Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

'A Great Country,' contemporary ballet and Midday Movies

 March 21, 2024 at 4:55 PM PDT

S1: It's time for Midday Edition on Kpbs for today's arts and culture show. We're talking about women who are blazing trails in their creative fields. I'm Jade Hindman. Here's to conversations that keep you informed , inspired , and make you think. A local author explores class , immigration , and the expense of the American dream in her new book.

S2: The book centers around the Shah family , and an incident of police violence happens to their 12 year old son.

S1: Plus , an upcoming ballet showcase features women who are dance makers and midday movies showcases a few trailblazing directors who are women. That's ahead on Midday Edition. Welcome in San Diego. It's Jade Hindman today. We're talking about arts and culture and the women blazing trails in the creative field. This is midday Edition , connecting our communities through conversation. Immigration , class tensions and generational divides all come together in the new book A Great Country. It follows the shores , a close knit Indian American family trying to fit into their new community. But when they find out the police have beaten and arrested their 12 year old son , their world is suddenly turned upside down. As that violent incident ripples across the community , the shores start to wonder what is the price of the American Dream ? This is local author Shilpa Maya Gupta's latest novel. She'll be celebrating the book's launch on March 24th and Diesel Bookstore , and on March 30th at the Carlsbad Library. She joins me now. She'll be welcome back to mid-day.

S2: Great to be with you.


S2: And there are multiple families from different ethnic backgrounds , different immigration statuses , different levels of socioeconomic comfort and privilege , and they all interact with one another in this in this neighborhood and in this school community. And the book centers around the Shah family , and an incident of police violence happens to their 12 year old son. And that sort of throws the family into a tailspin. And it also forces a reckoning within their community.

S1: Yeah , this book really reflects the current moment.

S2: Um , and it was just on the heels of my last book being published , and obviously , along with everybody else in the world , I was , um , you know , really shaken by the events that were transpiring , not just the the pandemic and all of the , you know , associated life changes. But , you know , I was watching as incidents of violence against Asian Americans were on the rise , really , for the first time in , in many years. And I watched the video of George Floyd , along with many other Americans , and was horrified by that. And I that that incident in particular made me reflect on a personal experience I had had 30 years earlier , when I had been an intern for the Minneapolis Police Department while I was in college. And while that had been a very eye opening experience , um , you know , 30 years later , I was sort of trying to understand how , you know , what I , what what I was watching on that video could transpire. So all of the things that were sort of happening in America , that the lack of civil discourse , the infighting , the extremism , um , I think I just was watching and observing that. And I found myself longing for a different kind of dialogue , you know , one in which people could really listen to one another , listen to their neighbors , um , and be heard , have their opinions heard , and maybe try to move towards , you know , some sort of level of understanding or even compromise. So I so this book was sort of born out of that , that period and watching that transpire and , and wanting to reach for something different.

S1: You mentioned interning with the Minneapolis Police Department.

S2: So , uh , it was a very eye opening experience. I spent most of my time riding along at night in patrol cars and just going to whatever calls , um , the police officers were called to. And so I , I , I saw a lot of eye opening things. Um , I saw different slices of society that I , that I hadn't seen before , as , you know , someone who'd had a typical sort of suburban upbringing. Um , and then I also watched the interaction of the officers with the communities. They were very entrenched. They knew people. They knew , you know , they all knew one another's names. They had regular relationships where they work to keep one another apprised and informed and safe. And I saw the bravery of a lot of of officers as well , you know , putting their lives on the line every day. So , you know , obviously , I probably had a varnished view since I was an intern. Um , but , you know , I , I later , you know , worked to try to reconcile or at least make sense of the that experience and what I'd seen that summer , um , you know , with what I later saw. Well , I.


S2: And it's just that they've become more visible to us with , you know , the rise of everybody having a camera phone. And , um , you know , the ubiquity of being able to capture things by civilians. And so obviously nothing is a monolith. Police officers are not a monolith. Criminals are not a monolith. There's diversity and variation in every community. So , you know , I think that I'm not sure reconcile is really what I've been able to do. I think I have a broader understanding of , of , you know , the differences that can occur within any group or community. And I don't think one necessarily negates the other. So , you know , I still believe that a great majority of police officers are are brave and , you know , work hard to keep their community safe. But it also means that the things we've seen in the news are also true , you know , and that and that different communities have different experiences , you know , with the police. So I think my , my understanding has broadened to encompass all of those things. And I think that's one thing we could all , you know , we could all stand to learn a little bit instead of , you know , sort of taking a polarized position. Yeah.

