Tag Archives: Bull

New Shows + Movies by Women — July 31, 2020

Do you like British TV? If you do, this week is basically the holiday of your choice in July. Three subscription services are debuting new British series in the States. Each of them has actually aired in the U.K. a few months previously, but there’s a deep rabbit hole of politics when it comes to U.S.-based services locking out many British shows from airing concurrently in the U.S.

Of course, the most important highlight of the week for many is Canadian. This would be the long, long-awaited return of supernatural punch-and-banter-em-up “Wynonna Earp” for its fourth season. I’d like to remind everyone that this is an incredibly important event in all our lives, and “Wynonna Earp” makes for a perfect momentary escape in between calling Congresspeople and creating new swear words at them. “Wynonna Earp” is showrun by Canadian producer Emily Andras.

Let’s get to the brand new shows:


In My Skin (Hulu series)
showrunner Kayleigh Llewellyn
directed by Lucy Forbes

“In My Skin” follows a teenager named Bethan who’s simply trying to hide her disastrous home life from her friends at school. It sounds like a simple idea, but what I’ve seen of it looks touching, funny, and the filmmaking has a terrific emotional command of its moments.

The show was originally ordered as a short film in 2018, written by Kayleigh Llewellyn and directed by Lucy Forbes. BBC Wales picked it up as a series, which debuted this year – again with Llewellyn writing and Forbes directing.

It’s Llewellyn’s first series as the lead writer. Forbes has been a British mainstay in recent years, directing all of “Bad Cramps” and a number of episodes for “The End of the F***ing World”.

The trailer’s brief, but you can try this scene for a better idea of the show’s feel.

You can watch “In My Skin” with a Hulu subscription.

Frayed (HBO Max series)
showrunners Nicole O’Donohue, Sarah Kendall

In the late 80s, a very rich London woman loses both her husband and their wealth. Her only solution is to head back to Australia to live with family. There are a few big problems: she hasn’t been there in 20 years, she’s lied to her children about her past, and she’s lied to her family about her present.

O’Donohue is a film producer who shifted into doing more TV in 2017. Jennifer Leacey directs the final 2 of the series’ 6 episodes. Most deeply involved is creator, writer, and star Sarah Kendall. Kendall is a Welsh comedian who’s appeared in Britain routinely in stand-up, sketch comedy, and satirical performances.

You can watch “Frayed” with an HBO Max subscription.

Get Even (Netflix series)
showrunner Holly Phillips

Four girls at a British private school form a group to expose bullies. When one bully they’ve exposed winds up murdered, is it a coincidence or are they being framed? The show is based on a series of books called “Don’t Get Mad” by Gretchen McNeil.

Showrunner Holly Phillips is known for a number of British teen drama series including “Nearly Famous”, “Dead Gorgeous”, and “The Athena”.

I included the much, much better British trailer that doesn’t try to make the show look exactly like every other teen series on Netflix (I get that they have a formula, but sometimes they mangle things in a bit too hard to appear to fit it).

You can watch “Get Even” with a Netflix subscription.


Black is King (Disney+)
co-directed by Beyonce, Jenn Nkiru

“Black is King” is a visual album in the form of a full-length movie. It’s based on the music in Beyonce’s “The Lion King: The Gift”, the soundtrack album for “The Lion King” remake. That album includes performances by 070 Shake, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, and Tierra Whack, among many others – I assume many of those performances will make it into “Black is King”.

Beyonce is arguably the best known musical artist in the world. The nature of the project means eight directors are on board. She’s obviously the over-arching voice making decisions here as the producer, writer, director, star, composer, and the only person in the room at any given time who is Beyonce.

Jenn Nkiru is one of the other directors. She’s a Nigerian-British music video director who’s helmed vids for Kamasi Washington and Neneh Cherry.

You can watch “Black is King” with a Disney+ subscription.

Shakuntala Devi (Amazon)
directed by Anu Menon

Shakuntala Devi was someone who could calculate just about anything in her head. She became known as a human computer, and demonstrated her ability for crowds. She later became a writer in India. This included what’s considered the first study of homosexuality in India, one that argued for its decriminalization. She passed away in 2013. The film is an energetic biographical take on her life.

Writer-director Anu Menon has come to prominence more recently in the Indian film industry.

You can watch “Shakuntala Devi” with an Amazon Prime subscription.

