Free to Write

This Saturday, March 6th, 2010 I was finally liberated from my job as manager of a large wine shop in Manhattan. No more selling booze to alcoholics, folks.  I’d been working 6 days a week for the past 54 weeks (less one week vacation and a few sick days). Starting on Monday, the 8th, I will be attending a marathon of screenings for the New Directors/New Films series shuttling between MoMA and The Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center.  New Directors/New Films is a joint enterprise between MoMA’s film department and The Film Society of Lincoln Center.  The series is in its 39th season.

About 4 months ago I joined the staff of a small neighborhood monthly newspaper called WestView. It covers all sorts of West Village community issues in a thoughtful and sometimes in a provocative way. Nat Hentoff is an on again-off again contributor. I was brought on as Media Editor. I was, at first, not too sure what that meant. I thought I would be called the Film Critic but I have realized that the Media Editor title is more apt. Rather than just write film reviews, I thought perhaps I would come from the angle of local film advocate. My first article was a review of Sarah & Emily Kunstler’s “William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe“, a documentary about their father civil rights attorney William Kunstler. The Kunstler daughters were both campers at Thoreau in the 80s.  So a few months ago, when I received an invitation from The Center for Constitutional Rights for a screening at the Cinema Village on E. 12th Street, I decided I would go.  Sarah, the older of the two girls, whom I remember quite clearly, was present for a post-screening talk-back. I introduced myself to her afterward, and somewhat embarrassed, she vaguely remembered me. Anyway, the documentary was very good  and I was quite happy to write about it. The Kunstlers were a West Village family after all, so the article was appropriate for WestView.

All this to say that I have recently turned in my fourth article, a review of the “Red Riding Trilogy” which was, until very recently, playing at The IFC Center on Sixth Avenue in the West Village. By the time copies of the issue hit the streets, unfortunately, the films were no longer playing there. But I was able to get a mention into the article that they are available for viewing on demand as well. Technically this is actually where I viewed the films anyway. Though it cost something like $18 to view all three, it allowed me to pause and re-play, a nice advantage when reviewing especially considering how challenging it was, at times, to understand the actors thick accents.

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