Take Me is a vibrant, understated, unexpected, funny black comedy that takes a routine comic genre (weird business venture) and a routine crime genre (a woman kidnapped by a man) and turns them inside out. Director Pat Healy deftly messes with the story of a man who runs an entrepreneurial company (titled Kidnap Solutions), which offers clients a thrill of a real life experience of a pretend kidnapping, complete with captivity and abuse. The company owner, played with wonderful down-at-mouth dourness, by Pat Healy, who is in desperate need of money, takes on a last minute commission for a substantial sum and becomes embroiled in a weekend of fear, confusion and mishaps with the client, played by Taylor Schilling with tight, droll, wide-eyed control.
A wonderful indie ironic comedy that keeps you guessing.
Marsha P. Johnson was a well known activist in the 1980s gay revolution who was based in New York and an upfront trans when it was a difficult time to be out and who worked at a street level for gay rights, despite often enduring hard times. Found dead in the Hudson river in the 1992, Johnson’s death (declared a suicide by police but suspected by many to be a murder) has remained an open case. The film reveals Johnson through old film footage, the opinions of others, and through Sylvia Riva’s, a friend of Johnson’s and activist, attempt to solve the suspicious death by contemporary interviews and re-evaluations of police reports and photos. Though some in the gay movement have contested the film, most dramatically, it is Johnson’s charisma, style, individuality and hard work that shines through and this makes the film compelling. The film makes it obvious and essential that Johnson not be forgotten.
A compelling film about a compelling gay activist.
Director Pappi Corsicatto creates a beautifully shot, uncomplicated but welcoming portrait of Schnabel that, though it seems to be tilted to favor the painter, nevertheless builds a story around Schnabel which grounds him in his earliest obsession with painting in such a way that it comes across as unusual and determined. The film underscores that versatile talent drives Schnabel as much as a desire to expand what is almost an empire of land, people, projects and family and Corsicatto’s choice to emphasize the core artistic desire warms the film.
A beautifully filmed, simple portrait of the painter Julian Schnabel
DIRECTORS: Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro, Morgan Pehme
This cold, direct documentary on Roger Stone, produced by NetFlix, comes on the scene in 2017 during the time that Stone has become virtually a household name, viewed as the grey eminence behind the rise of Donald Trump. The film fills in some of the erratic history of Stone’s more extraordinary exploits and manias, showing him as oddly volatile, oddly contradictory and oddly successful in his unilateral pursuits, especially that of building Trump. This is a valuable snapshot of Roger Stone, even if it is not a deep look, because information on his opinions and strange careers should be public and easily accessed.
A valuable snapshot of Roger Stone’s strange powerful career.