Friday, September 24, 2010

A Golden Ticket to a Better Future

Director Madeline Sackler’s debut feature documentary, “The Lottery”, is sure to generate strong opinions and emotions in its viewers. “The Lottery” questions the outdated public education system in America, particularly in the Harlem and Bronx sections of New York City.

During a time when 58% percent of African American 4th graders are illiterate, “The Lottery” follows four students and their parents as they await the results of the nerve-racking lottery that will determine whether or not they're admitted to the Harlem Success Academy, a charter school offering far superior opportunities than a traditional public school. Only a few hundred spots are available at the Academy for the several thousand children in the drawing.

Shot by acclaimed cinematography Wolfgang Held, not only does “The Lottery” look visually stunning, but it succeeds in telling an important story, and in inciting the viewer to take a stance. It is both rare and refreshing to see a film that accomplishes this, all the while keeping the audience hooked on the suspense of the approaching lottery.

Focusing equally on the personal and political aspects of our education system, Sackler creates a harrowing documentary. It’s a must see film that will leave its viewers pondering the future of our education system, and our children.

“The Lottery” will be available on DVD on October 5th.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An Even More Ticked-Off Trailer

The latest trailer for TOTWK - a masterpiece in its own right. You will be transfixed.

New on DVD: Trips Down Memory Lane

Today’s two DVD releases - “Darkness” and “Leslie Jordan: My Trip Down the Pink Carpet” present the same theme: facing the past. In terms of style, however, both films are worlds apart.

Darkness is a sleek horror film from Juraj Herz (director of the cult film "The Cremator"). It tells the tale of a musician’s return to the country home of his childhood – where the ghosts of the past literally come back to haunt him. Rogue Cinema calls it a “methodical, brooding ghost story … in the vein of Del Toro’s ‘The Devil’s Backbone.’”

In his “Trip Down the Pink Carpet,” Emmy winner Leslie Jordan also pulls a few skeletons out of the closet – though in a much more humorous fashion. Filmed during Jordan’s live comedy show in Atlanta (and based on his book of the same name), the frenetic one-man show allows the singular comedian - made famous for his turn as Beverley Leslie on "Will and Grace" - to recount his journey as a gay, southern man with aspirations of entering Hollywood show business.

Jordan has since parlayed the comedy routine into an Off Broadway show, which has described as “Not just a laugh-so-hard-you-cry look at the world through ultra-gay eyes … it’s also an often moving look at the very best and worst of what gay culture has to offer."