Review: Paris is Burning


Having barely recovered from the 1970s, New York City lurched into the 1980s with restored wealth and confidence, for most of the population. For those outside the nine-to-five club, it was business as usual; eat when and where possible, hustle to make the rent, deal with the drug dealers and try to maintain relationships. Belonging is the hard thing. Without a job, a family or a tribe, the city is a bad place to be.

Harder for some than others, and for Harlem’s African American and Latinx drag crew it was almost impossibly hard. Having talent by the truck loads, dreams to fill the Titanic and not enough money to fill a teacup, what is one to do? If one cannot go to the party, make one of one’s own. And make it a big one. (CONTINUED)

Review: The Quiet One

— by BEV QUESTAD — While “Paint it Black” whips on in the background, Bill Wyman says, “If you do the right thing, you don’t get noticed. And that’s the way I play. It’s quite simple.” Wyman, bass player for the Rolling Stones from 1962 to 1993, was a quiet man who followed his passions: […][...]

Review: Wild Rose

— by BEV QUESTAD — The prison door closes and young, redheaded Rose, shackled to an ankle monitor, is free to pursue her dream. Despite living poor in Glasgow, Scotland and speaking with an often-indecipherable brogue, Rose wants to become a Nashville singing star. But her first spontaneous celebration upon release is to have sex […][...]

Review: We Believe in Dinosaurs

— by BEV QUESTAD — In 2016, a $120 million dollar replica of Noah’s ark was built in northern Kentucky. It’s a gorgeous creation reminiscent of an exhibit in a Disney theme park, with a series of realistic scenes lining the walkway inside the boat. There is the sinful sybaritic lifestyle leading up to the […][...]

Review: Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins

— by BEV QUESTAD — For Molly Ivins, there were two sides to the political spectrum, not the Left or the Right, but the Top to the Bottom. The American Film Institute (AFI) is closing their 2019 Doc Fest this year with “Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins.” An acerbic political Texan […][...]

Review: Buddy

— by BEV QUESTAD — At age 13, Edith was blinded from the impact of a German bomb in the Netherlands. Undaunted, she learned to gallop on a horse while her guide dog scampered beside, trying to keep up the pace. What a great life for several dogs, all who lived and died under Edith’s […][...]

Review: Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

— by BEV QUESTAD — The only way to write an honest reflection on a Blue Note Records documentary is from a dark inner city bar where James T is on stage and the audience only stops their chatter to clap between performance pauses. James tells me it’s that chatter that gives the musician freedom […][...]

Review: The Dead Don’t Die

— by RON WILKINSON — We thought Jim Jarmusch was getting serious with “Patterson.” But now this. A most glorious send-up of zombie films complete with anarchic cheerleading and bonus jabs at liberal smugness. A superb cast of thoroughly wasted performances sacrificed on the altar of heedless enjoyment. A magnificent loser of a success. Re-uniting […][...]

Review: Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

— by BEV QUESTAD — “If there is life on Mars, they are reading Toni Morrison to find what it means to be human,” matter-of-factly says Farah Griffin, a professor at Columbia University. My first exposure to Morrison was through “Beloved.” A group of 10 teachers and I had intended to read her book, see […][...]