It soon becomes clear that their seemingly carefree skinny-dipping at the beautiful secluded spot, runs deeper. Iris and Catherine are obviously troubled. Sensitively written and directed by Liz W. Garcia, the town and its characters are so palpable, filled with realistic details. I felt like she intimately knew this world.
“I grew up in Ridgefield, Connecticut,” said Garcia, “and was haunted by events in that town. I wrote One Percent to get these characters out of their dilemma.”
The beauty of this indie is its slow reveal. Under Garcia’s direction, the camera zeros in on hints, telling the story through breadcrumb snippets. In one scene, the two actresses subtly convey a hint of sabatoging their well-being. Iris, chain-smoking, confides to Catherine that she’s having amazing sex.
But, instead of bubbly, she’s under pressure. The weight is knowing the affair is ill-advised. “I’m seeing my thesis advisor. I’m sleeping with him. He’s married.” Her professor is played by the magnetic Italian actor Alessandro Nivola.
In another scene we witness Catherine, drunk, in a bar, throwing herself at the brother of what we learn later is an important connection. But eventually, the viewer discovers he’s manipulating Catherine to garner information that will sink her.
Details of the girls’ shared grief boils to the surface, and we see that this is more than typical college-aged angst. They are wading into a torrential storm of self-destruction. Every action they take—pot, pills, alcohol, obsessive sex—is an attempt to feel better. They’re numbing themselves because they can find no absolution for guilt that rains down on them.
One Percent More Humid is one of the fine offerings by women directors this year. Through the storytelling, Garcia gifts us with what’s lacking in so many blockbusters: the woman’s perspective. Temple and Garner rise to the level of A-list performers; they’re effervescent and make it look effortless.
Sun., April 23, 4:15pm, Cinepolis Chelsea 03
Mon., April 24, 7:45pm, Cinepolis Chelsea 01
Tues., April 25, 10pm, Regal Battery Park Theater 11
Drama, 98 min.
The festival is known for its exquisite mix of pure entertainment and searing documentaries. Jane Rosenthal said, “You have to remember, the festival started as a way to help our community after 9/11 and to bring people together and to bring a community together. That kind of activism is the DNA of this festival, not just of us as individuals.”
Ever since its inception, Rosenthal has championed the power of women by showcasing their work. Not only are there 25 female jurors this year, but out of 98 festival selections, 32 are helmed by female filmmakers. There has never been a more important time for solidarity among women.
Highlights of 2017 TFF Feature Films Directed By Women
For showtimes click on film titles
One Percent More Humid Iris (Juno Temple) and Catherine (Julia Garner), are overwhelmed with grief after a shared tragedy. They turn to using sex like a drug to numb out and spin out into self-destruction. The movie was written and directed by Liz W. Garcia.
Flames Real-life couple, filmmaker Josephine Decker and artist Zefrey Throwell, filmed their romantic relationship over a five-year period. Movie viewers experience the pair during their giddy in love phase and high on their creative juices. Viewers watch the couple’s sexual encounters, knowing there is another woman in the room, she is off-screen but recording every intimate detail through her camera. It’s an eerie and fascinating concept to watch a relationship from its gleeful beginning to its soured end.
Blame This is 22-year-old writer-director Quinn Shephard’s feature debut. She also plays the starring role of emotionally unstable Abigail who lands the lead in class for Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Mean girl Melissa Bowman (Nadia Alexander) is pissed. The substitute drama teacher (Chris Messina) notices the hostile classroom environment and steps in to rally for vulnerable Abigail. The timing is tricky, though. The teacher’s marriage is strained, leaving him shaky, too.
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story Written and directed by Alexandra Dean, this is a new look at a Hollywood legend. Although known for her beauty, she had an incredible mind. Through the film we learn about her inventions, including a secret communication system for the Allies to beat the Nazis. She never received credit for her engineering innovations.
I Am Evidence Every year in America, thousands of rape kits containing DNA evidence are left untested by police. Over 175,000 kits have been uncovered. Only eight states (Georgia, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York) have passed laws requiring that rape kits be tested by police. As a result, decades worth of kits have been shelved, the cases are unsolved and the perps are free. Directed by Trish Adlesic and produced by Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order SVU’s Olivia Benson.
Warning: This Drug May Kill You This timely documentary by Perri Peltz takes an unflinching look at the devastating effects of addiction through the stories of four families whose lives have been decimated by addictions that began with prescriptions to pain meds.
Actor and director Al Pacino was born in East Harlem and grew up in New York City’s South Bronx. He attended the School of Performing Arts until he moved on to study acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio with Charles Laughton, and later, at the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg. His first leading part in a feature film was in the 1971 drama Panic in Needle Park. The following year, Francis Ford Coppola selected him to take on the breakthrough role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award®.
