Friday, March 26, 2021

Females in Entertainment: Jane Widdop Stars as Angie in Angie: Lost Girls, A Powerful Film about Child Trafficking, See her Soon in Showtime's YellowJackets

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Meet Jane Widdop. This up and coming actress stars as Angie, a teen who is trafficked in the newly-released film Angie: Lost Girls. In it she plays a suburban girl who falls prey to some of the worst things a parent could imagine, all because of a boy (played by Dylan Sprayberry of the CW's Teen Wolf) who lures her into a world she may not be able to escape.

I had the chance to interview this talented young lady, who spoke candidly about how deep the part was and how she hopes it will spread awareness about this other plague around the world, which worsened during the pandemic. And she tells us what she can about her upcoming role in the new Showtime series Yellowjackets
.



In this interview you'll also hear:

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Garden State Film Festival Runs March 23 - 28 Virtual and In-Person: Almost 200 Films to Enjoy by Independent Filmmakers. IFC's Arianna Bocco and Actor Daniel Baldwin Honored


The Garden State Film Festival 2021 runs  this year from March 23rd - 28, 2021. There are some in-person events but most films are virtual. This year's festival features over 175 selections as well as special events. There are features, animation, shorts, docs and more. Tickets begin at $10 with $55 for a virtual multi-pass. Visit: https://www.gsff.org/

This year the the festival is honoring industry people for different efforts. Those being honored are: Arianna Bocco (IFC Films), Daniel Baldwin (Actor), Ming Chen and A Shared Universe PodcaSTudio, Declan O'Scanlon Jr. (State Senator), Christian Barber (actor), Chris Dudick (producer), Drew Henriksen (screenwriter) and ROB THORP (screenwriter).

The Garden State Film Festival was started to help support the works of independent filmmakers, in NJ and beyond, as well as pay homage to the state where many of the aspects of film as we know it were born. As stated on their website, it was in Menlo Park where Thomas Edison invented the first film cameras and projects and Fort Lee, which is where the first movie studios were located. (Note: Due to better weather and personal issues with some of the owners, they moved on over to Hollywood.)

Women Trailblazers of Early Cinema now on Herflix in Parnership with the NYWIFT Women's Film Preservation Fund: Watch films for free by Grace Cunard, Alice Guy-Blache, Angela Murray Gibson and Lois Weber

Launching during Women's History Month as of March 19, 2021 is a series of films called "Trailblazers of Early Cinema" on the platform HERFLIX. The Women's Film Preservation Fund of New York Women in Film and Television has partnered with HERFLIX to bring these films free to all viewers. Herflix is a new boutique online movie theater.

This ground-breaking series features films by early women filmmakers: Grace Cunard, Alice Guy-Blaché, Angela Murray Gibson and Lois Weber will be featured. You can also watch  a special  Trailblazers Q&A moderated by WFPF’s Founder Barbara Moss with guest panelists Kim Tomadjoglou and Buckey Grimm.

To view the programs, register and stream for free at HERFLIX.com.



Trailblazers of Early Cinema: 

https://herflix.page.link/282D

Trailblazers of Early Cinema Q&A Panel:

https://herflix.page.link/d1kN

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Help Save an Iconic Performing Arts Center: NJ's Bergen Pac Presents Free Online Star-Studded Extravaganza with Appearances by Jay Leno, Paul Anka, Wynton Marsalis, Ali Stroker, John Fogerty, Dionne Warwick and More on March 13th

 


Sit back in your livingroom couch, grab a drink and enjoy an evening of performances by some of the best names in entertainment this Saturday, March 13th, 2021 to benefit the Bergen County (NJ) Performing Arts Center, a stone's throw outside of New York City.

The star-studded lineup features Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famers, a legendary Grammy Award-winning jazz maestro, a Tony Award winner, and pop icons is set to take the virtual stage. “Our Home, Your Home,” takes place on Saturday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. featuring performances by superstars John Fogerty, Paul Anka, Dionne Warwick, Darlene Love, Jack Antonoff, Wynton Marsalis, Ali Stroker and additional special guests to be announced. 

The live-streamed Gala is FREE to everyone, everywhere, and donations big or small can be made via bergenPAC’s website or by calling 201.503.8321.

Stream it live here: https://www.bergenpac.org/

Review of Marvel's Wandavision on Disney: Unique, Imaginative and a Must See for Marvel Fans, but Here's What It Could Have Done Better

By Harry Sherer


I love Marvel more than anyone I know. That’s why I didn’t like
Wandavision.

