Experiencing A Five Star Life – And Loving It


Traveling around the world is anyone’s perfect dream job. But what if traveling around the world meant staying at the world’s most luxurious five-star hotels? While the idea of traveling around the world isn’t a viable option for many people, immersing oneself into a film about travel works just as well. But with Hollywood’s obsession with remakes and less original stories, finding a good travel film with interesting, engaging characters and a first-class story is hard to find. That was until I came across Italian filmmaker Maria Sole Tognazzi’s A Five Star Life (Viaggio sola) that sparked my travel wanderlust once again.

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Helen Mirren’s Perfect Anti-Drunk Driving PSA


The world is full of people who make stupid choices. But driving drunk is beyond inexcusable and those who choose to do so should not be able to drive (or walk) the streets in freedom ever again. Earlier this year, Budweiser debuted an anti-drunk driving commercial featuring my favorite actor of all time, Helen Mirren. With her first class wit and humor, Mirren elegantly tears into drunk drivers in the best way possible. I have always admired Mirren for her talents both as an actor and a spokesperson. Well done, Budweiser!

A Summertime Classic of Strong Love


It’s been said before that the best films are the ones that don’t get lots of attention and “Oscar buzz” – as the film media likes to use during awards season. Such was the case when I discovered Summertime (La Belle Saison), a 2015 French romance film, through my Strong Women in.. Netflix recommendations. Like most Disney and animated films, I tend to stay away from seeing most romance films, as many are sexist in tone and treat women as if they’re “princesses in distress and can’t live or think without a man”. But Summertime changed all that on this early Christmas Day morning.

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Positive Portrayals of Women: Walgreens and “Carpe Med Diem”


I’m not sure where I saw this Walgreen’s ad before, but I love it for many reasons. Other that being fun, it’s an ad that positively promotes women living life to the fullest – regardless of age – without any worries of society bombarding them with “anti-aging” ads and basically telling women they’re not beautiful over 50. Well done, Walgreens. Hopefully, we’ll see more ads like this that celebrate women and empower them to live life to the max – even at the nude beach.

Mustang : Sisterhood in an Oppressive World

Mustangposter
On another cold Christmas weekend day, it was off to see another film that just opened at the Living Room Theaters here in downtown Portland. Directed by Deniz Gamze Erg├╝ven, Mustang centers on five orphaned sisters, Lale, Nur, Ece, Selma and Sonay, whose innocent play one summer day with some local boys sets off alarms in their rural Turkish village and with their strict, conservative grandmother and uncle. Because of this innocent play the family home becomes a prison where bars and gates guard the girls from escaping, outside pop culture influences such as computers and cell phones confiscated, girls clothing reduced to modest dresses, and teachings in cooking and homemaking become the norm. But throughout the film, a hero emerges among the sisters that makes Mustang one of the best feminist films of our time.

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Two Friends and “A Bit Naughty” Maltesers

Maltesers Jeans from 1oakfilms on Vimeo.

All of us are chocolate fanatics, especially when it comes to M&Ms® and other small bits of chocolate candy that are hard to resist. And that urge for chocolate is hilariously portrayed in this ad for UK-based Maltesers® chocolate candy. What stands out in this ad is positively showing two women (and best friends) eating chocolate and creating hilarity in their lives. The cool part is this and a few other Malteser ads were actually directed by renowned British comedy writer Victoria Piles with 1 Oak Films! It’s a thrill to discover hilarious ads directed by women filmmakers too! Now if only a television or film studio would sign these hilarious women up for a comedy show or film of their own.