This week on Fandor: Walter Matthau, William H. Macy, Reality TV, Jennifer Beals, Billy Dee Williams and more.
As August wanes, things are still as hot as can be here at Fandor, with lots of exciting new movies to share. This week, we added almost thirty films to the library, including a stellar showcase of student films from alumni of the AFI, courtesy an exciting new partnership with our Fandor edu program! Read all about it, and be sure to peruse the twelve short films in the Film School Spotlight. There are lots of gems to be found!
Among them? Sequin Raze (pictured left), the short film by Sarah Gertrude Shapiro that takes place behind the scenes of a familiar sort of reality television show. Fans of the summer breakout series UnREAL, which this student film spawned, will gobble up this “origin story” featuring an unrecognizable Ashley Williams as a potent early iteration of UnREAL‘s Rachel Goldberg.
Speaking of complicated female characters, don’t miss The Trial of Joan of Arc (pictured right), part of our new Criterion Picks highlighting the work of iconic and ascetic auteur Robert Bresson. Need we say more?
In addition to these excellent collections, we have something new this week for just about everyone to get excited about, including:
- Zombie musical horror-comedy (yes, you read that right) The Happiness of the Katakuris, a demented blend of live-action and animation from beloved master of all things smart, surreal and deeply disturbing Takashi Miike
- Another offering from early independent cinema giant Shirley Clarke, who also directed the groundbreaking and intensely entertaining and thought-provoking Portrait of Jason: The Connection, a brilliant and complex meta-meditation on the Beat Generation
- The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, based on the century-spanning 1971 novel of the same name, adapted as an award-winning TV movie starring Cicely Tyson
- Cinemanovels, a touching Canadian drama about a deceased filmmaker, his estranged daughter and her attempt to mount a retrospective of his work, featuring incredible performances by Lauren Lee Smith and Jennifer Beals (both veterans of Showtime drama The L Word)
- Frozen Zoo, a five-minute documentary that takes us inside the race to preserve the species of Earth who are rapidly succumbing to extinction through stem cells and cryogenics
- No God, No Master, an American crime drama set in the 1920s and based on true events that manages to be both engrossing in its re-creation of history and rather unsettling in its parallels to today’s political climate
- Earth’s Golden Playground, a documentary on the persistence of prospector culture in Canada’s Yukon territory, where the “motherlode” is always potentially just a few digs away
- The chance to see why four-part horror anthology The House that Dripped Blood is a cult hit even forty years after its initial release
- Two-Bit Waltz (pictured in our Featured Image), the just-a-bit-darkly comical directorial debut of actress Clara Mamet (daughter of playwright David Mamet) that rests in the same vein as Tiny Furniture and The Royal Tenenbaums and stars Mamet, her mother Rebecca Pidgeon and William H. Macy
- Hopscotch, a highly enjoyable comedy in which Walter Matthau plays a disgruntled CIA agent trying to find his bliss
- Fear City, a crime thriller about a stripper-murdering maniac on the loose starring Melanie Griffith, Billy Dee Williams and Tom Berenger
- And the utterly chilling, stranger-than-fiction account of a murdered Russian spy by documentary heavyweight Jos de Putter, In Memoriam Alexander Litvinenko
That’s just about all the news that’s fit to print for the week, but that’s probably enough to get our Fandorians going on their weekend watching wish list, right? These fantastic films are simply crying out for ratings and reviews, so don’t leave them hanging! Meanwhile, we’ll be at work compiling next week’s roundup of film fare for your viewing pleasure.