Tag Archives: Gillian Wallace Horvat

New Shows + Movies by Women — February 11, 2022

There’s a lot to get to this week. With 14 titles, most streaming services see something new, but it’s an especially good week if you have Netflix or Shudder. Just from what I’ve observed writing this feature for the past two years, Netflix regularly has a big influx of projects by women. I don’t know that they have a higher rate than others. Since Netflix has a much larger output compared to other streaming services, it could just be a matter of volume. Either way, there are weeks like this where a huge number of titles by women appear on the platform.

As for Shudder, it’s picking up a lot of horror films that came out on rental last year, but that haven’t found a subscription service until now. These can be international, like Argentina’s “Rock, Paper and Scissors”, or a low-budget indie like “I Blame Society”. Shudder can be pretty good at grabbing these horror gems by women that other services overlook.

Of course, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, there’s also a number of romantic comedies out there. It’s a genre I do miss and they look surprisingly good. Expect to see some promising ones coming out this and next week.

New shows and films by women this week come from Argentina, Iran, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, the U.K., and the U.S.


Inventing Anna (Netflix)
showrunner Shonda Rhimes

Julia Garner stars as Anna, a con artist who uses Instagram to convince New York high society that she’s a German heiress…before stealing their money. The series is based on a real-life case where Anna Sorokin defrauded banks, hotels, and the wealthy throughout the 2010s. If you don’t know Garner, she’s absolutely an actress to keep your attention on.

Shonda Rhimes created and showruns “Inventing Anna”. Rhimes has produced on “Bridgerton”, “Scandal”, “How to Get Away with Murder”, and “Grey’s Anatomy”.

You can watch “Inventing Anna” on Netflix. All 10 episodes are immediately available.

Sister Boniface Mysteries (Britbox)
showrunner Jude Tindall

A Catholic nun spends her free time solving mysteries.

Showrunner and writer Jude Tindall also created and wrote for “Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators”, and wrote on the show where the character of Sister Boniface first appeared, “Father Brown”.

You can watch “Sister Boniface Mysteries” on Britbox. New episodes arrive every Tuesday.


Ballad of a White Cow (MUBI)
co-directed by Maryam Moghadam

Maryam Moghadam writes, directs, and stars as Mina in this Iranian film. Mina discovers her husband was innocent of the crime for which he was executed. She attempts to fight the very system that denies her even the most basic agency as a woman.

Maryam Moghadam directs with Behtash Sanaeeha. As an actress, she’s appeared in a number of Iranian films. This is her third film as a writer, and second as director.

You can watch “Ballad of a White Cow” on MUBI.

The Sky is Everywhere (Apple TV)
directed by Josephine Decker

Based on the novel by Jandy Nelson, a shy musician tries to keep growing up in the wake of her older sister’s death.

Josephine Decker directs, and she’s kind of a big deal. She helmed “Shirley” starring Elisabeth Moss, and “Madeline’s Madeline”. She has a tendency to get weird, meta, and experimental.

You can watch “The Sky is Everywhere” on Apple TV.

Anne+ (Netflix)
directed by Valerie Bisscheroux

In this Dutch film, a graduate navigates her love life in the LGBTQ+ scene of Amsterdam, while trying to get her writing career off the ground.

The film is based on director and co-writer Valerie Bisscheroux’s series “Anne Plus”.

You can watch “Anne+” on Netflix.

I Blame Society (multiple services, VOD)
directed by Gillian Wallace Horvat

Gillian is a good filmmaker, but she just can’t seem to break through. Then it comes to her: the skills to be a good director are very similar to the skills needed to commit the perfect murder.

Writer-director Gillian Wallace Horvat is a prolific producer and director of video documentary shorts. Put another way, she directs those documentary featurettes that end up as extra features on new releases and remasters. Some are historical, some are analytical, some confront problematic elements in classic films.

It’s a unique skillset and she has about 50 of these to her credit in just the last five years, along with occasional award-winning shorts.

You can watch “I Blame Society” on Hoopla, Kanopy, Shudder, Tubi, or see where to rent it.

Child of Kamiari Month (Netflix)
directed by Shirai Takana

A girl named Kanna is a descendant of the gods. It’s her family’s duty to collect offerings from around Japan and deliver them to the gods. When her mother passes away, Kanna takes the responsibility on in the hope the gods can reunite them.

Shirai Takana started out doing in-between animation on movies a decade ago, worked her way through key animation jobs, and assistant directed 2020’s visually stunning “Children of the Sea”. This is her first film as director.

You can watch “Child of Kamiari Month” on Netflix.

