing. Before, During and After is a dramedy set in New York City. With more drama than comedy, it works well as the subject of the film - the dissolution of a marriage- is quite heavy. It's still an engaging, easy-to-digest movie.

Finnerty plays a struggling, no longer twenty-something actress named Jennie Lonergan who we will have more and more empathy for as the movie proceeds. When the movie begins, we see her auditioning for a part in New York City where the movie takes place. We experience the cutthroat world of auditions through the eyes of the protagonist (pre-pandemic anyway, when auditions were largely in-person) as she walks into a room of look-alikes all wanting the same, scarce role, We've seen this exercise portrayed in La La Land, it's a tough job to be an actor and requires a very thick skin. It also requires an ability to get along with your competition. It's just business, as they say.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Sundance Film Festival 2021 Hightlights: Why three of the Best in the Horror/Thriller Genre are Knocking, Eight for Silver and The Sparks Brothers

By Ashton Samson

At this time in our lives, cinemas are in dire need of help. Film fans are worried about the effect that Covid-19 has had on the industry. While some theaters are open, not enough people are attending. Even the most avid film fans won’t take the risk of walking through the doors of a cinema. This loss in customers is leading to a lack of business, which causes the owners and supporters of movie theaters to lose hope for future generations of moviegoers. 

There are several celebrities, most noteworthy of the group being Steven Spielberg, my favorite director, who share the same sentiment I do: watching a film in a cinema is one of the greatest expressions of joy and unity in one’s life. Due to the isolation that some may feel at the moment, the sense of togetherness and unity that comes alive when sharing the experience of watching moving images flash across the screen is much needed. It is for this reason why we believe that cinemas will survive. (Editor's note: Expect changes within the industry, some of which are happening now (like virtual cinema and day and date and are here to stay.) However, until then, one positive effect that the coronavirus has had on the film world is that for the first time, people all across the world were able to virtually watch films from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Here are the three films from the festival that I was fortunate enough to view, and each was unique, albeit in very different ways.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival: View List of FREE Special Presentations, Classes, Actor Interviews and Complete List of Films for Feb. 27 - March 3, 2021


Whether you've been to in-person film festivals in the past or tried the new "virtual festivals" what should be known about festivals is that the people that make these festivals LOVE film. One of the new aspects of virtual festivals is making what were once free "attractions" at in-person festivals have now moved online. So whether you purchase a ticket of not, many of these festivals are offering free "specials." 

The Ridgewood Guild International Festival is presenting a dozen interviews, 2 free "classes" and 3 events. The festival runs February 27th-March 3rd, 2021. You can find how to access these specials on the website: www.RidgewoodGuildFilmFest.com . (Be patient as the site will be updated closer to the date.) These free specials will give the viewer a chance to experience some of what the festival has to offer and to gain insight and knowledge about the films, filmmakers and the industry in general. You can access them anytime during the festival  (and some may remain on Youtube even after the festival). 



A scene from Brud'hars

Actor Interviews:

Interview: Anna Rust (20m). Listen to Harry Sherer talk to Anna Rust (Carnival Row, Legends), actress and one of the jurors, about the films, her roles and what she thinks about Game of Thrones.

Interview of Annapurna Sriram/A Case of Blue (20m) - The star of A Case of Blue, Annapurna talks about her role in the movie as well as her other roles, including starring in Feral. 

Interview of Tommy Beardmore/A Case of Blue (5m) - RGIFF talks to Tommy of A Case of Blue, in an exclusive interview done on the set of the movie.

Interview of Ursula Abbott/A Case of Blue (6m) - Listen to a quick chat with Actress Ursula Abbot, recorded on the set of A Case of Blue. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Movie Review: The Map of Tiny Perfect Things on Amazon - A Message We Need to Remember Over and Over Again

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

I make it a habit not to read too deeply into any preview into a movie. So I read the synopsis of The Map of Tiny Perfect Things on Amazon Prime and filed it away into my list of Movies to Watch. I like romcoms and I like meta movies.. space, time travel...anything. This seemed to check off the boxes. It billed itself as similiar to Groundhog Day. This movie has at its heart a young couple Margaret (Katherine Newton) and Mark (Kyle Allen) reliving the same day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Opinion: In these Days of Contrived Romance on TV: Bridgerton is a Breath of Fresh British Air

 By Grace Julianna     

Writer's Note: Bridgerton is a show like no other. Hi, my name Grace Julianna. and I'm an actress moonlighting as a writer for Suzee Behind the Scenes. Beware there will be SPOILERS in this review so please don’t continue to read if you have not yet watched the show. And come back for more of my take on some of the most popular shows available these days.

