On 20th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide, Watch KINYARWANDA
by Safana Khan
Twenty years ago the world witnessed the grotesque Rwandan Genocide, which claimed nearly one million lives in the course of three days. The violence was a result of ethnic tensions between the Hutu and the minority Tutsi population. The perpetrators of violence did not discriminate in their carnage; they killed men, women and children. Entire families were destroyed and women were raped. Hutu who opposed killing the Tutsi were seen as traitors and killed as well. Watch this heart-wrenching film about forbidden love between a Tutsi woman and a Hutu man during a time of blind hatred:
Imagine standing next to the man who killed your entire family. Now imagine whole-heartedly forgiving him and allowing him to coexist. Instead of seeking revenge, many Rwandans have opened their arms and hearts to those who violently altered their lives. After the genocide, the government created solidarity camps where prisoners were sent before being reintegrated into society. The film depicts these camps and the painful process of remembering the past.
These camps are a process of re-education and are key in the peace process, propelling Rwanda towards a brighter future. The Rwandan people have truly shown the world the power of forgiveness.
"It’s about giving every kid a time during the day to shine."
Lacrosse may still harbor some lingering stereotypes as the go-to sport for prep-school jocks, but many coaches and players across the country are actively changing that perception. Directed by the acclaimed director of Blackfish Gabriela Cowperthwaite, City LAX focuses on a youth lacrosse program in Denver’s inner city. Struggling against the inequalities facing urban communities, these kids discover a new side of themselves, lacrosse stick in hand.
It’s like one of Disney’s inspirational sports movies, but real life.
What do Justin Bieber, Phil Spector, and Pablo Escobar all have in common? Well, probably a lot more than we’d really care to imagine, but they’ve all seen their fair share of trouble with Johnny Law. With March Madness in full swing, we’re celebrating the bracketing spirit with a collection highlighting some of the most infamous cases of the past century. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting famous mugshots—literally head to head— in a clash of the convicted. Who’s got the most guilt-ridden smirk? You decide. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s MUGSHOT MADNESS. Watch it all go down:
Happy Birthday to silver screen legend Elizabeth Taylor. From Lassie to Cleopatra, she was certainly one of the classiest. With a career that started very early as a child and progressed through the Golden Age of Hollywood, to this day she still serves as one of the most iconic figures to ever have graced the silver screen. In fact, AFI ranks her number seven on their list of the all time “Greatest Screen Legends” and she garnered two Academy Awards to attest to that fact.
More than just a great actor, she set a standard for the industry as a whole, ushering in a whole new standard of glamour that today’s top actors can only hope to emulate for themselves. One of the movies that launched her into stardom was Father of The Bride. You can watch the sequel, Father’s Little Dividend, free here or below, and see for yourself why America immediately fell in love:
….and while you’re at it, check out a few more of her early hits:
It’s not really much of a surprise that people are angry at Alec Baldwin. Aside from personally attacking a select handful of producers, directors, actors and anchors who made his 2013 a living nightmare, his interview/farewell/rant in New York Magazine seemed to be more pointed towards the entirety of U.S. modern society than the entertainment industry itself. Sure, he blames the media for the majority of his problems, but what seems to be a greater source of upset is how the audience blindly trusts it, takes it in, and perpetuates its ideas through social media outlets. From his troubled Orphans stint on Broadway to a dismissal from MSNBC for “lack of moral character” and the end of a long love affair with the city of Manhattan, Alec Baldwin’s romantic ideas of celebrity are slowly crumbling apart. He’s accepting it and moving on.
Watch him kick a** and take even more names in Brooklyn Rules, written by a writer on The Sopranos, here or below:
With football now sadly in our wake and winter continuing to keep a stranglehold on our collective will to set foot outside, it seems there’s not a lot to hope for these days. Fear not, brave filmgoers! Baseball is here! In four days, pitchers and catchers report to those areas of the country which are not covered in slush and black ice, bringing with them the promise of sun, fresh cut grass and the smell of hot dogs and boozed-out bleacher fans.
