On the Horizon: September ’17

I’ve been feeling in a bit of a slump lately in terms of what movies I’ve been watching. Luckily, there are some really great films being released this month that I’m really excited about! Thanks to this NY Times list, I was able to check out tons of films that are new this month and do a little research to select some favorites, because initially the list was overwhelming. Here’s what I’m looking forward to:

  1. Mother!


Release: Sept. 15 | Director: Darren Aronofsky | Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, and Ed Harris

Mother! is a thriller/psychological horror film about unexpected guests who arrive to a couple’s (Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem) remote home. I’m not always one for horror, but pairing Jennifer Lawrence with Aronofsky’s creepy, surrealism sold me. Mother! looks so visually pleasing, even from the trailer, and the score will likely be phenomenal because it is composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson. Jóhannsson was nominated for academy awards for The Theory of Everything and Sicario. Aronofsky is known for Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan, and essentially all of his other movies. The fall is the perfect time for a thriller, and Mother! has a wide release so it won’t be hard to find near you.

Watch the trailer here

  1. Woodshock


Release: Sept. 22 | Directors & Writers: Kate and Laura Mulleavy |Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Joe Cole, and Pilou Asbæk

Woodshock follows Theresa (Kirsten Dunst) spiral into depression and paranoia. The film’s trailer gives off an impressionist-meets-psycho-drama vibe; it seems dark and haunting. The contrast of slow motion with fast paced montage editing makes the film enticing and dynamic. This film will definitely be a heavy one, but I am always, always excited when I see female directors on my radar and I love a good indie film produced/released by A24!

Watch the trailer here!

  1. Unrest


Release: January 23, 2017 | Director: Jennifer Brea | Writer: Kim Roberts, Jennifer Brea

When Jennifer Brea was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome she picked up her camera and started filming her journey. Unrest is the product of that experience, and it includes others’ stories as well. This film looks so interesting and well done. I love the idea of personal exploration on camera, love indie documentaries and I can’t stress enough how important I think it is to support women making films. Unrest sheds light on a syndrome that is commonly looked over and joked about, but a syndrome that also severely impacts the lives of those living with it. The film seems heartwarming and well done, but at the very least Unrest looks like it will tell a fascinating story.

Watch the trailer here!

  1. Pathological Optimist


Release: Sept. 29 | Director: Miranda Bailey

If the name Andrew Wakefield doesn’t ring a bell, the idea that the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is linked to causing autism might sound more familiar. Wakefield’s infamous work has had tremendous influence on the way that a number of Americans understand truth, medicine and autism. This film is so intriguing, and it gives insight into Wakefield’s life now, which I really appreciate. Right off the bat, the film reminded me of Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publically Shamed. In his book, Ronson explores internet shaming and its historical roots in public shaming. It’s a really great read and changed my entire perspective on what it means to be someone like Justine Sacco or Andrew Wakefield. Enough of my sociology nerd rant, this documentary just looks so good and I cannot wait to get my hands (eyeballs?) on it.

  1. First They Killed My Father


Release: Sept. 15 | Director: Angelina Jolie | Screenwriter & Author: Loung Ung

When I first read a brief description of First They Killed My Father, I was a little bit skeptical about how Jolie, as a white woman, might do right by a story about a young girl living under the Khmer Rouge. After reading up a little more, though, and learning that Jolie worked very closely with the author (whose experience this film is based on), with other Cambodians and with her own son (who was adopted from the country) made me feel a lot better about it, and very excited to see how the film turns out. As for Jolie’s directing, I’ve only seen By the Sea, a film Jolie and Brad Pitt wrote and directed which I really enjoyed. I’m interested to see how her directing develops in First They Killed My Father.

Watch the trailer here and see Jolie talking about the film here!

** According to the NY Times: Vanity Fair believed Jolie’s casting process was exploitive, to which she responded her words were taken out of context. I need to do more research on this, but eek, this is what I was alluding to with my initial worries about the film.

  1. Literally Right Before Aaron


Release Date: Sept. 29 | Director & Screenwriter: Ryan Eggold | Starring: Justin Long, Cobie Smulders, Ryan Hansen

I absolutely adore Justin Long, and How I Met Your Mother or Veronica Mars fans will be pleased with the cast too. Literally Right Before Aaron tells the story of Adam, the man Allison (Cobie Smulders) dated well… literally right before Aaron. The film looks witty, entertaining and well done. Regardless of how ‘good’ it is (by my ~film major~ standards), I think it will be entertaining and funny! Though it’s listed release it September 29th, screenings will be limited for a while.

Watch the trailer here and click here to find a screening near you!

I didn’t realize how excited I was about each of these films until I got to writing this article. Of course, I don’t have the resources (yet) of big publications to get to watch them beforehand, but from what I have read, these 6 are promising picks that are worth the trip and money spent at the movie theater. If you have thoughts, or end up seeing any of these please please comment or message me! Make sure to come back in October to see what’s On the Horizon.

Honorable mentions: Embargo, Extraordinary Ordinary People, Woodpeckers, Super Dark Times.

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