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The Anniversary Party (2001) Directed by Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh Joe and Sally Therrian are celebrating their sixth anniversary—though they’ve lived separately for most of the last one—with a few of their closest friends, past lovers, business advisors, directors, actors, and inscrutable neighbors in their Hollywood Hills home. Joe’s duplicitous behavior, bisexuality, and the indignancy of his decision to not cast his wife in his latest film (despite the character being based on her)...
Daughters of the Dust (1991) Directed by Julie Dash Dash took it upon herself to create positive depictions of strong, independent-minded black women that were otherwise lacking in American film. Her first feature-length work became the first film directed by an African-American woman to receive US distribution. Twenty-five years and several Dash films later, Daughters of the Dust became a crucial influence on Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade and received a gorgeous 2K restoration (overseen by the...
Elle Directed by Paul Verhoeven Opens November 11 Michele Leblanc doesn’t cry after she’s raped by a masked intruder in the opening scene of Paul Verhoeven’s Elle. She doesn’t scream either, nor does she call the police, or phone a friend. She simply picks herself up, dusts herself off, and calmly sweeps up the glass that’s been shattered in the wake of this particularly heinous act of violence, as a trickle of blood runs down the inside...
The Watermelon Woman (1996) Directed by Cheryl Dunye Throughout her first several short pieces in the early 1990s, Dunye created an endearing character: Herself. The auteur-star’s “Cheryl” is a shy, awkward, oft-lovelorn young filmmaker in Philadelphia that seeks to understand her black and lesbian identities better both for her own sake and for the sake of others around her. Cheryl begins Dunye’s debut feature with a direct-camera address in which she mentions the lack of media...

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