Audrey Kupferberg

Audrey Kupferberg: Grace And Frankie

May 15, 2015

In the opening episode of GRACE AND FRANKIE, one of Netflix’s most touted new series, one of the characters talks about “a very exciting chapter we’re opening in the book of life.”  From this and other lines of dialog, one would never think to attribute the life change to seventy year olds.  But seventy-somethings they are!  GRACE AND FRANKIE is a story that focuses on two women who have been living an affluent California lifestyle for forty years-- forty years of unremarkable married life. 

Audrey Kupferberg: Snowpiercer

Apr 17, 2015

People are talking about a 2013 feature called SNOWPIERCER by South Korean filmmaker Joon-ho Bong.  It’s a sci-fi thriller about the aftermath of a failed climate-change experiment that freezes the Earth.  Most of the planet’s population dies, but a number are saved and boarded onto a train that circles the globe in an endless ride.  It is a train controlled by a self-proclaimed leader named Wilford, whose company designed the unique self-sustainable convoy.  When the film opens, the survivors have been passengers for eighteen years.

Audrey Kupferberg: Peter And The Starcatcher

Mar 24, 2015

"Peter and the Starcatcher," a five-time Tony-Award winner in its original Broadway run, played Proctors last Saturday. "Peter," based on the book "Peter and the Starcatchers" by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, is a dark tale of pirates, orphans, ships and treasure chests. There were only two performances—just a brief stop on a national tour.

Audrey Kupferberg: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Mar 20, 2015

While THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is no Oscar contender, it is a film of great value to many who are living what is known as the advanced years of life.  It has value as entertainment and equally as a practical philosophic guide to soaking up all the riches that old age can offer, if lived with zest and optimism.

Rob Edelman: Terrorism And Gender

Mar 16, 2015

Terrorist characters who are villains in Hollywood thrillers usually are clichés: broadly drawn, broadly played bad guys who hijack airplanes, threaten to blow up buildings or sports arenas, and are thwarted just in the nick of time by Sylvester Stallone or Bruce Willis. Terrorists rarely are the primary on-screen characters, and they rarely are women. In fact, there seemed to be a bit of disbelief on the part of certain media types who were reporting on the young woman who alleged was connected to the recent terrorist acts in Paris.

Rob Edelman: Fearmakers

Mar 9, 2015

For years, sci-fi films and horror films and any kind of film that entertains by playing into viewers’ worst fears have relied not on coherent plot lines or relatable characters but on jarring, disturbing visuals and gory violence that is endless--- and mindless. This, unfortunately, is an old, tired story and, as long as these films bring in big bucks at the box office, the motion picture studios will keep churning them out.

Back in 2009, I offered some commentary on what then was a new and highly regarded film about the war in Iraq and the American GIs who were fighting and dying there. That film was THE HURT LOCKER. At the time, I observed that THE HURT LOCKER and other Iraq war films, which then included IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH, STOP/LOSS, THE LUCKY ONES, LIONS FOR LAMBS, and REDACTED, were not surefire box office hits. The reason was that THE HURT LOCKER and its fellow films were exploring uncomfortable themes. They were dealing with disturbing, real-life issues-- and moviegoers generally will want to avoid films that deal with real-life issues. They yearn to escape into fantasy worlds. And so they did not flock to see THE HURT LOCKER, even though it earned nine Academy Award nominations and six wins, including Best Picture and Best Director. Indeed, according to Box Office Mojo, the total lifetime domestic gross for THE HURT LOCKER was a little over $17-million. 

Audrey Kupferberg: Still Alice

Feb 20, 2015

Lisa Genova’s ground-breaking novel Still Alice about a fifty-year-old college professor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease is now a film.  And what a fine film it is!

Audrey Kupferberg: A Coffee In Berlin

Jan 16, 2015

Every once in a while, a film comes along that dares to withhold facts, to keep its intentions as a guessing game, even as the final credits are being displayed.  Such a film is Jan Ole Gerster’s award-winning German feature A COFFEE IN BERLIN, also known as OH BOY!  Since this is Gerster’s first feature film, it is no wonder that it has taken some bit of time for it to catch on in the United States.  With an original German theatrical release in late 2012, A COFFEE IN BERLIN didn’t arrive in U.S. cinemas until June 2014. At its widest release here, it only played in twelve theaters and brought in only $150,000.  Even in Europe, the film played mainly at festivals, where it has won a good number of prestige awards, and theatrically it only grossed $2,600,000.

If you plan a trip into Manhattan this holiday season, be sure to take a look at the beautiful Fifth Avenue windows and see the live Radio City Christmas Spectacular if you have a mind to do so. But if the film lover in you is bursting to come to the surface, be sure to leave some time to experience a holiday treat designed especially for pop culturists, American entertainment historians and film enthusiasts.