Rocky’s Review
Ella, Flannery & Turquoise

One was a celebrated Southern writer of fiction, the other a great American jazz singer. Both women - Flannery O'Connor and Ella Fitzgerald - are the subjects of new intimate portraits streaming this week through the Rose Theatre website. 

     ELLA FITZGERALD: JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS - starting today, 7/15 - contains music and song that is soul-stirring. Ella Fitzgerald had one of the greatest voices of the 20th-century, and this film puts her gift to the world front and center. "The inventiveness and virtuosity will dazzle you, but the depth and eloquence of her rendition of 'Summertime' will stir your soul." -Boston Globe

     FLANNERY is the fascinating profile of Mary Flannery O'Connor, the Southern Gothic writer who influenced a generation of artists and activists. Her writing reflected her Roman Catholic faith and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics. Her posthumously compiled Complete Stories won the 1972 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. "FLANNERY is an extraordinary document that allows us to follow the creative process of one of our country's greatest writers." -Director Ken Burns

     At the 2018 PT Film Festival I had the pleasure of an on-stage interview with director Charles Burnett, where he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The New York Times has called Burnett "the nation's least-known great filmmaker and the most gifted Black director." Burnett mentored Channing Godfrey Peoples, the director of MISS JUNETEENTH, streaming this Friday, 7/17. A warm, rich story with a strong sense of place, "this stirring mother-daughter drama uses the date that marks the end of slavery and the beauty pageant that still bears its name, to celebrate young Black women with their own ideas about beauty and independence." (Rolling Stone). At the film's center is an undeniable performance by Nicole Beharie as Turquoise, a woman radiating elegance as she strives to survive while finding ways to thrive. 99% on Rotten Tomatoes.

     If you have yet to watch JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE, I highly recommend it. Watching it is an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary work and legacy of Representative John Lewis, and to support the Rose; $5 of every ticket directly supports us.

     This past Saturday was the Rose Theatre's 28th anniversary. We had great time handing out nearly 600 bags of free popcorn. It was wonderful to see your smiling (masked) faces again. Thank you for your support over these many years.
     
Cinematically Yours,
Rocky