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#314 October 31, 2017

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    By Entertainer

    Matt writes: With so many potential Oscar contenders vying for one's attention this season, I'd like to take a moment and recommend one that I absolutely loved. It is "Novitiate," a brilliantly acted and provocative drama written and directed by Margaret Betts. It revolves around a group of young women training to be nuns while under the strict guidance of their Reverend Mother (played by Melissa Leo in an Oscar-worthy performance). The ensemble includes some of the finest emerging talent in modern cinema, including Margaret Qualley, Liana Liberato, Morgan Saylor and Maddie Hasson. The film is currently in limited release and should definitely be sought out. In the meantime, check out Betts' interview with our own Nell Minow.


    Princess Cyd (2017). Written and directed by Stephen Cone. Starring Rebecca SpenceJessie PinnickMalic White. Synopsis: Eager to escape life with her depressive single father, 16-year-old athlete Cyd Loughlin visits her novelist aunt in Chicago over the summer. While there, she falls for a girl in the neighborhood, even as she and her aunt gently challenge each other in the realms of sex and spirit. Opens in US theaters on November 3rd, 2017.

    Phantom Thread (2017). Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Starring Daniel Day-LewisLesley ManvilleCamilla Rutherford. Synopsis: Set in 1950's London, Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover. Opens in US theaters on December 25th, 2017.

    Black Panther (2018). Directed by Ryan Coogler. Written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole (based on the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby). Starring Chadwick BosemanMichael B. JordanLupita Nyong'o. Synopsis: T'Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. Opens in US theaters on February 16th, 2018.

    I Love You, Daddy (2017). Written and directed by Louis C.K.. Starring Louis C.K., Rose ByrneChloë Grace Moretz. Synopsis: When a successful television writer's daughter becomes the interest of an aging filmmaker with an appalling past, he becomes worried about how to handle the situation. Opens in US theaters on November 17th, 2017.

    The Silence of the Lambs (1991), re-release. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Written by Ted Tally (based on the novel by Thomas Harris). Starring Jodie FosterAnthony HopkinsLawrence A. Bonney. Synopsis: A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims. US release date is TBA.

    Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built (2018). Directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig. Written by Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig and Tom Vaughan. Starring Jason ClarkeHelen MirrenSarah Snook. Synopsis: Eccentric firearm heiress believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle. Opens in US theaters on February 2nd, 2018.

    X-Men: The New Mutants (2018). Directed by Josh Boone. Written by Josh Boone and Knate Lee (based on the comic book by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod). Starring Anya Taylor-JoyMaisie WilliamsAlice Braga. Synopsis: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves. Opens in US theaters on April 13th, 2018.

    I, Tonya (2017). Directed by Craig Gillespie. Written by Steven Rogers. Starring Margot RobbieBobby CannavaleSebastian Stan. Synopsis: Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes. Opens in US theaters on December 8th, 2017.

    The Breadwinner (2017). Directed by Nora Twomey. Written by Anita Doron and Deborah Ellis. Starring Saara ChaudryLaara SadiqShaista Latif. Synopsis: Private detective Charles Hayward is invited to solve a gruesome crime where nobody is above suspicion, including Sophia, his client and former lover. Opens in US theaters on November 17th, 2017.

    A Prayer Before Dawn (2017). Directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire. Written by Jonathan Hirschbein and Nick Saltrese. Starring Joe ColeVithaya PansringarmPanya Yimmumphai. Synopsis: Based on the true life experience of Billy Moore who survived his Thai prison ordeal by becoming a Muay Thai boxing champion. US release date is TBA.

    Along for the Ride (2017). Directed by Nick Ebeling. Synopsis: A documentary about iconic actor Dennis Hopper. Opens in US theaters on November 3rd, 2017.

    Journey's End (2018). Directed by Saul Dibb. Written by Simon Reade (based on the novel by R.C. Sherriff and Vernon Bartlett. Starring Sam ClaflinPaul BettanyAsa Butterfield. Synopsis: Set in a dugout in Aisne in 1918, it is the story of a group of British officers, led by the mentally disintegrating young officer Stanhope, variously awaiting their fate. US release date is TBA.

