For whatever reason, this weekend is pretty light on new releases. But if you’re looking for some fresh film material, We are One: A Global Film Festival begins tomorrow. This ten day, online film festival will feature streamed films and talks on Youtube from a variety of cooperating festivals, including Cannes, TIFF and Tribeca. Check out their website for the full schedule and more information.
The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia/Sony and Disney. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have already come to VOD: May 22nd, May 15th, and May 8th.
The High Note
Stars: Tracee Ellis Ross, Dakota Johnson, June Diane Raphael, Ice Cube
Writer: Flora Greeson
Director: Nisha Ganatra
Genre: Drama, Romance
Plot: A superstar singer and her overworked personal assistant are presented with a choice that could alter the course of their respective careers.
What you should know: This is director Nisha Ganatra’s follow-up to last year’s Mindy Kaling starrer Late Night.
Where to Stream: Available VOD
Stars: Lyna Khoudri, Shirine Boutella, Amira Hilda Douaouda, Zahra Manel Doumandji
Writer: Fadette Drouard, Mounia Meddour
Director: Mounia Meddour
Plot: Nedjma is a university student during the Algerian Civil War. Although she’s studying French, her passion is fashion design. Defying religious conservatism, she custom-makes dresses for her peers that are examples of individual expression. Attacks on civilians are on the rise from fundamentalist Islamist sects, and a shocking incident drives Nedjma to stage a unique protest: a fashion show centered around repurposing the haik, a traditional veil, into secular garments.
What you should know: It’s in French and Arabic
Where to Stream: Virtual cinemas
Stage: The Culinary Internship
Director: Abby Ainsworth
Storyline: A group of interns during a nine month apprenticeship at one of the best restaurants in the world, Mugaritz. While the restaurant's notorious avant-garde cuisine and creative working environment elevates these young hopefuls to think outside the confines of a kitchen; ultimately, not everyone can handle the heat.
What you should know: Mugaritz, the restaurant in the documentary, is located in Rentería, in the province of Guipúzcoa in Spain.
Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas
This House (2013)
Stars: Reece Dinsdale, Charles Edwards, Phil Daniels, Julian Wadham
Writer: James Graham
Director: Jeremy Herrin
Plot: t’s 1974, and Britain has a hung Parliament. The corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and backstabbing as the political parties battle to change the future of the nation. During this era of chaos, when a staggering number of politicians die and age-old traditions are thrown aside, MPs find they must roll up their sleeves, and bend the rules, to navigate a way through the Mother of all Parliaments.
What you should know: This is a stream of a National Theatre Live production, performed in 2013.
Where to Stream: NT Live’s Youtube page, this week only
The Ghost of Peter Sellers
Director: Peter Medak
Storyline: In 1973, Peter Sellers, one of the biggest comedy actors at the time, embarked on a pirate comedy for Columbia Pictures. He lost confidence with the film immediately and tried to sabotage it, firing the producers before turning on his friend (and the film's young director), Peter Medak. Despite an illustrious career and the passing of 43 years since the unraveling of the production, Medak is still reeling from the disastrous experience and healing from the wounds inflicted by Peter Sellers and the film’s failure.
What you should know: Director Peter Medak has spent the majority of his career directing in television.
Where to Stream: Virtual cinemas, and available VOD on June 23rd.
Uncut Gems (2019)
Stars: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Idina Menzel, Kevin Garnett
Writer: Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie
Director: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Plot: With his debts mounting and angry collectors closing in, a fast-talking New York City jeweler risks everything in hope of staying afloat and alive.
What you should know: This is the film debut for basketball player Kevin Garnett, musician The Weeknd, and actress Julia Fox.
Where to Stream: Netflix
Margaret Atwood: A Word After a Word After a Word is Power
Director: Nancy Lang, Peter Raymont
Storyline: Canadian author and poet Margaret Atwood discusses her life and work.
What you should know: Throughout the documentary, passages of Atwood's prose and poetry are narrated by Canadian actor Tatiana Maslany.
Where to Stream: Hulu
Director: Ava DuVernay
Storyline: An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.
What you should know: Nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar.
Where to Stream: Netflix; also free via their Youtube page
The Normal Heart (2014)
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Jonathan Groff, Julia Roberts, Taylor Kitsch
Writer: Larry Kramer
Director: Ryan Murphy
Genre: Drama, History, Romance
Plot: A gay activist attempts to raise H.I.V. and A.I.D.S. awareness during the early 1980s.
What you should know: The screenplay was written by Larry Kramer, who died yesterday at age 84. It was based on his 1985 play of the same name, most recently produced on Broadway in 2011.
Where to Stream: HBOMax
Stars: Christos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Angeliki Papoulia, Hristos Passalis
Writer: Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Plot: Three teenagers live isolated, without leaving their house, because their over-protective parents say they can only leave when their dogtooth falls out.
What you should know: The film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 2011 show.
Where to Stream: Kanopy
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What have you been watching lately?