One woman holds another in the Starz adaptation of "Dangerous Liaisons".

New Shows + Movies by Women — November 11, 2022

This weekly feature is built to platform full-length films and series with “full-size” episodes (20-some minutes or longer). That’s not a preference; I could go on and on about short filmmaking and I probably will in some articles down the road.

It’s more a necessity of streamlining my research. There’s not much organized information out there about when short films or shorts series become accessible to viewers. Nevertheless, I do try to include these in my intro when they come across my radar.

This usually means Netflix or HBO featuring a group of short films they’ve funded, though probably less of that from HBO now that Discovery’s bought it. In terms of series, Disney+ regularly spins off shorts from its properties – such as “Baymax!” and now “Zootopia+”.

I’d like to mention more shorts series than the franchised ones, and something like that could be the basis for its own article in the future. Many of the franchised series are great; I’d just love to point people in the direction of more independent work as well. It’s something I’m working on.

I bring this up because “Zootopia+” premiered this week. The series of six 10-minute shorts tell stories of side characters from the Disney animated film “Zootopia”. Each episode is directed by Josie Trinidad with Trent Correy. You can find the series on Disney+.

Just one new series this week, from the U.S. New films by women come from Argentina, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

Dangerous Liaisons (Starz)
showrunner Harriet Warner
half-directed by Leonora Lonsdale

“Dangerous Liaisons” returns to a period adaptation in Paris, 1783. The series is a prelude to the novel itself, which of course gives it plenty of material for future seasons (it’s already been renewed for season 2).

The series of sexual gambling, manipulation, and extortion is one of the most-adapted properties in cinema. France regularly sees series and film adaptations, including Rachel Suissa’s contemporary interpretation just this year.

The 80s and 90s saw a number of English-language adaptations, including a star-studded 1988 version featuring Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Uma Thurman. “Valmont” followed in 1989 with Annette Bening, Colin Firth, and Meg Tilly. Millennials are pretty familiar with 1999’s “Cruel Intentions”, featuring Selma Blair, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Reese Witherspoon.

There’s 2003 Korean film “Untold Scandal”, a Chinese 2012 co-production starring Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung, and series adaptations from Slovakia and more recently Brazil and South Korea.

For the Starz series, showrunner Harriet Warner comes over from “Call the Midwife” and “Tell Me Your Secrets”. “The Pale Horse” director Leonora Lonsdale directs half the episodes.

You can watch “Dangerous Liaisons” on Starz. The first episode has premiered, with a new one arriving every Sunday.

NEW MOVIES

Dive (Amazon)
directed by Lucia Puenzo

(There’s no English trailer, but options are available on Amazon).

This Argentinean-Mexican film follows the training of an Olympic diver. She slowly sees a sordid reality of how the men and girls on her team interact, and that she may have to sacrifice her life’s efforts to do something about it.

Director Lucia Puenzo won Argentina’s Academy Award for Best Film and Best Director in 2013 (and was nominated for Best Screenplay) for “Wakolda” (“The German Doctor”). It tracks Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele’s time in Argentina.

Her “The Fish Child”, about two girls who fall in love while hiding secrets from each other, also saw three nominations, for Director, Film, and Screenplay.

Puenzo is perhaps most famous in the states for “XXY”, which tells the story of an intersex child navigating her way through puberty.

You can watch “Dive” on Amazon.

My Father’s Dragon (Netflix)
directed by Nora Twomey

Elmer Elevator’s search for a dragon leads him to an island lost in time. There, he befriends a dragon, and learns that the island is under threat.

This film marks the convergence of three remarkable storytellers. Ruth Stiles Gannett wrote a series of children’s books in the 1940s and 50s, “My Father’s Dragon” having won the Newbery Medal for children’s literature.

Meg LeFauve writes the script after co-writing “Inside Out”, “Captain Marvel”, and “The Good Dinosaur”.

Director Nora Twomey co-directed “The Secret of Kells”, which I chose as one of my top 10 films of its decade. She also directed the incredibly beautiful “The Breadwinner”.

The film itself may be under the radar, but the women who are making it shouldn’t be. You can watch “My Father’s Dragon” on Netflix.

Mandrake (Shudder)
directed by Lynne Davison

Cathy is a probation officer who is assigned the rehabilitation of a notorious murderer. When two nearby children disappear, she has suspicions that the freed Mary may be guilty.

This is director Lynne Davison’s first feature.

You can watch “Mandrake” on Shudder.

Falling for Christmas (Netflix)
directed by Janeen Damian

Lindsay Lohan’s movie deal with Netflix starts with her playing an heiress who loses her memory right around Christmas. Luckily, there’s a handsome widower who helps take care of her.

Janeen Damian is a prolific producer of both Christmas movies and horse girl movies (having produced some of the “Flicka” films). This is the first film she’s directed.

You can watch “Falling for Christmas” on Netflix.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

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