Here are 6 films to get you excited for the re-emergence of our national pastime. Plus, it’s Spring Training!
The return of baseball also signals the return of Fantasy Football’s slightly more meticulous cousin….with 2430 games a season, compared to the NFL’s 256, the word “obsession” becomes somewhat of an understatement. Fantasy Baseball, for the subjects of this documentary, is life. It’s, um, a little sad. Watch above, free!
Could 2014 be the year Billy Beane finally brings a championship to Oakland? Heart-poundingly tense, beautifully adapted by Aaron Sorkin, and featuring impeccable performances from Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, this movie is, if nothing else, a fine education on how to build a championship caliber team from…well, pretty much nothing.
3. Angels in the Outfield
Possibly the greatest theological-baseball hybrid film to hit the 10-and-under demographic ever made. Joseph Gordon Levitt is said to have drawn the majority of his inspiration for Inception from his turn as baseball prophet/messiah Roger Bomman. Mostly this movie makes us nostalgic for the never-should-have-been changed “California Angels,” those throwback unis, and that awesome logo, but it does beg the question: is Mike Trout getting some help out there?
4. The Jackie Robinson Story
Before 42, there was this much less dramatized and Harrison Ford-less biography on Robinson’s historic career in the MLB. On April 15 this season, all players from each of the 32 teams will don the number 42 in celebration of his struggle to make baseball the truly great sport it is today. Watch above, free!
5. The Sandlot
Anyone who doesn’t like this movie is probably a can’t-hack-it pantywaist who wears their mama’s bra. And if you are one of the few that don’t enjoy this backyard baseball classic, you at least have to appreciate the insults…”butt sniffer,” “pus licker,” “fart smeller,” “buffalo butt breath,” “pee-drinking crap-face,” “you bob for apples in the toilet! And you like it!” When it comes down to it, there’s no better movie that embodies the spirit of baseball.
6. Rookie of the Year/Little Big League
We’re still convinced these movies are actually the same film. One is about a kid who manages a team. The other is about a kid who pitches for a team. We’re pretty sure one of them stars Gary Busey. In any case, the Cubs and the Twins could definitely use some help right now.
6 Reasons You Need to Watch the Original ENDLESS LOVE
Whenever a remake comes out, your first instinct should be to scrounge all corners of the earth for the original. (Always watch the original first!) But since we’re inundated with the remake factory some like to call Hollywood, tasking yourself with seeing the original paired with every new release seems quite daunting.
Here are five reasons you just really need to watch the original Endless Love (1981).
1. It stars young and beautiful Brooke Shields, Tom Cruise, and James Spader.
This could be reason enough. The beautiful angel/paragon of youth that is Brooke Shields as a teenager floats around the screen like a nymph, leaving nothing but death and heartbreak in her wake.
Oh, also Tom Cruise has a bit part (shirtless) and James Spader is looking fine.
2. It’s visually stunning. Like, actually.
Acclaimed director Franco Zeffirelli and cinematographer David Watkin (who also shot Catch-22) bring this story to fruition with beautiful lighting schemes and an eye for visual nuance.
3. It features Diana Ross and Lionel Richie’s most famous single hit.
The titular song was a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for 9 weeks. It also received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for “Best Original Song,” along with 5 Grammy nominations.
4. It’s MUCH sexier than the remake. More butts. More sex. More obsession.
The remake’s got nothing on the original when it comes to sex. The remake is rated PG-13 and doesn’t cross any notable lines, if you know what I mean. The original is full of passionate sex and naked butts.
5. It’s got a creepy Mrs. Robinson wannabe and very, very strange Oedipal… er, overtones.
Brooke Shields’ parents just won’t let her have sex with her man in peace. The mom wants him, the dad wants her. Yep. See it to believe it.
6. It has one of the coolest one-man stunts ever.
Not to spoil anything, but someone gets hit by a car at some point. The stunt was conducted in New York City by a single stuntman who does a high end-over-end flip in mid-air, one of the most notable single film stunts to date.
