Weekly Update for June 27 and July 4: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for June 27 and July 4: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening

Opening
June 27

Bound
By Flesh (doc) – Directed by Leslie Zemeckis

At
the height of their fame, conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton were the
toast of vaudeville. They were among the highest-paid entertainers on the
circuit, and a young Bob Hope was part of their routine. With the coming of the
movies, however, vaudeville went into decline and the fortunes of the Hilton
sisters went with it. Ironically, they are now most commonly remembered for
their work in the medium that effectively killed their career: principally for
their appearance, as themselves, in Tod Browning’s notorious pre-code horror film Freaks.
Leslie Zemeckis’s workmanlike documentary recounts their remarkable but
profoundly difficult life, from the twins’ birth in Britain to their death in a
small town in North Carolina, where they were to be found working the checkouts
at a grocery store during their final years. Though it revels in the more
sensationalistic aspects of Daisy and Violet’s career—their publicity-stunt
marriages and string of failed love affairs—the documentary also offers more
sober insights into their lives, stressing in particular their remarkable rise
from sideshow ”attractions” to fully-fledged vaudeville performers, and
rebellion against the adoptive family who sought to maintain an exploitative
hold over their careers. Though Bound By Flesh is hindered somewhat by
certain of its creative choices—the intermittent guitar-rock soundtrack is
rather incongruous—its story is ultimately a fascinating, and moving, one.
(Alice Thorpe)  

Read Women and
Hollywood’s interview with Leslie Zemeckis about Bound By Flesh
.

Redemption
Trail – Written and Directed by Britta Sjorgen

Whether
we like it or not, some fictional genres are associated with men. What is more
essential to American iconography than the brooding cowboy, standing alone on
desert plains as he stares down the evils of his corrupt world? That’s one of
the many things making Redemption Trail remarkable: the reinvention of classic
cinema imagery through a feminist lens. The film follows two radically
different women brought together by personal tragedy: Tess (LisaGay Hamilton),
the fiercely hermetic daughter of a murdered Black Panther member, and Anna
(Lily Rabe), a successful doctor driven to failed suicide after the loss of her
child. Both women are crippled by grief, anger, and a desperate need for
titular redemption, shunning all emotional connections capable of bringing
further pain. Yet their understanding of one another’s trauma succeeds where
other relationships fail, allowing the women to reclaim their identities as
powerful survivors. Not only do they overcome haunting pasts – a deeply inward
heroism – they discover within themselves the potential for outward heroism,
evidenced in a stunning shoot-out against a vicious drug cartel. At its heart,
Redemption Trail is a beautifully meditative film about the perilous, slow road
to recovery, for even though trauma at times seems unendurable, it does not
control. (Kelcie Mattson)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Britta Sjorgen about Redemption Trail.

Opening
July 2

Tammy – Co-Written by Melissa McCarthy

Tammy
(Melissa McCarthy) is having a bad day. She’s totaled her clunker car, gotten
fired from her thankless job at a greasy burger joint and, instead of finding
comfort at home, finds her husband getting comfortable with the neighbor in her
own house. It’s time to take her boom box and book it. The bad news is she’s
broke and without wheels. The worse news is her grandma, Pearl (Susan
Sarandon), is her only option-with a car, cash, and an itch to see Niagara
Falls. Not exactly the escape Tammy had in mind. But on the road, with grandma
riding shot gun, it may be just what Tammy needs. (Tammymovie.com)

Opening
July 4

Gabrielle
– Directed by Louise Archambault

Gabrielle
is a 22-year-old woman with Williams syndrome, a genetic disorder that often
slows cognitive skills while increasing sociability and musical talent. She
sings in a Montreal choir with other disabled adults, where she meets and falls
in love with the dashingly handsome Martin. The bliss of first love is
interrupted, however, by Martin’s interfering mother, who worries that special
needs individuals aren’t sufficiently fit for romantic relationships. What emerges
in Louise Archambault’s sweet, unassuming and confidently directed film is a
portrait of a young woman fighting, in her own way, for acceptance and
independence, and for her right to experience life’s highs and lows– with joy,
pain, confusion and eventual understanding. (EOne Films)

Heatstroke – Directed by Evelyn Purcell

On
a family trip in the African desert, a research scientist unintentionally
travels off course and is brutally murdered by an arms dealer. His girlfriend
is put to the ultimate survival test as she attempts to evade the killers and
protect his teenage daughter. (Phase 4 Films)

Films About Women Currently Playing

American
Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs – Directed by Grace Lee
The
Amazing Catfish – Written and Directed by Claudia Saint-Luce
Belle –
Directed by Amma Asante; Written by Misan Sagay

Obvious Child – Written and
Directed by Gillian Robespierre

The
Fault in Our Stars
Maleficent – Written by
Linda Woolverton

We Are the Best!
Lucky Them – Directed by
Megan Griffiths; Co-Written by Emily Wachtel

The
Immigrant
Legends
of Oz: Dorothy’s Return – Co-Written by Randi Barnes
Mom’s
Night Out – Co-Written by Andrea Gyertson Nasfell
Ida
The
Other Woman – Directed by Melissa Stack
Under
the Skin
Finding
Vivian Maier (doc)
Divergent
– Co-Written by Vanessa Taylor

Films Directed by Women
Opening

Opening
June 27
 

Nothing
Bad Can Happen

Written and Directed by Katrin Gebbe

Inspired
by horrifying true events, Nothing Bad Can Happen follows Tore (Julius
Feldmeier), a young lost soul involved with an underground Christian punk
movement who falls in with a dysfunctional family who test his seemingly
unwavering faith. After a chance encounter helping stranded driver Benno
(Sascha Alexander Gersak), where Tore manages to start his car with an apparent
miracle, he is invited back to Benno’s home and becomes friendly with him, his
wife and two children. Before long, Tore moves into a tent in the garden and
gradually becomes part of the family. However, Benno can’t resist playing a
cruel game designed to challenge Tore’s beliefs. As his trials become more and
more extreme, Tore finds his capacity for love and resilience pushed to its
limits and beyond. (RottenTomatoes.com)

Read
Women and Hollywood’s
Interview with Katrin Gebbe about Nothing Bad Can Happen.

Opening
July 4

Beyond
the Edge – Written and Directed by Leanne Pooley

Beyond
the Edge
documents the epic true journey of the heroic and triumphant ascent to
the top of Mt Everest by Edmund Hillary, a modest bee-keeper and keen
mountaineer from Auckland New Zealand, and the very experienced Sherpa, Tenzing
Norgay, of Nepal. (Beyondtheedgefilm.com) 

Films Directed by Women
Currently Playing

Exhibition
– Written and Directed by Joanaa Hogg
Hellion
– Written and Directed by Kat Chandler
Citizen
Koch (doc) – Co-Directed by Tia Lessin
The
Only Real Game (doc) – Directed by Mirra Bank
Night Moves – Co-Written
and Directed by Kelly Reichardt

Palo
Alto – Written and Directed by Gia Coppola
Fed Up (doc) –
Co-Written and Directed by Stephanie Soechtig
 

Films by and About Women on DVD or on Demand

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me – Directed by Chiemi Karasawa
Two
Lives – Co-Written and Co-Directed by Judith Kaufman
Afternoon of a Faun:
Tanaquil Le Clercq (doc) – Directed by Nancy Buirski

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