Opening May 29 – June 4, 2023 – 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 May 29 to June 4 that are of particular interest. Titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews:  

Monday, May 29

  • Reality – HBO Max – USA – Drama co-written and directed by Tina Satter. A former American intelligence specialist was given the longest sentence for the unauthorized release of government information to the media about Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections via an email operation.

Tuesday, May 30

  • Grandpa Was An Emperor – Freestyle Digital Media (VOD) – USA – Documentary directed by Constance Marks. The great-granddaughter of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie investigates what happened to her father after the 1974 coup that landed most of her family in prison.

Friday, June 2

  • Anonymous Sister – Cinetic Media (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary directed by Jamie Boyle. When a young woman turns to the camera for refuge, she ends up with a firsthand account of what will become the deadliest man-made epidemic in United States history.

  • Falcon Lake – Yellow Veil Pictures (Cinemas; VOD release June 13) – France / Canada – Drama directed by Charlotte Le Bon. A shy teenager on a summer vacation experiences the joy and pain of young adulthood when he forges an unlikely bond with an older girl.

  • Follow Her – Quiver Distribution (Cinemas) – USA – Thriller directed by Sylvia Caminer. An aspiring actress responds to a mysterious classified ad and finds herself trapped in her new boss’s twisted revenge fantasy. Written by and starring Dani Barker.

  • Montréal Girls – Level 33 Entertainment (Cinemas) – Canada / USA – Dramedy written and directed by Patricia Chica. An aspiring young Middle-Eastern poet moves to Montreal for medical school and is forever changed by the city and the young women who reveal him to his destiny.

  • Past Lives – A24 (Cinemas) – USA / South Korea – Drama written and directed by Celine Song. Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrest apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. 20 years later, they are reunited for one fateful week as they confront notions of love and destiny.

  • Rise – Blue Fox Entertainment (Cinemas) – France / Belgium / Netherlands – Dramedy. Elise, a very promising classical dancer, is injured during a performance at 26 years old. Although she’s told she will no longer be able to dance, she will try to find a new direction in contemporary dance.

  • Simulant – Vertical Entertainment (Cinemas, VOD) – Canada – Sci-fi / thriller directed by April Mullen. Set in the near future, a humanoid enlists a global hacker to remove all restrictions on his thoughts and capabilities, triggering an A.I. uprising and a government manhunt to eliminate the rise of the machine consciousness.

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.