VENUS
2017, Wolfe Video, 95 min, Canada, Dir: Eisha Marjara

At once hilarious and serious, smart and sassy, Eisha Marjara’s articulate, absorbing and lively gender-shifting comedy is the witty tale of Sid (New York-based actor Debargo Sanyal, in a brilliant performance), a transitioning woman whose life takes a turn when a 14-year-old boy named Ralph (Jamie Mayers) arrives at her door with the surprising announcement that he is her son. While Sid is stunned by this news, Ralph meanwhile is equally surprised to discover he has a trans “father” as he is intrigued at the sheer coolness of it. Suddenly, Sid must ponder the consequences of this profound news and share it with her Indian-Canadian parents and with Daniel (Pierre-Yves Cardinal), the love of her life. Just when she thought transitioning was complicated, Sid quickly learns that she ain’t seen nothing yet!


DRIVE, HE SAID
1971, Sony Repertory, 90 min, USA, Dir: Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson’s first trip behind the camera as director is a subtle character study about basketball, college and Vietnam. It stands as one of the best sports-related movies ever made and captures the true feeling of the late ’60s/early ’70s college experience. William Tepper is a star basketball player with a drug-addled best friend (Michael Margotta) who is dodging the draft and a faculty-wife girlfriend (Karen Black) bent on giving him the boot. Bruce Dern's performance as the snide, take-no-prisoners coach is masterfully hard-nosed. With Robert Towne and Henry Jaglom in prime supporting roles, and cinematography by Bill Butler. "Nicholson deftly illustrates the background cynicism of big-time sports against the more obvious cynicism of college life." – Variety.


SMILE
1975, Park Circus/MGM, 117 min, USA, Dir: Michael Ritchie

Director Michael Ritchie’s savage, Norman Rockwell-in-rehab comedy stars Bruce Dern, Barbara Feldon (“Get Smart”), Michael Kidd and Geoffrey Lewis as a group of civic boosters desperately trying to stage a teenage beauty pageant in Santa Rosa, California. Annette O’Toole and Melanie Griffith are among the gorgeous, devious and very un-ladylike contestants in this wickedly funny snapshot of the underbelly of mid-’70s America.


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