Tag Archives: Censor

New Shows + Movies by Women — October 15, 2021

This is a phenomenal week for surprises. It includes a new psychological horror from one of the best directors out there, Claudia Llosa. It also features one of the best reviewed horror movies of the year, the latest in a recent surge of Welsh suspense. Nineties franchise “I Know What You Did Last Summer” gets re-adapted as a series. To top it all off, Kate Beckinsale goes against type in an ego-driven dark comedy. This is where we’ll start:

NEW SERIES

Guilty Party (Paramount+)
showrunner Rebecca Addelman

Kate Beckinsale stars as Beth, a discredited journalist. She tries to relaunch her career by ingratiating herself with a mother sentenced to life for murdering her husband. Beth is determined to prove herself relevant again- er, to prove the woman innocent.

Showrunner Rebecca Addelman has written and produced on “Dead to Me” and “Ghosted”.

You can watch “Guilty Party” on Paramount+, with new episodes premiering weekly.

I Know What You Did Last Summer (Amazon)
showrunner Sara Goodman

“I Know What You Did Last Summer” is a new adaptation of the Lois Duncan novel. It also saw a popular 1997 film adaptation. Five teens hit someone with their car on the night of their graduation. They hide the body. A year later, someone starts killing them one by one.

This is the first series showrun by Sara Goodman.

You can watch “I know What You Did Last Summer” on Amazon.

Build Divide #000000 Code Black (Crunchyroll)
directed by Komada Yuki

I really appreciate Japanese titling. From “Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon” to “Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense”, and even “Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code”, they’re just so much braver than our surfeit of boring, old 1-3 word titles.

Anyway, in “Build Divide #000000 Code Black”, players in a trading card game attempt to defeat the king of Neo Kyoto. If they do, their wishes will be granted. (#000000 is the hex code in a spreadsheet for black, if you’re wondering what the connection is. I’m…still not sure that clarifies anything.)

Komada Yuki previously assistant directed “Mugen no Juunin: Immortal”.

“Build Divide #000000 Code Black” is simulcast as it airs in Japan, with new episodes every week. You can watch it on Crunchyroll.

NEW MOVIES

Fever Dream (Netflix)
directed by Claudia Llosa

“Fever Dream” is an adaptation of Samanta Schweblin’s 2014 novel of the same name. It tells a surreal tale of horror inspired by environmental abuses in Argentina.

I named writer-director Claudia Llosa’s “The Milk of Sorrow” my best film of the 2010s. She is a brilliant visualist and patient storyteller. You could say her sense of empathy has infused her movies with elements of cultural horror (about misogyny and colonialism), but this looks like her first crack at a film that’s housed in the horror genre. The crew she’s gathered is a stunning group, including “Loki” composer Natalie Holt, “The Orphanage” cinematographer Oscar Faura, and “A Fantastic Woman” production designer Estefania Larrain.

You can watch “Fever Dream” on Netflix.

Censor (Hulu)
directed by Prano Bailey-Bond

Enid is a film censor. She’s strict, with a specialty for censoring moments of violence. When she’s tasked with reviewing a particular film, its details spur childhood memories about her sister’s unsolved disappearance. Enid sets to work investigating the film’s origins, even as fiction and reality increasingly blur.

This is the first feature from director and co-writer Prano Bailey-Bond. It also marks another well-reviewed Welsh horror entry centered on family bringing to light generations-old wrongs. Welsh horror is carving an extremely unique voice with independent-styled films that focus on characters who convey different realities based on privilege. These horror metaphors tend to center on gaslighting, often of women and often in relation to long-disappeared or dead family members.

I can’t help but notice the popularity of this theme, and wonder how much it might connect to a history of English abuses and cover-ups such as the culturally defining Aberfan disaster.

I featured “Censor” when you could rent it, but this is the first time it’s been on a streaming service. “Censor” now also appears on Hulu.

