• I’m a big fan of Studio Ghibli. I mean, I’m not a “have a Totoro tattoo-roed on my torso” enthusiast, but you’re quite likely to find me at the Alamo Drafthouse in April. The theater is one of several screening classics from the best animation studio not associated with a rodent as part of the annual Studio Ghibli Fest. My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind are all part of the celebration this year. So much for April being the cruellest month! I guess the T.S. in T.S. Eliot stands for “Totoro Sucks.”
  • Let’s talk about sex, baby. I mean, “let’s” in the colloquial sense. Please don’t actually talk sex at me. Instead, head down to the Ruth Sokolof Theater to catch All This Panic, which is screening on Tuesday, April 10 at 7 pm as a collaboration between Film Streams and the Omaha Teen Council. The film explores the lives of seven teenage girls who are coming of age in New York City, which is the safest place to come of age if the only other option is inside a Scientology compound. The movie is a described as a mix of “portraiture and verite” and will be followed by a panel discussion on empowerment and sexual health. Parents will be there, in case you were worried. Film Streams encourages a lot of important discussions, but this has to be among the most important, as Douglas County has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the nation. Honest, open dialogue that is not shame-filled or intimidating is urgently needed. I wish I was surprised that an art house cinema is doing a better job of that than public schools are.
  • Also in April, Film Streams is gonna school you on funny ladies. That is to say, the next offering in Courses, seminars led by Film Streams Education Director Diana Martinez, PhD, will be held on Saturdays from April 14 to May 12. The next installment is The Comedienne and will explore the relationship between women and comedy from its pre-cinema roots all the way to Tiffany Haddish, who is going to make me zip-line pee myself when I see her in concert soon here. Head to filmstreams.org for more information. Considering that women in comedy are still facing ignorant derision, it seems like the perfect time to explore their deep, rich history. Finally, laugher and learning are combining in a way that has nothing to do with Betsy DeVos.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly podcast, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:40 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 on Wednesdays and follow him on Twitter.

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