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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

HYSTERIA

By D.E.Levine

A Tribeca Film Festival Selection

Hysteria is a film based on the invention and refinement of the electric vibrator.


A period piece, the film addresses the plight of the sexually unsatisfied female in the 19th Century and the fictional Dr. Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce) who has a successful medical practice for treatment of what is known as hysteria.

Dr. Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy), who apprentices with Dr. Dalrymple, proves to be an astute student, and with the help of a wealthy inventor friend develops, an electric device that relieves the doctors from having to manually manipulate society women to sexual climaxes.

Romantically involved with Dr. Dalrymples younger daughter (Felicity Jones), Dr. Granville falls in love with the older sister, an outspoken activist who works with the poor.

This is a fun film - not a great one, but thoroughly enjoyable.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

BOOKER'S PLACE: A MISSISSIPPI STORY

By D.E.Levine


A Tribeca Film Festival Selection

This is a must-see documentary made by Raymond De Felitta.  In 1966 Frank De Felitta made an NBC documentary about race relations in Greenwood, Mississippi.  An illiterate black waiter, Booker Wright, appeared for 2 minutes summing up his Greenwood existence.  Little did anyone know that the 2 minutes of Booker Wright would have far-reaching repercussions for everyone involved.

In the context of 2012, what Booker Wright said on-screen doesn't seem terrible.  But in 1966 his comments caused the loss of his job, his own restaurant and he was pistol-whipped by a local cop.  His murder several years later raised many unanswered questions.

Traveling to Greenwood with Wright's grand-daughter, Yvette Johnson, De Felitta and Johnson screen the 1966 documentary for the towns-people.

With inter-cutting of old black-and-white footage with current black-and-white footage it's fascinating to see the changes between the segregated south and fear of the Klan and police in 1966 with what exists in the south today.