A leading man since the 1960s, Robert Duvall has specialized in driven characters of all types. Respected by his peers and adored by audiences worldwide, he has earned numerous Oscar® nominations for his performances in The Judge, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Great Santini and The Apostle. Duvall won the Academy Award® and a Golden Globe® as Best Actor for his role in Tender Mercies. In addition, he has received Golden Globe® Awards for his performances in the title role of HBO’s Stalin as well as for his memorable turns in Apocalypse Now and Lonesome Dove.
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro launched his motion picture career in Brian De Palma’s The Wedding Party in 1969. In 1974, De Niro won the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor for The Godfather, Part II. In 1980 he won his second Oscar®, as Best Actor, for Raging Bull. De Niro has also received five Academy Award nominations for his work including Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, and Silver Linings Playbook. In 2009, De Niro was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. De Niro takes pride in his production company, Tribeca Productions, the Tribeca Film Center, (which he founded with Jane Rosenthal in 1988,) and in the Tribeca Film Festival, which he founded with Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff. Tribeca’s A Bronx Tale in 1993 marked De Niro’s directorial debut and in 2016 he directed Tribeca’s The Good Shepherd.
One of the most versatile actors in film, James Caan is best known for his Academy Award® nominated performance as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather and for his Emmy®-nominated portrayal of football star Brian Piccalo in Brian’s Song. Appearing in more than 50 movies, Caan also earned great recognition starring in Rob Reiner’s critically acclaimed film Misery; and For The Boys, co-starring Bette Midler. He was equally praised for his performance as a brain damaged football star in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rain People. Caan made his directorial debut and starred in the critically acclaimed film Hide In Plain Sight.
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola was born in Detroit and grew up in Queens, NY. After graduating from Hofstra and UCLA, he worked as screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is a five-time Academy Award® winner. His film credits include Patton, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Francis has also been producing wine for over 35 years at his Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley wineries. His other business interests include luxury resorts in Central America, Argentina, and Italy, and an award-winning short story magazine, Zoetrope: All-Story. Francis’s current interest is in a new from of entertainment he calls Live Cinema, being a combination of theater, film, and television. He is presently working on a long-form screenplay he hopes to produce in this new medium.
Taylor Hackford was the director of the Academy Award® winning films Ray and An Officer and a Gentleman. In addition, he helmed the beloved features Against All Odds, The Devil’s Advocate, Dolores Claiborne, and Blood In, Blood Out. Hackford most recently directed Robert De Niro in The Comedian. His feature documentary work is equally acclaimed, with Chuck Berry: Hail!, Hail! Rock n’ Roll and When We Were Kings, a behind-the-scenes look at the legendary 1974 bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, which won for Best Documentary Feature. He has served two terms as president of the Directors Guild of America.
Talia Shire comes from a family of artists. The Yale drama school alum has appeared in over fifty movies and television shows, received two Academy Award® nominations, and won the NY Film Critics Award for her performance in Rocky (1976). She and her husband Jack Schwartzman independently financed and produced several movies among them Never Say Never Again (1983) and Rad (1986) whose sequel is currently in development. In 1994 she directed One Night Stand. In 1994 Jack Schwartzman died. In 1997 she was one of several producers on the Tony nominated play “Golden Child.” Family is at the center of her life. Talia’s children continue on in the same tradition of theatre and film. Her two step children John Schwartzman (Cinematographer) and Stephanie Schwartzman (Artist), her son Matthew Shire (Writer/Producer), Jason Schwartzman (Actor/Musician/Writer/Director/Producer), & Robert Schwartzman (Actor/Musician/Director/Producer).
American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) Annual Writers Conference • Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan
45 East 45th Street at Madison Avenue
Saturday, May 6 • Day 2
I will be on two panels this year at the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) annual writers conference. The first is on Friday, May 5 at 2:45. Its topic is “Using Smartphones To Tell Stories.” My second panel will be on Saturday, May 6. It’s titled “Tackling Tough Topics.”
In this workshop, moderated by ASJA member Candy Arrington with panelists Dorri Olds, Rudri Patel and Sharon Van Epps, writers will learn methods to craft tough topics through the power of story. We will be providing practical suggestions for coping and moving forward, and writing with a level of transparency that touches hearts and inspires hope.
Though many writers feel compelled to write about a difficult life circumstance, loss, or grief, it’s important to know how to structure content, what to include and what to omit. In writing tough topics, you have the opportunity to reach those who are hurting, feel alienated and alone, and are searching for ways to heal their pain. No matter what the situation, there are common threads that reach across gender, cultural, and ethical barriers to foster hope and healing.
