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Weekly Update for August 23 & 30: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

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by Kerensa Cadenas
August 23, 2013 3:15 PM
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Audrey Tautou in Therese

Check out the women centric, directed and written films playing near you in the next two weeks.

Films About Women Opening This Weekend

August 23:


Short Term 12

Short Term 12 , written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, was hands down one of my favorite films I saw at SXSW. The film follows Grace (Brie Larson), a young staffer at a group home who alongside her boyfriend Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) care for the group--ranging from children to young adults--at the home. While they aren't meant to serve as therapists, merely staffers to make sure the residents don't harm themselves, their connections through shared moments indicate much deeper bonds.

When Grace discovers she's pregnant along with a bond with new resident, Jayden (Kaitlyn Devers) more of her own past spills forth and she must cope with it all over again. Short Term 12 deals with subject matter that could be sensationalized, but Cretton handles it with subtlety, never exploiting the characters for dramatic gain. Larson is tremendous as Grace, playing her with a balance of stillness and strength. And she's supported by an amazing ensemble cast without which the realism of the film would not be felt. (Kerensa Cadenas)


The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - Written by Jessica Postigo

When her mother disappears, Clary Fray (Lily Collins) learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld. (IMDB)


Sparrows Dance

When stage fright gets the best of her, a former actress (Marin Ireland) stops leaving her apartment, crippled by fear of the outside world. Living off delivery food and residuals from her acting career, she spends her days watching bad TV and spying on the city from her window. But when her toilet overflows and a kind, compassionate plumber (Paul Sparks) shows up, she reluctantly allows him into her refuge. A tender, comical love story, grounded by exceptional performances by Ireland and Sparks. (From Press Materials)


Paradise: Faith

Second film in Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy. A devout Catholic woman practises her religion at home and in the local community, but is unprepared for the reappearance of her estranged husband, who is a Muslim. (Indiewire)


Therese

An unhappily married woman (Audrey Tautou) struggles to break free from social pressures.(IMDB)

August 30:

The Lifeguard - Written and Directed by Liz W. Garcia

The Lifeguard , directed and written by Garcia, follows Leigh (Kristen Bell)--a seemingly together woman at the cusp of 30. She's working as a journalist in New York--a dream--but covering the weird beats that are less than ideal. Leigh's also involved with a gorgeous co-worker but he's engaged. The pieces that Leigh's life contain are rooted in what she wanted but are grossly distorted.

She feels frayed at the edges--Bell gives her a listlessness that fuzzes into the edges of the New York City chaos that surrounds her. When she finally snaps, Leigh runs back to her hometown and to her reluctant parents. She secures her old high school job as a lifeguard and quickly reverts back into teen life. Reconnecting with her old friends, Mel (Mamie Gummer) and Todd (Martin Starr), both of whom have found a comfortable grown-up groove in their hometown, Leigh shakes things up for all of them. (Kerensa Cadenas)

Afternoon Delight - Written and Directed by Jill Soloway

Rachel (Kathryn Hahn), in Soloway's Afternoon Delight which she wrote and directed), has seemingly checked off all the boxes on the prescribed list--she's married to a great guy (Josh Radnor), lives in a gorgeous house in Los Angeles and has an adorable kid. Despite everything she has, Rachel is bored. She's tired of the group of moms she has to associate with, she doesn't know how to interact with her son and her sex life is nonexistent. In order to try to spice things up, she and her husband go to a strip club. The spicing up doesn't work out, but Rachel becomes obsessed with saving McKenna (Juno Temple), a young stripper who gave her a lap dance.

As Rachel and McKenna become friends, Rachel welcomes McKenna into her home as their live-in nanny. The friendship with McKenna seems to reawaken Rachel or at least gives her a sense of purpose. While Rachel wants to save McKenna from a life that in contrast to her own seems undesirable, McKenna doesn't want to be saved. This revelation causes Rachel to rethink what she's been doing with McKenna which becomes a catalyst for her to really look at what's making her unhappy. Hahn plays Rachel with a mix of self-deprecation and a similar listlessness to Bell in The Lifeguard. (Kerensa Cadenas)

Passion


The rivalry between the manipulative boss (Rachel McAdams) of an advertising agency and her talented protégée (Noomi Rapace) escalates from stealing credit to public humiliation to murder. (IMDB)

Abigail Harm

A woman named Abigail (Amanda Plummer) lives at the edge of the city, where no one can see her; she keeps her eyes turned away, but secretly she watches, listens, and hopes. Her father is dying, but she can't face him. She dreams of seeing him well again. She remembers a story about a woodcutter who saves the life of a deer and is granted a wish. He wishes for a companion. One evening an unknown man appears in her apartment, and she hides him. He tells her of a strange creature: it comes to earth, removes its robe, and bathes in the water. If you hide its robe, it follows you home; if you care for it, it loves you; and as long as you keep its robe, it will never leave you. Abigail finds this creature, and suddenly her life in the city is changed. But she finds it difficult to believe that she could have such a companion, one who will never leave her. (From Press Materials)

Films About Women Currently Playing

Austenland - Written and Directed by Jerusha Hess, Adapted for the Screen by Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale

The Patience Stone

Inch'Allah - Written and Directed by Anaid Barbeau-Lavalette

Lovelace

In A World... - Written and Directed by Lake Bell

Blue Jasmine

Girl Most Likely - Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, written by Michelle Morgan

The Heat - Written by Katie Dippold

20 Feet From Stardom

The Bling Ring - written and directed by Sofia Coppola

Hannah Arendt - Directed by Margarethe von Trotta

Fill The Void - Written and Directed by Rama Burshstein

Frances Ha - Co-Written by Greta Gerwig

Augustine - Directed by Alice Winocour

Stories We Tell - Directed by Sarah Polley (doc)


Films Directed by Women Opening This Weekend

August 23:

Una Noche - Written and Directed by Lucy Mulloy

Fed up with catering to the privileged tourist class, Cuban teens Raul and Elio are tantalized by the promise of a new life in Miami. Accused of assaulting a foreigner, Raul has no choice but to flee, but Elio must decide whether his own escape is worth abandoning his beloved sister. Brimming with the nervous energy of Havana's restless youth and evocative cinematography of the sun-bleached capital, Una Noche follows one sweltering day, full of hope and fraught with tensions, that burns to a shocking climax. (Indiewire)

August 30:

Our Nixon - Directed by Penny Lane (doc)

Throughout Richard Nixon's presidency, three of his top White House aides obsessively documented their experiences with Super 8 home movie cameras. Young, idealistic and dedicated, they had no idea that a few years later they'd all be in prison. This unique and personal visual record, created by H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Dwight Chapin, was seized by the FBI during the Watergate investigation, then filed away and forgotten for almost 40 years. (Indiewire)


Getaway - Directed by Courtney Solomon

Brent Magna must get behind the wheel and follow the orders of a mysterious man to save his kidnapped wife. (Indiewire)


Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Blackfish - Directed by Gabriela Coperthwaite (doc)

Love Is All You Need - Directed by Susanne Bier


Films Written by Women Currently Playing

Before Midnight - Co-Written by Julie Delpy


Films By and About Women on DVD/And Or On Demand


August 23:

Shadow Dancer

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners - Directed by Shola Lynch

August 28:

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Directed by Mira Nair

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

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