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  Female Film Critics 24/365  Recent Blog Posts

FEAR STREET – Review by Maitland McDonagh

Based on young-adult powerhouse novelist R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books and pitched somewhere between homage and pastiche, the three-segment Fear Street is much ado about nothing, an ostensible tribute to horror movies of the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s that amounts to little more than a bunch of shallow shout-outs to movies that helped redefine the conventions of mainstream horror movies.

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PIG – Review by Diane Carson

Writer/director Michael Sarnoski’s feature Pig is a meditative, cinematic poem on loneliness, love, and loss. It unfolds through a powerful blend of hallucinatory, surrealistic scenes juxtaposed with realistic, unnerving confrontations. Expressionistic lighting and emotionally evocative sound add to the impact of a presentation teeming with food and nature metaphors, all enhanced by minimal, yet consequential dialogue.

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THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS – Review by Diane Carson

Thanks to Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw’s documentary, the door is slightly cracked open on northern Italy’s secretive world of nighttime quests for precious Alba truffles. Not that the filmmakers found themselves welcomed by the few octogenarians who hunt by night in places known only to them. In fact, these two spent more time building trust with the two central experts, 88-year-old Carlo and 84-year-old Aurelio, than it took to shoot the film.

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FOR MADMEN ONLY – Review by Leslie Combemale

For comedy nerds, those who stand in front of a crowd and those that applaud them, For Madmen Only is a fascinating look at an unsung (and often unhinged) hero of improvisation. Delivered creatively, it achieves a good balance of honesty and respect for an innovator who, through his work, has helped many achieve their dreams of stardom, and in so doing, has made the world a funnier place.

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TITANE (Cannes Film Fest 2021) – Review by Moira Sullivan

Julia Ducournau has created a powerful iconic film, Titane, the Palm d’Or winner of the 74th Cannes Film Festival, where the human body is taken for a ride within realms of ambiguity. It stands out among the films in this year’s feature film competition because of its cinematic gestalt of a cyborgian split in gender expression.

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AILEY – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

Filmmaker Jamila Wignot has such command of her art that she’s been able to make a documentary in such sympathy with its subject, Alvin Ailey, that we feel as though we understand him from the inside out. This quasi-experimental film that pieces together historical footage, archival footage of Ailey’s works and press interviews, reminiscences of people in his life, and a present-day dance in the making presents a biography unlike any I have ever seen.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 23, 2021: PLAYING WITH SHARKS: THE VALERIE TAYLOR STORY

Valerie Taylor started diving with sharks back when, as archival footage reveals, it was considered droll to refer to her as a “mermaid” who was there to support and presumably fawn over the male divers. But based on what we learn of her in Sally Aitken’s entertaining documentary Playing with Sharks, it seems likely that if Taylor ever heard that description, she probably rolled her eyes and left the guys eating her bubbles.

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Opening July 19 to July 25, 2021- Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists highlights movies made by and about women. With a vigilant eye toward current releases, we maintain an interactive record of films that are pertinent to our interests. Be they female-made or female-centric productions, they are films that represent a wide range of women’s stories and present complex female characters. As such, they are movies that will most likely be reviewed on AWFJ.org and will qualify for consideration for our annual EDA Awards, celebrating exceptional women working in film behind and in front of the camera.

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NEVER GONNA SNOW AGAIN – Review by Maitland McDonagh

Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert’s slyly pretty fable in which an interloper’s healing frees members of a miserable community from their various repressions and discontents, is slyly funny–no belly laughs, just an accumulation of weird and unexpected digressions that offset the film’s pervasive atmosphere of isolation, loneliness and slow suffocation by social conventions.

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