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It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than five years since a rape case in Steubenville, Ohio made national—and international—news. The new documentary Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman and premiering at Tribeca Film Festival, revisits the Steubenville rape case, tracing what we know about what happened that night; examining how and why the rape case made international news; and exploring the state of rape culture then and now. Schwartzman tells the story through interviews with people involved in the rape case, as well...
In a Q&A at the end of the Tribeca Film Festival premiere, Little Woods director Nia DaCosta joked that upon hearing the plot, some New Yorkers asked her if the movie took place in the past or in a dystopic future. Nope—the movie takes place in the present, in a the fictional Little Woods, North Dakota, a rural fracking town where most people live below the poverty line, opioid addiction is commonplace, and the nearest abortion provider is hundreds of miles away. Tessa Thompson stars as...
  The premise of Duck Butter will make you take notice: Two young women (played by Alia Shawkat and Laia Costa) meet at a bar and feel a spark, so they decide to spend the next 24 hours together. The catch? They have to have sex once an hour. Directed by Miguel Arteta, co-written by Arteta and Shawkat, and filmed in just 24 hours, Duck Butter—which premiered at Tribeca Film Fest on April 20—is sometimes sexy and sometimes funny, but also sometimes...a little boring. To be fair,...
Blowin’ Up, which premiered April 21st at Tribeca FIlm Festival, divulges the everyday realities of an experimental courtroom in New York City working to change the way that women who have been arrested for prostitution are prosecuted. The documentary, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal, is a beautiful exploration of both the courtroom and the lives of the women who operate it. The courtroom, headed by Judge Toko Serita, is run almost entirely by women, and is clearly a space built by and for women. Many of the...
In NANA, Serena Dykman traces the life of her late grandmother, Maryla Dyamant, after she was sent to Auschwitz and, as a survivor, her lifelong dedication to sharing her story. Serena and her mother, Alice Michalowski, embark on a journey through Europe to do so, visiting Maryla’s hometown in Poland; meeting with her students, friends and interviewers; and ultimately visiting Auschwitz. The film is not simply a retelling of the horrors of the Holocaust, but a story of a mother and daughter navigating intergenerational trauma...
  If you see A Quiet Place in a theater, about two minutes in you’ll be cringing at the sounds of people chewing popcorn—and a few minutes later, you’ll be too terrified to notice. The movie is almost completely silent: it follows a family trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world full of blind monsters with super-hearing. The monsters can’t see you, but if they hear you, they’ll kill you—immediately. As we see in an early scene in which a child gets killed after playing with...
You Were Never Really HereCo-written and directed by Lynne Ramsay Out April 6 Writer/director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin, Morvern Callar, Ratcatcher) is back with this grim tale about a veteran with a very particular set of skills. Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) makes his living by tracking down missing girls. This odd career compounds his already significant trauma from his time serving overseas and an abusive childhood, as we learn from flashbacks. His latest assignment is to find a pre-teen named Nina (Ekaterina...
When Senator Ted Kennedy died in 2009 after serving in the Senate for almost half a century, obituarized memorialized him as “the Lion of the Senate,” praising his leadership among Senate Democrats and his lifetime support of universal healthcare and immigration reform. The new movie Chappaquiddick looks back at a decidedly less celebrated aspect of Kennedy’s career: that time he accidentally killed a woman and then tried to cover it up. Chappaquiddick opens by showing that woman, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara), sunbathing in a...
  Lena Waithe Continues To Make Our Onscreen Dreams Come True In a conversation with the Hollywood Reporter, Ready Player One star Lena Waithe revealed her dream future project: a biopic about Mary Tyler Moore. “I don’t think people are expecting that from a black lesbian from the south side of Chicago,” Waithe told the Hollywood Reporter. “But I read her autobiography more times than I can count. I feel like I want to tell her story. I don’t want to follow a certain path. I just want...
Lean On Pete is in some ways a familiar road trip story — with a horse. When the film, directed by Andrew Haigh, opens, we see 15-year-old Charley (Charlie Plummer) go for a run, pass some horses, and return home to his father Ray (Travis Fimmel). The pair eat breakfast served by Ray's new — married — girlfriend (Amy Seimetz). As we see Charley snatch up the last sausage and then go out for another run as his father leaves for work, we realize that...