Opening March 29 to April 4, 2021 – Margaret Barton-Fumo previews

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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 and will qualify for consideration for our annual EDA Awards, celebrating exceptional women working in film behind and in front of the camera. Our members are feature writers, columnists and regular contributors to a variety of media outlets and many of us publish regularly on the festival circuit. Our critical voices are widespread and diverse. We invite you to join us in tracking weekly releases of particular interest. And we welcome information about new films that will help us to keep our records updated and our critics alert. Below is a concise list of new releases set for the week of March 29 to April 4 that are of particular interest:  

Tuesday, March 30  

  • The Last Cruise – HBO Documentary Films – USA – HBO documentary directed by Hannah Olson. A terrifying origin story of the pandemic chronicling the first and largest outbreak of the novel coronavirus outside China: the Diamond Princess cruise liner. Features never-before-seen footage from passengers and crew.

  • Like a House on Fire – Game Theory Films (VOD) – Canada – Drama written and directed by Jesse Noah Klein. Dara returns home to reconnect with her husband and her young daughter, whom she left two years earlier. When she arrives, she discovers that a woman who is seven months pregnant has taken her place and that her daughter no longer recognizes her.

Friday, April 2  

  • French Exit – Sony Pictures Classics (Cinemas) – USA – Drama about a Manhattan socialite (Michelle Pfeiffer) whose fortunes change. pushing her to move into a small apartment in Paris. Directed by Azazel Jacobs. Theatrical release.  

  • The Man Who Sold His Skin – Samuel Goldwyn Films (Cinemas) – Tunisia, France, Belgium – Drama written and directed by Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania (Beauty and The Dogs). Starring Yahya Mahayni as Sam, a Syrian refugee covered in tattoos who turns his body into a living work of art to be exhibited in a museum. Also starring Monica Belluchi.  

  • Mapplethorpe, The Director’s Cut – Samuel Goldwyn Films (VOD) – USA – Ondi Timoner’s director’s cut of her 2018 biopic starring Matt Smith as the iconic photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The director’s cut includes new scenes as well as a brand new soundtrack. It also includes famous images taken by Mapplethorpe, but not necessarily any video footage from him, revealing even more details about the artist’s early years, his process, sex life and career.  

  • Shiva Baby – Utopia (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Feature debut by writer-director Emma Seligman, Shiva Baby is a comedy starring Rachel Sennott as Danielle, a young bisexual Jewish woman who attends a shiva with both her family and her sugar daddy Max (Danny Deferrari).

  • This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection – Dekanalog (Cinemas) – Lesotho – Berlin-based Mosotho filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s critically acclaimed drama starring Mary Twala Mhlongo as Mantoa, an 80-year-old widow who ignites action in her community when her village is threatened with forced resettlement due to reservoir construction.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Stay tuned in for next week’s releases! Contact us if we’ve overlooked anything.

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Margaret Barton-Fumo

Based in New York, Margaret Barton-Fumo has contributed to Film Comment since 2006. Her monthly online column, “Deep Cuts,” focused on the intersection of film and music. She has interviewed such directors, actors, and musicians as Brian De Palma, James Gray, Harry Dean Stanton, and Paul Williams, and has additionally contributed to Senses of Cinema and Stop Smiling. She is the editor of Paul Verhoeven: Interviews, published by the University Press of Mississippi.