Posted on

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

We’re creeping towards Halloween again, and that means it is time to start finding scary movies to watch. With the amount of horror films that get released each year, it is easy to fall behind, and trying to look for the right film can get overwhelming. Here is a list of must-watch movies and TV shows for Halloween.

STRANGER THINGS 2

Stranger Things season 2 begins nearly a year after the first installment, on Halloween in Hawkins, Indiana. Will has rejoined his pals after being rescued from the show’s alternate dimension, the Upside Down. I recently finished watching season 1 of Stranger Things on Netflix and I was hooked from the opening scene. If you haven’t already watched it, I would recommend starting season 1 now. Season 2 of Stranger Things is set to be released exclusively on Netflix on October 27.   

Twin Peaks: The Return

Set 25 years after the original Twin Peaks, the new series focuses on a number of storylines, many which are connected through association with FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Twin Peaks is unlike any show on television and if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to stop what you’re doing right now and go watch it. It is by far my favorite TV show of the year (possibly of all time). Seasons 1 and 2 of Twin Peaks are currently available on Netflix, and the new season 3 is available on Showtime.  

Nosferatu

An absolute classic! In this highly influential 1922 silent horror film, the mysterious Count Orlok summons Thomas Hutter to his remote Transylvanian castle in the mountains.  After Orlok reveals his vampire nature, Hutter struggles to escape the castle. It is no wonder the film considered an all-time great. I first watched Nosferatu at a film class in college and I couldn’t believe how many themes in this film are still used today. We are proud to have this film in our collection. A must-watch for film lovers everywhere.

Posted on

Paprika Steen’s 53rd Happy Birthday

 

53 years ago today a star was born in the great Paprika Steen -- famously known for her role in the 2009 hit drama, Applause. Paprika Steen was born in the beautiful city of Frederiksberg, Denmark, just a few miles away from Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Starting at a very young age, Paprika showed interest in acting. And how could she not show such interest, considering that her mother, Avil Sagild, was a famous actress herself? Let’s also not forget about her father, who is a famous musician and conductor to this day. It’s easy to see that, growing up, Paprika’s family had a lot of influence over her decision to become an actress and eventually a director.

Because of her parent’s stardom, many might think that her path to becoming an actress was a walk in the park, but in reality, it was much harder than that. When Paprika turned 24 she was finally accepted to the acting school of her dreams -- the acting school of Odense. We say “finally” because it turns out she had to apply thirteen times before being accepted. Paprika’s family name alone was not enough to get her into the acting school of her dreams, so she had to do what most successful people do, and that is to work hard.  

All of the hard work and constant determination that Paprika has shown in her life has led her to become one of the greatest Danish actresses of all time. Paprika has been able to display her talent in great films such as Festen, Open Hearts, Silent Heart, and our very own Applause. That being said, let's take a brief moment to applaud and wish the great Paprika Steen a very Happy Birthday and a joyful fifty-third!

Posted on

Happy Birthday to Director Tamar Simon Hoffs

 

From everyone at World Wide Motion Pictures Corporation, we would like to wish director Tamar Simon Hoffs a very Happy Birthday! The inspirational Tamar Simon Hoffs is an award-winning director, writer, and producer who was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Director Tamar Simon Hoffs became the first woman to receive the triple director, writer, producer credit in 1987 for The Allnighter, a major studio feature film. Hoffs began her directing career when she was selected to participate in the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women in 1980. She debuted a short film, The Haircut, starring John Cassavetes which was later acquired by Universal Studios in 1983. The film went on to be the official selection at Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, and Sundance Film Festival.

According to San Diego State’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, presented by the Hollywood Reporter, women make up only 7% of all directors on the top 250 films. As an established filmmaker, Tamar Simon Hoffs is a great inspiration for women in the industry and I had the pleasure to speak with her. To make it in the film industry, Hoffs advised women to get involved in film festivals and make short, quality films to establish a reputation. Hoffs also advised that your work must be personal and you must love what you do; if not, it is just a lot of work.

Today, Tamar Simon Hoffs is best known for directing independent films Red Roses and Petrol (2003) and Pound of Flesh (2010), starring actor Malcolm McDowell. Red Roses and Petrol won first place at the Avignon Film Festival in 2005. It was also an official selection at AFI, Bangkok, Galway and Deauville Festivals, and Toronto’s Film Circuit.The Irish film is “a story about love, life, and loss… with a splash of whiskey,” and can be found on indiemoviestore.com.

Posted on

29th National Coming Out Day, Wednesday October 11th

 

“All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.” -Harvey Milk

What is Coming Out Day? It is a day to stand with those coming out about their sexual orientation to their families and friends. It is a day to support the resistance to homophobia and transphobia across the nation. It is a day to celebrate the rainbow of sexualities under our united flag.

30 years ago, the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, also known as the “Great March,” sparked an awareness of LGBT rights against president Ronald Reagan’s lack of acknowledgment on the issue. The next year, Robert Eichberg and Jean O'Leary started the first National Coming Out Day. Today, while we have made immense strides towards social equality, countless Americans still have trouble feeling accepted themselves, and let alone by their communities. Therefore, it is up to everyone to help spread awareness for our acceptance as a whole. The best way to combat the lingering homophobia and transphobia in our country is to show America its true identity.

For this year’s Coming Out Day, World Wide Motion Pictures Corporation would like to do its part by recommending a few great movies about coming out and other important LGBT+ topics.

Firstly, one of the funniest movies you could find is a 4th man out (2016). This charming movie about a man coming out to his friends on his 24th birthday doesn’t fail to amuse. While 4th man out or Fourth Man Out? is not daring or new, it is certainly a pleasant watch. It is a movie equivalent of a lighthearted sitcom and could be enjoyed by any fan of the genre.

