Opening February 14- 20, 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 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 February 14 to 20 that are of particular interest:  

Currently Streaming on Shudder: 

  • I Blame Society – USA – Horror-comedy directed, written by and starring Gillian Wallace Horvat. A struggling filmmaker realizes that the skill set to make a movie is the same to commit the perfect murder.

Monday, February 14 

  • Along Came Wanda – Buffalo 8 Productions (VOD) – USA – Dramedy written and directed by Jan Miller Corran. A memory jogged by a teapot from an old lover quickly turns into an adventure of discovery for Mary Beth Higgins and her new friend Wanda as they hit the road in Wanda’s RV / Soup Truck.

Tuesday, February 15 

  • Flee The Light – Breaking Glass Pictures (VOD) – Canada – Horror film directed by Alexandra Senza, written by Jennifer Mancini. A psychology student attempts to cure her sister’s crippling psychosis only to expose them both to its origin: an ancient creature intent on claiming their souls.

Friday, February 18 

  • The Automat – A Slice of Pie Productions (Film Forum in NYC) – USA – Documentary directed by Lisa Hurwitz centering on the vending machine popularized in the 20th century that offered fresh cooked meals in a commissary-style eatery.
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  • A Banquet – IFC Midnight (Cinemas, VOD) – UK – Horror directed by Ruth Paxton. Widowed mother Holly is radically tested when her teenage daughter Betsey experiences a profound enlightenment and insists that her body is no longer her own, but in service to a higher power. In an agonizing dilemma, Holly is forced to confront the boundaries of her own beliefs.
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  • Downfall; The Case Against Boeing – Netflix – USA – Documentary directed by Rory Kennedy. Examining the months since the tragedies of March 2019 after two new aircrafts crashed within five months, killing 346 people.
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  • The Ledge – Paramount / Saban Films (Cinemas, Apple TV+) – UK – Thriller starring Brittany Ashworth. A climber trapped on the face of a mountain fights off four killers stood on an overhanging ledge twenty feet above her.
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  • The Long Walk – Yellow Veil Pictures (Cinemas; VOD release March 1) – Laos – Sci-Fi drama directed by Mattie Do. An old Laotian hermit discovers that the ghost of a road accident victim can transport him back in time fifty years to the moment of his mother’s painful death.

Sunday, February 20 

  • Mr. Bachmann and His Class – Mubi – Germany – Documentary directed, co-written and edited by Maria Speth. In Stadtallendorf, a German city with a complex history of both excluding and integrating foreigners, genial teacher Dieter Bachmann offers his pupils the key to at least feeling as if they are at home.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Stay tuned in for next week’s releases! Titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews. 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.