The Wonders by Alice Rohrwacher (2014)

Alice Rohrwacher, as shown by her lovely first feature film, Corpo Celeste, and her latest, The Wonders, is a first-rate filmmaker and thoroughly original storyteller. Her films convey confidence in her work, ability and subject matter, a sense of real wonder for the world, and a compassion for people, especially young women. The Wonders, while…

Berlin and Beyond 2015: The Whole Shebang by Doris Dörrie

Doris Dörrie’s sweet and thoughtful film about mothers and daughters (of the female and trans- variety) is part Almodovar’s Volver and part Nana Neul’s Stiller Sommer (which screened at Berlin and Beyond 2014), a meditation on the fragility of human memory, particularly when it comes to relationships. The Whole Shebang (Alles Inklusive) is further infused with…

Annie and the American Dream

While I enjoyed the marvelous and much-beloved John Huston film adaptation of Annie (1982) and thoroughly enjoy all the songs, I am no Annie purist. I have enjoyed various “faithful” and “reworked” TV and stage versions of the stories, all with the central themes of love, family, and redemption. Let us also not forget that…

Advanced Style: From Blog to Big Screen

I have read Mr. Cohen’s blog since it was first started; it captures a slice of that New York in which I grew up, that slice which included women d’un certain age who frequented galleries and parks and avant-garde dance openings at Dance Theater Workshop, and with whom I often had interesting and long conversations,…

SFIFF57: Soul Food Stories by Tonislav Hristov

In the Hungarian town of Satovcha in Soul Food Stories, Muslim, Christian, Roma and atheist Communists live together peacefully, united by their love of their families and community, rituals of food, prayer, conversation, fasting, and seasonal festivals, and divided, only superficially, by their religious or political identities. The members of this multi-generational community share a…