We’re catching up on the last two weeks. The focus for this feature is still on what you can access digitally. Obviously, there are films in theaters like Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King”, which came in #1 at the U.S. box office this past weekend, as well as Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling”, starting its platformed release in a limited number of theaters this week. These are two of the larger, most-talked about films by women this year.
You can judge whether it’s safe for you to go to the theater where you live. Check out your state’s and county’s COVID information to see where you stand. For the time being, I’m going to maintain the focus on what can be accessed from home.
This is for a few reasons. I have friends with autoimmune issues – the world where we tolerate COVID and accept it as part of life is still one that can easily kill them. The lesser risk I would take is a life-threatening one to them. Even if they remain bubbled and I don’t see them, I just can’t get on board with treating where we’re at as normal when that normal assumes a world where they can’t go outside again. To leave them behind is to treat them as lesser, to treat their humanity as fungible. If my normal is their daily terror, then why would that be my normal?
I also have family living in states that have scrapped COVID tracking and monitoring entirely. I may be comparatively safe going to the theater where I live, but they aren’t where they live. I don’t just write for the people where I live, and I don’t want to normalize going to the theater in states where COVID remains a larger risk. Beyond this, I have readers in other countries. I have no idea where some of them are at in terms of COVID, nor where their laws land.
Is this being too careful? I don’t think so, but if so, so what? I’ve done my fair share of nonsense that risked my health, safety, and even my life once or twice. If I’m too careful in a pandemic, good. We’ve seen what not being careful enough is like.
Please understand that I’ll cover films like “The Woman King” and “Don’t Worry Darling” just like I cover films by men – once they arrive on streaming and can be accessed from home.
It’s not the way I want to cover things; I miss going to the theater and certainly I take a hit by not covering some of the larger films that are currently in theaters. Only you can judge how safe and responsible it is to go to the theater where you live. I’m looking for a time when I can return to covering films in theaters and I hope that’s coming up soon. Until then, the focus on this site and in this feature will remain what can be watched from home. I hope you understand.
New series by women come from Australia, Brazil, Thailand, and the U.S. New films by women come from France, Spain, and the U.S.
Vampire Academy (Peacock)
showrunners Marguerite MacIntyre, Julie Plec
After the death of her parents, Lissa returns to a private academy for vampires. Her best friend can sense all her thoughts, and the two try to keep their friendship intact amid the unpredictable political machinations of both vampires and boarding school.
Showrunners Marguerite MacIntyre and Julie Plec have worked together on various vampire shows, including “The Vampire Diaries”, “The Originals”, and “Legacies”, so this is their wheelhouse.
You can watch “Vampire Academy” on Peacock. The four-episode premiere happened on Sep. 15, with another coming yesterday, so five of the 10 episodes are out already. A new episode arrives every Thursday.
Thai Cave Rescue (Netflix)
co-showrunner Dana Ledoux Miller
This Thai series tells the story of 12 boys and their soccer coach who are stranded within flooded caves in 2018. It’s based on the real rescue attempts.
Dana Ledoux Miller showruns with Michael Russell Gunn. She’s written on “Narcos” and “Kevin Can F**k Himself”.
You can watch “Thai Cave Rescue” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out.
Heartbreak High (Netflix)
showrunner Hannah Carroll Chapman
mostly directed by women
Rebooting a classic 90s Australian show, “Heartbreak High” follows the lives of students navigating the social pressures of high school. It’s gotten particular praise for its portrayal of autism, with an autistic role for once played by an autistic actress in Chloe Hayden.
Showrunner and writer Hannah Carroll Chapman has written on some major Australian shows of the past few years, including “Home and Away” and “The Heights”. Directors include Gracie Otto and Jessie Oldfield.
You can watch “Heartbreak High” on Netflix. All 8 episodes are out immediately.
Only for Love (Netflix)
directed by women
Two lovers start a band. At their first success, one is offered a solo career. She pursues it, but as they try to maintain the relationship, the band’s new singer complicates matters.
The Brazilian series is directed by Ana Luiza Azevedo, Gisele Barroco, and Joana Mariani.
You can watch “Only for Love” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out.
co-directed by Fanny Liatard
In this French film, young Youri dreams of being an astronaut, but already that dream is threatened as he fights to save his housing project from demolition.
Fanny Liatard directs with Jeremey Trouilh. It is her first feature film.
You can watch “Gagarine” on MUBI.
Do Revenge (Netflix)
directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
A mash-up of “Strangers on a Train” and “Clueless”, “Do Revenge” finds two social outcasts at a private high school agreeing to commit each other’s revenge. As a dark comedy, it skillfully deals with issues of revenge porn, privilege, and performative allyship. I praised it as a big surprise in my review. If I’m honest, the trailer conveys the aesthetic but doesn’t necessarily do the story or its comedy justice.
Director and co-writer Jennifer Kaytin Robinson ought to be a major name before too long. She co-wrote “Thor: Love and Thunder” with Taika Waititi, produced on “Hawkeye”, created and showran “Sweet/Vicious”, and wrote and directed “Someone Great”.
You can watch “Do Revenge” on Netflix.
directed by Anna Foerster
A girl is kidnapped as a storm rages. Her mother can only turn to the mysterious loner next door for help. Jurnee Smollett stars, with Allison Janney as the badass loner.
Anna Foerster has directed on “Westworld”, “Jessica Jones”, and “Outlander”. Her journey’s an interesting one. She started out as a director of photography for visual effects units in films like “Independence Day”, “Alien: Resurrection”, and “Pitch Black”. This led to jobs as a second unit director and aerial director of photography until she got her first directing break on “Criminal Minds” a decade ago.
You can watch “Lou” on Netflix.
Mighty Flash (MUBI)
directed by Ainhoa Rodriguez
“Mighty Flash”, or “Destello Bravio”, is a surreal Spanish drama that tells the story of a village stuck in time going back generations. Only older people remain, repeating traditions as the town dies.
This is the first film from Ainhoa Rodriguez after directing on Spanish TV series.
You can watch “Mighty Flash” on MUBI.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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