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Weekly Update May 3: Women-Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update May 3: Women-Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening This Weekend

Kiss of the Damned – Written and Directed by Xan Cassavetes

If you are a fan of horror films, especially not the torture porn crap of late, you’ll love Xan Cassavetes’ Kiss of the Damned. It’s a slight but aesthetically tremendous film where we get the story of Djuna (Josephine de La Baume) a vampire who lives alone in a sprawling mansion outside New York City. When Djuna meets sexy screenwriter Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia) their chemistry is automatic. She turns him quickly as they settle into eternal domestic bliss.

This is upended with the arrival of Djuna’s younger and crazy sister Mimi (Roxane Mesquida) who threatens both Djuna’s new relationship and the entire vampire community with her insane antics. Cassavetes’ film is endlessly glamorous and sexy and evokes Dark Shadows, 1970s camp horror and even V.C. Andrews novels. It’s a great summer popcorn movie if you need a throwback horror fix. (Kerensa Cadenas)

Aroused – Directed by Deborah Johnston

Get up close and personal with 16 of the most successful women in the adult film industry as they shed their clothes for an intimate photo shoot with director Deborah Anderson. As questions are asked, personal stories about their lives are revealed, from why they chose the business of sex to how they got into it in the first place. These porn stars have always been discreet about their private lives in the past, yet Anderson has a way of opening up a dialog allowing them to share more than just their naked skin on screen. Their true inner vulnerability is touching, yet the characters they have created are confident and intoxicating. Once you hear their stories, you’ll never look at them in the same way again. (From the press materials. Film is also on VOD)

What Maisie Knew- Co-Written by Nancy Doyne

What Maisie Knew, co-written by Nancy Doyne and based on the Henry James novella of the same name, follows the story of Maisie (Onata Aprile) a young girl caught in the increasingly embittered custody battle between her two selfish parents, Susanna and Beale (Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan).

The stakes get higher when both Susanna and Beale unexpectedly take on new relationships with ex-nanny Margo (Joanna Vanderham) and bartender Lincoln (Alexander Skarsgard). All the while the fight for Maisie becomes more and more troubling. It’s a tough, heartbreaking film filled with excellent performances. Moore is, as always, terrific even in the capacity of a horribly self-centered aging rock star. But really the standout is Onata Aprile’s Maisie who is heartbreaking, captivating and feels wise beyond her years. It’s a story that shows that family can become what you make it, not what you were born into. (Kerensa Cadenas)

Caroline and Jackie

On a celebratory birthday trip, Caroline visits her sister, Jackie and her boyfriend. What starts out as a fun evening with close friends quickly goes askew. Caroline and the group attempt to support Jackie for an apparent illness – though it’s unclear who really needs the most help. (From Press Materials)

Films About Women Currently Playing

Sun Don’t Shine

Paradise: Love

Filly Brown

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners – Directed by Shola Lynch (doc)

The Host


Admission – Written by Karen Croner

The Sapphires

Ginger and Rosa – Written and Directed by Sally Potter

The Call

Spring Breakers


Lore – Directed by Cate Shortland

Side Effects

Films Directed by Women Opening This Weekend

Love Is All You Need – Directed by Susanne Bier

At the Toronto Film Festival you see a lot of heavy movies really early in the morning. Love is All You Need was a most welcome respite from the intensity that was around at the festival. Academy Award winning director Susanne Bier operating at the top of her game goes in a completely different direction with this lush (it takes place in Italy) and romantic piece that stars Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm as people from two different worlds who happen to be the parents of a couple about to get married in a villa in Italy. The movie is so beautifully shot that it made my pine for the blue skies of Italy. The story is way more complex than a typical romantic comedy but it is also very accessible and because of Pierce Brosnan (who thankfully does not sing) this film will play even wider in the English speaking world. This was one of the films I really liked at the festival. Read more…

The Source Family – Directed by Maria Demopoulous and Jodie Wille

A feature documentary film set in Hollywood, examining a radical experiment in ’70s utopian living. The Source Family were the darlings of the Sunset Strip until their communal living, outsider ideals and spiritual leader Father Yod’s 13 wives became an issue with local authorities. They fled to Hawaii, leading to their dramatic demise. (From IMDB)

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Directed by Mira Nair

Midnight’s Children – Directed by Deepa Mehta

Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay – Directed by Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein

No Place on Earth – Directed by Janet Tobias (doc)

A Place At The Table – Directed by Kristi Jacobsen and Lori Silverbush (doc)

Hava Naglia: The Movie – Directed by Roberta Grossman (doc)

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

Arthur Newman – Written by Becky Johnston

Olympus Has Fallen – Co-Written by Katrin Benedikt

Emperor – Co-Written by Vera Blasi

Safe Haven – Co-Written by Dana Stevens

Films By and About Women on DVD/On Demand

The Guilt Trip – Directed by Anne Fletcher

Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives – Directed by Sarah Lamm and Mary Wigford

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