From 1999–2001, Mandana Jones played the iconic lesbian inmate Nikki Wade on Bad Girls, the British TV show now being rebroadcast on Logo (AfterEllen.com’s parent company). These days, Jones has a 2-year-old son and says she’s more qualified to review children’s TV shows like Postman Pat than recent films, but she offered several awards based on movies she’s seen in the past five years.
Favorite Movie: "House of Sand and Fog. I was just sobbing with it. I loved the pace and thought the performances were quite staggering. It was about hopes and love and lost love, and just the agony that is life, really. I was so affected by it."
Actor I Most Want to Work With: "I am a great admirer of Philip Seymour Hoffman. I would love to act with him and wouldn’t miss him if he was appearing in town. I saw his play Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train twice."
Actor/Writer I Most Admire: "Ricky Gervais. He is a f—ing genius. I came to know him through The Office, and he’s great in Extras too. He takes the viewer on a journey: One minute you’re racked by the mundanity of the human experience — how difficult and tragic and impossible it is, how predictably unsatisfying — and the next moment you’re laughing at how totally hilarious it is. He never sells out, ever, ever, ever, and there’s a real poignancy and perceptiveness about the work he does."
Favorite Love Scene: "I can’t think of any man-woman or woman-woman love scene I’ve thought was particularly stunning, but I’ve never forgotten Moonlight Mile, in which Susan Sarandon goes through a fantastic range of emotions related to her daughter’s death. You can watch something like that between a mother and child, and it will get to you so much more because it’s so universal."
Out filmmaker Pratibha
Parmar directed Nina’s Heavenly Delights and
told AfterEllen.com she’s currently "developing a number of screenplays
with exciting writers." In a return to her roots as a documentary
filmmaker, she’s also working on a feature documentary about the Pulitzer
Prize–winning writer Alice Walker.
Best Director: Sean Penn for Into the Wild
Most Emotional Film of 2007: "The Kite Runner was the most emotional because it was honest and
moving. The child actors were brave and stunning in their emotional
vulnerability, and the story unleashed my tears."
Most Overrated Film: Atonement
Most Powerful Recent Scene: "The final resolution scene in The Lives of Others was beautifully
executed in an understated and unexpected way. This one scene gave poignant
meaning to a lonely, quiet life of a former spy whose one small act of kindness
had saved a writer’s life."
2007 Film I Wish I’d Made: "Into the Wild, but with a female lead. Coming soon!"
Most Welcome Trend: "The most welcome trend was for films
with political edge and substance but nonetheless good entertainment.
The writing, directing and acting in films like Michael Clayton, In the Valley
of Elah, Grace Is Gone,
and The Lives of Others was
top-notch, quality stuff. A real cinematic pleasure."