- Interview with director Rungano Nyoni
- Bonus Short Film – Mwansa the Great(Directed by Rungano Nyoni | UK/Zambia | 23 minutes | Nyanja with English subtitles ) – While trying to prove he is a hero, Mwansa does the unforgivable and accidentally breaks his big sister Shula’s special mud doll. He goes on a quest not only to fix it, but to finally prove he is Mwansa the Great.
Five Short Films:
1. The Best of the Roman Empire by Anthony Gronowicz
2. Mark Crispin Miller and His Battles with NYU
3. Michael Hudson College Tour Guide from Hell
4. Student Protest Election Night 2016
5. Mandy’s Story
Lawlessness in Honduras
Chris Valdés and Ted Griswold directed “Olancho”, a film about
the most lawless province of Honduras, the most murderous country on the planet. Here, the drug trade has taken its toll in human lives and economic damage. But to some musicians, the cartels provide an opportunity.
lives of their loved ones. But in a world where the cartels wield the most power, do the musicians have any other choice? “Olancho” has gorgeous photography and poignancy. This is a spin on the usual immigration story. The film is about Los Plebes de Olancho, a narco band from Olancho who find themselves on the black list for their music. In their songs they praise drug lords and they perform at narco parties. This means that either they flee or pay with their lives. “Enter if you want, leave if you can” says at the beginning what should show that you are on dangerous terrain, but that does not quite come over. We are introduced to the world of the musicians. Manuel, one of the singers who managed to escape to America, wants to return to Honduras and tells his story on the radio. The band members always have a weapon with them, as if they have to sleep with their eyes open. The musicians are sympathetic and have to deal with the usual problems within a group, we do not see the dangers but we hear about
them. We see how the musicians are persecuted, but what we do not see is how the musicians are hunted and have to fear for their lives. Perhaps it’s better that we do not see this. Valdes and Griswold are caught in contradictions, because the danger is so
great yet the musicians show their faces on film. This is something of a
fictional documentary. Despite the predictable moments, Olancho is nice to look at aside from the animal killings and corpses. The Central American state of Honduras has been a land of violence for
years, dominated by rival, merciless Narco clans. The drug barons can be celebrated in songs and glorified, even though they destroy their own land. The band “Los Plebes de Olancho” are such musicians who write songs for the narcos and perform at their parties. A dangerous game, because not infrequently, the musicians themselves are targeted by the drug gangs. “Olancho” does not show enough of the imminent danger that the musicians expose themselves to by their appearances in the cartels. The documentary is as urgent and potentially exciting as the subject matter is. It is a tension-free, anti-climactic and non-climactic work that cannot turn make the music of “Los Plebes de Olancho” into an equally interesting film. Unfortunately, “Olancho” falls behind its content.
“Roma” The Banal and the Sublime Amos Lassen
From the opening image of Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma”, the banal and sublime walk hand in hand. Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), works for the family of Dr. Antonio (Fernando Grediaga), a man who seems to be a guest in his own home. As a car pulls into the driveway, we get shots of the vehicle’s grille, tires, and gear shift making Antonio’s presence known. There is an entire dynamic between patriarch and his family that is established in the way the man’s wife, Sofia (Marina de Tavira), and their children gather to welcome him as if they are paying tribute to some visiting dignitary. Early on we get a sense of this family’s perspective, but for the most part Cuarón is interested in Cleo’s point of view. She is an indigenous woman who speaks both Spanish and Mixtec and switches between the languages depending on whether she’s talking to her employers or to the other servants in the house. Though Sofia is never depicted as an uncaring or inattentive mother, it’s clear from the start Cleo is largely responsible for rearing Sofia’s children and they respond quickly to Cleo’s commands. Cuarón establishes the economic and class divisions of the Mexico City neighborhood where Antonio and Sofia live through scenes that place Cleo as one of many servants who work in homes and there is one long take during which the camera floats over the rooftop of Antonio’s estate as Cleo hangs laundry. We also see numerous other maids scrubbing and hanging clothes. Cleo’s position as second mother to Sofia’s kids is cemented further when Antonio moves in with his mistress under the guise of attending a medical conference. As Sofia realizes what’s happened, her grief and anger isolate her from her family thus forcing Cleo to increasingly take on responsibility for the well-being of Sofia’s children and this includes hiding their father’s abandonment. As Cleo deals with the added tension in her employers’ household, she must also deal with an unexpected pregnancy and the very sudden and violent rejection by her boyfriend, Fermín (Jorge Antonio Guerrero), who threatens to kill her and her unborn child if she makes him take responsibility as a father. These relationship issues take “Roma” into a melodrama, where emotions are frequently held at a distance by Cuarón’s aesthetic approach in which he frequently dwarves Cleo in the frame via longshots. In a scene where the maid goes to confront Fermín over their child while he practices martial arts with other men in a soccer field, she’s just a speck in a massive shot that takes in a mountain that looms over the entire scene as the men do their drills. Cleo’s near-invisibility in this shot forecasts how much power she’ll project while dealing with Fermín and similar methods of shrinking Cleo in the frame shows her diminished authority in Antonio and Sofia’s household. Cuarón calls attention to the wealth of