Opening July 19 to July 25, 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 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 19 to 25 that are of particular interest:  

Tuesday, July 20  

  • Before I Go – Vision Films (Cinemas) – USA – Dramedy starring Annabella Sciorra. A woman recalls her life and music career choices in New York City through the years.  

  • How It Ends– Mister Lister Films (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Comedy co-written by, co-directed by and starring Zoe Lister-Jones as a woman who embarks on a hilarious journey through LA in hopes of making it to her last party before it all ends, running into an eclectic cast of characters along the way.  

  • My House is Full of Mirrors – MHz Choice – Italy – Sophia Loren plays her own mother in this two-part autobiographical drama adapted from a book by Loren’s sister, Anna Maria Scicolone. The saga begins with Loren’s birth as the illegitimate daughter of Riccardo Scicolone and Romilda Villani (played Loren at age 75), a sharp but calculating woman still reeling from the pain of a missed shot at movie stardom.

  • Stronger For Life – Gravitas Ventures (VOD) – USA – Documentary following an international fitness expert (Ilaria Montagnani)’s inspiring journey from cancer to recovery.

Thursday, July 22 

  • Cousins – ARRAY Releasing (Netflix) – New Zealand – Female written and directed drama from New Zealand about Mata, Missy and Makareta. Three Maori cousins. Three lives. Separated by circumstances, yet bound together by blood.

Friday, July 23 

  • Ailey – Neon (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary directed by Jamila Wignot. An immersive portrait of dance pioneer Alvin Ailey, told through his own words and featuring a new dance inspired by his life.

  • Eyimofe (This is My Desire) – Janus Films (Cinemas) – Nigeria – Drama co-directed by Arie and Chuko Esiri. In Lagos, Nigeria, tragedy and fate intervene as two people try to better the lives of their families.

  • Jolt – Amazon Prime – USA – Action-comedy directed by Tanya Wexler and starring Kate Beckinsale. A bouncer with a slightly murderous anger-management problem that she controls with the help of an electrode-lined vest she uses to shock herself back to normalcy whenever she gets homicidal.

  • The Last Letter from Your Lover – Netflix – UK – Romantic drama directed by Augustine Frizzell. A pair of interwoven stories, set in the past and present, follow an ambitious journalist determined to solve the mystery of a forbidden love affair at the center of a trove of secret love letters from 1965.

  • Old – Universal Pictures (Cinemas) – USA – Thriller directed by M. Night Shyamalan. A family on a tropical holiday discovers that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly–reducing their entire lives into a single day.

  • Playing with Sharks: The Valerie Taylor Story – National Geographic (Disney+) – USA – Documentary written and directed by Sally Aitken. A true pioneer in both underwater filmmaking and shark research, Valerie Taylor is a living legend and icon in the underwater world whose life’s work has become the basis for much of what we know about sharks today.

Saturday, July 24 

  • Blood Red Sky – Netflix – Germany / USA – Horror-thriller. A woman with a mysterious illness is forced into action when a group of terrorists attempt to hijack a transatlantic overnight flight. Starring Peri Baumeister.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Highlighted titles link 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.