S1: Yeah. And so that brings us to your book. The first part of this book takes place over one night , getting the call that your child's been arrested. I mean , that's something no parent ever wants to go through.

S2: So there was definitely a challenge in trying to pack all of that , all of that dynamism and those plot points into , you know , a very tight timeframe and imagine what it would feel like , you know , minute by minute , hour by hour for this whole family that's being , you know , thrust into this situation that they never experienced. But I think that also was exciting for me as a writer , you know , to be able to write in a different way and to and to sort of conceive of a story in a different way in terms of , you know , terrible things happening to your child. I think , you know , that that's one of the things I've learned to do as a writer. I mean , from my first book , which , um , you know , really Secret Daughter focuses on , you know , the death of a of an infant girl at birth because she's a girl in rural India. And so that's probably the hardest thing I've had to imagine as a parent. But there really is an element of being able to put yourself into someone else's shoes and , and develop an empathy for what , you know , what they're going through. And I think there's a universality to to parenthood and to the worries and concerns we all carry. Um , no matter , you know , what those circumstances are.

S1: You know what I find so interesting about this book that you wrote is that we're not just following this one family. We're actually hearing from their whole community.

S2: You know , we can't we don't live in bubbles , and everything we do impacts our fellow citizens. And the same is true in the reverse. And so I thought it would really be interesting to show a broader view of how various people , various families from different backgrounds within , you know , a single neighborhood respond to the same event differently and how it affects their understanding and how it might unfold given their life perspectives. I think that's that's part of what we you know , what we miss when we're just following the story of a single person or a single family is that you know the truth or the story , or the event can be perceived differently depending on , you know , what you bring to it. Yeah.

S3: Yeah.

S1: Speaking of community , the shows are really trying to fit into this neighborhood. Tell us more about that and how you're representing class divides in this book. Yeah.

S2: Yeah. The shore family moves from , you know , more of an , um , new immigrant middle class neighborhood where they're surrounded by people similar to them , you know , other immigrants , that they have been there for a similar amount of time. To , you know , they catapult themselves into this very upper class neighborhood where they there's not really anybody that looks like them around. And so they , they feel a sense of isolation that I think they , they didn't expect to , particularly because they go into this time of crisis soon after moving. And so they're they're not entrenched enough in their new neighborhood to have developed friendships and relationships amongst people who can support them. So they're sort of caught in between. You know , I think it's this very classic dilemma of the American dream is , you know , how much do you assimilate and try to climb the ladder and fit into , you know , that this aspirational sense if , if what it means to achieve the dream and how much do you hold on to what brought you to this country in the first place and maybe , you know , helped make you successful and they really struggle with that. The Shah family struggle with that. And they have , you know , they find that most of their support and a sense of belonging that they feel still occurs in their old neighborhood. And so that's that's part of the they're learning about the shine coming off of what they thought was going to be the , you know , the answer to all their dreams. Yeah.

S1: Yeah. And you also come from an immigrant family.

S2: So more of my life has been spent here than I spent in Canada. But I think growing up I got used to toggling between two different worlds , not just the country of India , where all my family , still my extended family still lived , and the country of Canada. But the , you know , the two different cultures , the one I had at home with my parents , which was very steeped in all things Indian culture , music , food values , um , and , and the sort of westernized culture I had at , at school with my friends and peers. And so I think that in some sense has been good practice for me as a , as a , as a person and as a writer , because I can usually see multiple sides of things. You know , I usually understand as a little bit of an observer standing outside that , you know , there are particularities to any culture or any community. Um , and so even in the United States , I've lived in , I've lived in California for a long time , but I've lived in New York City and the South. Um , and so I've been able to , you know , observe and witness all of those subcultures. And in a sense , I feel like they're all , I've taken something with me from all those places I've lived and all the people I've met , and they're all part of a whole now. So I don't really feel , you know , people will often say , like , do you feel more Indian or more American or more Canadian ? And my answer is yes , I feel I feel all of those things. They're all sort of part of the mosaic. Um , of me.