Marry Me (Peacock)
directed by Kat Coiro

Jennifer Lopez stars as singer Kat Valdez, who’s about to marry her longtime partner Bastian in front of a global audience. She learns seconds beforehand that he’s been unfaithful. Totally reasonably she marries a stranger in the crowd, a man named Charlie who just so happens to be played by Owen Wilson.

Based on the graphic novel, Kat Coiro directs. She’s been a director on “Dead to Me”, “The Mick”, and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. She’s also directing the upcoming MCU “She-Hulk” series.

You can watch “Marry Me” on Peacock.

Love and Leashes (Netflix)
directed by Park Hyeon-jin

A woman stumbles on her co-worker’s secret, and the two develop a romantic bond over BDSM. The Korean romantic comedy is based on a webtoon.

Writer-director Park Hyeon-jin has previously directed “I Am Your Bleating Phone” and “Like for Likes”.

You can watch “Love and Leashes” on Netflix.

Rock, Paper and Scissors (Shudder, VOD)
co-directed by Macarena Garcia Lenzi

In this Argentinean horror film, two siblings resent their half-sister when she seeks her part of their father’s inheritance. They don’t want to sell the house they’ve inherited, so they decide to hold her captive, playing a series of escalating games.

Macarena Garcia Lenzi directs with Martin Blousson. It’s the first narrative feature for either.

You can watch “Rock, Paper and Scissors” on Shudder, or see where to rent it.

Alone with You (VOD)
co-directed by Emily Bennett

A woman eagerly anticipates her girlfriend’s homecoming. As she prepares, their apartment begins to take on hallucinatory qualities, hinting at a truth she’s tried not to recognize.

Emily Bennett co-writes, directs with Justin Brooks, and stars. This is her first feature film as director.

See where to rent “Alone with You”.

Homestay (Amazon)
directed by Seta Natsuki

In this Japanese film, a high school student passes away and a soul takes up residence in their body. That soul has 100 days to figure out the truth behind that student’s death. I believe this is a remake of a Thai film, but based on a novel by Japanese writer Eto Mori. Can’t find a subtitled or dubbed trailer for the Japanese version, but English subtitles will be available on Amazon.

Seta Natsuki has directed on several Japanese films and the series “The Curry Songs”.

You can watch “Homestay” on Amazon.

The Kindness of Strangers (Netflix)
directed by Lone Scherfig

Clara and her two sons escape from her abusive husband. In a tough New York City winter, their survival is reliant on rare, intertwining acts of kindness. Zoe Kazan stars as Clara.

Writer-director Lone Scherfig has directed a number of films in Denmark, the U.K., and the U.S. This includes the Oscar-nominated “An Education”, as well as “Italian for Beginners” and “Their Finest”.

You can watch “The Kindness of Strangers” on Netflix.

Tall Girl 2 (Netflix)
directed by Emily Ting

A tall girl has gained popularity at school, and as the lead in the school play has to navigate social issues she hadn’t before. This is the sequel to “Tall Girl”.

Emily Ting directs. This is her third film.

You can watch “Tall Girl 2” 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.

New Shows + Movies by Women — February 12, 2021

I like to highlight some of the niche streaming services when they have a good run of older movies by women. Shudder has a range of outside-the-mainstream horror films directed by women coming to the service this week.

“The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears” is a 2013 Belgian-French giallo that’s co-written and co-directed by Helene Cattet. A man returns home to discover his wife is missing. He chases possible leads into increasingly surreal situations. It’s difficult to replicate Dario Argento-style giallo today, but the film is a well regarded evolution.

“Wishing Stairs” is a 2003 South Korean horror hit by Jae-yeon Yun. A staircase of 28 steps occasionally counts 29. When it does, it grants wishes. It’s the third of a loose horror trilogy called “Whispering Corridors”.

Shudder is also getting an adaptation of “Carmilla”, the Irish vampire novel which pre-dated “Dracula” by 25 years. Seeing as that’s new, I’ll highlight it below.


Clarice (CBS)
showrunner Elizabeth Klaviter

“Clarice” follows the lead character of “Silence of the Lambs” after the events of the film, and before the decade-later sequel. You wouldn’t know either film is actually about Clarice Starling, given that the overwhelming number of comments on anything about this show follows the template of: “but why no daddy cannibal?”

You know what? Anthony Hopkins’s performance was masterful. It was also one of the least important components of the film, later fetishized as some sort of James Bond of serial killers in the sequel. The complaints often revolve around having a problem with a sequel series to “Silence of the Lambs” daring to follow the protagonist of “Silence of the Lambs”. What?

