Thursday, June 27, 2013


What a day! And what a week! Yesterday brought lots of exciting activity from SCOTUS, and last week I was up to my eyeballs in films at the LA Film Festival. And yes, this does relate to my regular post about Netflix movies. As far as the SCOTUS decision goes, we are lucky enough to have access to a wonderful doc on the couple behind the fall of DOMA - Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer. See Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement below (and it's even directed by women and streaming!). I'm so looking forward to learning more about these trailblazers.

As for the LA Film Festival-- Wow, what an inspiring roundup of films directed by women! As I pointed out in an earlier post, there was a lot of talent headed to the fest. And they did not disappoint. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see all the films that were directed by women, but I'd like to give you a head's up about a few that really rocked my world. I'm not exaggerating, these are fantastic films. Favorite features include Afternoon Delight (dir Jill Soloway), In A World (dir Lake Bell) and Wadjda (dir Haaifa al Mansoor). On the doc side, I was inspired by American Revolutionary- The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (dir Grace Lee), The Crash Reel (dir Lucy Walker) and Venus VS. (dir Ava DuVernay). If they aren't already, be sure to put these on your radar.  

By the way, all of these wonderful directors were kind enough to pose for a photo for @TheDirectorList, my twitter account dedicated to promoting women directors. Please take a look and retweet-- promoting these women directors helps raise awareness about all of us! And now for a few more festival favorites directed by women and available on Netflix...Queue this!

Blame It On Fidel! (dir Julie Gavras, 2006)  Netflix says: "Nina Kervel-Bey stars as 9-year-old Anna, a privileged young Parisian girl whose orderly, structured life is thrown into turmoil when her parents are drawn into Paris's turbulent and radical 1970s political scene. Julie Gavras (daughter of famed French filmmaker Costa-Gavras) directs this 2007 Sundance Film Festival competition entry." Yet another connection to the LA Film Festival - Costa-Gavras was honored there this year. 

Yelling to the Sky (dir Victoria Mahoney, 2011)  Netflix says: "Rocker Lenny Kravitz's daughter, Zoë, stars in this independent coming-of-age drama as Sweetness O'Hara, a conflicted 17-year-old girl struggling to reconcile her purposeful dreams with the realities of her violent surroundings."  It also stars Gabourey Sibide (Precious)!  Mahoney is very active on Twitter-- giver her a follow.

The Off Hours (dir Megan Griffiths, 2010)  
Netflix says: "Short-order waitress Francine (actor/director Amy Seimetz) works the night shift at a freeway diner, waiting for her real life to begin and wondering if it ever will. When truck driver Oliver begins showing up at her counter, it looks as if she may have her answer." You might remember Megan Griffiths from the announcement about the launch of Tangerine Entertainment earlier this year. She directed their first feature (her third or fourth). She's on quite a roll!

Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement (dir Susan Muska and Gréta Olafsdóttir, 2009) 
Netflix says: "Forty-two years of romance, struggle and shared adventures finally culminate in marriage for lifelong lesbian couple Edie and Thea, who met in the 1960s and stayed together through the turbulent decades of activism and social change that followed. Looking at pictures from their past, the women marvel at simple triumphs -- buying their first house together -- and reminisce about the constant fear of exposure they once felt." Beautiful!

Jesus Camp (dir Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, 2006)  
Netflix says: "Focusing on an evangelical summer camp in North Dakota, this riveting documentary looks at a revivalist subculture in which devout Christian youngsters are being primed to deliver the fundamentalist community's religious and political messages." This one's sort of related to the SCOTUS theme as it gives us a glimpse into the Christian fundamentalist mindset, providing a partial look at the other side of the marriage debate.

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.


  1. I've seen 'Blame it on Fidel' and it is absolutely outstanding. What caught my eye was the double barreled pedigree of the film: in addition to director Julie Gavras, the film co-stars Julie Depardieu, daughter of Gerard Depardieu.

    Young Nina Kervel-Bey is fantastic as the protagonist, Anna de la Mesa. I would be very happy to cast her to play me at the same age! She's thoughtful, completely out of touch with children her own age, disgusted by the indignities of childhood, and confused and frustrated by the hypocrisies of adults.

    There's nothing precious about the film and it's so much more than a coming of age story. It's funny but it's also very conscious of the realities and discomforts of childhood. It struck me as an usually honest film.

    I highly recommend it.

    1. Thank you for the additional insight into "Blame it on Fidel!" Shaula. It sounds like my kind of film!