Bull (Hulu)
directed by Annie Silverstein

This looks exceptionally good. It takes place outside of Houston, where a frustrated teen breaks into an aging rodeo performer’s home. They’re both struggling; they both live in an area forgotten in poverty. He takes her on for help, and she begins to learn about his job.

This is director Annie Silverstein’s first narrative feature. She’s previously directed documentaries – “March Point” featured troubled Swinomish youth who were learning about filmmaking, and appeared on Independent Lens in 2008. “Rush” followed soldiers using high-adrenaline activities to readjust to life as civilians.

I featured “Bull” once before when it became available for rental, but I wanted to make sure and feature it again now that it’s on a subscription service.

You can watch “Bull” with a Hulu subscription, or find other streaming services where you can rent it for $4 and up right here.

Summerland (VOD)
directed by Jessica Swale

Gemma Arterton’s made a name for herself in a few franchises, but it’s always been the under-the-radar work where she’s shown an incredibly complex range. “Summerland” tackles the story of a novelist during World War 2. She unexpectedly has to take in an evacuee from London. His father’s at war, and London became untenable for children during the London Blitz bombing campaign. Many families were asked to take children in and care for them during this time. Arterton’s Alice hides a secret, that she couldn’t be with her romantic partner – another woman.

This is writer-director Jessica Swale’s feature debut.

You can rent “Summerland” for $4 from Amazon, or $7 from Vudu. For whatever reason, some services that are supposed to have it (like Google Play) are dragging their heels on it going live, so if you have a preferred one, search it there first.


The Speed Cubers (Netflix documentary)
directed by Sue Kim

There’s a worldwide following for competitive Rubik’s Cube solving. The main focus is on breaking speed records. Two of the leading competitors are Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs. “The Speed Cubers” follows their journey to competition, as well as the friendships younger competitors like them have found with each other.

This documentary short (about 40 mins.) is directed by Sue Kim. It’s her first listed major project.

You can watch “The Speed Cubers” with a Netflix subscription.

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind (virtual theatrical)
directed by Martha Kehoe, Joan Tosoni

Gordon Lightfoot is a Canadian folk singer who was a leading musical artist in the 1960s and 70s. You’d probably recognize a number of his songs within a few bars. “If You Could Read My Mind” tracks his career and asks Lightfoot to look back on his life.

Director Martha Kehoe started as a producer of Canada’s Juno awards (think their version of our Grammy Awards) and has since produced and directed a range of documentaries on figures in music and comedy. Joan Tosoni has primarily directed on awards shows and reality TV competitions (such as “Canadian Idol” and “Canada’s Got Talent”.)

“Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind” is seeing a virtual theatrical release. This means that you can watch it online just like you would on a streaming service, but you do so by selecting a real theater that receives your ticket purchase. This splits the cost of the ticket between theater and distributor just like if you’d purchased a physical ticket. It’s a way of supporting independent theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, while still being able to physically isolate in the comfort of home. You can select a theater and watch the film right here.

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

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

New Movies + Shows by Women — May 8, 2020

This week sees some exceptional looking films. Let’s tackle a few ongoing series before we get to them. Showrunner Liz Feldman’s “Dead to Me” sees its second season released today. The first season was nominated for a Golden Globe, Emmy, and SAG award for Christina Applegate’s performance. It’s a Netflix original series, so that’s the only place to find it.

Showrunner Tanya Saracho’s “Vida” sees its third season. The winner of GLAAD’s Oustanding Comedy Series follows two Mexican-American sisters who discover their late mother was married to a woman. This splits inheritance of their mother’s bar three ways, and the result is a push-and-pull of conflicting cultural fears that range from the modern colonialism of gentrification to Latinx attitudes toward LGBTQ people. New episodes are on Starz, and you can use the add-on through Amazon, Hulu, Sling, or YouTube.

Hulu also premiers an episode of “Into the Dark” today. There’s a new episode every month in the horror anthology – each episode is a standalone. This month’s episode, “Delivered”, caught my eye because it’s helmed by “The Wind” director Emma Tammi. She’s someone to watch, an up-and-coming director with an incisive eye and patient storytelling sense.

Bull (rental)
directed by Annie Silverstein

This looks exceptionally good. It takes place outside of Houston, where a frustrated teen breaks into an aging rodeo performer’s home. They’re both struggling; they both live in an area forgotten in poverty. He takes her on for help, and she begins to learn about his job.

