All posts by Mary

Mary Reed is a staff writer and director of social media at Movies on Chatham, where she contributes to the monthly magazine and book publishing projects. Along with a blog of her own, she regularly posts about our Second Thursday Films, always adding a fresh and enlightening perspective. A graduate of Emory University, she was previously a consultant at Accenture.

Leni Riefenstahl: Extraordinary Talent Tainted by Heinous Objectives

Leni Riefenstahl. Never heard of her. A crash course was necessary indeed. Fortunately, I work at MoviesonChatham, a research and writing group for film groups, critics and fans. This eclectic group provides ample opportunities for learning curves. The eye-opening quest to learn about this obscure woman left me feeling concerned about the fact that I, a college educated woman who is never without a book, had never, not once, heard of Leni Riefenstahl.

Then again, where would I have crossed paths with Riefenstahl, or her legacy? Continue reading Leni Riefenstahl: Extraordinary Talent Tainted by Heinous Objectives

Enron Trials: Mueller and Weissman in a Frenzied Witch Hunt

General Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump, has every reason to be sweating bullets at present. After pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about Russian contacts, General Flynn is at the mercy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team of investigators. In addition to Flynn, three other henchmen of President Trump’s are in hot water relating to the investigation over Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election:

  • Paul Manafort, Campaign Chairman
  • Ricky Gates, General Flynn’s assistant
  • George Papadopoulos, Campaign Foreign Policy Advisor

Andrew Fastow, the former CFO of Enron shown in this month’s movie, might strongly empathize with these men for he was once in their same distressing situation. Continue reading Enron Trials: Mueller and Weissman in a Frenzied Witch Hunt

Henry Fonda, Angry Juror #8: Idealism in its Finest Hour

Sidney Lumet’s film 12 Angry Men is a patriotic movie that portrays America’s legal system in an honorable light. Juror #8, played by Henry Fonda, represents the idealistic citizen who is uncompromising in his stance to do the right thing against insurmountable odds.

Yet, according to Weiser (2016),

The hallowed jury trial is a right enshrined in the Constitution and immortalized in American culture. But these days, said Daniel C. Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School, ‘12 Angry Men is more a cultural concept than a regular happening.’

Continue reading Henry Fonda, Angry Juror #8: Idealism in its Finest Hour

Not Everyone is Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

In the Year of Our Lord 1517, Dr. Martin Luther hammered a note, popularly called “The 95 Theses,” on the door of a chapel in Wittenberg, Germany. He might as well have taken that hammer and shattered the earth for the effect that this paper, which Luther entitled “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” had on mankind. So great was the aftershock of this event that its ripples reach us five centuries later, and will likely continue to impact future generations for as long as humans exist.

St. Peter's Basilica in Rome
St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

This event was a metaphoric earthquake waiting to happen. From medieval times (5th-15th century), the formidable Catholic Church dominated Europe and by Luther’s time (1483-1546) was steeped in corruption, which included the selling of indulgences to absolve parishioner’s sins. Rome’s magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica was built on funds raised from such practices (Justice, 2011). Continue reading Not Everyone is Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

Where Were the Heroes for Kitty Genovese?

The Witness documentary about Kitty Genovese chronicles Bill Genovese’s quest to find out why not one of the reported thirty-eight witnesses stepped in to help his beloved older sister (Salomon, 2015). After her murder in 1964, intense grief and inner turmoil plagued Bill Genovese’s life until, four decades later, he set out proactively to find the truth. Through the course of his personal investigation, his questions multiplied exponentially—specifically those about human nature.

Bill Genovese tracked down and spoke with witnesses who had heard or seen portions of Winston Moseley’s two attacks on Kitty. The Witness shows an interview in which a former neighbor claimed to have called the police. Records of these calls cannot be found. Continue reading Where Were the Heroes for Kitty Genovese?