S3: Yeah , yeah. Well.



S2: Before , I really am hoping to start a different kind of dialogue. Part of the reason I ended up representing so many different points of view in this book , I mean , even even the police officers there are , you know , 3 or 4 points of view within , you know , that group , um , is , you know , I really hope people will both find something to identify with. You know , they will , I think , are likely to find a point of view or perspective that represents their own. But then I'm also hoping that they will see another one that they don't necessarily identify with , but they're willing to read about and listen to and maybe try to understand a little bit. I do think that is one of the greatest powers that fiction can have , is that , you know , it enables us to step into somebody else's shoes and to feel a little bit of what their life might be like. And hopefully that's a , you know , a way of building some bridges to understanding and conversation in our country.

S1: I've been speaking with author Shilpa Soumya Gowda about her book , A Great Country. She'll celebrate the launch of the book this Sunday , March 24th at Diesel Bookstore. Shilpa , thank you so much for joining us.

S2: Thank you Jade.

S1: Coming up , a contemporary ballet company is putting on a showcase featuring all women choreographers.

S5: When we say contemporary ballet , it is very much making it relevant.

S1: You're listening to Kpbs Midday Edition. Welcome back. You're listening to Kpbs Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. Female dance makers are the spotlight of an upcoming ballet showcase. The Rosin Box project will kick off its 2024 season with mPOWER , which starts tonight and runs through March 30th. Kpbs Arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans sat down with Rosin Box founder Carly Spazio to talk more about the showcase. She started out by asking if women are typically undervalued or underrepresented in the dance world. Take a listen.

S5: I think typically when we think about classical ballet or contemporary ballet , uh , it's predominantly women , you know , it's a female dominated industry. However , the reality is that majority of individuals , you know , in administration , in executive or in choreographic positions are males. So it's very important to us to spotlight females and to give that space to , you know , kind of platform and empower more female voices.

S6: I want to ask about some of the pieces of choreography in the show.

S5: Um , so the piece that I created is called asymptote. Um , and it is definitely much more abstract. It kind of follows. That , uh , you know , the idea of parabolas and and peaks and valleys and kind of an abstract landscape within that , like two points inching closer together but never really quite meeting. And so it's kind of that concept deconstructed in , again , more of like an abstract landscape.

S6: I'm curious how that might look on stage. It seems very mathematical. Can you describe what it looks like ? Absolutely.

S5: Um , it definitely is mathematical. It's a bit of a departure from typically what I like to do , which is exploring , you know , kind of the human condition and interactions between , uh , individuals in a very human sense. Um , so it is much more centered around , uh , movement and shapes. So there's a lot of curvature. And I kind of have been joking with the dancers that it's a parabolic experience , you know , within their movement , but also the shapes that their bodies are making and the architecture and the formations that the dancers as a whole are creating. So it's very flowing , but also , you know , kind of has pulls that kind of mathematical idea into not just just the shapes and movement , but also the timing and , and the musicality and the rhythmic kind of ebb and flow of the entire piece.

S6: And you also have a guest choreographer , Cherise Barton.

S5: I think it's one of the most exciting things because we are such a close , tight knit group of artists. You know , in a sense , sometimes we get very comfortable with one another and kind of becomes almost like , you know , completing each other's sentences. So it's it's always highly anticipated by all the artists when we do bring in outside voices , because it's not just kind of an exercise to , like , stretch our versatility and expand upon our habitual movements and , you know , where our comfort zones are. But it's also a huge source of inspiration. You know , there are so many incredible artists throughout the country , throughout San Diego. And so bringing in guest artists is an incredible opportunity to. Expand our repertoire , expand , um , individual artists , uh , versatility and , uh , kind of exposure as well. And it's also really exciting to be able to share that with our audiences.

S6: And who is , uh , Cherise Barton. Tell me about her work. Yes.

