219 posts categorized "Women Filmmakers"

July 07, 2024

FEUD: CAPOTE VS. THE SWANS

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Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

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ColeSmithey.comTruman Capote gets a proper roasting in this television series adaptation of Laurence Leamer's book "Capote's Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era."

Mired in the cruelty of its real-life characters, the series starts off bumpy. If you can make it past the first three episodes, you'll likely make it to the end, but it won't be a pleasant experience.

Nonetheless, Tom Hollander gives a tour de force portrayal of Truman Capote, whose once vaunted reputation the author dismantled with a vengeance as a result of his alcoholism, drug use, and insatiable narcissism. 

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Ever the social butterfly/interloper, Truman Capote famously boxed outside of his weight class when he bit the hands that fed him by publishing an excerpt from his unfinished novel, "Answered Prayers" in Esquire Magazine.

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The chapter, entitled "La Côte Basque, 1965," included rumors and lies about the society women whose trust Capote had forced upon them, if not earned. Love is a cold glass of water in these Carnegie Hill social circles.

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Naomi Watts give a reliably solid performance as Babe Paley, Capote's favorite "swan."

"Feud: Capote vs. The Swans" shares a simile with the recent Bratpack movie "Brats," inasmuch as the Swans' reaction to a nasty take-down magazine article only exacerbated their problems.

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The story reflects epochal social changes that hang the inflexible out to dry. Knowing the rules of the game will only get you so far, regardless of your social standing.

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Truman Capote was in inveterate back-stabber, with the audacity to return to the scene of his crime. Needless to say, it didn't prove to be a sustainable practice. Truman Capote died at the age of 59.

Footnote: the filmmakers' decision to not include Capote's pet cats as an integral part of his domestic life, does a disservice to Capote and to the audience

Not Rated. Eight Episodes.

4 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

June 16, 2024

WORKING GIRLS — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

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ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

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Thanks a lot acorns!

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ColeSmithey.comLizzie Borden's third film, behind "Regrouping" (1979) and "Born In Flames" (1983), is a perfect chamber-piece of neo-realist social satire.

The film's feminist trappings of an '80s era Manhattan brothel provides the frame for a piercing commentary on the effects of American capitalism on women.

"Working Girls" could easily be adapted to be a modernday Broadway play.

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It would be a sensation for its timeless qualities of social, sexual, and economic truth.

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Molly (Louise Smith), a professional photographer, lives with her lesbian girlfriend when she isn't working as a sex worker in a Manhattan brothel run by a domineering madam.

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"Have you ever heard of surplus value?"

That theme line shoots like a sharp political dart when a character speaks it.

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“All workers create more value at work than they receive in wages. The extra surplus value goes into the boss’s pocket as profit.”

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Surplus value is "the surplus produced over and above what is required to survive, which is translated into profit in capitalism. Since the capitalist pays a laborer for his/her labor, the capitalist claims to own the means of production, the worker's labor-power, and even the product that is thus produced."

Female hands hold cups of coffee, count money, and remove cum-filled condoms.

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Everyone chisels; there is no place to hide.

Not Rated. 93 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

March 22, 2024

ANATOMY OF A FALL — CANNES 2023

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ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

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ColeSmithey.com

 

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ColeSmithey.com"Pueblo chico, infierno grande" translates to small town, big hell.

Such is the remote French community of Grenoble that German outsider Sandra Voyter (Sandra Hüller) finds herself when her troubled husband Samuel Maleski seemingly commits suicide.

The townspeople refuse to accept that their hometown boy could have offed himself. The interloper wife must have murdered Samuel (played by Samuel Theis).

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This is one brilliantly written and directed courtroom drama.

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Sandra is a successful author, Samuel is a university lecturer; jealousy rattles the relationship.

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Sharp dialogue and tricky plot twists keep you on the hook.

"Anatomy of a Fall" won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2023, so you know you're in for a treat.

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Sandra Hüller gives a riveting performance in this slow-burn drama.

Ice is the only thing in the world that is what it's cracked up to be, until blood melts it, that is.

Rated R. 151 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

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