“Using Smartphones To Tell Stories”
- Uploading to outlets from the field
- What gear to get
- Best editing apps
- Voice over narrations
- Downloading the video to your desktop
“Easy as A, B, C”
Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive: 101 Inspirational Stories about Changing Your Life through Positive Thinking (2012). Attitude is everything. This is an inspirational and uplifting book with tales about the power of positive thinking. In bad times, and good, readers will be encouraged to keep a positive attitude.
Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul: Stories Steeped in Comfort (2007). Is enjoying a cup of tea your favorite part of the day? Is the brewing of a ‘cuppa’ a ritual that centers and calms you? Reconnect with the silent intimacy and introspection experienced while sipping tea.
Chicken Soup for the Chocolate Lover’s Soul: Indulging in Our Sweetest Moments (2007). If you can’t live without a daily bite of chocolate, have visions of chocolate truffles dancing in your head, you will savor the decadence of this collection of stories.
Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul: Your Personal, Portable Support Group with Stories of Healing, Hope, Love and Resilience (2005). Find inspiration for change and personal growth in each story as people in this dynamic community share their experiences of transformation, of lives reclaimed, of relationships renewed and futures full of promise.
“With Help From a Friend”
A collection of stories meant to guide, inspire, support and encourage readers throughout their college experiences.
What would you give for an afternoon in your grandmother’s kitchen? Leaning over the countertop, you watched as she added the flour, just a little at a time, to the bowl. It seemed like magic.
“Oy, Come All Ye Faithful”
An entertaining, touching, and uplifting collection of true stories and awe-inspiring photographs of holiday magic, love, family — and a bit of mania.
I had the pleasure of working with rock icon Frank Zappa’s younger brother Bobby Zappa on this coming of age memoir. The book is full of rich stories that will stay with me always. It would be fun to go back and tell my teenage self that in 2015 I would have this wonderful opportunity to write about one of my favorite musicians.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23
On February 23 at 6:30 pm “Sweet Reads” at Joyce Bakeshop (646 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn) will feature the amazing Leigh Stein, author of three books and co-founder of Out of the Binders, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to advancing the careers of women and gender non-conforming writers, and Court Stroud, writer extraordinaire; musician Andy Marino and myself, Dorri Olds.
C train to Chambers, Transfer to 2 train (Flatbush Ave/Brooklyn College), Take 2 to Grand Army Plaza and walk .2 miles (hop, skip and a jump). Head northeast on Plaza St. East. Turn left onto Vanderbilt Ave. and VOILA! You’re there. Other options: Path Train, or L to Q train. Takes 35-ish minutes.
Leigh Stein is the author of The Fallback Plan, which made the “highbrow brilliant” quadrant of New York magazine’s “Approval Matrix,” and her poetry collection Dispatch from the Future was selected for Publishers Weekly‘s Best Summer Books of 2012 list, and the Rumpus Poetry Book Club. Land of Enchantment, her memoir about young love, obsession, abuse, and loss, was recently released by Plume, and was selected by Junior Library Guild as an adult book with teen appeal. She has also written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Allure, Poets & Writers, BuzzFeed, The Cut, Salon, and Slate. For her advocacy work, Stein has been called a “leading feminist” by the Washington Post, and honored as a “woman of influence” by New York Business Journal.
Court Stroud works in the digital space after spending many years in the television industry. Stroud holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. His writing has appeared in the New York Post, Huffington Post, Out, The Advocate, Instinct, Gay City News, and many other publications. Stroud resides in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood with comic Eddie Sarfaty and their two cats, Dash and Julia.
Dorri Olds is an award-winning freelance writer whose work has appeared in book anthologies, and publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day, Time Out New York, The Fix, The Forward, Yahoo, and Tablet. Olds is a long-term member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA) and frequent speaker at writing and social media events including ASJA Annual Conference, National Publicity Summit, CUNY (City University of New York), Book Expo America, and a BinderCon attendee.
Andy Marino is a Brooklyn native and professional musician. He’s played sax and sung background vocals in R&B, Blues, Rock & Big Bands in such venues as SOB’s, Damrosch Park @ Lincoln Center, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Bandshell (Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival), The Bitter End, The Limelight, Tramps, Manny’s Car Wash, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, two Elvis Impersonators’ bands &, yes, a few wedding bands. Touched by life events from the tragic, premature deaths of his two younger brothers, George & Nick; his two beloved children, Dom & Gina, having to move to the west coast after the divorce from his first wife; to finding the love of his life, Dianne, at age 49; Andy finds songwriting to be healing, joyful & surprising. Sometimes, he wakes up in the middle of the night hearing the music for an entire song and runs to record it on his iPhone.