The Blazing World (VOD)
directed by Carlson Young

In this fairy tale horror, a woman returns to her childhood home. She’s stayed away since the accidental drowning of her twin sister. Yet as she returns, she finds access to an alternate world where her sister may survive. She’ll have to convince three demons to release her sister back into this world.

This is the first feature for director and co-writer Carlson Young.

See where to rent “The Blazing World”.

Moving On (MUBI)
directed by Yoon Dan-bi

In this Korean slice-of-life movie, two children move into their grandfather’s house for the summer. Their aunt soon follows, and the three generations work out how to live under the same roof.

This is the first film from writer-director Yoon Dan-bi.

You can watch “Moving On” on MUBI.

On the Fringe of Wild (VOD)
directed by Emma Catalfamo

The story of two young men falling in love in small-town Ontario is inspired by “Romeo and Juliet”.

This is the first feature-length film from director Emma Catalfamo.

See where to rent “On the Fringe of Wild”.

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.

New Shows + Movies by Women — June 18, 2021

There are two new series and eight new films to discuss this week. These come from Argentina, France, the Philippines, South Korea, the U.S., and Wales. Many have intriguing backgrounds and all that combined gives us a lot of exciting information to cover. Let’s dive straight in:

NEW SERIES

Physical (Apple TV)
showrunner Annie Weisman

Rose Byrne plays Sheila, a housewife in the 80s. Seeking an outlet, she gets swept up in the era’s aerobics craze. It’s not long before she builds a successful business out of it.

Showrunner Annie Weisman wrote and produced on “Desperate Housewives”, “Suburgatory”, and “The Path”. She got her start as a writer and story editor on “Dead Like Me”.

I’m unclear how many episodes they’re involved in, but directors include Liza Johnson and Stephanie Laing. Johnson directed feature films “Hateship, Loveship” and “Elvis & Nixon”. Laing directed 6 of the 8 episodes of my series of the year (so far), the conceptually terrifying “Made for Love”.

You can watch “Physical” on Apple TV.

Beyond Evil (Netflix)
directed by Shim Na Yeon

Two men turn their lives inside out pursuing a serial killer. Multiple candidates turn up as to the killers secret identity. The series aired earlier this year in South Korea to very favorable reviews.

This is the second series from Shim Na Yeon after the well received coming-of-age drama “Moment at Eighteen”. This isn’t simulcast; “Beyond Evil” is debuting all its episodes at once in the U.S.

You can watch “Beyond Evil” on Netflix.

NEW MOVIES

Censor (VOD)
directed by Prano Bailey-Bond

Enid is a film censor. She’s strict, with a specialty for censoring moments of violence. When she’s tasked with reviewing a particular film, she becomes convinced its actress is her sister. Details in the movie spur childhood memories about her sister’s unsolved disappearance. Enid sets to work investigating the film’s origins, even as fiction and reality increasingly blur.

This is the first feature from director and co-writer Prano Bailey-Bond. It also marks another well-reviewed Welsh horror entry centered on family bringing to light generations-old wrongs. Welsh horror is carving an extremely unique voice with independent-styled films that focus on themes of characters who convey different realities based on privilege. These horror metaphors tend to center on gaslighting, often of women and often in relation to long-disappeared or dead family members.

I can’t help but notice the popularity of this theme, and wonder how much it might connect to a history of English abuses and cover-ups such as the culturally defining Aberfan disaster.

See where to rent “Censor”, or use Redbox.

Fan Girl (Netflix)
directed by Antoinette Jadaone

A girl stows away in the back of her idol’s pickup truck. He discovers her, and at first she’s taken with him. The more she sees, however, the more he doesn’t fit with his PR-polished image.

Writer-director Antoinette Jadaone is a noted director in the Philippines.

You can watch “Fan Girl” on Netflix.

Alice (OVID TV)
directed by Josephine Mackerras

Alice discovers her family’s bank accounts are drained. Her husband has gone broke hiring escorts, and has abandoned her and her son. She soon decides that escorting might be her own path back to controlling her life.

The French film is the first feature from writer-director Josephine Mackerras.

