Ella Taylor http://wamc.org en 'Vivian Maier' Brings Nanny-Photographer's Life Into Focus http://wamc.org/post/vivian-maier-brings-nanny-photographers-life-focus Is an artist's life relevant to her reputation as an artist? Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:52:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 86882 at http://wamc.org 'Vivian Maier' Brings Nanny-Photographer's Life Into Focus Meet Brandon Darby, Grass-Roots Activist (And FBI Rat) http://wamc.org/post/meet-brandon-darby-grass-roots-activist-and-fbi-rat For a while in Jamie Meltzer's mesmerizing documentary <em>Informant</em>, I wondered whether subject Brandon Darby, the lefty activist turned FBI informer, was being played by an actor.<p>But no: It's Darby, and he's a handsome fellow, with haunted eyes blazing out of a bone structure to die for, and with a Montgomery Clift dimple in his chin. Staring straight into the camera, he testifies with the intense calm of a messiah or a madman, which all too often comes to the same thing. Thu, 12 Sep 2013 23:06:34 +0000 Ella Taylor 73509 at http://wamc.org Meet Brandon Darby, Grass-Roots Activist (And FBI Rat) An 'Admission' That Moms Might Not Know Best http://wamc.org/post/admission-moms-might-not-know-best Half an hour into Paul Weitz's new comedy, <em>Admission,</em> it dawned on me that I was watching an Americanized <em>About a Boy --</em> which admittedly was also directed by Weitz. Both movies are adapted from other people's novels; both cobble together families out of the waifs and strays of modern life.<p>But where <em>About a Boy</em> was both funny and wise about urban alienation, <em>Admission</em> settles for skin deep.<p><em>Admission</em>'s plot hovers in the vicinity of two square-peg boys. One is small, black, adopted from Uganda and yearning for a normal life. Thu, 21 Mar 2013 23:38:04 +0000 Ella Taylor 60428 at http://wamc.org An 'Admission' That Moms Might Not Know Best Fighting For Their Family, One Day At A Time http://wamc.org/post/fighting-their-family-one-day-time It would take a heart of stone — or zero tolerance for soap — to resist <em>Any Day Now</em>, a full-throttle weepie about a West Hollywood gay couple trying to adopt a neglected boy with Down syndrome.<p>Their quest might be an easier one today, when 16 American states permit joint adoption for same-sex couples, and all manner of family forms proliferate on and off-screen. But the film, loosely taken from real-life events, is set in 1979, when institutional homophobia was as common as pointy collars on loud print shirts. Thu, 13 Dec 2012 22:03:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 53886 at http://wamc.org Fighting For Their Family, One Day At A Time