Opening June 14 to 21, 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 June 14 to 21 that are of particular interest. Film titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews.

Tuesday, June 14 

  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey: Remastered – Giant Pictures (VOD) – UK / Spain / France – Historical drama written and directed by Mary McGuckian, adapted from the novel by Thornton Wilder. A new remastered version of the 2004 film, starring Gabriel Byrne, Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.

  • Halftime – Netflix – USA – Documentary directed by Amanda Micheli. An intimate look at Jennifer Lopez as she reflects on her milestones and evolution as an artist, and navigates the second half of her career continuing to entertain, empower and inspire.

Wednesday, June 15 

  • Clytaemnestra – Mubi – South Korea / USA – Set along the Greek coast, a Korean theater group rehearses a new production of Aeschylus’ “Agamemnon” under the domineering gaze of a director, who rules his troupe through fear, humiliation, and patronizing condescension. Director Ougie Pak deftly lays bare the group dynamics of artmaking and patriarchal power structures, transposing the framework of classic Greek tragedy to a thoroughly modern context.

Friday, June 17 

  • Abandoned – Vertical Entertainment (Cinemas; VOD Release June 24) – USA – Horror film co-written by Erik Patterson and Jessica Scott, starring Emma Roberts. After a young couple moves into a remote farmhouse with their infant son, the woman’s struggles with postpartum psychosis begin to intensify … as the house reveals secrets of its own.

  • Bitterbrush – Magnolia Pictures (Cinemas; VOD Release June 24) – USA – Documentary directed by Emelie Mahdavian. In the remote and rugged mountains of the American West, two young women contemplate the future as they work alone herding cattle.

  • Civil: Ben Crump – Netflix (Cinemas; Netflix Release June 19) – USA – Documentary directed by Nadia Hallgren. Crump’s mission is to raise the value of Black life as the civil lawyer for the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. He challenges America to come to terms with what it owes his clients.

  • Cocoon – Film Movement (VOD) – Germany – Romance written and directed by Leonie Krippendorff. Nora has her own way of looking at the world, and when she meets Romy, she realizes why. Music is in the air, Nora’s body is changing, and caterpillars are spinning their cocoons. Berlin-Kreuzberg is her microcosm.

  • Good Luck to You, Leo Grande – Hulu – UK – Dramedy written by Katy Brand, directed by Sophie Hyde and starring Emma Thompson, following Nancy Stokes, a 55-year-old widow who is yearning for some adventure, human connection and good sex.

  • The Lost Girls – Vertical Entertainment (Cinemas, VOD) – UK – Fantasy film written and directed by Livia De Paolis, based on the novel by Laurie Fox, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson and Iain Glen. Like her grandmother and her mother Jane before her, Wendy must escape Pan’s hold on her and the promise he wants her to keep.

  • My Donkey, My Lover, & I – Greenwich Entertainment (Cinemas) – France / Belgium – Romantic comedy written and directed by Caroline Vignal, starring Laure Calamy. A schoolteacher crashes her married lover’s family vacation and befriends a donkey named Patrick.

  • My Fake Boyfriend – Amazon Prime – Canada – Romantic comedy directed by Rose Troche. A young man in a tricky situation follows the advice of his unconventional best friend and uses social media to create a fake boyfriend to keep his awful ex-lover out of his life. But everything backfires when he meets the real love of his life, and breaking up with his fake boyfriend proves hard to do.

  • Official Competition – IFC Films (Cinemas) – Spain / Argentina – Dramedy starring Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez. A wealthy businessman hires a famous filmmaker to help make a smash hit film.

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.