S5: Yes. Cherise Barton is a choreographer , a director and an educator. She's based out of LA , and she has a history of dancing professionally. She's from Canada. Um , but rose kind of to prominence with her work , um , on Broadway and on film and screen. Um , and this is kind of a unique opportunity because she , she reached out to us , um , as she has choreographed for concert dance before , but it has been sort of a long departure from that , as she , you know , kind of went into Broadway and film and screen. Um , and so this is. She felt , uh , following the pandemic , this was kind of the perfect opportunity to kind of go back to what she loves , which is creating for live performance , for concert dance , um , and , and working with a professional company again.

S6: Can we zoom out a little bit and talk about contemporary ballet ? What are the distinctions between contemporary dance , traditional ballet and contemporary ballet ? Absolutely.

S5: So I think the , you know , most obvious distinction between contemporary and classical ballet is the contemporary aspect of it. You know , ballet , typically classical. It has been done for decades or centuries. And when we say contemporary ballet , it is very much making it relevant. Um , you know , building upon this , this traditional art form to make it a little bit more relatable , to create and and produce productions that are relatable , but also are , you know , reflective of of the current time. And I think the distinction between contemporary dance and contemporary ballet is that element of ballet. You know , contemporary dance can be a little bit more influenced by many other styles , whereas contemporary ballet does still have at its core that classical , traditional ballet aspect to it , but with a twist , making it a little bit more modern and a little bit more relevant , and also kind of pushing the boundaries of what it has been , uh , typically considered or perceived as.


S5: I think , you know , everyone is different , and I think in the world of dance , there are so many different disciplines and and style focuses within our company. All of our dancers have began with classical training and have reached a professional level in classical ballet. And I think that's kind of where the contemporary comes in , because I don't want to undermine classical ballet. I think it's beautiful , but I think it comes to a point where there's almost this feeling of of wanting a little bit more. Um , and I think contemporary ballet and contemporary dance allows for that opportunity to , you know , explore more , to connect a little bit deeper rather than just strictly doing steps or , or we're finding a technique. It's it's bringing a little bit more of a human aspect into it.

S6: I love that. And , you know , the last few years have been very volatile for the performing arts. I don't know , I don't know if you've heard.

S5: Um , I think it's it's no secret that , you know , post-pandemic , it has been a very slow return back to the theater , back to live performance , you know , at , at the , uh , size and at the , the capacity that we saw pre-pandemic. But I think that there is a shift , a growing need for more artists or , I guess , a growing desire for artists to , uh , want to engage and want to perform and connect with audiences. And so I think , yeah , that that , uh , filling theaters and , um , and reaching having those in-person human moments for connection , to build community , I think that is always has always been at the forefront. But I think particularly now , it has become a little bit more of a , a focus point. And , um , I guess a bit of a struggle.

S6: And you launched your company , the Rosenbach , in 2018. What do you think has made it so resilient during the last six years ? And , and also kind of what drives you to keep making dance like this , that that reflects the current moment.

S5: That's a good question , I think. I think the resilience comes from the passion. Um. Of not just one , but an entire community and family of artists. And greater community that we have began to develop with our audiences , with our participants , with our students , that that need to share and connect is extremely vital. And I think that is absolutely what. Continues to drive us in everything that we do.

S1: That was Kpbs arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans , speaking with Carly Tapatio about the Empower Showcase. Performances will run from March 21st through the 30th at Liberty Station. Up next midday movie celebrates Women's History Month by highlighting women directors and trailblazers.

S7: Well , when I'm good , I'm very good. But when I'm bad , I'm better.

S1: We'll take you from sassy Mae West to Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow. You're listening to Kpbs Midday Edition. Welcome back. You're listening to Kpbs Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. March is women's history month , so Midday Movies is celebrating women filmmakers once again. Our film critics are Kpbs Cinema Junkie , Beth Accomando and movie Wallace podcaster Yazdi. Welcome to you both.

S8: Thank you. Thank you Jane.

S1: So let's start this discussion with a look at some trailblazing women. Beth , you have an example from the early days of Hollywood Mae West. Yes.

S9: Yes. So in case you don't know who Mae West is , here are just a couple of quick one liners from her.

S7: Well , I'm good , I'm very good. But when I'm bad , I'm better.

S10: I see a man in your life.

S7: What ? Only one.

