Chavez was a firm believer in non-violence. In theory, the aesthetic of non-violence in the face of injustice is inspiring. In practice, the brutality of violence upon one’s body without resorting to reciprocating that violence is far from being aesthetically pleasing. But this is precisely the subtext the film operates in. The music and visual arts behind the movement gave strikers the spiritual strength and motivation that helped them bear the pain and humiliation inflicted by goons. Chavez and the arts inspired by the movement gave strikers a sense of pride and identity.
Labor movements and activism are a mix of the Apollonian and Dionysian, of the individual and the collective, of the rational mind and the frenzy of the emotions. The strategic rationality was provided by Chavez and several others in the Campesino Movement. The emotional spark was provided by the many artists that were part of the Movement. Songs, murals, and poems gave strikers the emotional voltage capable of overcoming what seemed like insurmountable obstacles. As an artist in A Song for Cesar declares: “You cannot oppress people who are not afraid anymore.” In this country, we are currently witnessing nascent unionization movements from Amazon warehouses to Starbucks locations. We can only hope that the veil of fear that has long obscured the vision of American labor is replaced by the results produced by solidarity — courage and dignity.
Read more here: Film Threat Review of A Song for Cesar
Danish author Karen Blixen may be best known for her 1937 memoir “Out of Africa”— widely published under the pen name Isak Dinesen — and from its 1985 Oscar-winning screen adaptation, in which the erstwhile coffee farmer was portrayed by Meryl Streep.
But as the superbly acted drama “The Pact” recounts, Blixen (a formidable Birthe Neumann), in a later life wracked by pain, illness, loneliness and loss, had become a sort of exalted manipulator of souls coasting on wealth, status and a near-legendary gravitas. There was a smoke-and-mirrors aspect to Blixen’s powers that was seemingly all in the service of concocting good stories, even if she wasn’t necessarily writing them herself. (Though long divorced from her baron husband, she continued to be known as “Baroness.”)
Read more here.
"Juno Films has claimed North America rights to The Pact, a film from Oscar and Palme d’Or-winning director Bille August (Pelle the Conqueror, House of Spirits), which is based on the true story of Out of Africa author Karen Blixen, planning to release it in U.S. and Canadian theaters in early 2022, followed by a digital release later in the year.
The Pact catches up with Blixen (Birthe Neumann) at age 63, finding her at the pinnacle of her fame and next in line to win the Nobel Prize for literature. It has been 17 years since she gave up her famous farm in Africa, only to return to Denmark with her life in ruins. Devastated by syphilis and having lost the love of her life, she has reinvented herself as a literary sensation. She is an isolated genius, however, until the day she meets talented 30-year-old poet Thorkild Bjørnvig (Simon Bennebjerg), promising him literary stardom if he in return will obey her unconditionally, even at the cost of him losing everything else in his life."
“Andresen’s determination to rise above misfortune, and his hopes for himself, make this movie less than a total tragedy. But it’s an often shudder-inducing cautionary tale.”
A new documentary, Tiny Tim: King for a Day, will examine the life story of the eccentric falsetto-voiced ukulele strummer who had an unexpected novelty hit in 1968 with his rendition of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.” The film will be released to theaters on April 23rd.
One of Tiny Tim’s biggest fans, “Weird Al” Yankovic, narrates the late Dr. Demento favorite’s diary entries and letters. Tim’s widow, Miss Sue, comedian and activist Wavy Gravy, TV producer George Schlatter, and others, also contributed interviews for the doc. The film also features archival footage of Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, and D.A. Pennebaker discussing Tiny Tim’s career.
Read more here.
The once “most beautiful boy in the world” looks back at the tumultuous events following the `71 Cannes premiere of Visconti’s Death in Venice.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD premieres today (Jan. 29) at 12pm (PT).
Follow the Q&A after the screening: youtu.be/ezybiJcc2iw Starting from 1:44 pm (PT).
Industry screenings available for 24h starting Jan. 30.
Second screening is on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 7am (PT).
Juno Films announced today the acquisition of US rights to TOVE, a Finnish biopic about bisexual Swedo-Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson, creator of The Moomins. The film, which premiered at TIFF 2020, is directed by Zaida Bergroth (Maria’s Paradise), written by Eeva Putro, and produced by Andrea Reuter and Aleksi Bardy. TOVE broke box office records in Finland last year year in spite of the pandemic, and now ranks as the highest grossing Swedish-language Finnish film in the last 40 years. Juno Films plans to release the film in theaters across America in June, for Pride Month. The deal was negotiated by Elizabeth Sheldon, founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of Juno Films.
Set from 1944 to 1956, the Swedish-language film shows how painter Tove Jansson finds worldwide success from an unexpected side project, in the midst of artistic struggles and an unconventional personal life. Alma Pöysti stars as Jansson, alongside Krista Kosonen and Shanti Roney. Pöysti has previously played Jansson on stage at Helsinki’s Svenska Teatern, and like the artist has dual Swedo-Finnish nationality.
Jansson’s creation, The Moomins, are a family of pale, round fairy tale characters with large snouts. In all, nine books were released in the series, together with five picture books and a comic strip released between 1945 and 1993. The Moomins have since been the basis for numerous television series and films.
"The portrait of the artist Tove Janssen vividly brings to the screen a woman who defied the bourgeois norms of post War Europe to live a life of artistic and sexual freedom,” says Elizabeth Sheldon. “Director Zaida Bergroth’s luscious drama will leave audiences enchanted. We are very proud to add this film to our slate of films by and about bad ass women.”