the family Cleo serves by highlighting the size of their home, placing Cleo in the middle distance and background of deep-focus images that make the house seem tremendous and the vastness of the space is subtly reinforced by the fact that in spite of the maid’s seemingly endless work, the place never seems to get clean. Aparicio is a first-time actor who responded to a casting call and gives a performance that’s defined by halting mannerisms. That’s an approach that makes sense for the actress’s character, a woman who’s paid to silently handle the inconveniences of her bosses and who treats her increasingly prominent position in Sofia’s life with the caution of someone who’s trespassing and certainly knows her place. Director Cuarón emphasizes Cleo’s helplessness, whether she’s caught up in a riot that abruptly breaks out during a civil demonstration or dealing with complications during the delivery of her baby. That delivery is an unbroken long shot that captures the entirety of the birthing process and is the film’s emotional high point. By framing the moment in this way, Cuarón forces the audience to notice everything in the delivery just as Cleo does and as her reactions change from pained to confused to panicked as problems arise. Cuarón as writer, cinematographer, and co-editor exercises near-total control over every frame. His consistent efforts to use his formal mastery to foreground Cleo’s physical and social place is wonderful in itself. The film’s compositions and elegant camera movements can be, they consistently illuminate Cleo’s state of mind and social status, as well as give voice to all the emotions she lacks the freedom to openly express. Cuarón mixes classical and modern modes of melodrama freely and we are reminded of old and new Hollywood techniques to craft stories that united nostalgia with social commentary. Cuarón confronts his own personal privilege, ruminating on the perspective of the sort of woman who helped raise him. In the end, “Roma” is autobiography as autocritique in which Cuarón appears to have rediscovered his identity as a filmmaker. His film both intimately small and epic as it looks at upheaval in the family and in the wider Mexican political context, from a philandering husband to a protest brutally suppressed by US-backed fascist sympathizers. Not once does the domestic story feel like the lesser of the two, Cuaron’s beautiful black and white cinematography gives grandeur to every shot, while incredible sound pulls us into the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The cast is universally superb, especially Aparicio, who carries the entire film with an astonishing debut performance. Every character is well drawn, and there’s lovable and layered child acting. “Roma” is brilliantly directed and is sure to be not only a movie of the year but one that enters the canon of great film.
The plot is far-fetched. Can we believe that if the polar ice caps did melt that the world would be covered in water. Set hundreds of years after this particular cataclysm, “Waterworld” follows the journey of The Mariner, a man who is one step beyond human as he has the ability to breathe underwater and has webbed feet. “Waterworld” has a lot going for it. It’s everything an action/sci-fi movie should be and yet it flopped.”Waterworld” is action and comedy, a big budget one at that which works only if you ignore the storyline and just are entertained by the various action scenes and the comedy of Dennis Hopper as a bad guy. As such technically “Waterworld” is a bad movie because the storyline ends up being pointless, the dialogue often corny and seems to go nowhere for long lengths of time. But when you accept that there is no depth or deeper meaning “Waterworld” becomes entertaining. The way “Waterworld” sets up the story makes us think that maybe the movie will have some depth, some environmental message as it takes us to the future. But there is no depth and what we get is basically an action story, a quest where a loner finds himself in the company of a woman and girl trying to find dry land while also protecting them from a bunch of bad guys. The minute you start to look for any depth to “Waterworld” is when it comes undone because it is completely devoid of any depth, any meaning or character progression. TWO-DISC LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS New restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative by Arrow Films, presenting the film in three cuts Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 stereo audio options Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing Six collector s postcards Double-sided fold-out poster Limited edition 60-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by David J. Moore and Daniel Griffith, archival articles and original reviews Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper DISC ONE THE THEATRICAL CUT High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the original theatrical cut Maelstrom: The Odyssey of Waterworld, an all-new, feature-length making-of documentary including extensive cast and crew interviews and behind the scenes footage Original archival featurette capturing the film’s production Global Warnings, film critic Glenn Kenny explores the subgenre of ecologically aware Hollywood blockbusters Production and promotional stills gallery Visual effects stills gallery Original trailers and TV spots DISC TWO THE EXTENDED CUTS [LIMTED EDITION EXCLUSIVE] High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the extended US TV cut, which runs over 40 minutes longer than the theatrical cut High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the extended European Ulysses cut, which includes censored shots and dialogue
| Used To Drive A Tractor In Negrille|
Let There Be Light
An Eye For An Eye
- Run For Cover
- Books Of Moses
- Revelation Revolution And Evolution
- Money Come And Money Go
- Holy Angels
- 40 live performances from Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and Tammy Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” to Dierks Bentley’s “Drunk on a Plane” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Round Here.”
