'Criticism is the only thing that stands between the audience and advertising.' - Pauline Kael


Dr David Archibald, University Of Glasgow
Film International, Financial Times, Cineaste

Liza Bear,
Bomb Magazine

Dan Bessie
Filmmaker and Culture Critic

Prof. Dennis Broe
Jump Cut, NY Newsday, Boston Phoenix

Dianne Brooks
The Film Files,

Lisa Collins

Benjamin Dickenson
Bright Lights Film Journal, UK

David Ehrenstein
Quarterly Review of Film and Video

Miguel Gardel
Proletaria Press

Michael Haas
Culture critic

Laura Hadden
Pacifica Radio

Gerald Horne
University Of Houston

Reynold Humphries
British Film Historian

Sikivu Hutchinson, KPFK Radio

Jan Lisa Huttner, Films For Two

Cindy Lucia
Cineaste Magazine

Pat McGilligan
Film Historian

Prairie Miller
WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network

Logan Nakyanzi
Go Left TV, Huffington Post

Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix

Steve Presence
Radical Film Network, UK

Louis Proyect

Sandy Sanders

Nancy Schiesari,
BBC, Channel 4,
Univ. of Texas, Austin

Rebecca Schiller
Culture Critic

David Spaner, Hollywood Inc.

Luis Reyes
, Arsenal Pulp Press

Christopher Trumbo
RIP, January 8, 2011

Dave Wagner
Mother Jones, Film International

Linda Z
LFC Film Club

Noah Zweig

Paul Robeson With Oakland, Ca. Shipyard Workers, 1942

Black August

So in order to best cover all bases, progressive film critics tend to consider three categories of assessment, rather than two: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The first two are self-explanatory. And the third category is reserved for movies that may have been impressively put together, but there's just something offensively anti-humanistic about them.

Stay tuned......

The Organizer

Monday, February 16, 2009


Ed Rampell Talks Progies On Burt Cohen's Roadside Radio Show: CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

: Recipient of The James Agee Cinema Circle Modern Times Award for Best Progressive Satire, is named after Charlie Chaplin, who made 1936's Modern Times and 1940's The Great Dictator. Religulous shares the award this year with War, Inc.

The Progies are the “Anti-Oscars” annually awarded by the James Agee Cinema Circle – an international group of left movie critics and historians -- for the Best Progressive Films and Filmmakers of conscience and consciousness.

1. THE TRUMBO: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE PICTURE is named after Oscar-winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, a member of the Hollywood Ten, who was imprisoned for his beliefs and refusing to inform. Trumbo helped break the Blacklist when he received screen credit for "Spartacus" and "Exodus" in 1960.


2. THE GARFIELD: The Progie Award for BEST ACTOR is named after John Garfield, who rose from the proletarian theatre to star in progressive pictures such as "Gentleman's Agreement" and "Force of Evil," only to run afoul of the Hollywood Blacklist.


3. KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For BEST ACTRESS. Named for Karen Morley, who was driven out of Hollywood in the 1930s for her leftist views, but who maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.


4. THE RENOIR: The Progie Award for BEST ANTI-WAR FILM is named after the great French filmmaker Jean Renoir, who directed the 1937 anti-militarism masterpiece "Grand Illusion."


5. THE GILLO: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE FOREIGN FILM is named after the Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo, who lensed the 1960s classics "The Battle of Algiers" and "Burn!"


6. THE DZIGA: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE DOCUMENTARY is named after the Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, who directed 1920s nonfiction films such as the "Kino Pravda" ("Film Truth") series and "The Man With the Movie Camera."


7. ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: Named after brutally slain young actress, Adrienne Shelly. For the movie this year most opposing violence against women.


8. LA PASSIONARA AWARD: For the most positive female images in a movie, and in light of the historically demeaning portrayal of women in movies


9. OUR DAILY BREAD AWARD: For the most positive and inspiring working class images in a movie this year.


10. THE ROBESON AWARD: Named after courageous performing legend, Paul Robeson. The award is for the movie that best expresses the people of color in light of the historically demeaning portrayal of them in films.


11. THE BRANDO: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE FILM ACTIVIST is named after Marlon Brando, who starred in movies such as the Black power-themed "Burn!" and 1987's anti-apartheid "A Dry White Season," and championed underdogs like the American Indian Movement offscreen.


12. THE TOMAS GUTIERREZ ALEA AWARD: Named after the late legendary Cuban filmmaker. For best depicting mass popular uprising or revolutionary transformation in a movie.


14. THE SERGEI: The Progie Award for Best Progressive LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT is named after the Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, who created Russian revolutionary classics such as 1925's "Potemkin" and 1927's "10 Days That Shook the World."


15. THE LAWSON: The Progie Award for BEST ANTI-FASCIST FILM this year, is named after screenwriter John Howard Lawson, one of the Hollywood Ten, who wrote Hollywood's first feature about the Spanish Civil War, 1938's "Blockade," with Henry Fonda, and anti-Nazi movies such as 1943's "Sahara," starring Humphrey Bogart.


16. THE MODERN TIMES: The Progie Award for Best Progressive Film SATIRE is named after Charlie Chaplin, who made 1936's "Modern Times" and 1940's "The Great Dictator."




17. THE ORSON: The Progie Award for BEST OVERLOOKED OR THEATRICALLY UNRELEASED [seen at festivals, or on TV or DVD only] Progressive Film is named after actor/director Orson Welles. After he directed the masterpiece "Citizen Kane" Welles had difficulty getting most of his other movies made.


18. THE LORENTZ: The Progie Award for Best ENVIRONMENTALIST film is named after Pare Lorentz, who directed the Depression era classic documentaries "The Plow That Broke the Plains" and "The River."


19. THE PASOLINI: The Progie Award for Best PRO-GAY RIGHTS Film is named after Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, who directed 1964's "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" and "The Decameron" and "The Canterbury Tales" in the 1970S


20. THE LENNON: The Progie Award for Best Progressive MUSICAL OR FILM ABOUT MUSIC is named after peace activist and musician John Lennon, who co-starred in the 1967 satire "How I Won the War" and the 2006 doc "The U.S. vs. John Lennon."


ELIA KAZAN HALL OF SHAME 2008: Citations for the worst anti-workingclass and right wing movies of the year.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE: For its reinforcement of the status quo on mass-es and un-Critic-call levels. And for its colonialist mentality, including refusal to honor or recognize for awards the Indian co-director Tandan Loveleen, and for not compensating the still impoverished Indian children playing impoverished Indian children in Slumdog Millionaire, while the movie amasses millions in profits.

CHE: Patronizing and exploitive artsy distortion of the real life and struggle of Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution. Cultural imperialism, alive and well at the movies.

ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED: A premeditated act of promotional propaganda masquerading as a balanced documentary. And in the service of exonerating - with a creative genius defense - the noted fugitive from justice filmmaker's rape of a drugged child.

THE LIFE BEFORE HER EYES: Orthodox family values in fake free spirit female coed Columbine comeuppance clothing. Or in other words, a woman's place is in the delivery room. Not exactly a road movie, but certainly an anti-abortion mandatory teen motherhood guilt trip. All that's missing are the pamphlet tables in the theater lobbies.

HOUSE OF THE SLEEPING BEAUTIES: A movie that might have been more aptly titled, Sexually Desirable When Drugged, the film allows lewd elderly director Vadim Glowna to star himself as molester and rapist of a series of nude adolescent slumbering sex slaves, in what may or may not be a fantasy brothel for necrophiliacs. Nothing less than a romanticized and lusty aesthetic portrayal of date rape.

DOUBT: African American mom confesses that she doesn't mind if her son is being molested by a pedophile priest, as long as he gets to graduate. Will all the mothers in the audience who have ever heard such an idea even hinted at from the lips of a fellow female parent, please raise your hands.

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON: For those black mammies still showing up on the screen, even when they're men. Include Hounddog, Nights In Rodanthe, The Secret Life Of Bees, and Miracle At St. Anna.

AN AMERICAN CAROL: Hyper-reactionary rant. And cast member John Voight, a once fine actor, for backing the insupportable Rudolph Giuliani, the left-baiter at the GOP convention, for president.


Military recruitment ads in theaters and on television.

Rick Warren's video on his church's website the week of Dec. 21st.

Mel Gibson, for his un-repented anti-Semitism.

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