Midday at the Movies: All About "Us"; Farewells to Filmmakers Varda and Hammer
Today, on the April edition of Midday at the Movies, Tom spotlights director Jordan Peele's new horror-suspense flick, Us. Joining him in the studio are movie mavens Jed Dietz, the founding director of the Maryland Film Festival and Parkway Theater, and Elissa Blount Moorhead, a Baltimore filmmaker and creative partner at TGEN Film Studios. They discuss the cinematic structures and social themes of Us, a record-breaking box-office hit that's building on the success of Peele's 2017 Oscar-winning (Best Original Screenplay) debut film, Get Out.
They also discuss other notable new films -- including Apollo 11, the powerful new documentary of NASA's historic manned mission to the moon in 1969, and The Burial of Kojo, a breakthrough feature-film directing/writing debut by Ghanaian-born hip-hop artist Blitz "the Ambassador" Bazawule, who lives and works today in Brooklyn, New York. Bazawule's film is being released and distributed by Ava DuVernay's company, Array, and is now streaming on Netflix.
Tom and guests note, too, the recent passing of two pioneers in the world of independent and unconventional cinema: French filmmaker Agnes Varda, often called the Mother of the French "New Wave" that produced directors such as Jean Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut, died in Paris March 29 at the age of 90; and Barbara Hammer, an experimental filmmaker who began celebrating lesbian sexuality and history in her work in the 1970s. Hammer turned her personal battle against cancer into the focus of her cinematic art. She died on Saturday in Manhattan at the age of 79.
Today's conversation was livestreamed on WYPR's Facebook page, and you can watch the video here.