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  Female Film Critics 24/365  Recent Blog Posts

MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 30, 2021: AILEY

Jamila Wignot’s captivating documentary Ailey is a welcome burst of celebration. This thoughtful chronicle of the life and work of groundbreaking, enormously talented dancer/choreographer Alvin Ailey centers Black pride, creativity, self-identity, empowerment, and achievement. And, of course, it captures the unforgettable performances that made Ailey and his company famous around the world.

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Opening July to July , 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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ENEMIES OF THE STATE – Review by Liz Braun

The beauty of documentarian Sonia Kennebeck’s Enemies of The State is watching all the intricate details of espionage suspect Matt DeHart’s story being both created and then dismantled. Someone says in the film, “There’s no way of knowing where the truth lies,” but in the latter half of the documentary, you get pretty close. As Matt DeHart would tell you, disinformation is a powerful tool in the world of espionage. Turns out it’s useful in filmmaking too.

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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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WOMEN AT MONTREAL’S 2021 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL – Report by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Mixing on demand and in-person screenings, the 25th edition ofFantasia International Film Festival (August 5 to 25) offers a smorgasbord of genre film treats, particularly for those of us with an interest in women-made and women-centred cinema. North America’s largest genre fest has been called “the most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent” by Quentin Tarantino, while Guillermo del Toro has called it “a shrine”. The women’s names associated with this year’s festival may not be as big as these cult film rock stars, don’t let that fool you – women are out here in full force, both in front and behind the camera.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Anna Kendrick to star in Mary Nighy’s ALICE DARLING – Brandy McDonnell reports

Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick will star in and executive produce the femme-focused psychological thriller Alice, Darling, now in production in Canada. Mary Nighy’s feature film directorial debut focuses on Alice (Kendrick), who is behaving strangely and keeping secrets about her mercurial boyfriend from her two best friends.

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THE WHITE LOTUS – Review by Susan Granger

As the plot of Mike White’s new HBO series unfolds, it’s as if Fantasy Island merged with The Love Boat. In the opening shot, a casket is being loaded onto a plane. It’s a mysteriously ominous beginning that soon shifts to a tropical island where smiling Armond , the smarmy resort manager, and his newly hired assistant Lani prepare to welcome new guests as they arrive at the luxurious White Lotus Hotel.

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