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Audrey Kupferberg

  • Bayard Rustin isn’t a famous name, at least not as recognized as it should be. He was a prominent civil rights activist, leading American movements in socialist politics, nonviolence, and gay rights. In the 1960s, he worked alongside Martin Luther King and is considered to be the most important planner of the historic March on Washington in 1963.
  • When British actress, filmmaker, writer Emerald Fennell puts her name to a project, the viewer can be pretty sure of its production quality and intelligence… and sometimes its eccentricities. Her film and TV creations include Promising Young Woman for which she won an Oscar, seven episodes of The Crown and six episodes of Killing Eve. Her acting credits include Call the Midwife, the role of Camilla Parker Bowles in The Crown, and Midge in Barbie.
  • Filmmaker Todd Haynes has provided art-oriented viewers with mesmerizing, one-of-a-kind movies since 1987. That year, his controversial short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story which uses Barbie dolls to tell the story of Carpenter’s struggle with anorexia, showed at film festivals. It’s a cult classic and difficult to see.
  • Asteroid City from quirky filmmaker Wes Anderson offers its audience an avant-garde narrative about science-minded genius children at a Junior Stargazer conference in a place that looks like a New Mexico desert town. This is Anderson’s tribute to UFO perceptions and mythology. The film begins with Bryan Cranston as a television announcer. He is presenting a new teleplay. It is 1955, so we see a screen that is at an old-fashioned aspect ratio of 1:33:1 and images that are in black and white. Soon the aspect ratio switches to widescreen and vivid colors appear.
  • The Holdovers, written and directed by Oscar-winner Alexander Payne, blends a cynical view of the Vietnam era world with a holiday spirit that rarely appears in films today, other than the sad-to-glad romances on the Hallmark Channel. This affecting dramedy is streaming and available on disc.
  • In 1988, when there were few women producing and directing feature length films, Fran Rubel Kuzui co-wrote, directed and co-produced Tokyo Pop. While Tokyo Pop has been a talked-about film-- even perhaps sort of a cult movie since its original release, Kazui probably will be remembered most for directing the 1992 satirical horror feature, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She is credited as executive producer on the Buffy TV series, but it is a gratuitous credit according to a few online sources.
  • Godland has an intriguing title. According to imdb.com, its original Danish title, Vanskabte Land, translates to something like wretched or godforsaken land. This Danish/Icelandic production introduces viewers to a straight-forward story of a young Danish priest whose mission it is to travel to a remote island in Iceland and build a church for the rural community there before winter sets in. A 2022 release that played in theaters in the U.S. this past summer, Godland has garnered many festival awards and critical praise. Currently, it is available for home viewing on disc through Janus Films and The Criterion Collection and also can be streamed.
  • Oppenheimer has been playing at theaters successfully for the past few months. Now it is available for home viewings on streaming sources and on disc. When it first opened on the big screen, there was an ad campaign: See Barbie and Oppenheimer on the same day! That campaign worked to some extent. Both films, totaling 5 hours of screentime, are mega hits, and people did screen them both in one back-aching marathon of a day!
  • Pygmalion recently played at the Old Vic in London. It proved to be a very interesting take on the play, which in so many ways has become an old warhorse of the theater. Olivier Award winner Bertie Carvel, whom many detective show lovers will recognize as the title character in Dalgliesh, played Henry Higgins. I had expectations of a Higgins who would share some small bit of Adam Dalgliesh’s personality. Urbane, sophisticated, good-looking, somewhat hesitant in the company of women…
  • French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Love continues to win nominations and awards for her movies. All Is Forgiven, Father of My Children, Things to Come, and her most acclaimed work, Bergman’s Island are films that bring together cinematic style with relatable subjects.