- Unforgettable CMA Awards moments including Lionel Richie and Alabama performing “Deep River Woman,” Vince Gill and Patty Loveless performing “When I Call Your Name,” Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty performing “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” The Highwaymen – Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson performing “Highwayman,” and George Strait and Alan Jackson performing “He Stopped Loving Her Today” during the George Jones Tribute.
- Awards Acceptance speeches from Country Music legends such as Glen Campbell and Charley Pride receiving their Entertainer of the Year awards, Loretta Lynn and Lynn Anderson receiving the Female Vocalist of the Year award and more!
- Go behind the scenes on “Country Music’s Biggest Night” with candid interviews with Charley Pride, Blake Shelton and George Strait.
“American Circumcision” To Cut or Not to Cut Amos Lassen Circumcision is a common surgery in America, yet America is the only industrialized country in the world to routinely practice non-religious infant circumcision. We can wonder why in America we continue to cut the genitals of its newborn baby males when the rest of the world does not? “American Circumcision” looks at both sides of the circumcision debate, including the growing Intactivist movement (intact + activist), which believes all human beings have a right to keep the body they were born with intact. This is the first documentary to comprehensively explore this cutting edge issue, which involves sex, politics, and religion. “Intactivists” believe males should be given a choice whether to have the procedure done or not. The medical argument against waiting is that the benefits of circumcision are realized for infant boys through adulthood: if left until men can decide for themselves the risk of infections and disease is (slightly) higher. We meet two evidence based medical scientists who talk about the health benefits of circumcision painted as evil and out of touch. They are contrasted with a parade of very passionate people making emotional arguments against the scientific evidence. They seem to be motivated by “a deep body horror that infant boys are being mutilated, that they can feel the pain of the operation, that it is somehow traumatic despite the fact that infant brains cannot remember pain. There is much discussion of the damage to sexual sensitivity done to boys and of the trauma of the operation.” There is a modern practice of those who wish to reinstate his foreskin and they use a combination of pinching devices, weights, and elastin cream to stretch the foreskin. This is so that the penis will appear as though it was never circumcised. The descriptions of the intensity, time, and determination necessary to achieve this almost seem to put it into the realm of fetish practice. The medical consensus is that there is some benefit in diseaserisk mitigation that results from circumcision, but mostly in cultures wherehygiene and education is less advanced than in the developed world. On apersonal level, I can say that being circumcised has had no impact on my lifeat all as far I can tell. There are some young (and older) men in thedocumentary who, upon reflection, have found cause for rage and recriminationtoward their parents for having it done. “American Circumcision,” is a first feature project of director Brendon Marotta and it is as serious as political divisions brought about by gun laws, abortion, and transgender rights. America is often considered to be the only country in the developed world to indulge in circumcision and whose opponents consider it barbaric and unnecessary even though this twenty-minute operation promotes hygiene, cosmetic concerns, even, ironically, an opening to greater sexual pleasures than should be expected by an uncircumcised male. The documentary does present both sides of the issue and director Marotta has captured dynamic footage of demonstrations in front of the U.S. Capitol and the White House, even an attempt in California to provide a law by referendum that would outlaw the practice just as sure as female genital mutilation has been illegal here since 1996. Talkingheads express similar views and some break down in tears when they expressanger at both the society and their parents for allowing the surgery when theywere infants. Of course small children cannot make certain decisions bythemselves and parents have the right to step in to do what’s best. But in thiscase the decision to have a surgeon, or for a Jewish infant a mohel, remove asection on the head of the penile shaft is a choice that should be left untilthe infant is 18 years of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as recently as 2012 expressed their view that the benefits outweigh the risks, a decision that should come from the parents or from a mature man himself. However, to insist that cutting part of the body, the part responsible for quite a share in creating the world’s population, is hygienic sounds absurd. Is there proof that circumcised people are cleaner in any way? More important as one activist shares is that the uncircumcised penis is capable of multiple orgasms. It was going to be obvious that some Jews and presumably Muslims, whose faith also commands circumcision, would consider the opponents of the circumcision surgery to be anti-Semitic, but that is an argument that does not hold. This is an excellent documentary which may be criticized by those who are circumcised and who feel the obligation to defend what was already done. Even there, thankfully, there is a procedure to emulate the foreskin, but the length of time needed to do so and the painful process required would make that a choice of only a determined few.