News & Notes

WIFV Members Favorite Movie List!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

For your entertainment on those cold, snowy (or maybe just rainy?) winter days, WIFV has compiled a list of members’ favorite movies. Check them out!


Mimi Machado-Jones
1. Dance with Me– (Randa Haines, 1998) “My favorite dance scene is shot on steadicam and Vanessa Williams gets caught in a Rueda de Casino continuously switching partners sort of like a salsa square dance…Most fun movie ever to me.”
2. The Godfather– (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) “Beautifully acted, gorgeous cinematography, and the mafia-what more could you ask for?”
3. The Butler and Do the Right Thing– (Lee Daniels, 2013) (Spike Lee, 1989) “I am truly torn between” these two.

Susan Barocas
1. Tender Mercies and To Kill a Mockingbird– (Bruce Beresford, 1983) (Robert Mulligan, 1962) “Both by one of my writing gods, Horton Foote. Every shot, gesture, and word spoken—and unspoken—in both of these films creates such a tight, complete whole about people being challenged by outer and inner events and emotions.”
2. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Him– (Malte Ludin, 2005) “…a subtly gripping documentary…Ludin peels back the stories and memories…the film is at once chilling and hopeful.”
3. The Graduate– (Mike Nichols, 1967) “Completely immersed in a time and place, and yet a timeless and universal exploration of the best and worst of us humans…perfectly acted.”

Christine Colburn
1. The Fall– (Tarsem Singh, 2006) “The most stunning visuals of any film I’ve ever seen (and accomplished without CGI)—with a touching and surreal story to boot.”
2. Tiny Furniture– (Lena Dunham, 2010) “…notable for its refreshing tone and as a movie that launched a showrunner’s career on a scrappy $25K budget.”
3. Pleasantville– (Gary Ross, 1998) “…easy to…watch over and over again. Stellar effects for its day, plus a great story and message that works for popular audiences and for educational purposes.”

Barbara Everett
1. The Way We Were– (Sydney Pollack, 1973) “Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford”
2. Sophie’s Choice– (Alan J. Pakula, 1982) “Meryl Streep’s best-of-everything film”
3. Forrest Gump– (Robert Zemeckis, 1994) “Tom Hanks film, which will speak to generations.”

Keri Williams
1. City of God– (Fernando Meirelles, Katie Lund, 2002) “I loved the cinematography on [all three of] these films.”
2. Tess– (Roman Polanski, 1979)
3. Streets of Fire– (Walter Hill, 1984) “Willem Dafoe is outstanding, and the soundtrack will keep you moving in your seat.”

Dan Bailes
1. Budrus– (Julia Bacha, 2009) “All three are…wonderful examples of storytelling and exploring serendipity.” This shows “Israeli soldiers, Palestinian villagers, [and] a conflict over lives and livelihoods and the power of non-violence.”
2. The Edge of Heaven*+- (Fatih Akin, 2007) “As strangers in a strange land (Germany), Turkish immigrants try to navigate love, loss, and forgiveness.”
3. The Flat– (Arnon Goldfinger, 2011) “A meditation on identity, friendship and what we can truly know about each other, as a young Israeli tries to find the story behind his relative’s secret friendship with a Nazi leader.”

Paige Gold
1. Reds– (Warren Beatty, 1981) “Skillfully blends the historical and the personal, including the brilliant choice to insert interviews with people who actually knew the [the subjects].”

Ben Ross
1. Crimes and Misdemeanors– (Woody Allen, 1989) “As close to an autobiographical picture as you’ll ever get from the venerable Woody Allen…[his] most complete film, with all of his favorite themes on full display: uncertainty, lust, contempt, and a world without justice.”
2. Death to Smoochy– (Danny DeVito, 2002) “Darkest of dark comedy…So ahead of its time and tragically underrated.”
3. The Seventh Seal– (Ingmar Bergman, 1957) “A perfectly crafted story. Intertwines themes of life, death, religion, purpose, happiness, and art so effortlessly and nonliterally…”

Faith DeVeaux
1. Mostly anything by Charlie Chaplin- “I still think he’s a genius.” [Note-Netflix has a collection of his shorts, Amazon Prime has The Kid.]
2. Amadeus– (Milos Forman, 1984) “The transitions and use of imagery with music were great.”
3. Daughters of the Dust– (Julie Dash, 1991) “I still see the imagery in my mind, and the storytelling was unique.”

