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July 30, 2012

What I want my words to do to you

Look into the minds and hearts of women inmates of a New York prison. Go inside a writing workshop led by Eve Ensler, where the women create works of poetry and prose which ends in the performance of their writing by critically acclaimed actors.
Special features: additional full-length performances by the featured actors; interviews with Eve Ensler and Judith Katz.

This documentary is certainly an Askwith treasure. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 56690-D 80 minutes
Aired as an episode of the PBS documentary television program Point of view on December 16, 2003.

Posted by mcmike at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

Power of the Press

During World War II Hollywood produced many cautionary tales: Films to inspire the public to participate in the war effort, films to recognize anti American attitudes, films to expose the possibilities of spies and the list goes on. The Power of the Press is a non-stop sledgehammer relentlessly exposing the corruption of the press and the cost of its aggression on the innocent. That is the film goes to great lengths to show the horrors of a corrupt press. The story was too obvious for the viewers in the 1940s and the film was ridiculed.
However, today the corrupt characters of the film seem like they are acting out a Mission Statement for many modern forms of "The Press". Todays press is proud of its corruption and its malicious attacks. Todays press knows it can only "sell the soap" if it makes the story. Okay I'll stop.
If you want to see what the hope for a modern press was, this is the film. It may be heavy handed in its delivery but it is an important view that was to be the American Dream. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 49888-D 64 minutes 1943
Written by Sam Fuller. Directed by Lew Landers.

Posted by mcmike at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2012

A Sister's Call

In 1977, Call Richmond disappeared. After 20 years of exhaustive search and rumors of his death, Call's sister Rebecca found him homeless, alone and suffering from severe paranoid schizophrenia. Filmed over fourteen years, A Sister's Call follows Rebecca's heart wrenching journey to bring her brother back from the depths of his illness. Against all odds, she is fighting to reclaim his life an seek a way to heal herself from her dark past.

A small town in America, a family's secrets, fear and shame of mental illness: One of the great changes in modern society is the understanding of illness. Call was embarrassed by his schizophrenia and that fed into the paranoia of the voices he heard. He was unable to face his friends and family so he just went away. This is an unbelievable journey for a family whom once the lost brother is found the work begins. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 57341-D 76 minutes 2012

Posted by mcmike at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2012

C'est pas Moi je le Jure! (It's not Me I Swear)

Leon is ten years old, has lots of problems and an overly fertile imagination. Of course, there is Mom and Dad who are always fighting, and those annoying neighbors who get to spend the summer at the beach. And then, there's Lea, the exasperating girl who's always right about everything. In the summer of 1968, when Mom decides to leave everything behind to start a new life in Greece, Leon is prepared to do anything to kill the pain. Destroy the neighbors' house, become a professional liar and even, why not, fall in love with Lea. Together, they will overcome the pain of growing up when you feel abandoned.
Special features (French only): Documentaire de tournage, capsules-bonus avec Antoine L'Écuyer, les auditions d' Antoine L'Écuyer, bandes-annonces.

Antoine L'Écuyer, Suzanne Clément, Daniel Brière, Catherine Faucher, Gabri|a Direction de la photographie, André Turpin ; musique originale, Patrick Watson.el Maillé.

A very insightful story of how children deal with abusive or distant parents. This is before "pop-culture" came to deal with childhood trauma. Children were left on their own to deal with adults who were too wrapped up in their lives to face and help their children. The film looks closely into Leon's life and we get a glimpse of Lea's life. Both children are outcasts since they respond badly to their parent’s bad behavior. The film is heartwarming, sad and based in reality to the reactions of children in complex situations.

Askwith Media Library 56733-D 110 minutes 2008

Posted by mcmike at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

Black

The film deals with the journey of two headstrong people, Michelle Mcnally, who cannot see, hear, nor speak and Debraj who teaches her to live and seek knowledge.
Special features: "The Colours of Black" Bhavna Somaiya in conversation with Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee and Sanjay Leela Bhansali ; the making of 'Black' ; theatrical trailor ; Television promos ; audio CD of the original sound track.
Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Shernaz Patel, Ayesha Kapoor, Dhritiman Chaterji.
Photographer, Ravi K. Chandran ; editor, Bela Segal ; music, Ameya Nare, Zohaib Khan ; lyrics, Prasoon Joshi ; costume designer, Sabyasachi Mukherji.

The set design and cinematography is only surpassed by the strength of the actors. From the opening you are pulled into the world beauty and privilege. The struggle is within the characters; One man's determination to communicate and not give up, one child's need to communicate while being deaf, dumb and blind. It is very Helen Keller -esque with an unbelievable twist. Both characters years of frustration and seemingly insurmountable odds develop into a love and friendship for each other that transcend the teacher pupil relationship. It is two hours long and worth every minute.
~Mike

Askwith Media Library 44905-D 124 minutes 2005

Posted by mcmike at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

There's Always Tomorrow

A successful toy manufacturer is highly rated at the factory but is ignored and bypassed at home by his wife and children. He sparks a relationship with an old flame but is soon found out by his son.

Special features: "Days with Sirk", a 61-minute documentary from 2008 featuring rare 1982 footage with Sirk ; original theatrical trailer ; original 1956 dialogue and continuity script (as an on-disc pdf) ; 40-p. booklet featuring an essay by Andrew Klevan, excerpts from a 1977 interview with Sirk, and rare production stills.

This film is perfect in its technical aspects; cinematography, script, pacing and editing. The outstanding quality of Sirk and the production crew take us to the time and family and do not release us until the credits roll. Sirk is the master of the melo-drama.
The story is a slap in the face of the spoiled youth of and wandering desires of men in America. As the drama unfolds our victims fall prey to situations they mostly developed in their minds, it takes Barbara Stanwyck's Norma Vale a strong independent woman to restore the family.
This film is as pertinent today as it was in 1956.
~Mike

Askwith Media Library 52077-D 81 minutes 1056

Posted by mcmike at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2012

Ayurveda

Ayurveda, the "science of life", one of the oldest holistic medical systems in the world. Originating in India more than 5000 years ago, and spreading to Tibet, China and Japan, this uncanny intersection of science, medicine and magic is only now receiving serious study in the West.

This is a very insightful documentary about a holistic medicinal practice. The quote that stays with me is "I treat people not symptoms." ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 52556-D 102 minutes 2001

Posted by mcmike at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)