As I state, Bridgerton is a show like no other. Let me start off by saying I despise the genre that is romance. I think it creates a false fantasy in the audience’s minds and gives off a fake impression of what love is supposed to be. But, not Bridgerton. The minute the dashing Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset, pleaded about his love for Daphne, I fell in love with not only him but the show. The  little monologue he told Queen Charlotte about his love for Daphne was authentic and real. The couple recently found out that the Queen denied their pending approval for marriage, so the next step had to be to prove their love in front of her. Daphne started off with a lie, saying the traditional line, “it was love at first sight,” which made me cringe. But, the Duke immediately cut her off and saved the day.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Females in Entertainment: Interview with Writer/Director/Actress Catherine Eaton of The Sounding Film: Hear The Incredible Story of How This Film Got Made

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Catherine Eaton is a filmmaker, writer, actress, professor and also a director. The latter came to her in a most unusual fashion, which she explains in this interview. (You just never know who is around to lend a helping hand, or even point your life in a totally different direction.)

Her feature debut as a director and writer, The Sounding, starring Harris Yulin (Training Day, Ozark) and Frankie Faison (The Wire, Silence of the Lambs), has won two-dozen awards on the festival circuit (including four Festival Grand Prizes) and was called “a lyrical and audacious debut feature” by the WSJ. Catherine and The Sounding are the subject of a branded mini-doc by Stella Artois currently running on Hulu. Catherine was chosen for Tribeca's "Through Her Lens" Lab and Grant for her pilot "On the Outs," Her newest pilot script "Breaking News" – based on her personal experience working with freelance news crews in conflict zones – was selected for IFP's Independent Film Week Project Forum. She also co-wrote the dramedy pilot "Flawless - A Feminist Fairytale" currently being shopped. As an actor, she's been seen on Broadway, TV and film, and is currently nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. Catherine teaches Screen Directing at Harvard. We talk to Catherine about The Sounding and more. See the video for the full interview.

SBTS: I watched this movie with my husband. There are very few movies we both agree on...and we watched it to the end because it’s the kind of movie you have to watch to the end! So tell me how all this will be got started. I know there’s a fascinating story behind it.

Catherine Eaton: Yes there’s a super fun story behind it, thank you for saying that. It's super fun to hear when a couple is watching it  together and talk about it. The Sounding is definitely something that people want to talk about afterwards to compare notes and things like that so I love hearing that.

SBTS: And figure it out!


Catherine Eaton: Yes it is mysterious. We like to say that it’s a mysterious romance that turns into a personal revolution!

Monday, February 1, 2021

NJ/NYC Event: Caytha Jentis' New Film Pooling to Paradise Holds Covid-Conscious Dinner and a Movie

Looking to get out and see a movie? If you're in the Northern NJ/NYC area, the Hohokus Inn & Tavern, Hohokus NJ is hosting an outdoor screening of the new movie Pooling to Paradise under their tent with heat lamps on February 11, 2021. A socially-distant, pre fixe 3 course meal will be served for $45. Reservations are required. Start time is 6:30pm.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/137798305441

Pooling for Paradise is the new movie by Director/Writer Caytha Jentis (Bad Parents, The Other F Word). It's a comedy about four strangers who end up sharing a ride to Paradise, Nevada, the places they wind up at on the way and the connections they make with each other in the cramped car. It is not available in theaters or streaming yet and is currently on the festival route.

