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                • Investment in efficient invoicing software for small business is a huge stepping stone to the unleashed success of small businesses. The automated accounting software considerably minimizes human efforts and errors in creating time-consuming physical bills and increases the efficiency of timely payments. So, keeping everything in mind, accounting software is the most preferred option nowadays. 

                  The market is overwhelming with numerous small business accounting software, with each of them catering to specific business requirements. It seems a Herculean task to select the apt one for your small business. Don't worry. Here are a few tips to help you select the right software for your business.

                  1.  Effortless Tax Calculation: Beyond bill generation, and maintaining payment records, the best invoicing software also holds an incredible capability to calculate the taxes. Also, the software must leverage modern technologies as Analytics to generate meaningful reports on the taxes.

                  2. Multi-Lingual and Multiple Currencies Accepting: The clients are not limited to a particular region. Rather, they belong to many locations, speak different languages, and deal in numerous currencies. While such a client is encountered through the business, you should not feel trapped-in a currency barrier. 

                  The right accounting software should be such that multiple currencies are accepted, and the corresponding calculations are done in a blink of an eye.

                  3. Secure: Accounting software contains the clients' confidential data. From their bank account details to transaction history with your business, all are stored in the software databases.

                  Strong security protection is, thus, required to safeguard all the sensitive client-information. Great invoicing software for small businesses is such that it prevents the confidential account data from all the unlawful breaches and invasions.

                  4.  Suits the Industry-Specific Requirements: Different industries have different accounting requirements. A small business might receive payments from multiple clients at a time, whereas some might receive payments from the same clients at a regular interval. Similarly, there are various businesses, with different payment structures, all of which cannot be catered by single accounting software. 

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                        I can't remember the last time I saw a mainstream film as afraid of its own best self as "An American Pickle." 

                        Adapted by Simon Rich from his four-part serialized New Yorker story "Sell Out," directed by cinematographer Brandon Trost, and anchored by Seth Rogen's performance in two roles, the movie follows a time-traveling Jewish immigrant as he meets his assimilated American great-great-grandson in present-day Brooklyn. Ben, a pampered 21st century Internet denizen who could be Rogen's own self-caricature, confronts his great-great-grandfather Herschel Greenbaum, a resourceful, man with a hot temper and Golem fists: "Fiddler on the Roof"'s Tevye with anger management issues, and without the songs. 

                        The narrative spine is a Rip Van Winkle story—a versatile template that encompasses everything from "While You Were Sleeping" to "Iceman." Herschel immigrates to New York with his beloved wife (Sarah Snook), lands a job killing rats in Williamsburg pickle factory, falls into a brine tub, and wakes up 100 years later. Buildings touch the sky. Carriages are horseless. Pictures and words fly through the air. His closest relative is Ben, an orphaned, book-smart city kid with soft hands. Ben can't speak Yiddish, never goes to temple, and sits at his desk all day making apps.

                        Herschel tries to earn $200,000 as an independent artisanal pickle-maker in order to buy and restore a neglected cemetery where his wife and descendants are buried. Meanwhile, Ben—who's been burdened with contrived reasons to hate Herschel—tries to sabotage him. Herschel bounces back. Ben knocks him down. Herschel rises up, Herschel goes down. Ben has regrets, Ben has no regrets, Ben has regrets again. And so on. You know these warring men will make peace. It's not the kind of film where they'd keep battling until one destroyed the other. 

                        Here's the thing, though: "An American Pickle" didn't need the contrivances that fill up its midsection like a scoop of schmaltz between hearty slices of homemade bread. It was already a dialogue between past and present that was bound to end in reconciliation, or at least a wary truce. And it was already expressing its themes in a straightforward, affecting way, through Rogen's performances. It didn't need more reasons for us to give it our attention. We were already giving it. 

                        "An American Pickle" is charming and moving whenever it is content to be a two-man play. That's where the dramatic and thematic action happens. And it happens mainly through Rogen's dual performance. 

