Directed &/or written by women, August 2016

Australian release dates.

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Films directed/co-directed by a woman opening in August 2016:

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie directed by Mandie Fletcher, release date 4th of August (via Palace Cinemas)
Embrace directed by Tamyn Brumfitt, release date 4th of August (via Palace Cinemas)

There are also some films directed by women screening at Cine Latino Film Festival in August: Amor Etc., Hotel Nueva Isla, Solos.

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Films written/co-written by a woman opening in August 2016:

High-Rise written by Amy Jump (directed by Ben Wheatley), release date 18th of August (via Palace Cinemas)

Blood Father co-written by Andrea Berloff (directed by Jean-François Richet), release date 25th of August (via Palace Cinemas)

Nerve written by Jessica Sharzer (directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman), release date 27th of August (via Wallis Cinemas)

Check below for where the films are screening:

Palace Nova; Hoyts; Wallis; Greater Union; Capri Theatre; Odeon Star; The Regal Theatre/Trak Cinemas.

Mercury Cinema, while not like the other cinemas, sometimes has a couple of sessions of current releases. As always, I’m just one (forgetful and easily overwhelmed) person and can sometimes miss things so, please let me know if I have! I think doing these once a month means I sometimes miss films that pop up unexpectedly but I don’t think I could manage doing them more frequently, just yet.

Full list of films directed &/or written by women released in Australia 2016 | Full list of just the films directed by women

Note: information correct at time of publishing.

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Advantageous, 2015

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Advantageous, directed by Jennifer Phang, is a quietly impactful film that has a lot to say about gender, ageism and race. It does this through the narrative of  main character, Gwen (Jacqueline Kim), a woman who is forced to go to drastic measures after she is fired from the Center For Advanced Living and Health, when they decide to go in a younger direction for their public face.

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Kim is magnificent as Gwen, giving a restrained, poignant performance, and it’s just a crime she’s not starring in more features. (Kim also co-wrote the script with director Jennifer Phang). Freya Adams, who plays Gwen 2.0, is convincing as a woman struggling to adjust to who she is, disconnected from everything and everyone around her, from her own body (which betrays her, causes her pain).

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It has a very touching mother/daughter relationship at its centre (Gwen is motivated by doing what’s best for her daughter’s future, wanting to secure her a position in an elite school), which will always draw me in. There are some achingly beautiful moments between Gwen and her daughter, Jules (Samantha Kim). They are the heart of the film. Family is a theme that runs through the story, as Gwen tries to reconnect with a cousin, wants her help so she will not have to go through with the procedure. She doesn’t get the help she wants when she needs it but the family does tentatively reconnect.

It’s slick and stylish and very understated in its vision of a dystopian future, using cool tones and lots of light to make the world outside feel sterile. Gwen and Jules’s apartment is snug and cosy, by contrast. I love my sci-fi (nearly) any way I can get it, but it’s quiet, thoughtful films like this that get under my skin and stay with me. Some of the points it makes are, perhaps, a little obvious but sometimes I think plain speak is better than a whole heap of metaphors and allusions.

There is hope in the ending, for Gwen and Jules and their family, at least, but the uneasiness that permeates the film is not resolved. It is still there in the others who have undergone the same procedure, if you think about the implications of being able to transfer consciousness from one body to another, discarding ‘undesirable’ bodies for more socially acceptable ones. It’s a terrifying thought.

It was released exclusively to Netflix, so if you have an account, definitely check it out. (I’m assuming it’s on Netflix in all regions).

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June 2016 Roundup

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Bits and bobs or things that made me happy:

-Just watching Eva Green doing anything makes me happy.

-The Wicked movie finally has a release date, for 2019. I’ve been waiting for this movie for years so this is exciting news (even if I have to wait a few more). (Warning for autoplay video in the linked article).

-This video compilation of censored scenes from silent movies is very cool.

Favourite June watches:

I only managed to watch 13 new to me movies in June (including one short film) – I spent more time watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and re-watching Haven than I did watching movies. Winter just seems like a time for TV shows, for some reason. Maybe because they’re easier to binge watch and I like spending a lot of time keeping warm on the sofa.

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My favourites of the 13 I did watch, though, were The Fall (pictured above), Advantageous and Mustang (pictured below). I wrote about The Fall here and Mustang here, and I’m planning on writing up a post on Advantageous soon, too.

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I also really enjoyed Bound, largely because it looks amazing, but also because it’s a pretty great film.

At the movies

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I saw two new releases at the cinema in June, Money Monster and Mustang, as well as two at the Essential Independents Festival, River of Grass (pictured above) and Yosemite. I just realised that all of them are directed by women!

Resolutions updates:
Watch more movies made by women.

I watched a total of nine movies directed by women in June, two of which were rewatches. Bound, Mustang and Advantageous (pictured below) were my favourites.

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As we’re halfway through the year, now, it’s probably a good time to check in on my progress for 52 Films by Women. I’m up to 50, with 39 first time watches and 11 rewatches. I think that’s a pretty good effort! I’ll definitely make the 52 films for the pledge, but I’m keen to see how many I can watch beyond that.

On the topic of women-directed films, I made a list of sci-fi, fantasy and related movies directed by women over at letterboxd. Suggestions are more than welcome.

First time watches: River of Grass, Yosemite, Bound, Money Monster, Hot Pursuit, Mustang, Advantageous

Rewatches: Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Decoy Bride

Watch more Australian films.

I watched a grand total of one entire Australian film in June! Admittedly, it’s better than no Australian films but I think I need to focus on watching and going to see Australian films more in the second half of the year. Anyway, I watched Mystery Road, which was quite nice, but required a lot of attention.

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Write more!

Didn’t do so well with this one in June.

The Fall, 2006

Mustang, 2015

June reading recommendations:

The Feminine Grotesque #10: Genre is a Woman and She Has Fangs – On ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ at Vague Visages

Nothing about us without us – the reality of being a disabled actor at Little White Lies

Small Acts of Resistance: Mustang and the cinematic spaces of the sisterhood at Kill Your Darlings

Data Exposes Gender Fault Lines [INFOGRAPHIC] at Slated

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