This is the free version of our weekly newsletter. The premium version has 19 excellent recommendations, on top of these, of what to watch at festivals, virtual cinemas, VOD, and via streaming. We also spotlight several virtual film festivals worth catching worldwide, featuring films we love that have yet to secure distribution (so this may be your only chance to see them!).
In our premium newsletter for members this week, we recommend more virtual film festival screenings, plus additional streaming recommendations. If you become a member now, shoot us an email, and we'll be happy to send you these recommendations, too!
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This weekend, we're recommending three films directed by women: Mylissa Fitzsimmons gorgeous Everything in the End which was made for just $30,000 (but doesn't look like it), Caroline Vignal's César-nominated My Donkey, My Lover, and I, and Saskia Gubbels's documentary Sheltered.
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Indy Film Festival - until May 19 - streaming across US
Everything in the End
Here's an excerpt from Orla's intro to her interview with director Mylissa Fitzsimmons about the film:
Fitzsimmons drops us in rural Iceland, by the sea, where a young Portugese man named Paulo (Hugo de Sousa) wanders alone through the gorgeous landscape. He’s on a trip that he and his mother were meant to take together, but after her passing, he’s come alone. Paulo, who is quiet and withdrawn, is often framed as a lone figure dwarfed by a majestic landscape. There’s an emotional and physical distance that exists between him and everyone around him. Sound familiar?
Fortunately, Everything in the End feels healing to watch during a pandemic, rather than depressing, because we watch Paulo do what we are all longing to do: make connections with other people. The film is structured around a series of conversations Paulo has with people he meets in the surrounding area, many of them strangers. Paulo and the strangers pour their hearts out to each other. They talk about life, death, regret, and what might have been. Slowly, as a viewer, we start to realise that something surreal is going on.
Read the interview
Click here for tickets
Click here for tickets
Wisconsin Film Festival - streaming until May 20
My Donkey, My Lover, and I - worldwide
Though it received multiple César nominations, including for Best Film and Best Actress, My Donkey, My Lover, and I has still yet to secure North American distribution (it's in virtual cinemas in the UK). Don't miss a chance to see it this week!
Here's an excerpt from my review:
We first meet Antoinette (Laure Calamy) in her classroom, where she has her elementary school students, counting, heads down on their desks, while she changes into a silver dress at the back of the class. It’s for a class concert where she starts belting out a tune with such fervor that she starts to eclipse her dressed-in-black students as the centre of attention. It’s also the first sign that Antoinette falls somewhere on the bananas scale from zero to Sibyl
(who, of course, is 100% bananas), and that the film is going to be a gentle comedy slightly at the expense of Antoinette’s shenanigans….”
Read the rest of the review.
Click here for tickets worldwide until May 20
Click here for tickets in the US until May 23
Now on VOD
Sheltered - worldwide except the Netherlands
One of the highlights of Visions du Réel is now available on VOD worldwide except the Netherlands. Here's my review:
Animal shelters can be depressing places, whether as the site of fictional stories like Heather Young’s Murmur
, or nonfiction ones like Saskia Gubbels’s Sheltered
. Much like in Murmur
, both the people and the animals are broken and abandoned in Sheltered
. Unwieldy pets are returned in search for retraining and a new home, lest they be destined to be euthanized. Animals often arrive badly injured or sick, and the team tries to save, heal, and rehab them whenever possible. The receptionist’s arms are festooned with colourful bracelets, presumably hiding the scars from past self-harm. At one point, the animal trainer rests his head in his hands declaring he hates his job: the difficult decisions he has to make, and the harmed animals he sees. Throughout, Gubbels’s camera tracks the sad and hopeful faces of both the animals and the humans who work in the shelter, a home for lost strays of many species. Fortunately, there are moments of hope, like when a family finds a new pet, and an abandoned animal finds a loving home.
As always, let us know what you watched and what you thought of them!
Alex Heeney, Editor-in-Chief
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