The Very Best Of TV/Film (October 2009)

Amelia, Whip it and more!

Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut with Whip It now playing in theaters nation-wide. The film follows Bliss Cavendar’s (Ellen Page) dreams of escaping her tiny, truck-stop town of Bodeen, Texas. Unfortunately her devoted, beauty pageant obsessed mother (Marcia Gay Harden) is convinced that Bliss can only succeed in life if she wins the crown at the local Miss Blue Bonnet Pageant. When Bliss sneaks off to the big city of Austin with her best friend Pash she discovers a world unlike anything she could ever imagine: roller derby, with its girl-power-meets-punk-rock spirit and its liberating celebration of wild individuality. Bliss secretly tries out for a spot on the Hurl Scouts, a rag-tag team of scrappy underdogs and soon she’s trading in her gowns and crowns for skirts, skates and scrapes. Leading a precarious double life, Bliss may be a waitress at Bodeen’s Oink Joint by day, but at night, she becomes her alter ego, Babe Ruthless. When her secret gets out, Bliss faces her toughest fight yet: to take control of the future . . . on her own terms.
Hillary Swank and Cherry Jones star in Amelia opening Oct 14 in NYC. An extraordinary life of adventure, celebrity and continuing mystery comes to light in this vast, thrilling account of legendary aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart played by Swank. After becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, Amelia is thrust into a new role as America’s sweetheart – the legendary "goddess of light," known for her bold, larger-than-life charisma. Yet, even with her global fame solidified, her belief in flirting with danger and standing up as her own, outspoken woman never changed. In the summer of 1937, Amelia set off on her most daunting mission yet: a solo flight around the world that she anxiously foresaw as destined, whatever the outcome, to become one of the most talked-about journeys in history.

An unprecedented large-scale retrospective of the films of Alice Guy Blaché (1873–1968)—the first woman director in the history of cinema will be presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art, from Nov 6 to Jan 24, 2010. Alice Guy Blaché: Cinema Pioneer features more than eighty rare films by this key but unsung figure of early cinema. Between 1896 and 1920, first in France and then in the US, she wrote, directed, supervised and/or produced more than 1,000 films. These ranged from short films of less than a minute’s duration to full-length multi-reel features and include some hand-tinted in color, and more than 100 films with synchronized sound made between 1902 and 1906, some 20 years before sound revolutionized motion pictures as we now know them.

For all dates, times and locations, see the arts and entertainment listings.

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