With theaters in the region closed and festivals almost entirely virtual this event promises audiences an opportunity to see a film with friends and support a local restaurant. This is the fourth Covid Safe screening that Fox Meadow Films has offered during the pandemic - two in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan while indoor dining was allowed. 
For more information on the movie visit:

Friday, January 29, 2021

Sundance Film Festival 2021 is Virtual: Here's How to Fest from your Couch

Well, Sundance, one of the most prestigious and popular film festivals in the US is still being held. It's a combination of in-person and virtual. Though nothing, absolutely nothing compares with going to Sundance, having it virtually does have benefits. First, you can watch it from your warm living room instead of trapsing in the freezing cold of Utah to watch the movies and attend the events. Though I love Sundance, it's really cold.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Film Review of Amazon's Mangrove - Small Axe: Steve McQueen Swings an Axe at Racial Prejudice in the Year's Best Film

By Ashton Samson

“If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.”  - Bob Marley

This quote is at the heart of 2020’s Small Axe, a brilliant and very timely new effort from director Steve McQueen. Being an anthology series of five films that takes place between the 60’s and the mid 80’s in the West Indian area of London, it covers a wide range of ideas. 

Among them is the “celebration of all that community has succeeded in achieving against the odds,” (McQueen) an exploration of racial prejudice, Black resilience, resistance and freedom. Part of the magic is in the individuality of each film, which is fresh and different from the previous installment.

Despite their individuality, fundamentally each of them are linked together by the phrase small axe that McQueen took from the Bob Marley song of the same name. Marley’s lyric, “If you are the big tree, we are the small axe,” emphasizes his belief that the imposing and oppressive established order can be brought down or changed for the better with small, but peaceful acts. McQueen’s Small Axe puts this belief on display in all five, with the best of them being my favorite of the year, Mangrove

Females in Entertainment: Dorothy Papadakos Talks about Her Book Entitled The Kingdom of Winter, What we Can do to Save the Planet and Why Children Are Our Hope

Interview by Suzanne Ordas Curry

Dorothy Papadakos is setting out to make a difference. And she is doing it by reaching children. Her novel, The Kingdom of Winter, has not only become beloved by those children (and adults) that are reading it but has also become invaluable as a teaching tool in several districts, and with good reason. The book is all about our planet, our physical world and it's changes and what we must be doing to preserve it, It's quite the heavy and overwhelming subject but through her writing and plot devices she manages to make it engaging and adventurous. Read on to find out more about this book and what other projects she is taking on. And oh.. find out about just how much she admires Greta Thunberg.

Heroic knights, starry dogs... tell me what  The Kingdom of Winter is about.

Dorothy Papadakos: The book is about science-savvy kids who enter a realm never revealed to humans until now: the Kingdoms of the Seasons.  This incredible climate science adventure with heroic knight Sir Windham the North Wind takes them into wild & wonderful nature on land, in sea and sky and into our galaxy where the Great 88 Constellations live — lead powerfully by Orion and his starry dogs Canis Major & Canis Minor. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Review: The Queen's Gambit is A Boon for Chess, but it's so Much More: Read Why you Don't Need to know a thing about Chess to Understand What this show is About

By Beth Abramson Brier

The Queen’s Gambit? Check!

In the summer of 1971 Mike Turner, the heartthrob lifeguard at our swim club, taught me to play chess.  hat and the fact that I share my first name with the protagonist of The Queen’s Gambit is where, much to my disappointment, the similarities between us end.  Anya Taylor-Joy who plays Beth delivers an Emmy award worthy performance as an unexpected child chess prodigy who enters the mostly male ranks of competitive play. 

Set during the Cold War, #TheQueen’sGambit is a seven part miniseries that has become an international success as Netflix’s most watched series.  If you haven’t yet seen it because obviously you’ve been busy following the news of “Kimye’s” rumored divorce or perhaps you’ve been hiding under the covers*- start binge watching right away.  

