Opening , May 16 to 22, 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 May 16 – 22 that are of particular interest. Film titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews.

Thursday, May 19 

  • A Perfect Pairing – Netflix – USA – Romantic comedy co-written by Hilary Galanoy and Elizabeth Hackett. A tough wine company executive travels to an Australian sheep station to land a major client but ends up working as a ranch hand and sparking a romance with a rugged local.
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  • The Found Footage Phenomenon – Shudder – UK – Horror documentary written, directed and edited by Sarah Appleton and Phillip Escott charting the origins of the found footage sub-genre, tracking it through to the technique’s current form, and asking what its future is.

Friday, May 20 

  • Cordelia – Screen Media Ventures (Cinemas) – UK – Drama co-written by Antonia Campbell-Hughes with director Adrian Shergold. Following an incident in her past, Cordelia now lives with her twin sister Caroline in their late father’s basement flat.
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  • Deception – Mubi – France – Drama directed by Arnaud Desplechin, co-written by Desplechin with Julie Peyr, adapted from the novel by Philip Roth. Starring Denis Poldalydès, Léa Seydoux and Emmanuelle Devos.
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  • Emergency – Amazon (Cinemas; Streaming Release May 27) – USA – Dramedy written by K.D. Dávila. Ready for a night of legendary partying, three college students must weigh the pros and cons of calling the police when faced with an unexpected situation.
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  • Fire in the Mountains – Kino Lorber (Cinemas) – India – A mother toils to save money to build a road in a Himalayan village to take her wheelchair-bound son for physiotherapy but her husband who believes that a shamanic ritual ‘Jaagar’ is the remedy, steals her savings. Debut filmmaker Ajitpal Singh tells an unconventional story of feminist strength while “accentuating the [region’s] spectacular exteriors and wide-canvas nature shots” (Variety).
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  • Machination – Nexus Production Group (VOD) – Malta – Horror co-directed by Sarah Jayne and Ivan Malekin. An anxious woman struggles to cope in isolation as a pandemic sweeps the world, forcing her to confront the monsters in her head.
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  • Men – A24 (Cinemas) – UK – Sci-Fi horror written and directed by Alex Garland, starring Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear. A young woman goes on a solo vacation to the English countryside following the death of her ex-husband.
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  • Torn Hearts – Epix (VOD) – USA – Horror directed by Brea Grant, written by Rachel Koller Croft, starring Katey Sagal. A country music duo seek out the private mansion of their idol and end up in a twisted series of horrors that force them to confront the limits they’d go to achieve their dreams.

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.