    Almost Friends (2017). Written and directed by Jake Goldberger. Starring Freddie HighmoreOdeya RushChristopher Meloni. Synopsis: Charlie is an unmotivated man in his mid 20s still living at home with his mother and stepfather who falls for a young woman who has a serious boyfriend. US release date is TBA.

    The Strange Ones (2017). Written and directed by Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein. Starring Alex PettyferJames Freedson-JacksonEmily Althaus. Synopsis: Mysterious events surround two travelers as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to a dark and complex web of secrets. US release date is TBA.

    The Day I Met El Chapo (2017). Directed by Carlos Armella. Synopsis: Famed Mexican actress Kate del Castillo introduces a Hollywood star to a fugitive drug lord. What could go wrong? For her: a lot. Now available on Netflix.

    Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017). Directed by Chris Smith. Synopsis: A behind-the-scenes look at how Jim Carrey adopted the persona of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufmanon the set of 1999's "Man on the Moon." Debuts on Netflix on November 17th, 2017.

    24 Hours to Live (2017). Directed by Brian Smrz. Written by Zach DeanJim McClain and Ron Mita. Starring Rutger HauerEthan HawkePaul Anderson. Synopsis: An assassin seeks redemption after being given a second chance at life. Opens in US theaters on December 1st, 2017.

    Mudbound (2017). Directed by Dee Rees. Written by Dee Rees and Virgil Williams (based on the novel by Hillary Jordan). Starring Jason MitchellCarey MulliganGarrett Hedlund. Synopsis: Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war. Debuts on Netflix on November 17th, 2017.

    2017 Roger Ebert Award Winner

    Matt writes: I was among the five members of the New Directors jury at this year's Chicago International Film Festival that selected Laura Mora's "Killing Jesús," as the winner of the 2017 Roger Ebert Award. Here is our official statement about the picture: "Laura Mora's extraordinarily moving Colombian drama 'Killing Jesús' won the Roger Ebert Award last Friday at the 2017 Chicago International Film Festival. Beyond its thrilling cinematography and exceptional cast of non-actors, this film contained the richest, most deeply moving example that the New Directors jury saw of a quality Ebert treasured in cinema. He once wrote, 'If you can’t try to understand how the other person feels, you’re a captive inside the box of yourself.' Mora’s lead heroine tracks down her father’s killer initially in pursuit of vengeance, until she realizes that his crime was merely a symptom of a corrupted society. The film is wise and perceptive in its suggestion that empathy itself can serve as a form of catharsis."

    Agnes Varda and JR on "Faces Places"

    Matt writes: Nell Minow republished her essential interview with actor/filmmaker David Schwimmer about "the danger of Hollywood culture," and how it has aided in the abuse of women.


    Free Movies

    The Old Dark House (1932). Directed by James Whale. Written by Benn W. Levy (based on the novel by J.B. Priestley). Starring Boris KarloffMelvyn DouglasCharles Laughton. Synopsis: Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.

    Watch "The Old Dark House"

    Woman in the Shadows (1934). Directed by Phil Rosen. Written by Sada Cowan (based on a story by Dashiell Hammett). Starring Fay WrayRalph BellamyMelvyn Douglas. Synopsis: A paroled prisoner hits a man attacking a woman. He runs away scared that he may have killed him - he did not.

    Watch "Woman in the Shadows"

    Theodore Goes Wild (1936). Directed by Richard Boleslawski. Written by Sidney Buchman. Starring Irene DunneMelvyn DouglasThomas Mitchell. Synopsis: The author of a controversially racy best-selling book tries to hide her celebrity status from her provincial small-town neighbors, who'd be scandalized if they knew. 

    Watch "Theodore Goes Wild"

    By: Matt Fagerholm
    Posted: October 31, 2017, 5:01 am


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