This is the free version of our weekly newsletter. The premium version has 16 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 VOD, virtual cinema, and streaming recommendations. If you become a member now, shoot us an email, and we'll be happy to send you these recommendations, too!
Two worldwide film festivals are happening this weekend: the Weengushk Film Festival of Indigenous films and My French Film Festival - Cannes Edition. There are must-see films at both festivals that are hard to impossible to find anywhere else. Plus, First Cow is finally streaming all over the world (or almost so)!!
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Virtual film festivals
Weengushk Film Festival - July 8-11 - worldwide
This Canadian film festival is showcasing short and feature films from Indigenous filmmakers around the world. We recommend a couple of features, but there's much more to explore in the program! Get an unlimited streaming pass for just $65 CAD.
Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy - until July 11
This was one of the very best docs at HotDocs this year, and one of the best films to world premiere in 2021. It's still on the festival circuit, so catch it while you can!
Here's an excerpt from Orla's intro to her interview with director Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers:
My French Film Festival - Cannes Edition - until July 17 - free worldwide
One of the first virtual film festivals returns for a special edition of films from previous Cannes Film Festivals. As a general rule, if the film is showing in your country, this means there's no other way for you to catch the film online — so watch these while you can!
Augustine - Alice Winocour
*available worldwide except in Brazil, France, Israel, Oceania, Portugal, UK, US
Augustine is streaming on Kanopy in the US, Stan in Australia, and available on VOD in the UK, US, and NZ.
Here's Orla on the film:
While Alice Winocour’s Augustine was condemned by many critics as just another period romance when it was released, the film is so much more complicated than that. Like Portrait, it is a complex deconstruction of the idea of the muse. The film suggests that the so-called muse has a lot more agency in the creation of “art” than one might think.
In this case, the muse is Augustine (Soko), a teenage patient in an asylum for women suffering from hysteria in 19th century France. Augustine’s violent and sexually-charged fits (she writhes and moans on the floor as if in sexual ecstasy) make her the star patient of neurologist Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot (Vincent Lindon). He triggers her fits and shows them off to an audience of men in the medical field in scenes more remeniscent of theatre than science. The film is so much more about Augustine’s journey from an object to a subject than it is about Dr. Charcot, and their relationship is not romantic, but rather a complex and erotic power play in which Augustine has more agency than she (or the audience) might initially realise.
Now streaming: a film we love so much we wrote a book about it
First Cow - Mubi UK/AU/NZ and most territories (except Canada + US), Crave+ in Canada, Showtime/Fubo US
We loved First Cow so much that we wrote a whole book about it (and the rest of Kelly Reichardt's work!). If you haven't already seen the film, this is our #1 pick for the week.
Here's an excerpt from Orla's review:
Get your First Cow merch!
You can also get a piece of merch as a bundle with the Kelly Reichardt book, Roads to nowhere at a discount here.
Alex Heeney, Editor-in-Chief
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