Tribeca Festival 2021 review: ‘P.S. Burn This Letter Please’ is a joyous history lesson.

P.S. Burn This Letter Please

A box of letters, held in secret for nearly 60 years, ignites a 5-year exploration into a part of LGBT history that has never been told. The letters, written in the 1950s by a group of New York City drag queens, open a window into a forgotten world where being yourself meant breaking the law and where the penalties for “masquerading” as a woman were swift and severe. Using original interviews, never-before-seen archival footage and photographs and stylized recreations, P.S. BURN THIS LETTER PLEASE reconstructs this pre-Stonewall era as Lennie, Robbie, George, Michael, Jim, Henry, Claude, Tish, and Terry—former drag queens now in their 80s and 90s—reveal how they survived and somehow flourished at a time when drag queens were both revered and reviled, even within the gay community. The government sought to destroy them, then history tried to erase them, now they get to tell their story for the first time.

There’s something both nostalgic and tangible about handwritten letters. With technology at our fingertips, they are few and far between and nearly nonexistent to certain generations. In P. S. Burn This Letter Please, a box of letters from the 50s chronicles the lives of a small LGBTQ circle of friends. Through sit-down interviews with the authors, immaculate archival footage and photos, we delve into history. This documentary is phenomenally compelling. If it doesn’t make you grin from ear to ear, you’re out of your mind.

Happiness isn’t the only reaction this film elicits. It is a lesson in oppression, one that sounds all too familiar. We hear about biological family dynamics, the difference between those who accepted and those who broke these beautiful souls down. The majority of the doc is celebratory and juicy. Oh honey, the exquisite fashion. The delicious stories. Hearing the truth from those who lived it is priceless.

I learned an entirely new vocabulary. I learned about the “who’s who” of drag and female impersonators in those years. What was it like to be a performer? Who was actually running the gay clubs? That answer will shock you. To say I was fascinated would be an understatement. The dramatic readings of the letters are to die for. To think what wasn’t included in the film leaves me wanting more. Outside of its Tribeca Festival screening, you can watch P.S. Burn This Letter Please streaming on Discovery +. You will not regret jumping into its fabulousness.

 

DOC NYC review: ‘FAMILY IN TRANSITION’ is more complicated than it appears.

This doc explores the boundaries we push for love and acceptance. Amit is a husband, a father, and business owner. She is also transgender. This story is about her transition and how it affects the family and friends that surround her. It’s a timely film here in the US as the government is attempting to legally discredit transgender identity by legally defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth. Amit has four children with her wife Galit. Daughter Agam is beyond wise for her years and the most vocal about their unique family dynamics. She understands that people’s ignorance is not her problem. She chooses to surround herself with open-minded peers. The emotional toll of transitioning seems endless. It has the highest highs and lowest lows. How does a marriage survive when circumstance completely changes? What happens after she goes to Thailand for gender reassignment surgery for a month? It’s not a glamorous film. It’s real, it’s honest. It’s exactly what people need to see. Family in Transition is a story of unconditional love and the ultimate sacrifices we make to become whole from the inside out.

DOC NYC International Premiere on November 11 / Opening Nov 16 in LA and Nov 23 in NY

Amit, a husband, and father of four, living in Nahariya, Israel, reveals to his family that he’s a transgender woman. Amit’s wife, Galit, decides to stick with Amit through this journey. Despite personal difficulties and social stigmas, the family insists on staying together, believing that love will overcome all difficulties.

Review: ‘THE ASSIGNMENT’ flips the script on your average action flick.

THE ASSIGNMENTDirector Walter Hill gives the revenge film a modern neo-noir twist with this electrifying thriller. Hitman Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez) is given a lethal assignment, but after being double-crossed, discovers he’s no longer the man he was.  Having been surgically altered, Frank now has the body of a woman. Seeking vengeance, he heads for a showdown with his assailant (Sigourney Weaver), a brilliant surgeon with a chilling agenda of her own.

The film is structured in a Sin City meets iZombie format with graphic novel transitions and narration. The premise is interesting and certainly engages your attention without pause. The Assignment has caused some stir in the transgender community, as our hero/villain’s view of his/her transition is on the rather negative side. That being said, if you woke up the opposite gender, you might be a tad peeved as well. The action is tempered with monologues from Sigourney Weaver‘s character. My only complaint there? I wish there had been more visual to back those stories up as some run at quite a length.Michelle Rodriguez does a great job with both genders, keeping the masculine edge once she wakes up a woman. Without prior knowledge of the plot, you may think that a very thin Oscar Isaac had tackled the first half of the role. It’s pretty uncanny. Her past work in action films is on full view with her natural handling of weapons and aggressive presence. `It’s a pretty fearless performance. Weaver as Dr. Kay has an eccentric air to her speech patterns and carriage, even when she’s in a straight jacket. Tony Shaloub as Dr.Galen is a perfect foil for Weaver and the appearance by Anthony LaPaglia is casting heaven. On the whole. The Assignment is different in a good way. Engrossing and lively, you can’t go wrong. Check out the trailer below.

In Select Theaters and On Demand April 7th

 

Directed by: Walter Hill
Screenplay by: Walter Hill, Denis Hamill
Story by: Denis Hamill, Walter Hill
Producers: Said Ben Said, Michel Merkt
Cast: Michelle Rodriguez, Tony Shalhoub, Anthony LaPaglia, Caitlin Gerard, Sigourney Weaver
Distributor Saban Films, Lionsgate
Release Date: Ultra VOD on March 3rd, in select theaters April 7th
Running Time 95 minutes

Rating

Synopsis:

R

Director Walter Hill gives the revenge film a modern neo-noir twist with this electrifying thriller. Hitman Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez) is given a lethal assignment, but after being double-crossed, discovers he’s no longer the man he was.  Having been surgically altered, Frank now has the body of a woman. Seeking vengeance, he heads for a showdown with his assailant (Sigourney Weaver), a brilliant surgeon with a chilling agenda of her own.

Watch Eddie Redmayne Take on the Performance of His Life in the Offical Trailer for “The Danish Girl”

Based off of the novel written by David Ebershoff, director Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) and actors Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Alicia Vikander (Ex-Machina) beautifully illustrate the powerful true story of Lili Elbe in their new film The Danish Girl. This is the overwhelming journey of Einar Wegener’s transition into the woman he knew he was meant to be. And based off of the official trailer, it looks like Eddie Redmayne may be on his way to taking home another Academy Award.

The Danish Girl will be in theaters November 27th.

Check out the official trailer below!