Ed Rampell

Film historian and critic Ed Rampell was named after CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow because of his TV exposes of Senator Joe McCarthy. Rampell majored in Cinema at Manhattan’s Hunter College. After graduating, Rampell lived in Tahiti, Samoa, Hawaii, and Micronesia, where he reported on the nuclear free and independent Pacific movement for “20/20,” Reuters, AP, Radio Australia, Newsweek, etc. He went on to co-write “The Finger” column for New Times L.A. and has written for many other publications, including Variety, Mother Jones, The Nation, Islands, L.A. Times, L.A. Daily News, Written By, The Progressive, The Guardian, The Financial Times, AlterNet, amongst others. Rampell appears in the 2005 Australian documentary “Hula Girls, Imagining Paradise.” He co-authored two books on Pacific Island politics, as well as two film histories: “Made In Paradise, Hollywood’s Films of Hawaii and the South Seas” and “Pearl Harbor in the Movies.” Rampell is the sole author of “Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States.” He is a co-founder of the James Agee Cinema Circle and one of L.A.’s most prolific film/theatre/opera reviewers. Rampell is also the author of "The Hawaii Movie and Television Book", published by Honolulu's Mutual Publishing, drops Nov. 25 (see: http://hawaiimtvbook.weebly.com/).

Film Review: Three Thousand Years of Longing

Impish: Still Dreaming of Genie My readers (Hiya Ma!) know I hate plot spoilers but the following is not only revealed within the first few minutes of Three Thousand Years of Longing, but is also the main premise of Australian director George Miller’s (the Mad Max franchise) new movie. In Longing, Alithea (British actress Tilda Swinton of The Beach, Snowpiercer, Doctor Strange) is a narratologist – a scholar who studies storytelling – Continue Reading...

MAKE LOVE, NOT BANS: Anti-Abortions Fanatics’ Real Enemy is Sex

Sexual Politics In the weeks since Supreme Court Grand Inquisitor Justice Samuel Alito’s anti-choice screed was disclosed, amidst all of the mass protests, speechifying, pontificating, punditry, etc., I noticed that something essential to the abortion brouhaha was completely missing from what passes for public discourse in this country: That sexual intercourse for pleasure and intimacy is under attack. In our age of artificial insemination, Continue Reading...

Film Review: Klondike

Ukrainian Actress Presents Antiwar Cinematic Stunner at SEEfest   If it’s true, as General William Tecumseh Sherman reputedly observed during America’s Civil War, that “war is hell,” according to Kyiv-born Maryna Er Gorbach’s Klondike, the “hottest seat in hell” (to paraphrase Dante) seems reserved for those ensnared in the civil war in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region. One of the grimmest films I’ve ever seen, Klondike is so bleak in its Continue Reading...

Film Review: Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator

Oh! Kolkata: Yogi Bare, Boo-Boos and Bikram Academy Award winning Australian filmmaker Eva Orner’s well-made documentary Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator is an 86-minute creepfest perfect for the #MeToo Movement and moment. This no-punches-pulled nonfiction film purports to chronicle the career, life, lies, and sexual abuse of Bikram Choudhury, the main ballyhooer of Bikram or “Hot Yoga” in America and beyond. The ornery Orner goes after Choudhury Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Pact

Melancholy Danes: A Scandinavian Sunset Blvd Academy Award-winning Danish director Bille August’s screen adaptation of Thorkild Bjørnvig’s (played by Simon Bennebjerg) memoir The Pact, about his experiences with the celebrated Out of Africa novelist Karen Blixen (who was portrayed by Meryl Streep in the 1985 Sydney Pollack-directed film of the same name, but is here played by the Copenhagen-born actress Birthe Neumann), is a movie meditation Continue Reading...

Film Review: Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

Lunana of the North Snows: Learning Life’s Meaning at the World’s Remotest School Writer/director Pawo Choyning Dorji’s heartfelt Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom will charm the pants off of you – or, rather, the robes off of you. Because this captivating feature was shot mostly in the hard-to-get-to Kingdom of Bhutan, a Buddhist nation of less than 1 million inhabitants straddling the Eastern Himalayas between India and the Tibet region of the Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Whistlers

La Gomera’s Goombahs: Film Noir, Romanian Style Writer/director Corneliu Porumboiu’s slyly stylish The Whistlers is one of those productions film buffs relish largely because of their cinematic references. In one scene characters appear in a theater where John Ford’s 1956 classic The Searchers is being screened. But while the 97-minute-long Whistlers’ Romanian characters may very well be searching for something (and/ or someone), the Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Big Scary “S” Word

Viewers of the World, Unite! As its popularity soars, socialism’s secret sauce is explored in this never pedantic, feel-good movie manifesto that will make you want to own the means of production. Director/producer Yael Bridge’s stand up and cheer The Big Scary “S” Word is one of 2020’s do-not-miss films and deserves a Best Documentary Academy Award nomination. As a producer, Bridge was Emmy co-nominated for the 2017 nonfiction film Saving Continue Reading...