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

Guantanamo Diary Revisited Review

What does it mean to forgive someone? The act of forgiveness is perhaps the most powerful weapon someone can wield. It can restore your very soul, and hopefully repair another. But, how does one forgive another, after they had to endure a living hell? This is the question posed by the documentary, “Guantanamo Diary Revisited”. From 2002 until 2016, Mohamedou Ould Slahi was a prisoner of Guantanamo Bay, held under suspicion of being the recruiter of the 9/11 hijackers. Continue reading Guantanamo Diary Revisited Review

Tribeca Film Festival Review: ClayDream

There is something magical in animation, as anyone who has ventured to try creating in the visual style knows. Clay animation is a special kind of crazy magic; crazy, because of how a shapeless blob can be given movement and form but also because of the time and focus that is required for it to be done well. Maybe Will Vinton was a special kind of crazy for his incredible talent that took animation to a new level, but the personal cost to him and to those who believed in his dreams proved devastating. “ClayDreams” (2021) is a cautionary tale of how art and finance don’t necessarily play well together, sometimes with heartbreaking results. Continue reading Tribeca Film Festival Review: ClayDream

Tribeca Film Festival 2021 Review: Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase the Blues Away

Early on in this engaging documentary, Buddy Guy explains his understanding of the origin of the Blues, “You play them because you got them but when you play them you lose them. The Blues chase the blues away.” The question of what the Blues are and where they come from is revisited several times throughout the film which makes it clear that everyone has their own unique answer but Guy gives the clearest, most inclusive response.  He should know since he has spent his eighty-four years on this planet loving and pursuing the elusive essence of this musical style. Continue reading Tribeca Film Festival 2021 Review: Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase the Blues Away

Hot Docs International Film Festival 2021 Review: It Is Not Over Yet

The COVID pandemic has brought the issue of eldercare, particularly in nursing homes, into raised public awareness. The treatment of the elderly and their quality of life has become cause for renewed discussion, not just in the US but on a worldwide basis. Against this backdrop, “It Is Not Over Yet” (2020) is a particularly timely documentary as it explores one woman’s crusade to reform eldercare in her native Denmark. Continue reading Hot Docs International Film Festival 2021 Review: It Is Not Over Yet

GFF2021: BIG vs SMALL

Year: 2021Duration: 1h 16mDirector: Minna DuftonStarring: Joana Andrade, Johanna Nordblad By Caz Armstrong Have you ever stared your fears in the face and been bold enough to overcome them? This inspirational documentary by Finnish director Minna Dufton is a deeply personal profile of Portugal’s first female big wave surfer which will not only leave you in awe but stir up your soul. Joana Andrade enjoyed … Continue reading GFF2021: BIG vs SMALL