S11: I changed my mind.

S7: This is.

S9: The Coke bottle is supposedly inspired by her shape , and she was the highest paid performer in Hollywood at one point in the 1930s. So Mae West was a buxom , wisecracking platinum blonde with a voracious appetite for men. She never directed her own films , but she was always in complete control of her brand and her career , and she was a creative force behind all of them. She began in vaudeville. She wrote her own plays that she starred in , and she also wrote her songs , like this one called I Wonder Where My Easy Rider Has Gone.

S7: I've lost since Miss Susan Johnson.

UU: She lost the Jackie Lee. There's been much excitement and more to be. You can hear her moaning from my lemon. I wonder where my easy brand has gone.

S7: But I wonder where my easy.

S9: Brand has gone. She made her debut at 40 in 1932 and she had just a bit part in a movie , but she wrote her own memorable lines and a year later she was already the star of two movies. She'd done Them Wrong and I'm No Angel. Fortunately , her screen debut came in pre-Code Hollywood , so this was before a lot of the strict censorship came into play. And that was important because she played women who defied social mores and in a way that was , like , still uncommon today. I think she was playing women who were independent , sexually liberated , never needed a man , but could always put one to good use. And she was sexy , but also kind of poking fun at her own image. And even when they tried to censor her , she could just , like , give a little moan or a little eye roll and she could make almost anything sound dirty and suggestive , but I just feel like she is such an amazing person in terms of challenging what was going on at the time. Making an image for women that was unique still is unique. She single handedly saved Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy in the early 30s , and she continually fought against stereotypes. She championed women's rights , gay rights. She even at one point was dating a black boxer. I'm not sure dating is a good word for Mae West , but she was friends with a black boxer and her building wouldn't let him come in through the front door , so she simply bought the building and changed the policy. So I just feel like she's such an amazing person on screen and off , and just really sets the stage for a lot of amazing things to come. Yeah.


S8: All you need to do is watch ten minutes of any one of her films on YouTube , and her charm is intact , like a whole century later. I also think she was very foundational for every kind of woman , not just in movies , but in popular culture who followed in her steps , you know , who have broadly embraced their sexuality and asserted themselves outside of the influence of men. So anyone from Madonna to somebody like Pam Grier to even Rebecca Ferguson in current cinema , I think they're all following in her footsteps and they're grateful for her.

S1: Well , she sounds like she was definitely a trailblazer. And Yazdi , you look to a more recent trailblazer and she is a director. Tell us about Nicole Holofcener.

S8: So Nicole Holofcener is a more contemporary filmmaker , and I adore her because she makes films about ordinary people leading middle class lives in America. She has made movies such as Walking and Talking and Lovely and Amazing , which , by the way , is actually a film that is lovely and amazing. There is a real lived in reality to her films , which are kind and wise , and they carry gently feminist ideals and they almost always feature a modern , professional woman at the center. She herself grew up in the 60s and 70s and spent her time as a child on Woody Allen films. Because her father was a film producer and her mom a set decorator , and she started her career writing , and her other films include friends with money , Please Give , Enough Said and most recently , You Hurt My Feelings. The last two are wonderful collaborations with Julia Louis-Dreyfus , but she has also worked with female leads like Catherine Keener , Emily Mortimer , Jennifer Aniston and Frances McDormand. The one commonality through all of her films is , like I said , they have a female protagonist who is trying to make do with the very modern world around them , and I just want to live in the world of her films. They're deeply empathetic. She's also directed television on everything from sex and the city , Gilmore Girls , Six Feet Under and she more recently has written , uh , movies. Can you ever forgive Me ? As well as the last two all. And here is a clip from her second film , Lovely and Amazing , which features Catherine Keener as the lead. And this clip is of her interacting with the very young Jake Gyllenhaal. Hi.

S12: Hi. I'd like to apply for the job.

S13: In no way.

S14: Why not ? You look like my mom.

S12: If I haven't developed pictures before with somebody trained me , I will. Don't look at me like that. You just said I look like your mom. My mom's cute.


