September 2021 in Films
I hope you are ready for a TON of links because I was incredibly prolific in September! First off, for the Classic Film Collective I recommended Alice Guy-Blaché’s Falling Leaves and wrote a poem about the late Jean-Paul Belmondo. Podcast wise, Billy Ray Brewton joined me to talk Springsteen on Prog Save America, and I made not one, but two appearances on Blake Howard’s Zodiac Chronicle. For my column this month I spoke to Núria Frigola Torrent on her new film The Song of the Butterflies, married directing duo Gita Pullapilly & Aaron Gaudet about Queenpins, Lina Roessler about her debut film Best Sellers, and dancer-turned-director Connie Hochman talks about her debut documentary In Balanchine’s Classroom.
I also covered the Toronto International Film Festival! For The Playlist I reviewed Dear Evan Hansen, Colin In Black and White, Lakewood, The Starling, The Mad Women’s Ball, and Silent Night. For RogerEbert.com I wrote about six African films. Dispatch one: Neptune Frost, Mlungu Wam (Good Madam), and Lingui The Sacred Bonds. Dispatch two: Astel, The Gravedigger’s Wife, and Saloum. For Moviefone I interviewed kate Dolan about her film You Are Not My Mother, Agustina San Martín about her film To Kill The Beast, Camille Griffin about her film Silent Night, Edgar Wright and co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns about their film Last Night In Soho, Justine Bateman about her film Violet, and Anita Rocha Da Silveira about her film Medusa.
But that’s not all! For Nerdist I wrote about my favorite recent depictions of bisexual and pansexual characters in film and television. I made my SlashFilm debut writing about the irresponsible depictions of suicide in Dear Evan Hansen and Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain. For Crooked Marquee I reviewed the delightfully deranged Palme d’or winner Titane. For Moviefone I reviewed the wonderfully queer Venom: Let There Be Carnage. And lastly, I made my InStyle debut profiling The Many Saints of Newark star Alessandro Nivola!
If you’re not completely exhausted (like I am), after the cut you can find everything I watched in September, plus as always a breakdown by decade and a brief sampling of my favorites.
- Petite Maman
- Dear Evan Hansen
- Dating & New York
- Becoming Cousteau
- Matar a la Bestia (To Kill The Beast)
- The Power of the Dog
- Neptune Frost
- Last Night In Soho
- Mlungu Wam
- Lingui, The Sacred Bonds
- Ali & Ava
- You Are Not My Mother
- The Humans
- The Starling
- Les bal des folles (The Mad Women’s Ball)
- Julia (2021)
- Costa Brava, Lebanon
- The Gravedigger’s Wife
- The One and Only Ivan
- Les oiseaux ivres (Drunken Birds)
- Ich bin dein Mensch (I’m Your Man)
- Charlotte (2021)
- Three Minutes – A Lengthening
- Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather Is Fine)
- Silent Night
- The Good House
- Diários de Otsoga (The Tsugua Diaries)
- Re dai wang shi (Are You Lonesome Tonight?)
- Best Sellers
- Ste. Anne
- After Blue (Paradis Sale)
- Long Train Running: The Story of the Oakland Blues
- Yi miao zhong (One Second)
- Ethnic Notions
- Tongues Untied
- Color Adjustment
- Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret)
- Black Is . . . Black Ain’t
- I Shall Not Be Removed: The Life of Marlon Riggs
- Aparisyon (Apparition)
- Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
- Martyrs Lane
- In Balanchine’s Classroom
- The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)
- The Souvenir: Part II
- Midnight Alibi
- Parachute Jumper
- Blondie Johnson
- Another Dawn
- Street of Women
- My Bill
It’s absolutely impossible to discuss all of the great films I watched in September. Just truly an overload of great films due to all the films I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. Obviously I linked above all of the films I wrote about or conducted an interview around, so be sure to read those. Below I’m going to list quite a few films, but will not be going very long on about. Just know you should seek them out!
Petite Maman, 2021 (dir. Céline Sciamma)
Just beautiful film about mothers and daughters. Don’t read too much about this before going in and remember: Sciamma never misses.
The Power of the Dog, 2021 (dir. Jane Campion)
This will be a major players this awards season and I hope hope hope that Campion will go all the way to gold. She deserves.
Titane, 2021 (dir. Julia Ducournau)
Another film best watched knowing as little about it as you can. Just let it wash over you.
Ali & Ava, 2021 (dir. Clio Barnard)
A tender twilight romance with a final shot that knocked my socks off.
The Mad Women’s Ball, 2021 (dir. Mélanie Laurent)
Laurent unpacks the mad woman in the attic trope with precision and grace.
Julia, 2021 (dir. Julie Cohen & Betsy West)
The definition of a crowd-pleasing documentary. You will leave hungry for food and life!
Saloum, 2021 (dir. Jean Luc Herbulot)
Truly wonderful western-horror-action-thriller with what should be a star-making performance from Yann Gael.
Medusa, 2021 (dir. Anita Rocha da Silveira)
Inspired by the rise of ultra-conservative evangelicals in Brazil, da Silveira crafts a neon lit bleak coming-of-age fable for the ages.
Three Minutes – A Lengthening, 2021 (dir. Bianca Stigter)
Heart-rending documentary wherein the filmmaker breathes new life into those who died in the Holocaust through a lovingly restored three minutes of home video.
Whether the Weather is Fine, 2021 (dir. Carlo Francisco Manatad)
Stunning Filipino film set in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda that perfectly blends magical realism with heartfelt drama and mordant comedy.
Flee, 2021 (dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen)
Using animation to maintain the anonymity of its subject, this doc gives a platform for a gay Afghani refugee to tell his remarkable story.
Tongues Untied, 1989 (dir. Marlon Riggs)
Groundbreaking doc that amplified the marginalized voices of gay Black men during the height of the AIDS epidemic.
Black Is … Black Ain’t, 1994 (dir. Marlon Riggs)
Completed after Riggs’ death due to complications from AIDS, the filmmaker sought to find a place for Black gay men within a community that continually rejects them.
The Tragedy of Macbeth, 2021 (dir. Joel Coen)
Another major player this awards season, Coen’s take on Macbeth is the funniest and bleakest yet, with Denzel and Frances at the height of their abilities.
So that was the whirlwind that was September! NB: I technically watched The Many Saints of Newark and Venom: Let There Be Carnage in September in order to work on pieces that dropped before their release, I’m going to hold those until October’s blog post. Anticipation!
This month I’m planning to watch a lot of horror films – especially a pile of films from Vinegar Syndrome that I’ve let pile up. I hope you all have a great spooky season!
Posted on October 1, 2021, in 2021 in Films and tagged Ali & Ava, Anita Rocha da Silveira, Bianca Stigter, Black Is … Black Ain’t, Carlo Francisco Manatad, Céline Sciamma, Clio Barnard, Flee, Jane Campion, Joel Coen, Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Julia Ducournau, Marlon Riggs, Mélanie Laurent, Medusa, Petite Maman, The Mad Women’s Ball, The Power of the Dog, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Three Minutes - A Lengthening, Titane, Tongues Untied, Whether the Weather is Fine. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.