This is director Annie Silverstein’s first narrative feature, but she’s previously directed documentaries – “March Point” about troubled Swinomish youth discovering filmmaking appeared on Independent Lens in 2008. “Rush” followed soldiers using high-adrenaline activities to readjust to being civilians.

You can rent “Bull” for $4 from Amazon, Google Play, or YouTube.

The Lodge (Hulu)
co-directed by Veronika Franz

Hmm, a parent is stuck at home with two children and they can’t go anywhere. Is this escapism or current events? As we’re all finding out these days, spend enough time alone with folks and you’ll eventually find one of you was in a cult at some point. Here, it’s the stepmom. I appreciate that the trailer’s not giving much away. Are the kids creepy? The stepmom? The dad who had to leave? Has a former cult returned? Is it something supernatural? The trailer leaves the door open on all of them, which is refreshing.

Veronika Franz is part of a director team with Severin Fiala. They previously directed “Goodnight Mommy” together.

You can see “The Lodge” on Hulu, rent it for $3 from Redbox on Demand, $4 from Google Play or YouTube, or $5 from Amazon.

Ordinary Love (rental)
co-directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa

It’s just cheating to put a Magnetic Fields song in your trailer. Much as I’m tempted to cancel Liam Neeson, this looks good and it’s one of the few forays he’s made into these kinds of films recently.

One can’t help but think of Neeson’s own history, in losing his wife Natasha Richardson suddenly after a ski accident in 2009. It’s difficult to know how much of that experience is brought into a performance where a character finds out his wife is dying. It’s difficult to know if that really matters, if it should be discussed or shouldn’t in considering the performance.

Lisa Barros D’Sa is part of a director team with Glenn Leyburn. They directed “Cherrybomb” and “Good Vibrations” together previous to this.

You can rent “Ordinary Love” for $4 from Amazon, or $6 from Google Play or YouTube.

How to Build a Girl (rental)
directed by Coky Giedroyc

A nerdy teen re-invents herself as an eccentric rock critic named Dolly Wilde. With roles in “Booksmart”, “Lady Bird”, “What We Do in the Shadows”, starring as Monica Lewinsky in “American Crime Story”, and now this, Beanie Fieldstein is putting together an absolutely stunning resume as a young comic actor.

Director Cody Giedroyc has an eclectic history that includes episodes of “The Virgin Queen”, “Oliver Twist”, “Penny Dreadful”, and “Harlots”.

You can rent “How to Build a Girl” for $6 from Amazon.

Valeria (Netflix)
showrunner Maria Lopez Castano

“Valeria” follows a struggling novelist in a marriage that’s increasingly distanced. Her friends help her navigate these difficulties and we see something of their love lives as well – the structure is reminiscent of “Sex and the City”.

The show’s adapted by Castano from novels by Elisabet Benavent. The two directors are women: Inma Torrente and Nely Reguera. It’s very cool to see an original Spanish series driven by women. The Spanish directors and creators who are usually given the platform to bridge the Atlantic are men.

The Assistant (rental)
directed by Kitty Green

I featured this before when it was out in theaters, in the time before pandemic. I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for when it’s available for rental, but it’s probably been the most difficult movie I’ve had to track; it’s not an any VOD release calendar I can find. Regardless, it’s appears available for digital rental.

“The Assistant” is director Kitty Green’s debut. It follows an assistant as she grows ever more aware of her boss’s sexual abuses. It was only released in a few hundred theaters, so hopefully it can find more footing on home release.

You can rent “The Assistant” for $5 from Redbox on Demand, or for $6 from Amazon, Google Play, or YouTube.

Valley Girl (Amazon)
directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg

Musicals can be a good way to escape the quarantine doldrums. This is a remake of a 1983 movie that wasn’t a musical – that’s a remake formula I can get behind. The plot of the original is that a ‘cool girl’ from ‘the Valley’ falls for a hot ‘Hollywood punk’ who’s not. Her friends disapprove of him because he’s ‘grody’. I’m lifting these words from the synopsis. Wait, it gets better. The grody hunk was played by Nicolas Cage.

The original is regarded as a bit of a classic, and it was directed by Martha Coolidge, one of the few women directors of the 80s who found a way into the mainstream with films like “Real Genius”.

Remake director Rachel Lee Goldenberg has a strong resume herself, with directing credits on everything from “The Mindy Project” to “Angie Tribeca” and “Looking for Alaska”.

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

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