                        This is not a virtuoso star turn. Rogen is not technically facile enough to turn Herschel into a "Wow, I can't believe that was Seth Rogen" set of performances. He's no Meryl Streep when it comes to accents, and he's no Daniel Day-Lewis when it comes to transforming himself into a character from another century who has no access to his emotional interior and would have no reason to think he needed any. 

                        But has a firm grasp on the idea of Herschel, the feeling, the fantasy, the longing that he represents. He gets this man. This man is the great, great grandfather of the Jewish American subconscious, with his cap and wool clothes and mud-stained boots and huge beard and fists that lay men out cold. 

                        Rogen gets Ben, too, because Rogen is Ben with more money, and an entertainer's instinct. Rogen makes Hollywood films and does voices for cartoons. He lives in a big house with a refrigerator, air conditioning, and a soft bed. He drives a horseless carriage. And he's great on Twitter. The film might be the self-lacerating dream of a successful writer who looked at his life and wondered what his ancestors would think of it. When Rogen faces Rogen, the scenes are charged with self-loathing, but also an awareness of self-loathing as something rooted in culture and conditioning. At the same time, though, these scenes are suffused with respect for the multigenerational journey that transformed Herschel into Ben.  

                        A similar mix of recrimination, pride, hero worship and self-mockery is present in Rich's source material, "Sell Out." Rich's story doesn't have any of the rise-and-fall stuff that pads out and diminishes "An American Pickle." It's confined to Herschel's perspective and validates his withering view of modern life. The old world peasant describes his great-grandson's dependence on high technology in these terms: "The computer is a magical box that provides endless pleasure for free ... When the box stops working—or even just briefly slows down—[a man] becomes so enraged that he curses our God, the one who gave us life and brought us forth from Egypt." His great-grandson confesses that he played 2 Live Crew at his bar mitzvah, hasn't been to synagogue in years, and once pretended to be a Christian in college to get free barbecue. 

                        Still more fascinating are the quiet actorly duets at the end of the movie. The story gradually drifts away from America and is pulled back toward the old country. Herschel and Ben start to recognize themselves in each other. We, and they, realize that Ben always existed within Herschel, and that Herschel's spirit lives on through Ben. 

                        It's here that the filmmakers dare to go deep without retreating into shallow conventions. "An American Pickle" trusts Rogen to carry the material and its meanings in the simplest way: by letting him play against himself, often in closeup. This dual performance is the best, purest thing he's ever done as an artist, in front of or behind the camera. There are maybe a dozen closeups of Rogen as Herschel and Rogen as Ben so honest and vulnerable that they wipe the smirk off the film's face and suggest that, despite his self-deprecating shenanigans, there's a part of Rogen that wants to be the millennial stoner dude's answer to Barbra Streisand. He has the ambition and talent to at least try it. What's missing is the nerve.

                        At its best, "An American Pickle" is a clever but accessible dialogue/argument between emblems of Jewish manhood. That the good parts are so distinctive and the bad parts so forgettable makes the experience more frustrating than watching a film that's just bad. This movie is the funny friend who thinks they need to be "on" all the time, even when baring their soul.

                        Available tomorrow on HBO Max. 

                        By: Matt Zoller Seitz
                        Posted: August 5, 2020, 1:24 pm

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                        Cinema Femme, the online publication devoted to elevating the voice of the female film experience, is hosting its inaugural Short Film Festival from Thursday, August 6th, through Sunday, August 9th, via the Seed&Spark platform. Among its line-up of virtual Q&As and events (which you can find here) is a special panel entitled the Black Female Filmmaker Renaissance. Rebecca Martin, publisher of Cinema Femme, wanted to express her site's solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by holding this panel to discuss the powerful cinematic stories by Black female filmmakers. Chaz Ebert, publisher of, which is sponsoring the festival, will serve as the moderator of this free panel, which will take place at 7pm CT on Saturday, August 8th, here.

                        Here are a complete list of the bios for each remarkable participant of the panel, in alphabetical order...


