Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Last night I watched the three hour PBS documentary Makers chronically the women's movement of the 60s-80s. This inspiring film focused on key women in the movement, such as Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem (and many others), who pushed the feminist agenda forward, as well as women impacted and inspired by the significant cultural changes the movement brought, such as Judy Blume and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

It included wonderful footage of demonstrations and consciousness raising groups, as well as mainstream television's response. It explored a number of nuances, such as the alienation of African American women and lesbians, and the middle class bent of the movement. It featured segments on key feminist issues including general equality for women, sexual harassment, sexual freedom, abortion, and birth control. It looked briefly at the backlash in the 80s and 90s, including the reaction to Anita Hill.

My criticism is that it could have further explored the backlash, and that it didn't turn to the exciting third wave movement of the 90s. It also didn't look at the recent attacks on Planned Parenthood, and women's rights.

Overall Makers is a fascinating and exciting documentary that made me feel proud of all the brave, strong, independent and talented women in our culture.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wonderful Bluegrass Trio!

Last night I got to see a wonderful bluegrass trio at the Rodeo Bar.

Melody Berger, the leader, doing vocals and playing fiddle, Ross Martin on guitar, and Max Johnson on bass all played dynamically together. Melody has an incredible voice and was very charismatic, and the trio had terrific energy and sounded fantastic.

Fun night!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Inglourious Basterds

I don't know if I really liked Inglourious Basterds. I started watching it on Friday night, fell asleep, and continued with it on Saturday afternoon.

I was engaged in the quirky storytelling, and wanted know how it ended. It's a fun fantasy of Jewish revenge on Nazis and Hitler, and parts were intense. But I found many of the scenes a little belabored. I am also turned off by the vivid violence. I appreciate Tarantino's style, but in spite of this appreciation, I don't really like it.

I also thought Brad Pitt was annoying in every scene he was in.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Buglisi Dance Theater

Last night I saw Buglisi Dance Theater at The Joyce. The program consisted of five very dramatic dances. I thought a lot of it was a little on the cheesy and heavy-handed side. But there was also much that I enjoyed.

The first dance, pictured, was my least favorite. And I was nervous that I wouldn't enjoy the rest of the evening. But the second piece, Threshold, was very interesting. It was a duet that began with the woman moving under cloth, in a weird alien way, struggling to come out. Then she was joined by a man, who was wearing weird hunter cave man clothes. They moved strangely, athletically, surreally, and erotically together. Unfortunately, in spite of how cool it was, there was also something embarrassing and cheesy about it. I did like it though.

I also very much liked the solo dance, Zjawa, and my favorite was the final piece, Suspended Women, that featured many women of the company in ball gowns. It was beautiful and strange.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


I'm not sure what I think about Arbitrage. It is a tight, tense film about a billionaire businessman who is undergoing a financial and personal crisis. For the most part the story is very well told, very focused. Suspenseful, engaging. But in the end I was a little confused about what had happened, and I felt sort of let down. Also, I hated the character of his daughter and thought the tension there was contrived.