In a world studded with child stars and toddlers in tiaras, it’s tempting to dismiss famous faces under twenty as pop phenomena symptomatic of a vapid youth culture. But certainly it wasn’t always this way. Certainly the the child star once contributed something noble to a society much in need of a lift.
Enter Shirley Temple, the original child star. Out of the abyss of the Great Depression came a sprightly face framed with curls and dimples. This was the face of whimsy in a country that had forgotten it. The three-year-old danced into the homes of America’s overworked, underpaid masses, lending smiles to the hopeless and downtrodden. The frivolous antics of a small child became the fodder of a Hollywood legend.
Today, Temple is emblematic of the power of entertainment. Much like Charlie Chaplin, she showed a bourgeoning Hollywood industry the depth of its influence on the American psyche. But beyond the winsome face of youth that’s etched into our country’s history, little is widely known about Temple’s storied life, which came to an end last night after eighty-five years.
1. She helped save Fox from bankruptcy.
In 1934, Fox Films merged with Twentieth Century Pictures to become Twentieth Century-Fox. Its then studio head, Darryl F. Zanuck (pictured above), harnessed the fledgling talent that was three-year-old Temple and focused his resources upon cultivating her star status. Temple elevated the studio from near-bankruptcy—it was tens of millions of dollars in debt—to one of the most successful and profitable studios in Hollywood.
2. She stopped acting at 22.
Disheartening studio flops, a messy divorce, and a diminishing audience interest in the post-innocent Temple culminated in a decision to retire from acting at age twenty-two.
3. She was a spokeswoman for breast cancer awareness.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing a mastectomy in 1972, Temple held a news conference from her hospital room to raise awareness and encourage women not to “sit home and be afraid” after discovering a breast lump. At the time, mastectomies were secret operations, and Temple helped bring breast cancer awareness to the forefront of the nation’s priorities in public health discussion.
4. She was a politician.
A staunch opponent of the Vietnam War, Temple was a liberal Republican who once ran, albeit unsuccessfully, for Congress. After, however, she was appointed Representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly and the United States Ambassador to Ghana by President Richard M. Nixon. Later, she also served as the U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, appointed by George H. W. Bush.
5. At age six, she was the first recipient of a Juvenile Academy Award.
In memoriam, watch these two famous films featuring Temple.
New York Fashion Week is upon us! We have a few favorites this year, on and off the runway….
We couldn’t get enough of Vallance’s La Belle leather jacket last year, and her Friday show, titled “Ladies Man,” did not disappoint either. The Australian-born designer’s Fashion Week debut featured structured menswear-inspired pieces with feminine overtones – simply exquisite.
Can Peter Som design our entire closets? Som’s Friday show at Milk Studios featured pieces that were not only elegant but also wearable. The collection was full of unique prints, including a mysterious blurred floral pattern and leopard accents on many of the pieces. Also notable were his pea coats, inspired by Jane Birkin.
Jack McCoullough and Lazaro Hernandez, Proenza Schouler
These New York-based designers popped back on our radar at Sundance when stunning Brit Marling donned a Proenza Schouler black and gold pantsuit at the premiere of I Origins. Dubbed “the new establishment” by InStyle, we can’t wait to see their Fall collection on Wednesday.
Anna Wintour famously stated, “We all get dressed for Bill.” We’re sure to find this beloved New York fashion photographer all over the place this week, snapping photos from the front row, backstage, and on the street. You can also find him in this poignant documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, and learn a bit more about Manhattan’s fashion scene.
On the heels of her well-deserved Golden Globe win last night, we thought it might be appropriate to celebrate the seasoned actress that is Cate Blanchett. This past year’s performance in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine showcased her ability to immerse herself entirely in a role, unabashedly towing the line between sanity and insanity.
As the cold Arctic fronts billow past, you may find yourself stuck inside for the better part of the winter. But cabin fever is impossible when you’ve got an internet connection. Experience winter from the comfort of your bed with these 5 unique sub-zero films.
