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 I wrote about six African films. Dispatch oneNeptune 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. 

  1. Petite Maman
  2. Violet
  3. Dear Evan Hansen
  4. Queenpins
  5. Kate
  6. Dating & New York
  7. Becoming Cousteau
  8. Matar a la Bestia (To Kill The Beast)
  9. The Power of the Dog
  10. Titane
  11. Neptune Frost
  12. Last Night In Soho
  13. Mlungu Wam
  14. Lingui, The Sacred Bonds
  15. Beba
  16. Ali & Ava
  17. You Are Not My Mother
  18. Quickening
  19. Lakewood
  20. The Humans
  21. The Starling
  22. Les bal des folles (The Mad Women’s Ball)
  23. Julia (2021)
  24. Costa Brava, Lebanon
  25. Saloum
  26. Astel
  27. The Gravedigger’s Wife
  28. The One and Only Ivan
  29. Medusa
  30. Les oiseaux ivres (Drunken Birds)
  31. Ich bin dein Mensch (I’m Your Man)
  32. Charlotte (2021)
  33. Three Minutes – A Lengthening
  34. Zalava
  35. Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather Is Fine)
  36. Silent Night
  37. The Good House
  38. Diários de Otsoga (The Tsugua Diaries)
  39. Flee
  40. Întregalde
  41. Re dai wang shi (Are You Lonesome Tonight?)
  42. Best Sellers
  43. Ste. Anne
  44. After Blue (Paradis Sale)
  45. Long Train Running: The Story of the Oakland Blues
  46. Affirmations
  47. Anthem
  48. Yi miao zhong (One Second)
  49. Ethnic Notions
  50. Tongues Untied
  51. Color Adjustment
  52. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret)
  53. Black Is . . . Black Ain’t
  54. I Shall Not Be Removed: The Life of Marlon Riggs
  55. Señorita
  56. Aparisyon (Apparition)
  57. Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
  58. Martyrs Lane
  59. In Balanchine’s Classroom
  60. The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)
  61. The Souvenir: Part II
  62. Midnight Alibi
  63. Parachute Jumper
  64. Blondie Johnson
  65. Another Dawn
  66. Street of Women
  67. My Bill

1880s: 0
1890s: 0
1900s: 0
1910s: 0
1920s: 0
1930s: 6
1940s: 0
1950s: 0
1960s: 0
1970s: 0
1980s: 3
1990s: 6
2000s: 0
2010s: 3
2020s: 49

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!



About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on October 1, 2021, in 2021 in Films and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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