reviews of ‘Zola,’ ‘Sweat,’ and 2 more new movies

everything that happened at Flick Filosopher from Monday, June 28th, to Sunday, July 4th

As I struggle to come out from under my pandemic funk — which has been professional as well as personal for me — I’m thinking a lot about what movies mean these days, and what it means to be someone who thinks about them and writes about them. Because all of that has been in flux for years now, and it’s all gotten even fluxxier since COVID-19 arrived.

So I’m thinking about new ways of trying to connect with and offer something meaningful to you, my dear readers. The first thing I’m trying is actually something old! I’m reviving my “questions” posts — just once a week, rather than the daily posts I used to do years back — with the first one having gone live this past Saturday at Flick Filosopher, here at Substack, and also over at my Patreon. I’m calling it “question of the weekend,” but of course you can continue to comment once the weekend is over.

It’s an experiment for now — both the posts themselves and replicating them in three places — but we’ll see how it goes. I’ve seen that Substack in particular does seem to be generating some interesting conversations in other writers’ newsletters, so *fingers crossed.*


PS. I don’t want to overwhelm those of you who might want only the weekly digests, so if other free emails turn into a regular thing and they’re unwanted by some, there’s a way I can split them off from the weekly digest emails. Your feedback on everything I’m doing here is always welcome! You can post a comment at Substack or just reply to this email.

new at flick filosopher, Jun 28–Jul 04

new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Jun 30–Jul 02

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Jul 02

  • Oscar’s Best International Feature Film Another Round; Michelle Pfeiffer plans a French Exit; more… [get the full rundown]

new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Jun 29–Jul 02

new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Jun 28–Jul 02

question of the weekend: what are movies for anymore?

Zola movie review: speed bumps in the road trip [pictured]

  • A deliciously badass style — part 70s grindhouse, part verité pseudo-documentary — and all-in performances are undermined by an exploitive gaze, and a combination of failed caper and failed satire. [read the review | cinemas US]

Charlatan movie review: more vegetative than herbal

  • An intriguing story with engaging performances about a compelling real-life character, but oddly inert, and can’t quite make all its many aspects gel into a wholly satisfying or wholly coherent story. [read the review | DVD+VOD UK]

Les nôtres movie review: sacrificing girls for the greater good

  • Quietly chilling. A condemnation of supposed propriety over genuine decency, and the sacrifice of children to the illusion of communal cohesion. There are no easy answers here, and no pat resolutions. [read the review | cinemas+VOD US]

Sweat movie review: let’s get metaphysical

  • Nuanced, sensitive peek into the world of a social-media influencer, with a beautiful central performance. Uncynical and pragmatic about the seachange human society has endured in the 21st century. [read the review | cinemas US; cinemas+VOD UK]

Tweet of the week…

coming up at Flick Filosopher…

  • Black Widow

  • Fast & Furious 9

  • Luca, the new Pixar animated feature

  • The Tomorrow War, starring Chris Pratt

  • Oscar’s Best Animated Feature Soul and Best International Feature Another Round

  • Disney origin story Cruella

  • Peter Rabbit 2, for my sins

  • Riders of Justice, starring Mads Mikkelsen

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