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). 

TO VIEW THE FREE SPECIALS AND THE FILMS VISIT:

https://ridgewoodguildfilmfest.com/


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!



TO WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH CATHERINE EATON:

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: