short takes (1)

Speaking of "Americana," the New York Film Festival promises an evening of just that on Oct. 9 and 10, with new shorts by Evelyn Purcell, Robert Mandel, and Jackie Reynal (the latter starring the filmmaker's husband, film exhibitor Sid Geffen). But the festival will have to work hard to surpass the program of Americana screened there last weekend. The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, by connie Field, is a warm, instructive, and endearingly funny look at women at work during World War II, interspersing contemporary interviews with period newsreels -- including propaganda footage that reveals astonishingly sexist and racist attitudes. On the same bill was Pat Ferrero's lovely Quilts in Women's Lives, about an American pastime that is often overlooked because it falls into the cranny between "arts" and "crafts." Since documentaries rarely receive commercial engagements, it's good to see the New York festival continuing its commitment to the form. And one hopes these fine efforts will somehow manage to be seen far and wide.

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