Dream Girls

A very suggestive, interesting BBC documentary (1993) by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams about the Takarazuka Revuea Japanese all-female theater company and school, founded in 1914 and based in suburban Osakaand their female fans. The filmmakers don’t make many inferences about the psychosexual implications of this phenomenon, but the performers and fans have a lot to say, and some of the teachers (all male) have a few things to add. (JR)

Published on 01 Nov 1994 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Welfare

One of Frederick Wiseman’s strongest documentaries, this nearly three-hour look at a New York welfare center (1975), which concentrates on the interactions between clients and social workers, is both pungent and unbearable in its depictions of frustration and anger on both sides of the counter. Wiseman’s customary refusal to add an offscreen commentary makes the film even more compelling, though it may irritate viewers who feel they need to know more about the cases to decide how they feel about them. Throwing us into the thick of things without a map, Wiseman dares us to reach conclusions according to the evidence of our eyes and ears. It’s impossible to emerge from such an experience unscathed. 167 min. (JR)

Published on 01 Nov 1994 in Featured Texts, by admin

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The Garden Of The Finzi-continis

A wealthy Jewish family in 1938 Ferrara blithely ignore the encroachment of fascism until it’s too late in one of Vittorio De Sica’s many postneorealist comebacks, this one strong and popular enough to have won an Oscar. Based on a novel of the same title by Giorgio Bassani and attractively shot, this 1970 film catapulted Dominique Sanda to stardom and probably helped Helmut Berger along as well. With Lino Capolicchio, Fabio Testi, and Romolo Valli. In Italian with subtitles. 94 min. (JR)

Published on 01 Nov 1994 in Featured Texts, by admin

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