Opening July 5 to July 9, 2021- Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

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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 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. 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 July 5 to 11 that are of particular interest:  

Friday, July 9  

  • Black Widow – Disney (Cinemas, Disney+) – USA – Marvel superhero film directed by Cate Shortland. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour.
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  • Fear Street Part Two: 1978 – Netflix – USA – Horror sequel co-written and directed by Leigh Janiak. Shadyside, 1978. When another Shadysider is possessed with the urge to kill, the fun in the sun becomes a gruesome fight for survival.
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  • Her Socialist Smile – Grasshopper Film (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary directed by John Gianvito about Helen Keller: a spare, pure, and beautifully composed account of her political life as a supporter of progressive causes.
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  • The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52 – Bleecker Street Media (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary co-written by Lisa Schiller. A cinematic quest to find the “52 Hertz Whale,” which scientists believe has spent its entire life in solitude, calling out at a frequency that is different from any other whale.
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  • Love Type D – Vertical Entertainment (VOD) – USA – Comedy written and directed by Sasha Collington. A woman who has been dumped eleven times in a row, discovers (to her dismay) that she has a loser in love gene.
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  • Meander – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas, VOD) – France – French horror / sci-fi. A woman gets locked in a series of strange tubes full of deadly traps. Starring Gaia Weiss.
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  • Platform – Venera Films (Cinemas, Virtual Cinemas) – Iran – Documentary following three Iranian sisters as they compete to become international champions of Wushu, a Chinese martial art. Directed by Sahar Mosayebi.
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  • Scales – Variance Films (Cinemas, NY+LA) – Saudi Arabia / United Arab Emirates / Iraq – Debut feature from Arabian writer-director Shahad Ameen. The story of a young girl who stands alone against her family and overturns the village tradition of sacrificing the female children.
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  • The Witches of the Orient – KimStim (Cinemas) – France – Documentary about the 1964 Japanese Olympic volleyball team, the “Oriental Witches.” How does a Japanese women’s volleyball team from the late 1950s become an international sensation, feminist role models, the subject of a wildly popular comic book and a still-influential anime?
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  • The Woman Who Ran – The Cinema Guild (Cinemas) – South Korea – Drama directed by Hong Sang-soo and starring Kim Min-hee. While her husband is on a business trip, Gamhee meets three of her friends on the outskirts of Seoul. They make friendly conversation but there are different currents flowing independently of each other, both above and below the surface.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Highlighted titles have links to full reviews. 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.