Category: News

Luis De Leon’s THE QUEEN OF THE DESERT Film Short Review

QUEEN OF THE DESERT is Director Mary Ann Rotondi’s creative endeavor to make a movie commentary about what she believed are the dynamic social and political forces menacing this country, writes the WORD’s Luis De Leon. Rotondi, who won Best Woman Directed Short at the 2022 Poppy Jasper International Film Festival, uses two characters of different gender, ethnicity, personal values as well as social and political mores to express her point of view that the power of people’s shared humanity can ameliorate the centrifugal forces she believes are tearing away at America.
In other words, people living in the United States of America need to empathize more with people who don’t appear to be like them.

A 2021 DOC NYC Film Festival Wrap Up:

Says Photo Journalist Brent Jones who shot innumerable headline news making pictures of Chicago’s First Black Hizzoner: “I was covering Harold Washington from just before he made his run and until his passing. I covered his funeral. There were many people who thought that I was actually on his staff because I was around him so much. I was privy to his daily schedule and came up with ways to be where he would be.” Jones was the first Black photographer to have a picture on the front page of Newsweek.
Washington’s campaign was a centrifugal force for news attention, Jones says. It created serendipitous opportunities for people of all stripes as well as diverse areas of Chicago that had rarely attracted much notice from the mainstream news media. He was literally and figuratively putting people and places on the map unlike ever before.

Film Short Review

It was five-minutes, 38-seconds into this marvel of a film – melancholic yet tempered with cosmic bliss – when I experienced the first swell of an unexpected rapture, brought on by scenes of the spoken-word-like-rapping of Zowie pitching to publishers of adult books about a children’s book she wants published. Her main character may be the only character, and she is a girl whose superpowers are diminishing, and who frequently falls on the floor or to the ground like a klutz at certain moments in the time-space continuum. Audiences need to be ready to deal with otherworldly themes in this film. – By Gregg W. Morris

2021 New York Asian Film Festival 20th Edition Closed August 22

After screening a record 75 films over 16 days in person and virtually, the 20th Edition closed out an epic run Sunday, August 22, with back-to-back screenings of three thrilling titles: Evan Jackson Leong’s Chinatown-set crime thriller Snakehead; Yoon Jae-Keun’s head-spinning Spiritwalker, winner of the NYAFF 2021 Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema; and the NYAFF Closing Film, Kim Ji-hoon’s blockbuster disaster comedy Sinkhole. – By Gregg W. Morris