                        Chaz Ebert, moderator

                        Chaz Ebert is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of, the preeminent movie review site co-founded with her husband, the late Roger Ebert. She also produces television and movies at Ebert Productions and Black Leopard Productions, and appears in the film “Life Itself” about her late husband. She heads the Ebertfest Film Festival, now in its 22nd year, where she awards the Golden Thumb and Ebert Humanitarian Awards to filmmakers who exhibit an unusually compassionate view of the world. (These are also awarded at the Toronto and Chicago International Film Festivals.) Her civic interests include programs to help break the glass ceiling for women and people of color, and to provide education and arts for women, children and families. 

                        She is the president of the Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation where she supports programs with a global interest in encouraging empathy, kindness, compassion and forgiveness. She has provided grants to support films with strong social justice themes, and also encourages and supports emerging writers, filmmakers and technologists with her endowment of scholarships, internships or awards at the Sundance Film Festival, Film Independent Spirit Awards - Project Involve, the University of Illinois Ebert Fellowships, the Hawaii International Film Festival-Young Critics Program, the Telluride Ebert/TIFF University Seminars, the Chicago International Film Festival - Ebert Director Awards, and the Columbia College Links Journalism Awards in conjunction with the Chicago Urban League. 

                        Previously as an attorney she was named Lawyer of the Year by the Constitutional Rights Foundation and has also practiced as a litigator in various fields of law including environmental, civil rights and family law, and employment, antitrust and intellectual property law. She is a life trustee of the Art Institute and serves on the boards of the Lyric Opera, the Abraham Lincoln Library Foundation, After School Matters,  the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab (formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), and the Honorary Board of Family Focus.  Some of her professional affiliations include the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, the Chicago Film Critics Association and the African-American Film Critics Association. 

                        Besides lecturing on film-related matters, she has lectured on Caregiving, and Patient Advocacy with topics such as “Sometimes Hope is a Strategy.” 


                        Ashley O'Shay, panelist

                        Ashely O'Shay is a DP and documentarian based in Chicago, IL, whose work focuses on illuminating marginalized voices. She has produced work for national brands, including Lifetime, Ford Motor Company, Boost Mobile, KQED, and Dr. Martens. Most recently, she filmed the final episode of Dr. Martens’ “Tough As You” series, starring the band Phony Ppl, accruing over 65K views on social and web. In 2019, she co-produced the Chicago episode of KQED’s award-winning series “If Cities Could Dance,” which became one of their most viewed episodes to date. 

                        Her work also appeared in the critically-acclaimed Lifetime docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly." Currently, Ashley is directing "Unapologetic," an intimate look into the Movement for Black Lives in Chicago through the experiences of two young Black feminists. She is currently an associate with Kartemquin Films.


                        Channing Godfrey Peoples, panelist

                        Channing Godfrey Peoples is a Writer/Director. She is an MFA graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and one of Filmmaker Magazine “25 New Faces of Independent Film“ for 2018. As an African-American woman, her films are character-driven stories focusing on the resilience of the human spirit, often featuring black women at a turning point in their lives. She is a Sundance Fellow, Austin Film Society Fellow, SFFilm/Westridge Foundation Fellow, King Family Foundation Recipient and has served as a Time Warner Artist-in-Residence. 

                        Her short film, "Red," is a DGA Student Jury Award Winner, among other honors. Channing wrote two episodes on Season 3 of "Queen Sugar" (OWN Network). She also wrote and directed a short film, "Doretha's Blues," that was made possible by the support of Refinery 29 and Level Forward in their Shatterbox Anthology series. Most recently, her feature film debut, "Miss Juneteenth," premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and won the Louis BlackLone Star” Award at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival. "Peoples trusts her performers enough to let their presence and their wordless interactions convey the power of their connection," wrote Christy Lemire in her review of the film. You can read Nell Minow's interview with "Miss Juneteenth" star Nicole Beharie here.


                        Numa Perrier, panelist

                        Born in Haiti and raised in small town USA, Numa Perrier has emerged as an exciting voice in the film/TV landscape.  Her early work includes starring in and writing the hit web series, "The Couple," which scored a deal at HBO.

