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Ginger & Rosa

Adolescent Sturm und Drang is given a particular historical frame and significance in Sally Potter’s Ginger and Rosa, as the emotional questing and turmoil of two 15-year-old English girls is experienced in the shadow of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ginger (Elle Fanning)and Rosa (Alice Englert) are lifelong friends whose mothers met in a maternity ward in the late 1940s. Even before we see the short montage of scene snippets from this prologue, Potter starts things off with a shot of an atomic mushroom cloud and brief shots of a destroyed Hiroshima in August of 1945, bluntly reminding us of the peril of Cold War politics. Radios broadcast tense reports of the gathering crisis of the United States’s challenge to the Soviet Union’s emplacement of anti-missile batteries in Cuba. A BBC news reader is heard reporting an expert estimate of over 270 million worldwide deaths if a nuclear exchange ensues.

On The Road

Do young people still read Jack Kerouac? Even in my college days he had come to seem like a relic from a distant past, no longer novel or shocking in a world that seemed to have put to rest all the proprieties he wanted to escape. And of course if you don’t read On the Road, at least for the first time, when you’re young, there’s no point in reading it at all.


It has become commonplace for independent films to wear how little they cost as a badge of honor. And it’s certainly one to be proud of in an era where Hollywood movies costing $100 million are not unusual. Still, it often serves as an unspoken plea for lowered expectations—“Don’t expect too much from our movie, we only spent $489 on it!”

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