Up to ten feet tall and weighing over 1500 lbs, polar bears are the majestic lords of the arctic, inciting myth, awe, and reverence in human minds for thousands of generations. Learn more about this elusive animal.
Thanks to Breitling, 100 WWII veterans visited their memorial in Washington, D.C. These veterans, some approaching 100 years of age, would not have otherwise been able to make the trip. Many called it the best day of their lives.
The documentary Honor Flight tells the inspirational story of this incredible program and the veterans to whom we all owe our freedom.
1937’s “Rape of Nanking,” a bloody and brutal invasion of China’s capital by Japanese forces, still looms large in the Chinese national imagination, and is being used by China’s government to stoke anti-Japanese sentiment.
In August and September 2012, a series of anti-Japan protests took place in several Chinese cities. In Beijing, storefronts were vandalized and Japanese-branded cars were destroyed. In Shenzen, tear gas was deployed to disperse the crowd. On December 13 of this year, several civic organizations in Hong Kong, led by The Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands, staged ademonstration against Japan. They chose the 76th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacres as the date of their protest. The symbolism was obvious. As the flag of the Imperial Japanese Army burned, it was clear that current disagreements are now irrevocably entangled with historical conflicts. An indescribably disheartening point in history has been hijacked to whip up anti-Japan fervor, and the ghost of World War II continues to threaten geopolitical stability in the East China Sea.
A lesson the world gleaned from the 9th highest grossing US documentary and Academy Award-winning tour-de-force An Inconvenient Truth: environmental film moves mountains. Al Gore’s 2006 doc galvanized the environmental film movement; what was previously a lean batch of under-funded public broadcasts matured to a legitimate genre of film, and the environmental movement gained traction in the over-saturated digital landscape of the new millennium.
One of the largest and most established havens for environmental film is the DC Environmental Film Festival, which is nearing the end of its 21st year run in the nation’s capital this week. This year, films were presented from 50 countries, including Gabon, Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Poland, China, India, Japan and South Korea.
From the film festival’s official website:
The 2013 Festival theme examined the vital role of rivers and watersheds in the global environment. Films explored the ecological importance of and threats to the world’s rivers, including the Rhine, the Amazon, the Mekong, the Ganges, the Colorado, the Yellowstone, the Willamette and Washington, D.C.’s Potomac and Anacostia. The Washington, D.C. premiere of A River Changes Course, winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, about the effects of globalization on the environment and people of Cambodia, was a program highlight.
In addition to over a hundred screenings in partnering museums, libraries, embassies, and local theaters, the film festival is now offering an online viewing experience. The collection of twenty films from past festivals is available through SnagFilms’ online viewing platform and includes some of the most important environmental documentaries our site has to offer, such as Climate Refugees, a film about refugees displaced by climate change, and On Coal River, about a coal miner’s David-and-Goliath struggle for the future of his valley (both films embedded below).
The film festival’s online platform can be accessed here.
Anniversary of the Repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act
by Emily Buder
A little not-so-flattering US history for you: Today is the anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1943), one of the harshest restrictive immigration laws America has ever enacted. Signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur in 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act excluded “skilled and unskilled laborers and Chinese employed in mining” from entering the country for ten years under penalty of imprisonment and deportation. It also rendered then-current Chinese immigrants permanent aliens and deprived them of the ability to leave and reenter the country.
The law was extended and renewed multiple times, effectively legalizing racial discrimination for decades in America. Read more about the Act here.
Honor this anniversary by educating yourself about the current state of affairs for illegal Chinese immigrants in America. Take Out, which intelligently illuminates an immigrant underdog and his small community, deftly combines a “terrific cast” (The New Yorker) of professionals and non-actors with “uncompromisingly ingenious photography that is beautiful in unexpected ways under rough-and-ready conditions” (Variety). This, raved the Village Voice, is as exceptional as micro-budget cinema gets. Watch the full film below.