Rachel Gordon
1. Fanny and Alexander– (Ingmar Bergman, 1982)
2. Brazil– (Terry Gilliam, 1985)
3. All That Jazz– (Bob Fosse, 1979)

Elizabeth Andrade
1. The Impossible– (J. A. Bayona, 2012) “Great direction and acting. One of the most amazing true stories of survival.”
2. Face/Off– (John Woo, 1997) “Best action movie director and incredible fiction story, keeps you on the edge.”
3. Rain Man– (Barry Levinson, 1988) “With Levinson’s direction and Dustin Hoffman’s great performance, a very human story.”

Susan Fertig
1. Sophie’s Choice- (Alan J. Pakula, 1982) “Not only the best of the best of Streep, but the most heartbreaking, exquisitely excruciating film.”
2. The Good Shepherd– (Robert De Niro, 2006) “I had to see it twice to really ‘get’ everything. Jolie in a completely anti-typecast role. Amazing plot, amazing acting.”
3. The Last Picture Show– (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971) “So poignantly and insightfully captures the dying of a small town and the impact on each of the characters. Cloris Leachman is a magnificent study in the value of understated acting.”

Renee Tynan
1. Babette’s Feast– (Gabriel Axel, 1987)
2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail– (Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, 1975)
3. Witness– (Peter Weir, 1985)
4. Il Postino– (Michael Radford, 1994)
(On a separate note, a recent movie to look for is The Butterfly’s Dream.)

Bjorn Munson
1. Children of Men– (Alfonso Cuaron, 2006) “Beyond the harrowing and engaging tale of redemption and hope in a dystopian future, it’s a marvelously crafted film.”
2. The Namesake– (Mira Nair, 2006) “It’s …about life and death, love and loss, who you think you are, who people around you say you are, and who you might really be. And it doesn’t give answers as much as ask questions.”
3. The Court Jester– (Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, 1955) “An infectiously delightful musical comedy…The continual wonderfully silly set pieces mask an ingeniously intricate plot that works amazingly well.”

Erin Essenmacher
1. I Am– (Tom Shadyac, 2010) Documentary
2. The Cove– (Louie Psihoyos, 2009) Documentary
3. The Way We Get By– (Aron Gaudet, 2009) Documentary
4. Serious Moonlight– (Cheryl Hines, 2009) Fiction
5. Big Fish– (Tim Burton, 2003) Fiction
6. Ratcatcher– (Lynne Ramsay, 1999) Fiction

Tina Chancey
1. Ordinary People– (Robert Redford, 1980) “Redford was learning how to direct on this one, and you could really follow the process.”
2. Pather Panchali– (Satyajit Ray, 1955) “I was in college when I saw this, and was blown away by his lyrical, almost musical approach to cinematography.”
3. Pretty Woman– (Garry Marshall, 1990) “Comparing two versions of the original gritty screenplay with the final film script shows how a serious drama can gradually be transformed into a fable.”

Anne Thompson
1. My Darling Clementine– (John Ford, 1946) “The must-see is the 104 minute archival preview print, versus the 97 minute release print, for both cinematography and sound editing. (Both versions were included on the Fox DVD released in 2004)”
2. Metropolis– (Fritz Lang, 1927) “Groundbreaking and beautiful!”
3. The Usual Suspects– (Bryan Singer, 1995) “Perfectly acted and executed and a wonderful ending!”

Diane Williams
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark– (Steven Spielberg, 1981) “Edge of your seat action. Don’t drink too much before you see this because you’ll not want to leave your seat.”
2. Chinatown– (Roman Polanski, 1974) “Detective thriller. Jake Gittes painfully reaches the truth in a tale of embezzlement and incest.”
3. The Hunt for Red October and All the President’s Men– (John McTiernan, 1990) (Alan J. Pakula, 1976) “Political thrillers. Intense storylines, one figured out by gut feelings, the other by following the money.”

Felicia Barlow Clar
1. Cinema Paradiso– (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988) “The story is simply wonderful. I love the ending.”
2. Traffic– (Steven Soderbergh, 2000) “I love how the mini stories are all intertwined. Great cast.”
3. Saturday Night Fever– (John Badham, 1977) “My favorite movie! Defined my generation. : )”

Andrea Kalin
1. Requiem for a Dream– (Darren Aronofsky, 2000) “The content of the film…may not be for everyone, but the editing is inspired…[and] pushes the boundaries of “editing rules”…effectively through its use of jump-cuts, time-lapse, and hip-hop montages.”
2. Jiro Dreams of Sushi– (David Gelb, 2011) “As far as the artistic, beautiful side of documentary goes, this may be the pinnacle. Not only is the story unique, yet relatable, the cinematography is to die for.”
3. Gummo– (Harmony Korine, 1997) “The line between documentary, docudrama, and vaudeville.”
4. Strike!– (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) “How to use intercutting to convey narrative by the guy who invented it.”