And don’t worry that you haven’t finished or even started watching The Crown.  It wasn’t until halfway through the first episode  that I learned that The Queen’s Gambit has nothing to do with Victoria/Elizabeth/Diana/Kate/Meghan/BabyArchie, “Brexit”, or digestive biscuits.  It has everything to do with the rather unlikely subject of chess in the even more unlikely backdrop of an orphanage in Kentucky. Wait!  Don’t go back to bed.  Let me explain why chess boards are selling out faster than Gwyneth’s candles.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival Goes Virtual Feb. 27th - March 3rd 2021: Over 85 Films from the US and Around the World Including Free Presentations of Interest to Filmmakers and Film Fans Alike

This year the Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival (NJ) celebrates its 10th anniversary. In keeping with the tradition of showcasing a broad array of quality films from local and international fillmmakers, the show will go on but virtually. Though nothing can replace the hustle and bustle of the RGIFF Red Carpet and parties in beautiful downtown Ridgewood, holding the festival virtually means that now anyone can view it from the comfort of their own home on their own device.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Film Review: A Case of Blue Features Award-winning Performances by Stephen Schnetzer and Annapurna Sriram - It's A Story of Modern and Vintage Love

By Beth Brier Abramson

We have have spent most of the last year searching.  First for toilet paper.  Then Lysol wipes.  Lately any stray Xanax that might have slipped into the fuzzy abyss of our purse.  But - good news - the search for what to watch next is over.  Dana H. Glazer’s new film  A Case of Blue is not only what we have been searching for.  It is about what we are searching for.  The timing couldn’t be more perfect.

Stephen Schnetzer delivers an award winning performance as Richard Flicker, a recently retired accountant. To fill his newly free days Richard pursues an old passion and takes up drawing classes.  It is there he encounters Amelia played by Annapurna Sriram (Feral, The Blacklist) the granddaughter and striking imagine of his first love, Marci. Neither Richard’s wife, Ellie (Tracy Shane), nor his best friend, Kenny (Ken Baltin) seems surprised by this improbable but not impossible coincidence.  Nuanced symbolism blurs where the past and the present intersect.  Pause. Go back.  Look carefully.  Now go back to the beginning.  Watch it again. You will need more popcorn.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Angie: Lost Girls Film Streams December 18th: A Powerful Narrative Aimed at Awareness of Child Trafficking Stars Olivia D'Abo, Dylan Sprayberry, Randall Batinkoff, Jane Widdop, MC Lyte

Angie: Lost Girls  is a new film streaming nationwide on December 18th, 2020. It's the story of another epidemic in this country and around the world - child trafficking. As a narrative feature, it tells the story of Angie Morgan, a teenage girl living in a normal sububan home with caring parents who falls prey to the traffickers, finding herself caught in their web with little hope of getting out. As she is caught in the ring, being brutalized by her captors and the men she is forced to encounter daily, her parents and the police work feverishly to rescue her. It is a story of heartbreak, courage and hope which casts light on a subject few people want to accept can happen anywhere. The film will be available to rent and own on North American digital HD internet, cable, and satellite platforms on December 18, 2020, followed by a DVD release date on December 22, 2020.

Playing the lead Angie is newcomer Jane Widdop. Dylan Sprayberry (CW's Teen Wolf) ) is the teenage boy that lures her into this world. Her parents are played by Olivia D'Abo (The Wonder Years, Law & Order, Star Wars: Clone Wars) and Randall Batinkoff (Bad Grandmas, DC Legends of Tomorrow, Relativity). Other cast include Anthony Montgomery (The Family Business, General Hospital, Star Trek: Enterprise), MC Lyte (Girls Trips, SWAT, Patti Cake$), and Cherie Jiminez (Pretty Little Liars, Nova Vita). 

New York Women in Film and Television Presents its 2020 MUSE Awards Virtually: Recipients are Awkwafina, Rachel Brosnahan, Rashida Jones, Ali Stroker, Jody Kantor, Megan Twohey, Alana Mayo, Gina Prince Bythewood

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

New York Women in Film and Television, the premiere group of industry professionals in the New York City area, presents its annual MUSE awards virtually this year. The much-anticipated event of the year which is usually held in midtown, will now be held virtually. And as NYWIFT acknowledges the breadth of the devastation to the economy and specifically the entertainment industry, this year the event is "pay what you can."

