Thursday, May 23, 2013


Arnel Pineda performs with Journey in Manila. 
Photo courtesy of Ferdie Arquero and Nomota LLC
Since I skipped last week, I put together a meaty post for you this week, fine readers. I've been noticing older films on Netflix that are directed by women who have new films debuting this year, so I thought it might be nice to do a brief round-up of some of them. Perhaps, familiarize yourselves with their early work and then go check out their new film?  I've included details about their latest film, too, so you can plan your viewing adventure more easily.  If you have information to add about upcoming screenings for any of the new films below, please chime in (the information isn't always clear or up-to-date online).  Now, let's QUEUE THIS!

Imelda (dir Ramona S. Diaz, 2004 DVD)  Netflix says: "Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines, is passionate about more than just shoes. Offering an objective examination of her life and political career, this absorbing documentary looks at one of history's most colorful female leaders. The two-time presidential hopeful and her associates provide illuminating interviews, while journalists, political opponents and U.S. diplomats deliver contrasting perspectives."  Diaz's latest film, the crowd-pleaser Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journeyabout the Filipino singer who replaced Steve Perry upon his retirement, is still playing in a few theaters, but it's also available for rental on iTunes and Amazon (just not Netflix, bummer!). You can save it to your Netflix queue, however, to let them know you want it.

The Grace Lee Project (dir Grace Lee, 2005)  Netflix says: "Aspiring Korean American filmmaker Grace Lee leaves her Missouri home to travel the country and talk with an array of women who share her name. With camera in hand, she learns not all Grace Lees conform to the stereotype of shy, dutiful overachiever."  Lee's new film, the documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs will have its world premiere next month at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Keep an eye out for it on the festival circuit!

Amreeka (dir Cherien Dabbis, 2009)  Netflix says: "Eager to provide a better future for her son, Fadi (Melkar Muallem), divorcée Muna Farah (Nisreen Faour) leaves her Palestinian homeland and takes up residence in rural Illinois -- just in time to encounter the domestic repercussions of America's disastrous war in Iraq. Now, the duo must reinvent their lives with some help from Muna's sister, Raghda (Hiam Abbass), and brother-in-law, Nabeel (Yussuf Abu-Warda)."  According to a recent
 twitter post, Dabbis' new film May In Summer, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, will return to the festival circuit in late summer/early fall with a newly completed score and sound mix.

Chisolm '72: Unbought and Unbossed (dir Shola Lynch, 2004 DVD)  Netflix says: "Brooklyn-based Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm represented a series of firsts: She was the first African-American woman elected to Congress and the first black person and woman to run a serious, high-profile campaign in the U.S. presidential primary. She made further history when she vied for the presidency in 1972. And while her inspiring journey would have made headlines today, it was virtually ignored by the mainstream media at the time."  Lynch's new film Free Angela and All Political Prisoners had a solid festival run after premiering at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. Looks like it's now playing theaters across the country via the Tugg screening system.  That means you can request to have it play in your town.  Do it!

Summersault (dir Cate Shortland, 2004)  Netflix says: "After trying to seduce her mother's live-in boyfriend, guilt-ridden teen Heidi (Abbie Cornish) runs away from home and heads for a small ski resort, where her sexual awakening and amorphous yearning for love collide. Rudderless and broke, Heidi exchanges her sexual favors for a place to sleep till she lands a job. But just as she starts to settle in, her irresponsible behavior jeopardizes her fragile equilibrium in this absorbing Aussie import."  Shortland has had much success with her two features-- Summersault premiered in Un Certain Regard at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and her new film, Lore, has been collecting awards at top festivals for the past year.  The director also recently won the top prize at the Australian Directors Guild Awards for her work on Lore.  It looks like Lore had a quiet U.S. theatrical release in February, but I'm having trouble finding where it can be seen now.  If you happen to know, please share in the comments.

QUEUE THIS! is a weekly post by Destri Martino that appears on the Broad Humor Blog every Thursday morning.  The goal of the post is to get more women-directed films in Netflix queues in order to make a sizable impact on Netflix analytics and buying patterns; thus, getting more films by women directors distributed and seen, and generally heightening awareness about this often overlooked pool of talent.  View the past two QUEUE THIS! posts here and here.

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