You can watch “Alice” on OVID TV.

A Call to Spy (Showtime)
directed by Lydia Dean Pilcher

“A Call to Spy” focuses on spy recruiter Vera Atkins and two of the most important Allied spies of World War 2: Virginia Hall and Noor Inayat Khan. They are each monumental historical figures who are often overlooked.

Virginia Hall had previously tried to become a diplomat, but the U.S. Department of State held a rule against hiring people with disabilities. You see, Hall had a wooden leg from a hunting accident years prior. Britain’s Special Operations Executive would hire her instead. Hall would go on to work in Nazi-occupied France, orchestrate a prison break, and escape as Nazis closed in by walking 50 miles in two days over the Pyrenees mountain range. Nazi Germany considered her the Allies’ single most dangerous spy.

Noor Inayat Khan was a Muslim woman who became an operator in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. She would become the first woman sent to Nazi-occupied territory as a radio operator. This was considered the most dangerous job for a spy, since it was fairly easy for Germans to detect and quickly zero in on a radio operator. After initial success, she would be captured and executed at the Dachau concentration camp.

Lydia Dean Pilcher is an experienced producer, and her first two narrative features as director have told epic stories about overlooked women in history. She also helmed “Radium Girls”, and it’s apparent her skill as a producer also informs her directing. She’s conveyed historical movies more accurately than most, with a bare fraction of the budget and without losing their sense of scope or drama.

Sarah Megan Thomas writes the screenplay and stars as Virginia Hall. Lillie Rebecca McDonough composes the music for “A Call to Spy”.

This was previously featured when it came to VOD, but as it lands on a subscription service is no longer rentable.

You can watch “A Call to Spy” on Showtime.

Phobias (Hoopla, Hulu)
co-directed by Camilla Belle, Maritte Lee Go, Jess Varley

The horror anthology is one of the most difficult but fun genres to pull off. Here, five patients who suffer from extreme phobias are tested by a sadistic doctor.

Four of the six segments are directed by women: one each by Camilla Belle and Maritte Lee Go, and two by Jess Varley. Belle and Varley are both best known as actresses; this makes Belle’s directorial debut.

You can watch “Phobias” on Hoopla, Hulu , see where to rent it, or use Redbox.

A Family Submerged (Kanopy, OVID TV)
directed by Maria Alche

Marcela becomes disconnected after the death of her sister. She’s isolated from family, and has to form new bonds in an attempt to deal with the sudden change in her life.

The Argentinean film is the first feature from writer-director Maria Alche, who’s better known as an actress in series and films from across South America.

You can watch “A Family Submerged” on Kanopy or OVID TV.

No Ordinary Love (VOD)
directed by Chyna Robinson

A woman discovers a secret about her husband, a police officer. She goes to her pastor’s wife for help, but the pastor is controlling in his own way. Both women seek to leave their marriages, but face risking their lives to do so.

I do not know how elements like these play out. The trailer reminds me of evangelical nonsense like the despicable “War Room”, a film that suggested victims of domestic violence could simply stay and pray their way to a solution. I lost a job when I refused to give that one a favorable review. It can be hard to tell what direction some smaller films go when they haven’t been reviewed yet, but user reviews and the trailer itself give me the idea that “No Ordinary Love” is more likely to be a criticism of those types of films. At least, I hope it is.

This is the first feature from writer-director Chyna Robinson.

You can rent “No Ordinary Love” on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, or YouTube.

One in a Thousand (MUBI)
directed by Clarisa Navas

(I can’t locate an embeddable trailer with English subtitles, but MUBI should have the translated version.)

Iris is expelled from school. She ends up meeting Renata, who’s surrounded by rumors. Nonetheless, Iris pursues spending time with her, and the two develop feelings for each other.

The Argentinean film is writer-director Clarisa Navas’s second feature. She’s also written and directed documentary mini-series, and got her start as a production manager.

You can watch “One in a Thousand” on MUBI.

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

If you like 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.