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 12 to 18 that are of particular interest:
- The Metamorphosis of Birds – Projectr (VOD: Projectr.tv) – Portugal – Portugese documentary written and directed by Catarina Vasconcelos. “A bewitching doc-memoir hybrid of metaphors, memories and magical Realism. Striking imagery and lyrical language turn a family-history essay into an aching meditation on generational love and the mourning after.” – Variety. Streaming on Projectr.tv until July 21.
Tuesday, July 13
- The Body Fights Back – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas) – Estonia – Documentary written and directed by Marian Vosumets following five people from vastly different backgrounds who face a similar experience of battling their bodies, exposing the toxic ways in which diet culture teaches us to think about food and bodies.
- River – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas) – USA – Psychological sci-fi thriller written, directed and shot by Emily Skye. River Allen is a 20-something woman who searches for her fragmented identity following her mother’s death. When she disappears for over a week, with no recollection of how she returned home, River loses all sense of self and purpose.
Wednesday, July 14
- Casanova, Last Love (Dernier amour) – Cohen Media Group (Cinemas) – France / Belgium / USA – French drama directed by Benoît Jacquot, starring Vincent Lindon and Stacy Martin. In the eighteenth century, Casanova, known for his taste for play, arrived in London after having to go into exile. In this city of which he knows nothing, he meets a young courtesan, the Charpillon, who attracts him to the point of forgetting the other women.
- Gunpowder Milkshake – Netflix (Cinemas, Netflix) – France / Germany / USA – Female-centric action-adventure. Three generations of women fight back against those who could take everything from them. Starring Karen Gillan, Carla Gugino and Lena Headey.
Thursday, July 15
- A Perfect Fit – Netflix – Indonesia – Indonesian romantic comedy directed by Hadrah Daeng Ratu. Sparks fly when a fashion blogger in Bali meets a gifted shoemaker, leading her to question her commitment to her fiancé.
- My Amanda – Netflix – Philippines – Filipino romance written, directed by and starring Alessandra de Rossi. Two unusually close friends share every aspect of their lives together. As their lives evolve, their bond remains the only constant.
Friday, July 16
- Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters – Kino Lorber (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary co-directed by Tom Hurwitz and Rosalynde LeBlanc. The film traces the history and legacy of one of the most important works of art to come out of the age of AIDS: Bill T. Jones’ 1989 tour de force ballet “D-Man in the Waters.”
- Fear Street Part Three: 1666 – Netflix – USA – Horror co-written and directed by Leigh Janiak. The origins of Sarah Fier’s curse are finally revealed as history comes full circle on a night that changes the lives of Shadysiders forever.
- How to Deter a Robber – Shout! Studios (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Comedy written and directed by Maria Bissell. In a desolate town in Northern Wisconsin, a stubborn young woman and her naïve boyfriend face off against a pair of amateur burglars.
- Mama Weed – Music Box Films (Cinemas) – France / Belgium – French dramedy starring Isabelle Huppert. Based on the novel by Hannelore Cayre, the story centers around Patience Portefeux, an underpaid, overworked French-Arabic translator in charge of phone surveillance for a narcotics police unit who uses her insider knowledge and police resources to build her own crime network and earns the name Mama Weed.
- No Ordinary Man – Les films du 3 mars (Cinemas) – Canada – Documentary co-written and co-directed by Aisling Chin-Yee with Chase Joynt. An in-depth look at the life of musician and trans culture icon Billy Tipton, showing what is possible when a community collaborates to honor the legacy of an unlikely hero.
- The Sleepless Unrest: The Real Conjuring Horror – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas) – USA – Docu-horror co-directed by husband-and-wife team Kendall and Vera Whelpton. The world-famous house that inspired The Conjuring film has recently been sold and is now open to paranormal investigations. With special access, a small group of filmmakers and paranormal investigators are allowed to move into the famously haunted home for two weeks in hopes of capturing evidence.
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.