By Suzanne Ordas Curry
I just wanted to tell her it was all going to be okay.
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.
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).
TO VIEW THE FREE SPECIALS AND THE FILMS VISIT:
|A scene from Brud'hars|
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.
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.)
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.
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
“If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.” - Bob Marley
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 Winteris about.
By Beth Brier Abramson
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.
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.
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."
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:
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.
Premiering 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;
his play follows “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."
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.