Review: ruth weiss: the Beat Goddess

Year: 2019 Runtime: 69 minutes Director: Melody C. Miller By Joan Amenn “Walking on a tightrope Is like any other road Just believe your foot.” -ruth weiss An extraordinary life deserves to be celebrated and remembered and for too long, Ruth Weiss has been eclipsed by other poets of the Beat Movement. Unsurprisingly, the men of the era like Ginsberg and Kerouac were considered the … Continue reading Review: ruth weiss: the Beat Goddess

SXSW 2022 Review: Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story

Year: 2022 Runtime: 94 minutes Directors: Frank Marshall, Ryan Suffern By Joan Amenn As Wordsworth wrote, “The world is too much with us…” and he didn’t even know about social media. With the heaviness of these days, it is a comfort to turn to music. “Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story” (2022) brings us a respite in its depiction of the fifty-year history of this … Continue reading SXSW 2022 Review: Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story

Review: Cyrano

Year: 2021 Runtime: 124 minutes Director: Joe Wright Writers: Erica Schmidt (screenplay), Edmond Rostand (original play) Actors: Haley Bennett, Peter Dinklage, Ben Mendelsohn, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Bashir Salahuddin By Joan Amenn Sometimes a film takes a second viewing to make you aware of how much it moves you. If you have a rather cynical view of romance, perhaps, “Cyrano” (2021) won’t be your cup of … Continue reading Review: Cyrano

Footsteps on the Wind: Review

Year: 2021 Runtime: 7 minutes Director: Maya Sanbar, Faga Melo, Gustavo Leal Writers: Maya Sanbar, Pedro Paulo de Andrade, Sita Brahmachari, Onjali Q. Rauf Actors: Mariana Chiuso, Danilo Chen, Lara Boldorini, Caua Martins By Joan Amenn “Footsteps on the Wind”(2021) is dedicated to the over forty million children it states have been left to the trauma of homelessness due to war and natural disasters related … Continue reading Footsteps on the Wind: Review

Retrospective Review: Summer Stock

When the world makes you feel like a damp, drizzly November in your soul, what you need is a movie musical to “chase all your cares away.” Light on plot but heavy on dancing rhythms, “Summer Stock” (1950) brings the sunshine with the last joyful partnering of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. With a little help from the comedic timing of the wonderful Phil Silvers and Marjorie Main who was a star in her own right from the “Ma and Pa Kettle” series of films, “Summer Stock” is a breezy, fun way to spend a sultry evening. Continue reading Retrospective Review: Summer Stock

“Hamilton” is Eliza’s Musical Review: Hamilton

I have spent 5 years listening to the soundtrack, and unconsciously assumed the musical is named after, for and all directed to Alexander Hamilton (Lin Manuel Miranda); after all, the title of the first song is named ‘Alexander Hamilton.’ But I was stumped after I watched the filmed version for the first time to see the emotion Phillipa Soo put into her character of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, and the final moment as she stares back into the audience, gasping. Continue reading “Hamilton” is Eliza’s Musical Review: Hamilton

Retrospective Review: “1776”-That Other Musical about the American Revolution

Before there was the phenomenon of “Hamilton” there was another musical depiction of America’s Founding Fathers called “1776” (1972). Nowhere near the worldwide smash hit of the later play, “1776” nevertheless was popular enough to be adapted into a film with much of the Broadway cast resuming their stage roles. There is even a small reference to “1776” in “Hamilton” which is obvious to anyone who has seen both musicals but will not be spoiled here. Continue reading Retrospective Review: “1776”-That Other Musical about the American Revolution