Thursday, December 3, 2020

This Year's Christmas Con by That's 4 Entertainment Comes Straight to Your Home: Celebrity Panels and More Experiences from your Favorite Christmas Movie Actors from Hallmark, Lifetime and More


By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Attention Christmas movie lovers! One good thing about an event being virtual is that you can participate in it from wherevery you are, even sitting on your couch in your favorite Christmas jammies and socks. So this year, you don't have to travel to Jersey (despite what you hear, it's a great place...) to experience the thrill and spirit of Christmas Con! Dates are December 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th, 2020.

If you don't know what Christmas Con is, it's a spectacular gathering of all things Christmas movies, Christmas and Christmas movie stars (mainly from Hallmark Channel and Lifetime). I was one of the lucky ones that scored a ticket to last year's first ever con (truth be told, I'm press) and boy was I not disappointed. It was a wonderful gathering of everything you love about Christmas movies, including many of the actors you've probably only dreamed about ever meeting. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the convention hall was filled, It was a sold-out event, but also it was filled with happy people, and I noticed lots of families,  moms with their daughters and grandmas.  These movies appeal to many.

You May Like:  Photos from Christmas Con 2019:



Monday, November 23, 2020

Review of Amazon Series The Boys - Not your Regular Superheroes Story but an Ongoing Tale That's Wonderful, Twisted and Utterly Unpredictable


By Harry Sherer

If you haven’t heard of The Boys yet, consider this a warning. If you like Marvel or DC, this is a death sentence. If you like political commentary, this is a wake-up call. If you like good television, this is a must. And that’s not to mention the tornado of plot twists, explicit language, and laser-eyed babies. The Boys might be the best new show on television, and the season two finale promises that this is only the beginning of what is hopefully a long and eventful journey to “streaming original’s” Mount Rushmore. Yeah, it’s that good. 

The Boys is an Amazon Original that premiered in the summer of 2019, and just wrapped up a stellar second season. Both seasons are critically acclaimed and loved by audiences, earning an 84% and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively. It’s also the only non-Netflix program to break into Nielsen’s top 10 weekly streaming shows. The series is executive produced by the all-star team of Eric Kripke (Supernatural, Revolution), Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express), and Seth Rogen. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

See it Here First: Caytha Jentis' New Indie Film Pooling To Paradise to Be Performed as a Reading to Support NYC Emerging Artists Theater

By Allyson Schiller

Premiering Monday, November 23 at 8 pm, as a benefit for Emerging Artists Theatre, there will be a staged reading of the new film Pooling to Paradise, written by Caytha Jentis and directed by Alice Jankell. This virtual performance of Pooling to Paradise is s part of a series of reading to benefit the theater group during the pandemic. As has been noted, the theater industry is suffering all over the country and more but they are all finding ways to keep the arts alive. The cost is $10. You can buy a ticket with this link;


Based loosely on Jentis’ own experiences of befriending a Lyft driver, and a bittersweet love story he told of a friend finding love in Paradise, Nevada, this play follows four Los Angeles strangers, each at a personal crossroad, who turn their pooled ride-share into a road trip to Paradise themselves. The characters are loosely based on the friends she was with the night meeting the Lyft driver, and“other older millennial friends of mine who, like them, were grappling with ‘adulting’ existential dread as experienced by their generation: when to give up on a dream, student loan debt, fourth wave feminism, identity, making ends meet in today's gig economy, and finding real connection."

Friday, November 13, 2020

Ten (Dix) Things that are RIGHT about Emily in Paris on Netflix: Darren Star Takes us on the Journey We All Need Now

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Darren Star's latest series Emily in Paris is one of those shows that well, I've heard people call a guilty pleasure, as if there's something wrong with watching it. I suppose it's trendy to say you're watching some fancy French film, but Emily in Paris? 

Well I don't care. #EmilyinParis on #Netflix is just what we need right now. If entertainment is to help us escape, unwind, dream and inform us, that Emily in Paris checks off all the boxes. 

Do I care that it's several steps away from reality? No I don't. As a huge fan of Sex and the City, that  was too. Maybe call both of them "expanded" reality. If Carrie Bradshaw had a daughter, it would be Emily.

Whisk away the naysayers of this show as lightly and gracefully as Emily's dress sways in the Parisian breeze. In addition to Lily Collins endearing performance as the title character, here are TEN other reasons why I'll watch it over again. And why I am so excited that a second season is coming. Merry Christmas to us all!

Ten Reasons to Love Emily in Paris

Un. If I walk up to a big screen tv and stand there I almost feel like I am in Paris. The show showcases the best and most iconic ares of the city and and focuses on the scenery as more than just a setting shot. I've never been to Paris but it was on my list for this year.  And now we are in a pandemic. What better way to travel?

Thursday, November 12, 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Your Favorite and New Christmas Movies: Because We Need a Little Christmas More This Year Than Ever

By Suzanne Ordas Curry with staff

Boy do we need a little Christmas this year, and luckily, the fun has begun! Lifetime and  Hallmark have already started their holiday fare. And I was there, end of October, just waiting for something to take me out of the doldrums of Covid seclusion and election and transport me into a fantasy world of tinsel, cookies and people sitting at a perfectly-decorated holiday table together not worrying about catching a virus as they opened their mouths to eat that freshly-baked gingerbread cookie.

And of course the streamers are chock full of Christmas and holiday movies and specials. I'm like a kid on Christmas morning searching through all the channels marveling at all the Christmas content just ready for me to binge on.

There are lots of types of holiday movies - comedies, romance, fantasy drama, religious, animated and more. And in 2020 thanks to the over prevalence of stations and streaming networks you can find them just about anywhere. Ah, I can remember the days of walking into Blockbuster to rent a copy of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas or Home Alone- actually not the latter because I think every video collection had that movie in it. It was a big deal to pop a movie into the VCR, pop up the corn and sit around and watch it. With your mom and pop.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Movie Review of Angie: Lost Girls Starring Jane Widdop and Dylan Sprayberry - Julia Verdin's Compelling, Brutally Honest Story about Child Trafficking Will Make You Realize It Can Happen Anywhere

By Allyson Schiller

It’s rare that a movie sits with me days after I’ve watched it. I don’t frequently find myself sitting and mulling over a scene from something I’ve watched last week, or reliving how I felt in other moments of my day. Modern consumption of media has created a society of “binge-worthy” works, where a viewer is encouraged to watch something, be it a movie or tv series, “fangirl” over it for a short period of time, and move on to the next. If you want something of depth, power and a strong call to action, Angie: Lost Girls, a fictional narrative feature, will have you thinking over each plotpoint days, even weeks after your viewing. 

In times of Covid, many people find themselves with more free time on their hands. We have opportunities to see inequity in the world around us, and many people began thinking about ways to help those around them. Social justice moved to the forefront of many of our lives. If ever there were a film to make you want to do more for the greater good, this is it.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Calling all Soap Fans! As The World Turns Reunion Scheduled Online in The Locher Room: Proceeds to benefit ATWT Alum's Trent Dawson's Katonah Classic Stage

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Attention soap fans! How many of you watched As the World Turns? If you're clamouring for some of its excitment, glamour and intrigue, you will be happy to know that a virtual reunion will be held online on Wednesday, October 28th, 2020 at 8pm on Alan Locher's show, The Locher Room on Youtube. If you're not already familiar with Alan's show, he interviews soap stars as well as other celebrities. Alan spent most of his career doing PR for many of the soap operas. 

To Watch it:


Cast members from this iconic CBS series will read the last script of the long-running daytime drama which ended ten years ago. The reunion is being organized by ATWT alum Trent Dawson. There is a small fee to watch the reunion. - and it will be used to help build Trent's new artistic effort, a theater in Katonah, NJ called Katonah Classic Stage. Like many actors, Trent is an avid fan of Shakespeare and the classics, and the goal of his new theater is to instill the love of the classics in not just adults but also children.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Just in Time for Halloween: Why You Should Watch Stranger Things, The Silence of the Lambs, The Haunting of Hill House, The Evil Dead and Hush if You Want some Jump Scares

By Ashton Samson

Editor's note: Looking for something spooky or surreal to watch for Halloween - or for that matter any time of the year when the horror bug strikes you? Here's a look at a series and several films from our resident horror critic Ashton Samsonand why he rates them high on the jump scare meter. Read on for a reasons to watch Stranger Things, The Silence of the Lambs, The Haunting of Hill House, The Evil Dead and Hush. If you're new to horror, try Stranger Things first.