Clickbaity enough for you? Hear me out— it’s not a bad show. The concept is brilliant, the acting is superb, and it beautifully sets up what will likely be MCU’s return to theatres in Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness. But something just didn’t sit right with me as the credits (and post credits, and post-post credits) came to a close. And I think it has to do with something Marvel has had a problem with for a long time— transferring the “Marvel formula” into the television medium.


As a film nerd and MCU fanboy, I’ve heard the term “Marvel formula” thrown around quite a bit. There’s no one true definition, but it refers to the various cookie-cutter elements that the studio includes in nearly all of their productions. Before I describe some of these elements, allow me to preface it by saying: I f*cking love Marvel, and I say all of this out of love. It’s not you, it’s me, babe. That being said, most every MCU production contains: a merely serviceable plot, a likeable protagonist, quirky side characters, a one-and-a-half dimension villain, and a Macguffin. And it works. But here’s the thing— Wandavision includes these elements, and does some of them really well, but in the end, it just doesn’t feel right. Let me explain what I mean. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Women behind the movie Angie: Lost Girls talk about What it Takes to Make a Movie about Child Trafficking and What they hope it will Do on Alan Locher's Youtube show, The Locher Room

Go behind the scenes with the ladies from the new movie Angie: Lost Girls on Alan Locher's The Locher Room on Friday, March 12  at 3pm EST. (Available on youtube after). Writer/Director Julia Verdin will be joined with star Olivia D'Abo (The Wonder Years, Star Wars) and Producer Cady McClain (Days, ATWT, AMC).

To Watch the Show:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y-N7NOxSZY

These three ladies will talk about what is was like to create this film which is meant to spread awareness about the plague and devastation of child trafficking. In the story, which is narrative fiction but based on research, a young, normal, suburban teen played by Jane Widdop (YellowJackets)  gets seduced into the dark work of sex trafficking by a young man she meets at the park, played by Dylan Sprayberry (CW's Teen Wolf). Olivia D'Abo  is her mother and Randall Batinkoff the father who try any means possible to find her and get her back. Also starring in this film is Anthony Montgomery (General Hospital, Star Trek), MC Lyte, Amin Joseph and Cherie Jimenez.

The movie is available on demand almost everywhere, and is also available for group screenings with a Panel discussion. Please see the website for details: 

https://www.artists4change.org/filmprojects/official-angie-lost-girls/

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Movie Review of Minari: A Haunting, Beautifully-Filmed Story of Korean Immigrants Never Giving Up on the American Dream

By Ashton Samson

When anyone in society is called upon to adapt to a new way of life, it can prove difficult. While simple changes, like purchasing a new car, can cause momentary angst, monumental changes like moving, attending a new school or adapting to conditions of a pandemic, can be the most challenging for some to endure. Either way transitions are not easy, but this can be especially so if the people involved are immigrants, thrust into a completely different culture, language and way of life.

Director Lee Isaac Chung took this concept, along with his own childhood memories, and crafted Minari,  a compelling, melancholic, and heartfelt ode to the resilience of immigrants in wanting to retain a sense of the culture that makes them who they are all while taking a stab at the American Dream. The film is my new favorite of 2020 and if people continue giving it the love it clearly deserves, it could become the second year in a row that a Korean film wins an Academy Award. The film is just that impressive: with haunting, soul-stirring music, breathtaking cinematography, excellent performances across the board and a wonderfully-realized message that is, at its core, metaphorically related to the title itself.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Film Review of Thomas Vinterberg's Another Round: This Danish Dramedy about What We All Share as Humans - Indentity, Purpose and Motivation - is the Perfect Film for Now

 

by Connor Moriarty

I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Soul, Possessor, Sound of Metal - all of these films have something in common. 

2020 was a challenging year for all of us. Silver linings were few and far between, if not completely absent. However, one universal we were all presented with was time. In an instant, the hustle and bustle of our daily lives slowed down. Of course, that means something different for everyone. But regardless of circumstances, we were all called at some point during the year to stop and think about what kinds of people we are. And the cinema of 2020 reflected that.

 

Identity. Purpose. Motivation. These are heavy, heady and difficult subjects to address without being preachy or melodramatic. The films mentioned above manage to flawlessly walk the fine line between the kitsch and the superficial to create meaningful, authentic stories. And each in their own, unique way. However, no film in 2020 did it better than Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round.