John Wetmore
1. The Flim-Flam Man– (Irvin Kershner, 1967)
2. The Graduate– (Mike Nichols, 1967)
3. King of Hearts– (Philippe de Broca, 1966)

Melissa Houghton
1. Stephanie Daley– (Hilary Brougher, 2006) “Although this came out at the same time as Juno and Knocked Up, this is the film you really need to see.”
2. Away from Her– (Sarah Polley, 2006) “A much more interesting female point of view than the story, ‘The Bear Came Over the Mountain.’ Polley made a lot of good decisions.”
3. Man on Wire– (James Marsh, 2008) “There is so much joy in this documentary. Rather than the storyline, Marsh lets the personality of the character carry the film.”

Sheila Dennin
1. Magnolia– (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999) “The acting is superb…Tom Cruise gives the (underappreciated and surprisingly excellent) performance of his career..So many of the storylines are so compelling and heartbreaking. It’s my number one ‘talk about it afterwards’ film…”
2. Heartburn– (Mike Nichols, 1986) “…it’s hysterical…It’s well-made, fun, and has a lot of ‘talk about’ themes and scenes.”

Lynn-Jane Foreman
1. The Return of Martin Guerre– (Daniel Vigne, 1982) “The look of this film and the story are both brilliant…Acting is superb…Costumes and music are ‘spot on.’”
2. Babe– (Chris Noonan, 1995) “A film that speaks to adults and children…wonderful voicing of the animals…the animation is brilliant and the mouse chorus is darling.”
3. Gone with the Wind– (Victor Fleming, 1939) “Not for the content of the film but for the brilliant acting…cinematography saw many firsts!”

Angela Edwards
1. A Very Long Engagement– (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2004) “An excellent example of adapting a book to a movie…unbelievable acting, cinematography, costumes, and screenwriting. The story is lovely too.”
2. Dead Man Walking– (Tim Robbins, 1995) “Filmmaking at its best. All points of view expressed without judgment.”
3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid– (George Roy Hill, 1969) “Best screenplay ever.”

Josh Clayton
1. Mest (The Red Flute)– (Ermek Shinarbaev, 1989) “Simple, efficient and yet epic.”
2. Berlin Alexanderplatz– (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980) “A wild and rhapsodic text.”
3. Chronique D’Anna-Magdalena Bach– (Daniele Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, 1968) “A beautiful formalist film.”

Susan Bodiker
1. The Attack– (Ziad Douieri, 2012) “Beautifully acted and heartbreakingly told, it changed the way I thought about the Arab-Israeli conflict and the occupation. A very brave film…”
2. 12 Years a Slave– ( Steve McQueen, 2013) “Breathtaking in every way (esp. the cinematography). You…understand on a visceral level what it is like to lose your freedom.”
3. Fatal Attraction– (Adrian Lyne, 1987) “I’ve never been able to look at Glenn Close the same way again.”

Charlotte Rinderknecht
1. Daughters of the Dust– (Julie Dash, 1991) “I just was transfixed by the story and how she brought in all the Gullah culture.”
2. Bambi and Pinocchio– “I tell animators to watch [these movies] because there are some amazing techniques created by the Disney team that are still used today.”

Kathryn Pasternak
1. Stories We Tell– (Sarah Polley, 2012) “The recreations and storytelling are masterful. Very interesting film.”
2. My Life as a Turkey– (Dave Allen, 2011) “One-hour documentary for WNET/NATURE…It’s utterly gorgeous and quite extraordinary…Every image is just perfection.”
3. Food, Inc.– (Robert Kenner, 2008) “Anyone who eats should see this movie. ; )”

Angelica Hill
1. Eve’s Bayou– (Kasi Lemmons, 1997) “This film gives you a look into the experience of African American women and girls in Louisiana at that time.”
2. Hunger Games– (Gary Ross, 2012) “Although the storyline is not in favor of Katniss, who is played by Jennifer Lawrence, she still portrays the character in a very strong and elegant way.”
3. Twilight– (Catharine Hardwicke, 2008) “In the end, Bella finds peace, love, and happiness.”

Jillian DiNardo
1. The Usual Suspects– (Bryan Singer, 1995) “The acting is impeccable, the storyline is on point, and the second you finish it, you’ll want to watch it again.”
2. The Strangers– (Bryan Bertino, 2008) “Terrifying. The soundtrack makes folk songs eerie. It’s scarier the second time, when you start looking in the background of the shots.”
3. Amelie– (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001) “I love this movie because it’s unexpected and fun. Amelie is an adorable character who you wish was in your life.”

News & Notes Categories