Stranger Things

How far would you go to save your friends? This is the question posed by the phenomenal Stranger Things, a show that takes place in the 80’s and yet feels very relatable to our current society. The story explores themes that are interwoven with great 80’s songs and layers of horror and sci-fi, the inspiration of which stems from the masters of horror, Stephen King, John Carpenter and James Cameron. The show addresses themes such as the power of friendship and loyalty in face of adversity, which are always of paramount importance, but even more so now.  Indeed they go very far for one another because of the bond between them, which in essence, is the show’s emotional core. Accompany the best teens on the adventure of a lifetime, with suspense, bonding, love and classic horror as you enter the world of Stranger Things.

Interview Females in Entertainment: Meet Cecilia Copeland, A LatinX Woman With a Portfolio of Scripts of Different Genres Including an Autobiographical Piece About her most Unusual Childhood

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Cecilia Copeland is a successful screenwriter, writing in different genres but especially science fiction and fanstay. Her current project, 13th Street Scare, is about a vampiress. It has  recieved several awards already and will be read as part of NYSeeing2020 on October 21.     

However, it's not all about vampires. Cecilia endured a most unusual and tragic childhood, having been kidnapped by her dad. She writes about this in her script The Copeland Case. She is also an advocate for women and Latinx woman, though she is quick to point out that she does not write for Latinx women but writes stories reflecting life with Latinx experiences in it. 

Read on to find out how her life has affected her stories and what she is doing to help promote the arts in New York City.

It's always interesting to hear how people landed in the world of entertainment. Tell me how you got here.

Cecilia Copeland: Wow. That’s a great question. I’ll do my best to be brief though and hopefully interesting. For sure, a big part of why I create art or entertainment, hopefully both at the same time, is because I had a really unconventional childhood.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Interview with Andrew Richardson: Meet This British Actor Who is Making a Splash in America in A Call to Spy, Martin Eden and More; He Talks How This Happened and Where He's Headed in What Will Surely Be a Very Succesful Career

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

I've got a feeling Andrew Richardson will soon become a household name. Just since I spoke to him not too long ago his film A Call to Spy is now in theaters and streaming, he just finished shooting No Human Involved  and it was announced that he got a gig on an ABC medical drama pilot named Triage. You may have also seen him in The Last OG.

It's no surprise when you see this handsome actor, hear that British accent and observe what he can do on screen, that he landed his first film role in Sarah Megan Thomas' A Call to Spy straight out of college. In this World War II film inspired by the stories of three real female spies, he plays a strong, masculine soldier, but one which he tried to make a bit more human. As the soldier is surrounded by danger, he said, "I wanted him to bring a little sense of humor and positivity to the role." 

In this exclusive article we talk to Andrew about how he went from ballet to theater, from Britian to Canada to the US (where he currently resides) and from Michigan to Hungary for his role in A Call to Spy. Oh, and he also fills us in on what he's been doing during this pandemic, aside from auditioning over Zoom.

Suzee: Let's get to know you. Tell me something about how your journey to becoming and actor here in the states..

Andrew Richardson: I was born in Canada but raised in England. I grew up on a farm in England. I was one of just a few people that have three passports!

Andrew Richardson: I originally set out to be a ballet dancer I trained in London. I loved performing at the Royal Opera House. It was everything having to do with classical dance and music which I love. But, I found it quite frustrating because of the lack of opportunities dancers are given. I figured I’d pursue it more as a hobby and I was drawn towards theater specifically Shakespeare at the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was right there in London and it was phenomenal to be there that close to World class caliber storytelling.  I’m really drawn to the theater and other forms of narrative storytelling so I actually looked into studying acting in the states.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

NYC's Chelsea Film Festival Goes Virtual for 2020: Kickoff is October 14th with Features From Around the World


The 2020 Chelsea Film Festival will be held on October 15-18th, 2020. This year, the excitement of the festival will be virtual. Though we all love the in-person aspects of a film festival, being virtual means you can appreciate the films and panels from the comfort of you home, on any device.