                        She co-founded the pioneering streaming platform Black&Sexy TV serving as a creator, director, and showrunner on over a dozen series including "Roomieloverfriends" (produced by Issa Rae) and "Hello Cupid" (co-created by Lena Waithe). She then moved on to her feature film directorial debut, "Jezebel," which premiered at SXSW 2019 and is distributed on Netflix via Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing. In her SXSW review of the film, Monica Castillo wrote, "Since 'Jezebel' is set in the late '90s, this is very different than the cam girl industry of today, and the archaic tech makes for some hilarious comedic setups. More importantly than laughing at clunky keyboards and video buffering delays in chat rooms, is the movie’s focus on Tiffany’s experiences in these two worlds: the peach-lit bonding scenes between her and her sister at home, and the cool, artificial lights at work where women fake pleasure for unseen viewers."

                        Numa is the recipient of the Best Feature and Best Director Awards at the American Black Film Festival, is a Root100 alumni and is also counted as one of the all women directing team on "Queen Sugar." Numa recently signed on to direct her first studio film, "The Perfect Find" with Netflix starring Gabrielle Union. In front of the camera, Numa recurred as a guest star on Showtime’s irreverent comedy "SMILF" in an critically acclaimed story arc about immigrants.  Numa is currently starring in the surreal thriller "Fuzzyhead" alongside Rain Phoenix, and is in development on numerous projects including "TOXIC," an erotic thriller series and her follow-up feature, "Blood Mother," via her boutique production arm House of Numa. 


                        Christine Swanson, panelist

                        Christine Swanson (director | screenwriter), is a Detroit native, visionary storyteller and multiple award-winning filmmaker. She earned her MFA in Film from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, one of the nation’s top-ranked graduate film programs. CNN identified Christine as one of the most promising filmmakers to emerge from NYU’s graduate film program since Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Oliver Stone, and Spike Lee (Christine’s NYU directing teacher). Christine also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame, double majoring in Communications and Japanese.

                        Christine has developed, written and/or directed movie projects for various companies including HBO Films, Magnolia Pictures, State Street Pictures, TV One, and Faith Filmworks, her own independent film company. Christine has written and/or directed numerous award-winning feature films, television episodes, commercials and short films in her career. Some of her award-winning titles include, "Two Seasons" (winner HBO Short Film Competition, Sundance selection), "All About You" (winner Audience Choice Award Chicago International Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize Hollywood Black Film Festival, Festival Award at the Pan African Film Festival, and the Film of the Year Award at the Santa Barbara African Heritage Film Series) starring Renee Elise Goldsberry, Terron Brooks, and Debbie Allen; "All About Us" (invited to the prestigious Heartland Film Festival, The Chicago International Film Festival, and the Cannes Festival du Film Panafricain) starring Boris Kodjoe, Ryan Bathe, and Ruby Dee; and "Woman Thou Art Loosed" (Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Blockbuster Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the American Black Film Festival) starring Kimberly Elise and Loretta Devine.

                        In 2015, Christine received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Television Motion Picture for "For the Love of Ruth." Christine also directed three original cable movie premieres for TV One entitled, "To Hell and Back" (starring Ernie Hudson and Vanessa Bell Calloway), "For the Love of Ruth" (starring Denise Boutte, Loretta Devine, Gary Dourdan, and James Pickens, Jr.) and "Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story" (starring Teyonah Parris, Darius McCrary, and Gary Dourdan) which broke network ratings as the most watched original movie in network history.

                        Recently, Christine directed episodes of "Chicago PD" and "FBI" for Dick Wolf Films. Her episode of Chicago PD was rated the Best Episode of Season 6. Christine also recently directed the hugely popular film "The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel" for A&E Networks. "It's called 'The Clark Sisters,'" Nell Minow noted in her three-and-a-half star review, "but this movie belongs to Aunjanue Ellis, who gives a dazzling performance as the mother, choir director, and manager of five daughters who became the most successful female gospel group in history, with Grammys and crossovers to the R&B charts." You can read Nell's interview with Swanson and Ellis here.


                        Sandrel Nicole Young, panelist

                        Sandrel Nicole Young (Director, Writer), also known in the filmmaking community as “Sanicole,” is a writer/director/producer from Chicago, IL, whose films have screened in prominent film festivals in the country and broadcast nationally for programs including Aspire TV’s African American Short Film Showcase. 

