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: The Constitution

CONSTITUTION

SEEFest 2017: Cross-Dressing, Cruelty to Critters and Constitutional Rights in Croatia The 12th annual South East European Film Festival kicked off with a gala screening at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills of writer/director Rajko Grlić’s The Constitution, a stellar must-see movie full of humor and humanity that set the tone for this filmfest.  I say that because sometimes cinefiles “suffer” through specialty cinema (especially those Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Great Wall

WALL

Not So Great: Oh! How the Mighty Have Fallen Aside from some stunning cinematography, special effects and scenery, this U.S.-China co-production lensed, according to IMDB.com, on location in Qinqdao and New Zealand (!) is more about cashing in on the growing international audience of the PRC and USA.  The use of Real 3D and IMAX 3D is what The Great Wall is really all about - not a story or, heavens’ forbid, character development - although to Continue Reading...

Film Review: Do Not Resist

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

The Post-9/11 Iron Heel of the State The chillingly named Do Not Resist, which won the Tribecca Film Festival’s Best Documentary Feature award, opens with a tense demonstration shot at Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 only 10 days after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an African American youth not carrying any weapons.  The footage shows heavily armed, helmeted officers with body armor, shields and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Salesman

SALESMAN

Life of a Salesman: Is This the Enemy? Asghar Farhadi may be to Iran’s screen what Arthur Miller was to the American stage.  His 2011 A Separation, a searing account of an Iranian couple’s divorce, won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.  A Separation’s script also scored Farhadi a nomination for the Best Writing, Original Screenplay Academy Award.  Now, the writer/director’s newest feature, The Salesman, is again in Continue Reading...

Film Review: Collateral Beauty

collateral

Framing Philosophy: Good Grief! With its theme of inconsolable grief and how to cope with it, director David Frankel’s (Marley & Me, The Devil Wears Prada) Collateral Beauty has the kind of story one usually experiences in low budget indies by filmmakers such as Jim Jarmusch.  But this is a New Line Cinema, Village Roadshow Pictures, et al, feature being distributed by Warner Bros. with an A-list cast, written by Allan Loeb (the Continue Reading...

Trump – and Trouble – in Paradise

con

Ventures in Paradise Much has been made about how the Republican contender for the White House frequently changes positions and the way Trump on the stump is vague about policies.  What is one to make of The Donald-who-would-be-president  Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston’s new book, The Making of Donald Trump (Melville House Publishing), sheds light on how the real estate baron/reality TV star really operates.  In an interview, the Continue Reading...

Wake UP! The Party’s Over

progressive

In the November 6 New York Times Frank Bruni wrote: “We’re coming out of this election with four parties: the Paul Ryan Republicans, the Freedom Caucus, the establishment Democrats and the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders brigade, which is raring to use the muscle that Sanders flexed during the primaries for legislation more progressive…” The op ed columnist has a point, but one that needs to be expanded upon. Continue Reading...

Film Review: Loving

loving

Abolishing Miscegenation: Virginia is for Lovings Writer/director Jeff Nichols’ feature film Loving is about a real life Virginia couple whose interracial marriage set the stage for the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 ruling against laws prohibiting miscegenation in America.  Believe it or not, the last name of husband Richard (Joel Edgerton, 2013’s The Great Gatsby) and wife Mildred (Ruth Negga, 2013’s World War Z) was actually, Loving - as the Continue Reading...