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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Go-go Gagosian: “SASHA GREY – A Richard Phillips Film”

For my film portrait of Sasha Grey, I wanted to focus on her expressive and psychological transformation into a cinematic actor, separate from the cues that have associated Sasha with her previous career as a performance artist working within the adult film world.” – Richard Phillips

“Shot on location at the John Lautner Chemosphere House off Mulholland Drive, the film showcases Sasha as a perpetually evolving figure. Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick (“Basic Instinct,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Wall Street,” “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”) dressed Sasha for the part in an array of lingerie and military inspired garments to highlight the dual nature of her masculine / feminine persona. Looking over the roadside from the vantage point of one the most legendary residences in modern and cinematic history, Sasha reflects on her relationship to the San Fernando Valley landscape—the location of some of her most noted adult performances. Back inside the circular vortex of the Chemosphere, Sasha’s inner dialogue projects an equally diaristic and imaginary self-portrait that pushes beyond the extremes of her past filmography and into her new future. “Sasha Grey,” along with Phillip’s first short film, “Lindsay Lohan,” will be included in “Commercial Break,” presented by the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Venice, Italy, June 1 – 5, 2011, concurrent with the 54th international exhibition of the Venice Biennale.”

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“By the time the sounds of the Von Trapp children warbling ‘Silent Night’ drift through The Giver, you may find yourself wondering what fresh movie hell this is. In truth, the enervating hash of dystopian dread, vague religiosity and commercial advertising-style uplift is nothing if not stale. Adapted from Lois Lowry’s book for young readers, the story involves an isolated society that, with its cubistic dwellings, mindless smiles, monochromatic environs and nebulous communitarianism, seem modeled on a Scandinavian country or an old Mentos commercial.”
~ Manohla Dargis’ Deadly Lede For Review Of The Giver

“It’s possible that in the coming days or, God forbid, weeks, the president could have something more specific to say about the freighted decades-long history of political imbalance at work, in this case between a mostly black working-class town and its majority white government and police force. But this is a black man who must choose his words about race, governance, and law enforcement even more carefully than a white politician would. And this is the third summer in which, as president, he would have to do so…

“Until this point in the turmoil, the absence of the crucial second face in the incident seemed to heighten the distance between police and the people they serve. It grants them both an anonymity and autonomy that matches the bizarre transformation, in Ferguson and elsewhere, of police into troops. The riot gear turns 2014 into a dot on a Jim Crow–era timeline. Since the officer’s name wasn’t made public more immediately, it should have seemed urgent for the police to lose the riot attire and take steps to minimize distrust, to dispel the contagious assumption that silence equates racism…

“What is so affecting isn’t just that 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed when he was barely a man. It’s other things as well. One was how many reports of the incident that first day mentioned that he was about to start college. That’s a rite that’s universally emotional. But for a black male from a poor family, the first day of college is a freighted day that usually requires the sacrifice of more than one person. Black people know the odds of getting to and graduating from college, and that they’re low. That Brown seemed to be on the right path compounded the parental, local, and national outrage over his being wiped from it.”

~ Wesley Morris On Let’s Be Cops, The Shooting In Ferguson, Obama…