Peter Miller

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Peter Miller - Thursday 19th June 2008 at Daytime Emmy Awards Hollywood, CA

Peter Miller

Sacco And Vanzetti Review


Good
To some extent, popular movements and agitators rely on their martyrs to keep the juices flowing. History is littered with examples of causes that languished in apathy and obscurity until blood was spilled, whether in a public square during a demonstration or inside the stone walls of an execution chamber. So it is with the notorious 1927 execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two most likely innocent men who appeared to have been framed by an establishment fearful of both immigrants of the "wrong" kind and any sort of popular social justice movement. Seemingly good men both, probably guilty of nothing more than political activism, they would serve as standard-bearers for much of what was wrong about America during its period of greatest upheaval, when the promise of the world's most powerful democracy quite often corrupted and left for dead.

Peter Miller's Sacco and Vanzetti could have been the purest bathos, being as it is the moving story of how two Italian immigrants came to America looking for a better life, only to find racial prejudice and railroaded justice. A producer on some of Ken Burns' landmark docu-series, Miller has a firebrand's sense of injustice -- more often muffled in Burns' down-the-middle films -- which he lets show here from the start in no uncertain terms, but doesn't completely allow to wrest the story away from him. That is, the desire to make political points is very much in evidence here (why else to place lefty historian and People's History of the United States author Howard Zinn as one of the primary talking heads?) but it doesn't often overwhelm Miller's need as a documentarian to record the truth in some unvarnished fashion. Not often. There are times, of course, when the indignation and need to place Sacco and Vanzetti in the hallowed hall of left-wing martyrs takes over completely, as when one interviewee states that the story should be referred to as "The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti."

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Mambo Italiano Review


Very Good
The only thing worse than being simultaneously gay and Italian, it seems, is... well... apparently nothing is worse than being both gay and Italian. Across this thin thread, the story of Mambo Italiano is strung. You see, Angelo is Italian. And gay. And that, if you follow me, is bad.

Still with me? Good. Now you're fully equipped to grasp the dramatic tension of this comedic enterprise from EdTV writer Émile Gaudreault. If you're getting the sense that this is a flimsy flick, you're right on target. This movie falls into the classic trap of reducing the depth and complexity of one culture to its lowest common denominator in an effort to liberate another culture from stereotype.

Continue reading: Mambo Italiano Review

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Peter Miller Movies

Mambo Italiano Movie Review

Mambo Italiano Movie Review

The only thing worse than being simultaneously gay and Italian, it seems, is... well... apparently...

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