This year's festival features 130 films available from October 15th-18th on Film Festival +.  The festivities start with a pre-opening party on October 14th. This year the festivals features a Masterclass with Robin Weingarten, Reel Magic Panel Series with top Entertainment industry professionals, a Wellness Event, a Climate Change Panel and of course Q & A's with many filmmakers.

There are 12 US and foreign  feature films: A Case of Blue, All Earthly Constraints, Celeste, Donna Stronger Than Pretty, Greyscale, Hive, I Heard Sarah, Love is not Love, My Last Best Friend, Myth, Soundtrack to Sixteen and The Last Christmas Party. There are also documentaries, short films and virtual reality. 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Review of Netlix Film I'm Thinking of Ending Things: Not Your Ordinary Breakup Story but an Ambiguous, Magical and Stunning Example of Visual Storytelling

 By Ashton Samson

When you sit down to watch the Netflix film, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, do not for one second doubt what you are seeing. You will think that your eyes are playing tricks on you and you will question whether or not the clothing, names and ages of the characters are constantly being modified as the film draws onward. You might even turn it off, taking the firm opinion that there is too much inconsistency to make it a film worth watching, but whatever you do, don’t reach for the remote. 

Instead, take heed of my advice: Your mind is not playing tricks on you and Charlie Kaufman’s films will always and forever elude straightforward classification. With that being said, let's venture down the dark and lonely road of regret, pain, memory and what it means to be human with 2020’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Bid to Change a Child's Story: Bergen CASA for Children Holds Virtual Auction To Raise Funds to Help Children in Foster Care October 1st-14th

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

The pandemic of 2020 is taking it's toll on a lot of things. Two of them, that don't always make headlines are non-profits and foster children.

Abuse and neglect are up of children is up during this pandemic. There are so many factors affecting this, such as stress, lack of money and food and the overall environment we are living in. The big problem is that reports of the abuse have subsided. Social workers are not having the face-to-face interaction they used to with foster children, and new cases are not being recognized because the children are not in school, which is a primary place for abuse to be recognized and reported. 

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children is a non-profit that provides trained volunteer advocates who become one-on-one advocates for children in foster care. Trained in many of the aspects that affect these children, their job is to check in with the child, work with the social worker and all others that take care of the particular child, and get to know the child so they can best report to the courts if something is needed or awry. These advocates often know the child the best because they are assigned one-on-one to the children.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Film Review of Sarah Megan Thomas' A Call to Spy Coming to Theaters and Streaming: This Story Inspired by Female Spies Virginia Hall, Vera Atkins and Noor Khan is Engaging, Historical and Above All Inspiring

By Harry Sherer

Looking at the cinematic chronicle of historical drama, there’s many things to love about the genre. It’s a form of cinema that isn’t just about entertainment, it’s also about enlightenment. Historical dramas highlight important individuals from the past that most of the general public doesn’t know about, but deserve to. They teach lessons from our history in the hopes that we won’t make the same ones today. They shed new light on new puzzle pieces of history that can recontextualize how we think about the world. Above all, I think we love historical dramas because, more often than not, they tell a tried-and-true underdog story that we all know and love. Better yet, they’re true.

Sarah Megan Thomas' A Call to Spy could not have come at a better time. It tells the tale of three women employed by Allied intelligence to try and take down the Nazi regime from the inside. It’s a mesh of genres— WWII, spy, drama, thriller— that within the overall narrative hides a heartwarming (and equally heart-wrenching) story about disability, discrimination, and overcoming impossible odds. In the broader context of the horrors of WWII, A Call to Spy highlights the individual struggles of those brave enough to stand and fight. Such a story is beyond topical in a time like this, as the world battles an unprecedented pandemic but most individuals feel its effects on a personal and individual level. 

Directed by Lydia Dean Pilcher, A Call to Spy engages the audience on this kind of personal level from the very first scene. We’re not treated to the massacre of nameless soldiers on foreign battlegrounds, or the bombing of a vast European city, or the rounding up of hundreds of Jews by the Nazi regime, but instead the individual torture endured by our lead, American spy Virginia Hall, as she is interrogated by Nazi tormentors to give them the information they need to undermine the Allied intelligence operation.