                        She’s also had several films debut at the Gene Siskel Film Center’s “Black Harvest Film Festival,” including her very first short film entitled "Loose Change," "The What Factor," "Text Tone" and lastly "Training Wheels," whose trailer caught the attention of comedian and executive producer Lil Rel Howery. The short film received a lot of online attention and successfully screened in 16 festivals across the country including the American Black Film Festival (2019). Her films "Side Effects" and "The Color of Acceptance" were also aired on TV One and Badami Productions’ African American Short Films Showcase, a nationally syndicated program for filmmakers of color. Sanicole continues to work in Chicago’s filmmaking industry on hit shows such as Amazon Prime’s "Patriot," "Chicago Fire" and "The Chi." 

                        The Cinema Femme Short Film Festival's Black Female Filmmaker Renaissance Panel, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 7pm CT on Saturday, August 8th, here. For the full festival line-up, click here.

                        By: The Editors
                        Posted: August 5, 2020, 3:04 pm

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                        The latest sitcom series that NBC’s Peacock has taken from overseas (after “Intelligence” from last month) is “Hitmen,” a comedy that mixes pitch-black humor with rapid, dry banter between the all-star duo of Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. Americans might recognize the two as the original hosts for “The Great British Baking Show” (one of their many ventures since starting as a duo in the '90s), and it’s amusing alone to see them here as neurotic daytime killers, even if their comic scenarios here can be big misses or big hits. Thanks to their always reliable chemistry, “Hitmen” is funny enough with its dark comedy that makes for equally light viewing. 

                        In the series created by Joe Markham and Joe Parham, Giedroyc and Perkins play two women hired by the mysterious Mr. K, who is unseen. They travel around in a van that only looks like a service vehicle, but the inside is covered in stains of blood, handcuffs, chains, various weapons, evidence of the various targets they’ve captured and sometimes killed in their van. Each episode of “Hitmen” checks in with Jamie (Giedroyc) and Fran (Sue Perkins) as they tackle a new assignment, while the lighter sides of their personalities start to peek out and almost compromise the mission. It's apparent that they’re good shots, and while Jamie is slightly sillier than Fran, they are both skilled at a business that’s shown to be fully of kooky targets. 


                        Markham and Parham have created an animated, small world where the behavior is unmistakably childish, especially when they go up against their rival hitman Liz (Tonya Cornelisse) and her much friendlier associate Charles (Asim Chaudhry). It’s common for a lot of the episodes to base themselves around frantic, doomed characters who are silly by design (like the guy brought out to the woods who fears bugs more than death), and to then mine that tension for 20 minutes, getting sporadic laughs out of the surprising casual approach Fran and Jamie have to their work. In a testament to the show’s tone, it can get away with killing off naive supporting characters, sometimes with a point blank shot, without making us turn on Fran and Jamie. It helps, too, that everyone on set is committed to the parody of the story, like how Sian Clifford steals a lot of moments in episode two, looking like she simply walked on set to make fun of a greedy corporate shill archetype.   

                        Performing and editing comedy is mighty difficult, and yet easygoing is one of the best words to describe “Hitmen.” That’s not a bad thing. It’s very straightforward with its premise, as episodes usually feature the two friends trying to corral their latest assigned kill, and getting close to blowing it. Most episodes feature five characters tops, including the main women, and raise the stakes with some punchy violence. Because it’s so dialogue-driven, the droll parts of the scripts can make for some drier episodes than others—even if the series is committed to a strange bits like a deadly soy allergy or a murderous woman who turns people into dolls, sometimes an episode can feel more inert than it’s been designed. 

                        It doesn’t help that the story doesn’t build to much, though it does have funny premises and set pieces—there’s even a random, full-on Simon and Garfunkel visual reference for the fun of it, complete with a music cue for “The Boxer.” Only by the last episode does "Hitmen" seem like it’s adding up to something, an anticlimactic big reveal that shrugs off a greater sense of interesting world-building. It’s that looseness that sometimes backfires on "Hitmen," making the show easy to watch and be amused by, but also a challenge to be truly invested in. 

