WBAI-FM Upcoming Program
Arts Express

Sat, Jan 1, 2022 6:00 AM


** Amazon Uprising: Protest Predictions 2022

** "I have no idea why Madonna was mopping the floor after seeing my movie there. But if it inspires her to do anything, I am down, I am for it - and I would have loved to join her in mopping the theater."

Licorice Pizza: Alana Haim Checks In. Including the mysterious meaning of the title of Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film; the mystery of Madonna inspired by the movie to mop the theater floor; Haim's creative collaborations with Taylor Swift; and why the first time millennial actress/musician is being attacked online for her relationship in the movie with teen co-star Cooper Hoffman - son of Philip Seymour Hoffman who tragically died of a heroin overdose when Cooper was eleven years old.

And criticism of Haim, even though middle aged men have been romancing teenage girls and younger women on screen since Hollywood's inception. Though Sean Penn does make a brief enigmatic appearance in Licorice Pizza as a much older possible love interest - reportedly based on late actor William Holden. And, did she just hang up during the conversation? Stay tuned for that development...

** "Listen, I'm a black film critic. And in our racist media, a black film critic - any black person who thinks for themselves faces the risk of being canceled."

Armond White On The Hot Seat. An Interrogation On Film, Race, His New Book About Steven Spielberg - And Whatever Happened To The Way Movies Are Reviewed In America.

The National Review film critic and author who challenges movies from the right, takes the Arts Express Hot Seat to discuss his longtime love/hate relationship with Spielberg; cancel culture and Obama post-racialism; West Side Story as a remake that should never have been made; and where we may strangely agree - namely the middle, and what's going down in establishment political culture.

Along with revisiting Spielberg's Jaws as an enduring allegory about the horrors of capitalism, and not just a horror movie - and its observation that "there is a creature alive today without change, without logic - a mindless eating machine, it will attack and devour anything." As for the question of film awards, why do all the groups always award the ten or so identical movies, when hundreds are released during the year.

** "This is not a sitcom..."

Marionette Land: A Conversation With Director Alexander Monelli. Delving into the peculiar, fascinating world of actor Robert Brock - who has turned his elderly mother's basement where he lives, into a puppet theater that has obsessed him since childhood.

The film 'brings to life the joys and woes of a single minded adult pursuit of a childhood dream - and also explores themes of loneliness, performance, perfectionism and the need to connect."


**Interestingly, Sandra Bullock and her remarkable performance in The Unforgivable, which it seems no group except The Women Film Critics Circle awarded this year, is currently the second most watched movie on Netflix. Perhaps an indication of a substantial cultural divide between critics and audiences...

**Covid and a barrage of exploitative doomsday fear porn releases.

**Lockdown and a turning inward of filmmakers and film reviewers - hating their ensuing powerlessness and themselves - and resulting in anti-social and anti-struggle pandemic fatigue cinema influenced accolades, for awards bestowed on movies featuring sympathetically portrayed, self-hating repulsive protagonists. Counting accolades for instance, for The Lost Daughter, Power Of The Dog and Passing.

While the feared, disgruntled masses as 'the other' - working class, immigrants, whether from the right at Capitol Hill or the left across the nation in cities like Portland, are personified as deformed, denigrated, disturbed and/or dangerous or ridiculed masses in their movies. Reflecting the middle class dread and pessimism as well of downwardly spiraling in this progressively low wage economy linked to the endless pandemic.

Consider the case of The Lost Daughter. Olivia Colman as Leda, perhaps the worst mother in movies this year, turns up as a snobby, self-pitying academia version of a Karen. Who moves on from emotionally abusing and then abandoning her children - and years later on a solitary island vacation, traumatizing a little girl by stealing her favorite doll - because she finds her working class immigrant extended family there, loathsome and intolerable.

And does this drama, incomprehensibly crafted by a female director, Maggie Gyllenhaal, construct a path to redemption, or even insight or enlightenment. Not at all. Any sympathy squarely focuses on that hateful protagonist in this film - which at any moment seemed as if it might be veering into horror movie territory - with Leda sticking pins in the doll to curse the family.

And this trend concurrently ignoring films for awards that address how we live and struggle to make sense of it all in America, and globally today and why. Including The Mauritanian, The Card Counter, Small Time, and 499. And reviewers ignoring pressing social and political issues raised on screen, instead seemingly narrowly considering films in terms of their own personal influence with the corporate movie world.

Prairie Miller



© 2012-