Next, a slightly older movie that conveys a similar tone is But I’m a Cheerleader (1999). This movie feels like a lighthearted sitcom like 4th Man Out, as Friends does to Parks and Recreation. Where 4th  Man Out covers a group of young adults discovering a friend’s true identity, But I’m a Cheerleader covers actress Natasha Lyonne’s character and her completely unsupportive parents in a satirical manner. While film snobs could criticize its buoyant tone, it is definitely one worth watching for anyone who has had to come out to an unsupportive community.

Another small movie World Wide Motion Pictures recommends is Pop Kowboy (2012). Actor Shaun Driscoll and Ronnie Marmo star in this film about the complications of identity and romance in a very unsupportive world. Though a lesser-known entry on this list, Pop Kowboy, it is certainly one that embodies the spirit of Coming Out Day.

If you are not a movie person, supporting the community this Coming Out Day through volunteering or visiting your local LGBT centers are also very important. Whatever you plan to do for this day, World Wide Motion Pictures encourages you to support friends and family in accepting their identities, and, by extension, yourself.

Posted on

Celebrating International Day of Older Persons & Chinese National Day with a Film

 

Hold the phone - it’s the first day of October. Halloween is thirty days away and it is officially National Pizza Month (you’re welcome). As I was perusing the web with a venti PSL in hand, I started to think to myself, “What else should I be thrilled about on this first day of the tenth month of the year?” My first choice would be to check my calendar on Facebook to see whose birthday I forgot again. So I did, and it looks like a trip to Target will be happening in the near future. The next move was to ask our dear friend Google about the random holidays and facts about the first day of October, and I was surprised.

It’s as if we didn’t have enough awesome holidays to celebrate. October 1st marks a day that happens to celebrate two at the same time: one being an international and the other a Chinese holiday. Both of these holidays celebrate very important aspects of our daily lives. Without the main focus of these holidays, you wouldn’t even be able to read these very words!

I’m talking about the International Day of Older Persons and Chinese National Day. We wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for those who are older than us, and many of the goods that we enjoy today are made or manufactured in China! But these holidays go far beyond just appreciating material goods and obligations.

Let's start with breaking down the International Day of Older Persons. They say that by 2050, over 20 percent of the world’s population will be 60 or older (source: www.un.org). This means that we are living longer lives, with the average lifespan in the US is 84 years. Back in the 1900s, we were expected to only live up to an average age of 60. In 2005, that age jumped up to 74, according to the US Social Security Administration. The nations that lead the world in estimated median age are Japan, South Korea, Germany, and China.

The International Day of Older Persons is a featured day designated in December 1990 and launched 1998; it was created as a response to the opportunities and challenges that people over the age of 60 may face in the 21st century. The day brings to light that the under-appreciated contributions of older people are to be recognized and promoted. According to the United Nations website, the goal of the 2017 International Older Person day is to strengthen the participation of older persons in a wide-ranging array of life experiences. The official theme is “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions, and Participation of Older Persons in Society.” Any good reason to hug your older family members.

Next, let’s hop over to the country of China. The Chinese National Day is celebrated every year starting from the first to the third of October to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China. And while September 21st is the actual Chinese Independence Day, October 1st is the day that the grand ceremony took place back in 1949. It’s a legal holiday that’s part of a celebratory week called Golden Week.

October 1st is a pretty important day, and I am reaching the end of my Starbucks drink. Now that I’m pretty caffeinated and inspired, I’d say that now would be a great time to stay at home and watch a movie or something about China or the older generation. Maybe it should be about both? Maybe it should be one that was nominated for and won a couple of awards while giving its viewers a fantastic view of China’s beautiful landscape and culture.

The movie I’m talking about is called The Nightingale; it’s a cheery little gem of a film that I recommend everyone to watch. Rather than dealing with the hectic madness of Golden Week in China, The Nightingale explores the gorgeous countryside of China while giving us a whimsical slice-of-life experience between a grandfather and his granddaughter.

You can find it here at our movie store web page.

Posted on

Explore Your Roots on Ancestor Appreciation Day

 

Today, September 27, provides the perfect excuse to call your grandparents it is Ancestor Appreciation Day! This national holiday was founded to encourage folks to honor their heritage and learn more about their genealogy. Whether that means exploring your family tree on websites like Ancestry.com, or sitting down with a relative and reminiscing over family stories, learning about your family’s history can help you feel more connected in a world where connectedness can be hard to come by.  

Take a look at the 2015 film, The Nightingale directed by Philippe Muyl. This dramatic tale set in rural China tells the story of an iPad addicted city girl, Ren Xing (Xin Yi Yang), who is placed in the care of her Grandfather Zhu Zhi Gen (Li Baotian). The duo sets out on a journey through the Chinese countryside in search of his former home in a remote village.

Initially, Ren Xing appears spoiled and aloof; only concerned with playing games on her devices and tormenting her grandfather. Ren goes through a transformation of sorts when her devices finally lose battery. She effectively “wakes up” and becomes aware and mindful of her immediate surroundings. This allows her relationship with her grandfather to evolve and deepen, and she begins to develop a genuine reverence for his life experience and the considerable wisdom he has to offer.

Sound familiar? With the ubiquity of technology and devices that constantly keep us “connected” to our friends, we run the risk of ignoring those who physically surround us. Let National Ancestor Appreciation Day inspire you to get back to your roots and focus on where you come from. Have a conversation with a parent, grandparent, or relative to learn a little bit more about your personal history. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”