I can’t help but read these reactions as so many of the men staring Jodie Foster’s Clarice down in the original, wondering what she was doing in the space where they expected a man. Here, “Home and Away” star Rebecca Breeds plays Clarice, facing no less bullshit 30 years later.

The series looks like it’s nailed at least some of the tone. It’s reportedly done due diligence to start mitigating the largest negative consequence of “Silence” by including a trans character and examining more deeply the damage the original took in villainizing trans people.

Showrunner Elizabeth Klaviter previously produced on “The Resident” and “Grey’s Anatomy”.

You can watch “Clarice” on CBS, with new episodes every Thursday. The first episode is available to watch free on the CBS website.

The Equalizer (CBS)
co-showrunner Terri Miller

Like certain other vigilantes, the Equalizer’s had a few lives now. Originally an 80s series with an awesome theme song starring Edward Woodward, it was resurrected as a movie franchise with an awesome theme song starring Denzel Washington. Now, it returns to its roots as a TV series with an awesome theme song starring Queen Latifah.

In all forms, the Equalizer is a former CIA agent who quits that life and begins helping those who are threatened and can’t trust the police or a broken justice system to protect them. Some voices online complain about the re-casting, as if this is more difficult than keeping track of a dozen Batmen and we aren’t celebrating the entire “Spider-Man” franchise becoming a flow chart of alternate universe Spider-Whosits.

If I can believe Edward Woodward was beating fools up at 60 post heart-attack, I’m fine with Queen Latifah doing the same 10 years younger and an inch taller.

Terri Miller produces with her husband Andrew Marlowe. They worked together previously on “Castle” and “Take Two”, so they know how to make a fun network show.

You can watch “The Equalizer” on CBS, with new episodes every Sunday. The first episode is available to watch for free on the CBS website.


I Blame Society (VOD)
directed by Gillian Wallace Horvat

Gillian is good filmmaker, but like so many, she just can’t seem to break through. Then it comes to her: the skills to be a good filmmaker are the same as the skills to commit a perfect murder. They say do what you’re good at.

Writer-director Gillian Wallace Horvat is a prolific producer and director of video documentary shorts. Put another way, she directs those documentary featurettes that end up as extra features on DVD and Blu-ray releases. Some are historical, some are analytical, some confront problematic elements in classic films.

It’s funny, that’s such a unique skillset and fascinating window into film history. She has about 50 of these to her credit in just the last five years, along with occasional award-winning narrative shorts. That level of work probably teaches you more about making movies than film school.

See where to rent “I Blame Society”.

Cowboys (VOD)
directed by Anna Kerrigan

Troy is separating from his conservative wife. When she refuses to accept their trans son and forces him to behave as a girl, Troy takes a risk. He picks up his son in the middle of the night and whisks him off into the Montana wilderness.

This is the second feature for Anna Kerrigan, after 2010’s “Five Days Gone”.

See where to rent “Cowboys”.

Carmilla (Shudder)
directed by Emily Harris

The 1872 Irish gothic horror “Carmilla” by Sheridan Le Fanu is overlooked as one of the foundational vampire novels. The more famed “Dracula” would be inspired by key characteristics from it 25 years later.

“Carmilla” finds a lonely girl’s family taking in the victim of a carriage accident. Lara and the mysteriously uninjured Carmilla become fast friends, but Lara soon develops strange dreams as women in the surrounding towns begin to succumb to a strange disease.

“Carmilla” is written and directed by Emily Harris. Starting as a documentary editor, she’s also branched into experimental films like the POV “Borges and I” and modern Romeo and Juliet adaptation “Love Is Thicker Than Water”.

You can watch “Carmilla” on Shudder with a subscription, or see where to rent it.

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

A nerdy teen re-invents herself as an eccentric rock critic named Dolly Wilde. Her invented persona quickly catches up with her everyday life, and she has to make choices about who she wants to be.

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 a superb early resume as a comic actor.

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

This was previously featured when it came to VOD, but this is the first time it’s on a subscription streaming service. You can watch “How to Build a Girl” on Showtime with a subscription.

Young Hearts (VOD)
co-directed by Sarah Sherman

Harper is a freshman in high school. She connects with her brother’s best friend Tilly, and starts a relationship with him. The two deal with the criticism and social fallout that results. The film gets into their different experiences, as Harper gets the brunt of it as the younger girl and Tilly sees some of his male friends celebrate him as the older boy.

Sarah Sherman directs with Zachary Ray Sherman, and gets sole credit for the screenplay.

The only place I can find to rent “Young Hearts” so far is OnDemand through Spectrum. I suspect some other OnDemand services may also have it, but just haven’t created an online page for it.

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.