S8: After I pared down my list of about 50 names. The one that I want to highlight is Mira Nair. She's an Indian director who first had a hit with the film Salaam Bombay , and quickly followed with success in Hollywood. She's an Indian American filmmaker who started as a documentarian and subsequent to Salaam Bombay , she's made Mississippi Masala , monsoon wedding , The Namesake , and The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Her production company , Mirabai Films , have furthered the cause of Indian cinema in the US , perhaps more than any other person , and her films have like , color and light to them. But they're also very deeply steeped in reality and the darker themes and often pondering on mortality. Here is a clip from mirror , Nair's first English language film , Mississippi Masala , also featuring a very young Denzel Washington. And it's about an interracial relationship between Sarita Chaudry and Washington's character. And here is a clip about Chaudhry arguing with her parents when they first find out that she's dating a black man , and the subsequent gossip that emerges amongst her family and friends.

S15: What do you know about him ? What about his family ? This is America , Ma. No one cares. We care. Your father and I. You are our only child. If we don't care. Who will.


S16: I love him. That's not a crime. Yeah.


S16: Namita to India as soon as possible. Yeah , they get ideas from each other. Then it spreads like a disease.


S10: She's not here.

S1: And Beth , are you also a fan ? Yes I. Am.

S9: Am. I'm a big fan of Salon Bombay. It's one of my favourite films , although it's a bit heartbreaking in places. Since she did start working in documentaries. I love kind of the way she brings that sense of reality and capturing kind of a naturalism in her scenes. So I enjoy all of her films , I enjoy her career path that she's taken and that and that. She continues to explore kind of cultures and also cultures and clash.


S9: And you know , I would also mention someone like Ida Lupino , who was an early actress who turned a directing , and then someone like Lena miller , who was an international trailblazer. But I do have a special place in my heart for Kathryn Bigelow , because I'm an action junkie , and I love the fact that a woman director was able to make her mark in the action genre. You know , action films tend to be testosterone driven , and there seems to be this view that only men can direct them. So I love how she just kind of muscled into this genre , proving that a woman can be just as good as a man directing these kind of films. And I also really appreciate that she has resisted stereotypes , and I mean that from both men and women. You know , she just does not look at making films as like , I'm a woman , so I have to deal with female issues or female centric characters. I want to make films that are interesting to me on whatever level. And so , you know , she's made films like The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark 30 , but one of my favorites of hers , because it mixes horror , action , romance , and vampires is near dark. Plus , it's what I call Pax donated , and that means it has Bill Paxton in it. So here he is at a bar feeding. Whoa.

S18: It's finger licking good.

S19: Like , yes , I got smell like a dead polecat.

S1: Bigelow is the first woman to win an Oscar for Best director for The Hurt Locker. Yazdi.

S8: She's made a wonderful movie called Strange Days Zero dark 30 , of course. Similar to what Beth mentioned. I love the fact that if you watch one of her movies unknown , you won't know if it's made by a male or a female director. So she almost transcends gender. You know , she makes very robust , visually striking movies. And I it's been a while since she's made a film , and I can't wait to see what she does next.

S1: All right. Well , let's bring this conversation up to the present day with some new films and new women directors. Yazdi , you have a film from last year that's streaming on Netflix.

S8: It's a very sharp script that plays with the intersectionality between gender and power in the workplace. It tells the story of this boy and girl who both work at a hedge fund company , and they're having a relationship , which they're keeping secret. And then a series of events transpired. They're both due for promotion , and everybody had presumed that he's the one who will get promoted , but she is the one who ends up getting promoted , and that starts the unraveling of their relationship. And you know how every person is perceived in a workplace based on how they dress or how they look or what gender they are ? I think it's a brilliant script. And as an example of the great writing , here is a scene between Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich , uh , set later in the movie when she is actually trying to help him get a promotion.

S20: Hey , we're going to go grab a drink.

S21: Went public last month. Some say it's an overhyped unicorn , but lukesauce it ran the numbers and thinks it could reel in some sizable returns.

S20: For an overhyped unicorn.

S21: Well , when they announced their plans , do you know.



S23: Put it under a microscope before you move.

S21: Of course.

S23: But he's here to support your vision. Not steer it.

UU: You coming or not ? Chris.

S21: Round's on me.

S18: Nice answer.

S1: All right.

