Saturday movie review: Still Dreaming

Saturday movie review: Still Dreaming

As our parents age and we consider how we can best assist and accommodate them in their later years, we baby boomers become more and more familiar with assisted living centers, nursing homes, and similar facilities Mom and/or Dad might at some point consider home. Many of our parents already reside in such spots, others of us may be in the researching-for-someday phase of the sandwich situation.

As is the case with most things, negative stories and worrisome aspects of assisted living centers and nursing homes get the most headlines, cause the most headaches. Yet there are indeed many positiveโ€”and trueโ€”tales to tell of facilities doing fun, fabulous, innovative, and invigorating things for the elderly folks they care for and, in many cases, consider family.

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Saturday movie review: Big Sonia

Saturday movie review: Big Sonia

What the world needs now is love. And tolerance and acceptance and BIG SONIA โ€” both the film as well as Sonia Warshawski on whom the film is based.

Ninety-one-year-old Sonia Warshawski is a Holocaust survivor. She was an eye-witness to genocide, the victim of horrors unknown to all but those who lived and died in concentration camps, one who miraculously made it through six years of hell to the unforgettable day of liberation by allied forces.

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Saturday movie review: SCORE: A Film Music Documentary

My CD collection and iTunes application boast many a movie soundtrack. My husband and I have long loved cinematic scores of all sorts.

Which is why SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY was a must-see for us both from the very moment I saw it listed on the schedule for the 39th Denver Film Festival, which I have the privilege of covering this year.

SCORE, directed by Matt Schrader, is a joyous examination of the work and dedication of those who masterfully match music to movies. Composers, film historians, and...

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Saturday movie review: A Family Affair

The documentary A FAMILY AFFAIR is one of those films I'm glad I watched but certainly wouldn't say I enjoyed it. Or liked it. In fact, I didn't like the subject — a grandmother, no less — one single bit.

A Family Affair movie

Yet I couldn't stop watching this film by Danish documentarian Tom Fassaert, who filmed a fascinating attempt to figure out his grandmother, a famous model in the '50s. Primarily, Fassaert hoped to...

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Saturday movie review: Twinsters

When it comes to book selections, I typically read a couple novels then alternate with a non-fiction of some sort, usually from the biography, memoir, or essay categories.

I do the same with movies. I watch a few dramas then feel the need to balance out the fiction with something real, some sort of documentary. As I recently watched and reviewed THE REVENANT, CONCUSSION, and JOY (funny that they were all dramas based on true stories, right?), I found myself craving a documentary this week.


The winner of my scroll through Netflix Streaming was TWINSTERS, an autobiographical film about a twenty-something Korean gal named Samantha who lived in California and, in a bizarre twist...

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Saturday movie review: Heart of a Dog

I was offered the opportunity to review a film that's far out of my wheelhouse, that buzz word of late regarding one's area of interest or expertise. I may not be an expert, but it's typically independent dramas or black comedies that you'll find me reviewing and writing about here each Saturday.

heart of a dog film

I decided to stretch a bit, though, when offered a screener link for the documentary HEART OF A DOG, artist Laurie Anderson's personal...

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A Brave Heart, plus GRAND Social No. 174 link party for grandparents

A Brave Heart

A Brave Heart film

My husband and I watched an incredible documentary yesterday called A BRAVE HEART: THE LIZZIE VELASQUEZ STORY, courtesy a free, no-obligation screener from the filmmakers. It's the amazing, heartbreaking, inspiring...

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Saturday movie review: Mavis!

Most folks are familiar with Aretha Franklin and her impact on the music scene—and the hearts and souls of listeners—for generation upon generation. It seems not as many folks may know as much about her contemporary, though: the equally soulful singer Mavis Staples.

mavis! documentary

The documentary MAVIS! is about to change all that, introducing younger generations to the inimitable powerhouse and...

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Saturday movie review: Cyber-Seniors

I do most of my connecting with my grandsons and their mama (my daughter) in various long-distance manners, most of which are online or via FaceTime. So I fully understand the value of being online and the importance of helping seniors get online.

Which is why I believe the documentary CYBER-SENIORS should be viewed by anyone who has an elderly parent or other loved one who could connect with friends and family online but has been hesitant to learn how to do it.

Today, though, I'm actually with my grandsons and their mama—visiting them in the desert rather than seeing pictures online or chit-chatting over FaceTime—so this movie review must be I can get on with the visiting. Here goes:

Cyber-Seniors documentary

Bare bones, bottom line: CYBER-SENIORS is super! And the poignant...

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Saturday movie review: Alive Inside

I shared a video a few years ago here on Grandma's Briefs of an elderly nursing home resident who amazingly comes out of the fog of dementia when headphones connected to an iPod are placed on his head. ALIVE INSIDE is the full documentary of that magical moment as well as others experienced by several dementia and Alzheimer's patients when given the opportunity to once again hear beloved tunes from days long gone. Joyous moments that prove music is far more powerful than pharmaceuticals.

Alive Inside documentary

In ALIVE INSIDE—winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award (Documentary)—filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett follows social worker and founder of Music & Memory, Dan Cohen, as he brings music to nursing home residents, via iPods and headphones. The results...

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Saturday movie review: Bing Crosby Rediscovered

The holiday season is upon us, and no movie — or song — encapsulates Christmastime better than WHITE CHRISTMAS. This review isn't about that movie or song; it's about the man who brought both to life and placed them forever in our hearts: Bing Crosby.

Bing Crosby Rediscovered 

BING CROSBY REDISCOVERED, an American Masters presentation, premieres...

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Saturday movie review: 'The Boomer List'

You've surely heard the news many times in the last year or so: The last of the baby boomers turn 50 this year! In celebration of that cultural milestone comes THE BOOMER LIST from filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

The Boomer List

Officially titled for its PBS airing American Masters: The Boomer List, this engaging documentary...

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