August 13, 1999 |
"Everything kills," someone says at the outset of Cabaret Balkan. And everything - everything - is falling apart. A bracingly black-humored view of life in present-day Belgrade, steeped in anarchy, fear and hate, Goran Paskaljevic's film follows various citizens of the Yugoslav capital through one night marked by violence and despair. Based on a play called The Powder Keg and taking its peregrinating cues from La Ronde, the film travels the city, with Paskaljevic's camera stopping in the grim garage apartment of a family of Bosnian refugees; a bar where a cop and cabbie confront each other's loathing over rounds of cheap booze; a boxing gym where two old friends swap punches and confessions; and a warehouse stockpiled with black-market goods, operated by a coke-snorting, gun-wielding sicko.
November 9, 1987 |
The three big lies of modern life: "The check is in the mail. " "I did leave a message. Your machine must be on the fritz. " "There won't be another sequel to Death Wish. " Death Wish 4 - The Crackdown is an exploitation flick not even a vigilante could love. Like its hero, Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson), the series has developed an arthritic gait. The burden of carrying the moral weight of Los Angeles must waste the muscles. One would think, after Death Wish 1, 2 and 3, that there would be no scum left in the Western Hemisphere.
December 5, 2012 |
SOME PEOPLE DREAD turning 40 if they've got nothing but wrinkles to show for it. The same might be said for advocacy operations facing that milestone anniversary. Longevity is great, but it's even better if the organization has managed to transform the cause that stirred it to life in the first place. So it is with Women Organized Against Rape on the eve of its 40th birthday. Its advocacy has so changed the way victims of sexual violence are treated by law enforcement, the courts and the medical establishment, it's a shock to realize what life was like for victims before WOAR roared into existence in 1973.
September 28, 2007
Directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner, with Kevin Kline, Paulina Gaitan, Cesar Ramos and Alicja Bachleda-Curus. 1 hour, 59 mins. R (violence, sexual violence, profanity, drugs, adult themes). Distributed by Roadside Attractions. Playing at: Ritz at the Bourse. Other times, however, Trade comes off like TV-movie sensationalism, sidetracked by distracting backstories and hard-to-swallow plot twists. Although Kevin Kline, playing a cop on a personal quest for a missing girl, gets top billing, the strongest acting here comes from a pair of teens: Paulina Gaitan, as Adriana, a Mexico City kid kidnapped by Russian sex-traders as she's riding the new bike she received for her 13th birthday, and Cesar Ramos, as Jorge, her older brother, a street hustler who follows his sister's abductors across the border and all the way to a house in New Jersey.
July 17, 2012 |
THE ARCHDIOCESE of Philadelphia announced Sunday that another priest is unsuitable for ministry. But it is not clear exactly what the Rev. Geraldo Piñero, who was known as "Father Jerry," did. Piñero, 47, was involved in various online-marketing ventures, including selling candles, but the Archdiocese in a statement pointed to a website dealing with standards of behavior involving children and youths as the reason for his being unfit...
July 22, 1999 |
Mysterious numbers scrawled in pig's blood appear on the streets of Oslo. A medical student is violently raped. Corpses of missing people turn up, bloody and defiled. Sounds like a case for police detective Hanne Wilhelmsen (Kjerstil Elvik). In the sharp, suspenseful Blessed Are Those Who Thirst - adapted from one of a series of popular crime books penned by Norway's former minister of justice, Anne Holt - Wilhelmsen is a tough, wily cop. She smokes, she rides a chopper, she has a lesbian lover - and she has a serious need to solve this dark, creepy case.
September 29, 2008 |
This month marks the fifth anniversary of an important advance in our criminal justice system - the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Before its passage, conventional wisdom held that rape was inherent to prison life, something that "bad people" do. Many prison officials insisted that there was nothing that they could do about it. Others wrongly contended that these abuses were aberrations, a pop-culture construct that was not worthy of serious attention....
September 15, 2006 |
Critics of American movie ratings long have puzzled over the system that gives an R (under age 17 not admitted without parent or guardian) to a movie in which a woman is carved up by a chain saw and an NC-17 to one that shows a woman being sexually pleasured. From such ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America, one might conclude that sexual violence against women is OK for American teenagers to see, but that they must be 18 to see consensual sex. What message does this send to the kids the system presumably means to protect?
January 10, 2013
THE VICIOUS attacks on two women in India and Pakistan are grim reminders that violence against women is still common currency in much of the world. In Delhi, the barbaric rape committed by six men on a bus against a 23-year-old woman was so brutal that she was nearly eviscerated and later died of internal injuries. In Pakistan, a 15-year-old schoolgirl who advocated for the education of women was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban. She survived and is facing a long, anguished recovery.
March 1, 2013 |
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with employees who combat sexual violence, Gov. Corbett visited Philadelphia on Thursday to highlight a proposed $700,000 increase in state funding to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, one of the state's leading advocacy groups for victims of sexual assault. During a news conference at the Center City offices of Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR), a crisis center that receives funding from the coalition, Corbett said the additional money, included in his budget proposal last month, would represent a 10 percent increase for the agency, and help it and its affiliated crisis centers fight sexual violence and advocate for victims.