                        All six episodes screened for review.

                        By: Nick Allen
                        Posted: August 5, 2020, 1:25 pm

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                        With so many enticing streaming options at our disposal, we asked critics and producers which are some of their favorites. Three documentaries produced by Ellis Goodman were at the top of his own list and they are all currently available on (Amazon) Prime Video. They are: "Louder Than a Bomb," "Mulberry Child" and "Art Paul of Playboy: The Man Behind the Bunny." Goodman, the former chairman of the board of the Chicago International Film Festival, was always interested in the creative side of the entertainment field, but came to it after a full business background in public accounting, the beverage alcohol industry and commercial real estate. He rose in the 1970s to become an investor/manager in the music industry (with the GTO Records label), film production (with J. Lee Thompson's 1978 drama, "The Greek Tycoon," starring Anthony Quinn) and distribution (for Peter Weir's 1975 masterpiece, "Picnic at Hanging Rock," a film Roger inducted into his Great Movies series). 

                        Goodman was also a producer of the Broadway show, “End of the Rainbow,” Peter Quilter's musical dramatization of Judy Garland's final months, which served as the source material for Rupert Goold's "Judy," the biopic that earned its star Reneé Zellweger a Best Actress Oscar this past February. Goodman served as an executive producer on the film, and is currently one of the producers of the new stage production of "An American in Paris."

                        His numerous published works include two novels (Bear Any Burden and The Keller Papers) and a comprehensive work of journalism, in addition to a blog and various magazine articles, and a compilation of short stories (Bookends) that he is currently completing. Goodman was invested as Commander of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 1996, and has served on the Board of American National Bank, The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, The Chicago Sister Cities International Program, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Chicago International Film Festival and Chicago Botanic Garden.

                        Here are his recommendations...

                        imageLouder Than a Bomb

                        LOUDER THAN A BOMB

                        Now viewers can stream three of the essential films that Goodman helped make a reality, beginning with Jon Siskel's and Greg Jacobs' 2010 prize-winner "Louder Than a Bomb," which explores the lives of four Chicago-area high school poetry teams as they go about competing in the world's biggest youth poetry slam (you can stream it here). Roger awarded the film three-and-a-half stars, writing, "Siskel and Jacobs focus on the performances, which are inspiring and electrifying. Their film left me wondering why American television must be so gutless and shallow. If these kids and others like them were programmed against "America Idol" or "Dancing With the Stars," the shabbiness of those shows would be placed in dramatic contrast. Here are real performers with real feelings and important things to say."

                        We invited Jon Siskel to Ebertfest with his film and its crew and their exuberance on stage spilled over into the audience. Here's my intro to the screening...

                        ...followed by a post-screening Q&A (with Roger onstage)...

                        ...and some unforgettable performances.

                        imageMulberry Child

                        MULBERRY CHILD

                        Goodman was an associate producer and executive producer on the film, and had those same roles the following year on Susan Morgan Cooper's 2011 acclaimed documentary "Mulberry Child" (you can stream it here). It chronicles the story of Jian Ping, who grew up in Socialist China and learns to assimilate to a capitalist world when she migrates to the United States, while feeling disconnected to her American-born daughter. In his three-and-a-half star review, Roger hailed the film as "powerful and touching" that tells a universal story about "immigrant parents and children, and how American culture can swamp family traditions, and make parents and children culturally unrecognizable to one another." 


                        Most recently, Goodman was an executive producer of Jian Ping's own directorial effort, "Art Paul of Playboy: The Man Behind the Bunny," which premiered earlier this year. The film is an exuberant profile of Paul, the founding art director of Playboy who created the publication's iconic bunny logo and served as its visual guru for three decades. According to Frank Scheck's review in The Hollywood Reporter, the film features "snappy narration by Chicago journalist Rick Kogan" while ensuring that Paul and his wife Suzanne Seed remain a dominant presence throughout the film. Paul's "warm personality and sense of humor are on ample display in this engaging documentary that makes a strong case for his influence and importance," writes Scheck. You can stream the film here.

                        By: Chaz Ebert
                        Posted: August 5, 2020, 9:15 pm

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