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‘The Neutral Ground’ exposes an obscured truth

“The Neutral Ground” (2021). Cast: CJ Hunt (narrator and interviewer), Mitch Landrieu, Jason Williams, Christy Coleman, Michael “Quess” Moore, Malcolm Suber, Angela Kinlaw, Thomas Taylor, Karen Cox, Ashley Rogers, Dr. Ibrahima Seck, Abdul Aziz, Luther Gray, Freddi Evans, Dread Scott, Mr. Hunt, Darcy McKinnon. Archive Footage: Pierre McGraw, Donald Trump, David Duke. Director: CJ Hunt. Web site. Trailer. Movie. When the truth remains hidden, it’s difficult to move forward and make progress in resolving thorny social issues. But, when it’s intentionally buried under a barrage of myths and lies designed to purposely obscure it, that makes the effort considerably more daunting. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though, as chronicled in the satirical and emotionally charged new documentary, “The Neutral Ground.” [...]

2021-08-23T12:01:48+00:00July 12th, 2021|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

Wrapping Up Reeling

Reeling 38, Chicago’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, recently completed its 2020 edition in its first-ever all-virtual format. With movie houses just now beginning to reopen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this alternative approach made it possible for the festival to go forward, and it worked remarkably well, enabling viewers to screen a variety of films while remaining safe at home. In fact, in some ways, this is a viable approach well worth considering for future events, one that makes it possible to offer the festival’s films to a wider audience and providing flexible viewing conditions, benefits not necessarily available when presented in theatrical venues. Because of this new format, I was able to screen a greater number of films than [...]

2020-11-12T06:42:42+00:00October 7th, 2020|Movie Reviews|

‘Eternal Beauty’ sheds light on the search for ‘normal’

“Eternal Beauty” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Sally Hawkins, David Thewlis, Penelope Wilton, Billie Piper, Morfydd Clark, Alice Lowe, Paul Hilton, Spencer Deere, Robert Pugh, Natalie O’Neill, Elysia Welch, Boyd Clack, Rita Bernard-Shaw, Robert Aramayo (voice), Nicholas Lumley. Director: Craig Roberts. Screenplay: Craig Roberts. Web site. Trailer. Throughout our lives, we’re often bombarded by statements, observations and criticisms associated with what constitutes “normal.” But what is that exactly? It’s often considered something ordinary and everyday, yet it frequently gets elevated to a standard that’s essentially unattainable, prompting us to wonder what good it would be then. Finding our way through such a perplexing maze can become a challenge even under the best of conditions, but it’s especially frustrating for someone with [...]

2020-10-26T01:03:51+00:00September 17th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Song Without a Name’ pleas for justice, reform

“Song Without a Name” (“Cancíon sin nombre”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Pamela Mendoza, Tommy Pàrraga, Lucio Rojas, Maykol Hernández, Ruth Armas, Lídia Quispe, Jhazmin Mamani, Lourdes Villareal, Carlos Victoria, Luis Menezes, Boris Severola, Gabriela Velásquez, Yiliana Chong, Janet Gutarra, Melvin Quijada, Ronald Saravia, Jenny Torres. Director: Melina León. Screenplay: Melina León and Michael J. White. Web site. Trailer. Life in a land riddled with injustice, intolerance and inequality – conditions that many of us can relate to these days – is ripe for change. But the birth pangs of bringing about such reform are often as difficult to endure as the problems that sparked their institution. And, to complicate matters further, these ordeals are often felt both across society and [...]

2020-09-25T13:11:35+00:00September 2nd, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Joker’ gives us much to contemplate 

“Joker” (2019). Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, Zazie Beetz, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham, Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill, Josh Pais, Douglas Hodge, Dante Pereira-Olson, Carrie Lauren Putrello, Sharon Washington, Hannah Gross, Brian Tyree Henry, Frank Wood, Carl Lundstedt, Michael Benz, Ben Warheit. Director: Todd Phillips. Screenplay: Todd Phillips and Scott Silver. Web site. Trailer. It’s a rare feat when a film covers so much ground that it gives us a lot to take in and assess. In doing so, such stories may well make us feel more than a little uncomfortable (and rightfully so) as they prompt us to take a hard look at what we’re experiencing and how it came about. They may even push [...]

2019-12-15T07:27:47+00:00October 11th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Ask Dr. Ruth’ lovingly profiles a sexual revolutionary

“Ask Dr. Ruth” (2019). Cast: Interviews: Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Miriam Westheimer, Joel Westheimer, Jonathan Capehart, Betty Elam. Archive Footage: Johnny Carson, Arsenio Hall, David Letterman, Joan Rivers, Diane Sawyer, Phil Donahue, Regis Philbin, Bo Jackson, Fred Westheimer, Helen Singer Kaplan. Director: Ryan White. Web site. Trailer. Were it not for sex, none of us would be here. Yet it’s amazing how, until comparatively recently, many of us have been reluctant or embarrassed to openly discuss something so fundamental to our nature and very being. No matter what the reason behind this, the hesitant among us long avoided the subject, almost pretending as if it somehow didn’t exist. But, given the magnitude of what’s involved in sexuality – on so many [...]

2019-06-19T09:18:16+00:00May 26th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|
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