S9: I don't think I'm , like , really drawn to the hedge fund world as much as I am to , like , horror or something. So. And I did feel like Emily , the lead character , was like , not quite as cutthroat as I thought she should be for how she's depicted in it. You know , she's given this promotion and she's kind of depicted as being very smart and savvy. So I had a few issues with with her character , but I still liked the film. But I do tend to gravitate more towards women in horror. So there's people like Julia Ducournau who did Raw and Titane and Michelle Garza cerveza , who did who Sarah. And those are kind of the directors that I tend to the new women directors that I'm gravitating towards right now. All right.

S1: And you have a new film that just opened. It's not exactly hard , but it is dark. Love Lies Bleeding from rose glass.

S9: Yes , it is dark. So I loved Rose Glass's debut feature , which was Saint Maud and I think it had probably one of the most spectacular and surprising endings of any film I have seen recently. Or maybe in all time. It's like literally a couple of seconds at the end changed the complete tone of the film. Love Lies Bleeding is not quite as good , but I love it because she is still pushing the envelope in terms of style and narrative. This time , she tackles a lesbian love story set against a backdrop of murder and body building. It kind of has a neo noir quality to it. Kristen Stewart runs a gym where she spots Jackie , who's played by Katie O'Brien. She's a drifter on her way to a Vegas bodybuilding contest. So here's a little taste of the trailer.






S9: And I find it really exciting that she doesn't feel tied to kind of depicting things in a realistic way. And I love that she's not interested in characters that are mainstream or likeable in a traditional sense. She really embraces the fringes and she loves flawed , driven characters , so I just look forward to anything she does. Yeah.

S1: Yeah.

S8: I mean , this movie is insanely hard boiled. It's so hard boiled. Okay. And I , I , I haven't seen something this committed pulpy on the big screen in a long time. I mean , it's set in the 80s and the 80s Y practically kind of oozes on the camera lens. You know , the hair is fried , the hair is deep fried , and and the jeans have been washed 100 times through acid. But but it's just really a , you know , like a high wire act of maintaining a tone. It wants to be kind of a 80s set erotic thriller , but it's also playing with surrealism. I think this movie is going to do very well years from now in midnight screenings. It's going to have it has the absolute makings of a cult classic.

S1: All right. Love Lies Bleeding is currently in cinemas and Fair Play is streaming on Netflix. That wraps up another midday movies. I want to thank Kpbs , Cinema Junkie , Beth Accomando and Movie Wallace podcaster Yazdi. Thank you so much for joining us. It's always fun.

S27: Thank you , thank you.

S1: That's our show for today. If you missed it , you can always tap in to download the Midday Edition podcast wherever you listen. Don't forget to watch Evening Edition tonight at five for in-depth coverage of San Diego issues. The roundtable is here tomorrow at noon. And before we go , I'd like to thank our Midday Edition team producers Giuliana Domingo , Andrew Bracken , Brooke Ruth Ashley Rush , art segment contributors Julia Dixon Evans and Beth Accomando , technical producers Rebecca Chacon , Ben Ridloff and Brandon Truitt. For the Midday edition , theme music you hear is from San Diego's own The Surefire Soul Ensemble. I'm your host , Jade Hindman. I'll see you back here Monday. Until then , make it a great day on purpose , everyone.

Ways To Subscribe
The cover of the book, "A Great Country" and author Shilpi Somaya Gowda are shown side-by-side in this undated photo. "A Great Country" comes out March 26, 2024.
Courtesy of William Morrow & Mariner Books
The cover of "A Great Country" and author Shilpi Somaya Gowda are shown side-by-side in this undated photo. "A Great Country" comes out March 26, 2024.

Immigration, class tensions and generational conflict all come together in the new book, “A Great Country.” It follows a close-knit Indian American family trying to fit into their new neighborhood, until a violent police incident throws their world into a tailspin.

Also, the Rosin Box Project highlights female choreographers in their EMPOWER showcase, which runs through March 30. KPBS/arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans sat down with its founder to talk more about where female representation stands in the dance world today.

And finally, Midday Movies celebrates women filmmakers and trailblazers from Old Hollywood icons to Oscar-winning directors.


Related stories