Thursday, March 21, 2013


Hello!  Once again, we are here to highlight a few women-directed films for you to add to your Netflix queue.  We do this because Netflix loves to analyze their numbers and we want their numbers to tell them that they need to purchase or commission more women-directed films.  It's a win for everyone!

This week, I've picked a batch of five films that'll put a smile on your face.  It's spring now, shouldn't we be smiling?  Also, I want to ask you for a favor-- could you please let me know if you, or a friend, have a film on Netflix.  I'm especially interested in films that played the festival circuit, but maybe missed some of the big fests and didn't get a ton of attention.  Thank you and enjoy the movies (which are all available for streaming, btw)!

First Position (dir Bess Kargman, 2011)  Netflix says:  "Follow dancers training for the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the world's most prestigious ballet competitions. The stakes are high: their performances will determine the success or failure of their dreams."  Kargman chose her subjects wisely for this great doc.  They all have interesting stories that alternate between sweet and heartbreaking, and of course, the dancing is beautiful.

Sassy Pants (dir Coley Sohn, 2012)  Netflix says:  "In this coming-of-age comedy, Bethany Pruitt (Ashley Rickards) has had it with her overprotective mother, so she decides to go live with her dad. That situation proves just as dysfunctional, but things start to look up when she learns about a local fashion institute."  This is a quirky comedic festival gem that includes little Haley Joel Osment with a whole new look.  He's all grown up!  (Did I just use the words "festival" and "gem" together?  Sorry about that!) 

Slums of Beverly HIlls (dir Tamara Jenkins, 1998)  Netflix says:  "Writer-director Tamara Jenkins's semiautobiographical dramedy follows a gawky, fed-up teen (Natasha Lyonne) as she tries to survive her dysfunctional family -- including her washed-up dad (Alan Arkin) and fresh-from-rehab cousin (Marisa Tomei)-- while coming of age in 1970s California."  This movie struck a chord with me when I initially saw it in the 90's and remains one of my favorite indie comedies-- and it's not because of the dildo dance!  For one, the cast is fantastic.  Just wanted to make sure you knew it was available there on Netflix.

Joan Rivers - A Piece of Work (dir Ricki Stern & Annie Sundberg, )  Netflix says:  "An uncompromising glimpse into the personal and professional life of comedian and red-carpet mainstay Joan Rivers, a woman clinging stubbornly and steadfastly to the pop-culture bandwagon."  You know, sometimes I find Joan Rivers' humor to be a little too harsh, but I sure fell in love with her while watching this film.  She's such an inspiration!  

16 to Life  (dir Becky Smith, 2009)  Netflix says:  "On her 16th birthday, never-been-kissed Kate (Hallee Hirsh) decides to play cupid for two people she works with, pairing her boss (Theresa Russell) with a paraplegic customer (Jaime Gomez) and setting up short-order cook Rene (Shiloh Fernandez) with an oversexed co-worker (Emily Foxler). But in the process of matchmaking, Kate learns some surprising lessons about love and the mechanics of romantic relationships."  This is a sweet little comedy that I caught at Method Fest (where it won Best Feature) a few years ago.  It didn't hit the big festivals, so most people probably don't know about it, but it deserves some love!  

Have you watched any of the above or other suggestions I've made over the last few weeks?  I have!  I finally watched Paris Is Burning last week.  What a great film.  Not only does it cover a fascinating subject, but it really has a lot of heart and history.  Let me know in the comments what you've watched/queued from these lists.  And, don't forget to tell me about those little "festival gems" that might have fallen through the cracks.  Thanks for reading!

QUEUE THIS!  is a weekly post by Destri Martino that appears on the Broad Humor Blog every Thursday morning. View the past two QUEUE THIS! posts here and here.

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