Opening August 23 to 29, 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 August 23 to 29 that are of particular interest:  

Tuesday, August 24  

  • The Ape Star – Viva Pictures (Cinemas, VOD) – Sweden / Norway / Denmark – Swedish animated film directed by Linda Hambäck. One day a Gorilla comes and adopts Jonna, a young orphan. It takes some time for Jonna to get used to her new mother, but just as everything starts becoming good, the local authorities threaten their existence.

Wednesday, August 25  

  • Really Love – Netflix – USA – Romantic drama directed by Angel Kristi Williams, co-written by Williams and Felicia Pride. Set in a gentrifying Washington DC, a rising Black painter tries to break into a competitive art world, while balancing a whirlwind romance he never expected. Starring Michael Ealy, Uzo Aduba and Naturi Naughton.

Thursday, August 26 

  • Lily Topples the World – Discovery+ (TV; theatrical release Aug. 27) – USA – Documentary following 20-year-old Lily Hevesh–the world’s greatest domino toppler and the only woman in her field–in a coming-of-age story of artistry, passion, and unlikely triumph.

Friday, August 27 

  • Candyman – Universal Pictures (Cinemas) – Canada / USA – Horror remake / sequel directed by Nia DaCosta. A “spiritual sequel” to the horror film Candyman (1992) that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.
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  • The Colony – Saban Films (Cinemas, VOD) – Germany / Switzerland – Sci-fi. Set in the distant future, a female astronaut, shipwrecked on the long-decimated Earth, must decide the fate of the wasteland’s remaining populace.
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  • Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas) – Australia – Romantic comedy written and directed by Monica Zanetti. 17-year-old Ellie is struggling to find the courage to ask her classmate, Abbie, to the formal. Luckily her Aunt Tara, a lesbian who died in the ‘80s has shown up as a “Fairy Godmother” to dish out advice, whether Ellie wants it or not.
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  • No Man of God – RLJE Films (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Drama depicting the complicated relationship that formed between the FBI analyst Bill Hagmaier and serial killer Ted Bundy during Bundy’s final years on death row. Directed by Amber Sealey.
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  • Rushed – Vertical Entertainment (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Horror-thriller written by and starring Siobhan Fallon Hogan, directed by Vibeke Muasya. Hogan plays Barbara O’Brien, an Upstate NY, Irish Catholic mother who seeks revenge on the one person she finds liable in her son’s death.

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.