Reviews, News, & Interviews

Female Filmmakers at the movies: Leave No Trace & Boundaries

By Leslie Combemale | June 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

This week in movies sees the release of two films directed by women that focus on family. More specifically, they focus on father/daughter relationships. Leave No Trace and Boundaries are both road films, albeit of different sorts. Cinema Siren reviews them here, revealing who might enjoy them and who might want to avoid them. REVIEW: Leave No Trace I …

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Nancy & Ocean’s 8 Movie Reviews: Women Rule these June Joints

By Leslie Combemale | June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Complicated, multi-dimensional female characters are rarely portrayed onscreen.  It is even less common to see one that leaves the audience conflicted.  Those making decisions in Hollywood think surprises in the form of complicated women can be bad for business.  The result is that the 51% of filmgoers, aka WOMEN, are mostly treated to some version of 3 or …

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RBG Review: This Doc Shows Ruth Bader Ginsburg Giving Superhero Realness

By Leslie Combemale | May 3, 2018 | 0 Comments

I’m sure you all have heard about how audiences assembled for Avengers: Infinity War. The Marvel superhero movie has broken the record for the biggest opening weekend ever.  This weekend, another film, which features the closest thing to a real superhero we have in the US, is opening, and will make a great companion piece, especially if …

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The Rider: Art Exposing Life’s Heartache and Resilience

By Leslie Combemale | April 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

Sometimes there are films that remind us how grateful we are that independent films are released.  With my focus being female filmmakers, that is the world in which I largely dwell, since so few movies put out by the studios are woman-directed. In fact, only 3% of studio films released in 2018 have a woman at …

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Tomb Raider & Flower Movie Reviews: Of Cinematic Daddy Issues and Self-destruction

By Leslie Combemale | March 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

Opening in our area this and next weekend are two films that seem very unlike each other, given that one is a small indie film with an up-and-coming ingenue, and the other is led by an Oscar winner in the prime of her career.  Upon further inspection however, Flower, starring Zoey Deutch, and Tomb Raider, starring …

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A Wrinkle in Time Movie Review: So Centered in Joy, Cynics Need Not Apply

By Leslie Combemale | March 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

Sparkle alert!  If you’ve seen any of the trailers for the highly-publicized cinematic rendering of Madeline L’Engle’s classic 1962 children’s novel A Wrinkle in Time, you know sparkle figures prominently. Director Ava DuVernay, who has the distinction of being the first women of color to direct of live action film with a budget over 100 million …

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Oh Lucy! Film Review: Messy Change Makes for Great Film

By Leslie Combemale | March 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

The new indie release Oh Lucy, from Japanese-American writer/director Atsuko Hirayanagi, examines the life of Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima), a lonely, chain-smoking woman of a certain age.  It’s the sort of film that captures well-crafted characters undergoing real change, with all the messiness, hilarity, and unpleasantness attached to it. After being confronted with mortality, Setsuko says yes …

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Shaping Black Panther: An interview with Costume Designer Ruth Carter

By Leslie Combemale | February 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

Ruth Carter has been breaking barriers and building her reputation in the film industry for over 30 years. She is the first woman of color to be nominated for an Academy Award in best achievement in costume design, for Malcolm X, and has also been thus recognized for Amistad, She has worked with some of …

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A Fantastic Woman Film Review & Interviews: This Historic Oscar Nominee is a Gorgeous Study in Grief

By Leslie Combemale | February 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

It is true the Academy Awards are not the ultimate arbiter of quality and longevity of a film.  You need but look to the history of winners and losers to confirm that.  However, the Best Foreign Language Films is one category where the Oscars gets closer.  Nearly all nominees are multiple award winners with buzz that has carried …

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In honor of being invited to join AWFJ, the Top 10 Movies of 2017, as directed by women!

By Leslie Combemale | February 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

In celebration of this wonderful honor, this first post by Cinema Siren in 2018 will be the Best Films of 2017, but ONLY include films directed by women.  It’s thrilling to say most of these would already be on my top ten, and that is definitely a sign of the times.  There are several films that were …

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