Opening January 10 -17, 2022 – 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 January 10 to 16 that are of particular interest:  

Tuesday, January 11 

  • A.rtificial I.mmortality – (VOD) – Canada – Documentary directed by Ann Shin. If you could create an immortal version of yourself, would you? Once the stuff of science fiction, A.I. experts now see it as possible. This feature documentary explores the latest thinking and technological advancements in AI.
  • Breeder – Uncork’d Entertainment (VOD) – Denmark – Horror film written by Sissel Dalsgaard Thomsen. A ruthless businesswoman is abducting young women as part of a gruesome bio-hacking experiment to reverse the aging process. When Mia goes to investigate, she finds herself trapped, branded and tortured in an underground medical facility.
  • Maxima – TrustFall Films = Peru/USA – Documentary by Claudio Sparrow. A multi-billion dollar corporation meets their match in a fearless Indigenous woman who remains uncowed after years of violent intimidation.

Thursday, January 13 

  • Brazen – Netflix – USA – Drama directed by Monika Mitchell, based on a novel by Nora Roberts. When her sister is killed and her double life as a webcam performer is revealed, Grace ignores the warnings of a cool-headed detective and gets involved in the case. Starring Alyssa Milano.

Friday, January 14 

  • A Cops and Robbers Story – Greenwich Entertainment (Cinemas) – UK / USA – Documentary directed by Ilinca Calugareanu. A New York City police officer’s career is threatened by revelations about his former life as a gang member.
  • Belle – GKIDS (Cinemas) – Japan – Animated film written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda. Suzu is a shy high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters “U,” a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a globally-beloved singer.
  • Borrego – Paramount / Saban Films (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Thriller starring Lucy Hale as a young botanist who relocates to a small desert town to study an invasive plant species. She must fight for her survival when she’s kidnapped by an inexperienced drug mule after his plane crashes in the desert.
  • The Free Fall – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Horror starring Andrea Londo and Shawn Ashmore. After attempting to take her own life, a young woman must wrestle with an overbearing husband.
  • Italian Studies – Magnolia Pictures (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Drama starring Vanessa Kirby. A writer loses her memory. Adrift in NYC, she connects with a group of teenagers and searches for a way home.
  • No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics – (VOD) – USA – Documentary directed by Vivian Kleiman. A lively look at five LGBTQ+ comic book artists whose careers go from the underground scene to the cover of Time Magazine and the international stage.
  • The Pink Cloud – Blue Fox Entertainment (Cinemas; VOD release March 1) – Brazil – Drama written and directed by Iuli Gerbase. After a toxic and mysterious pink cloud appears, Giovana finds herself stuck in a flat with a man she just met, changing her life in a way she never expected.
  • Sex Appeal – Hulu – USA – Romantic comedy directed by Talia Osteen. Avery, a teenager with a tendency towards perfectionism, enlists her friend Larson to help her prepare for her first time with her long-distance boyfriend. Starring Paris Jackson.
  • Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America – Sony Pictures Classics (Cinemas: US Premiere at Film Forum) – USA – Documentary directed by Emily and Sarah Kunstler. Interweaving lecture, personal anecdotes, interviews, and shocking revelations, lawyer Jeffery Robinson draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America.
  • Why is We Americans? – Corinth Films – USA – Documentary directed by Ayana Stafford-Morris and Udi Aloni about poet and activist Amiri Baraka and his family, and their impact on Black culture and politics.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Titles highlighted in red 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.