ASFF selects five films for release this week that are available in cinemas and truly deserve to be seen on the big screen. Spanning different genres – psychological horror, comedy, animation, documentary and biopic – these films also span the globe, coming from Japan, Sweden, Britain, America and Australia, as they discuss everything from religious devotion to growing pains.
Saint Maud (StudioCanal)
Already acclaimed by such big-name directors as Danny Boyle, Edgar Wright and Bong Joon-ho, British-born Rose Glass makes her feature debut with Saint Maud, a vivid and boldly original psychological horror. Morfydd Clark plays Maud, a nurse looking after a terminally-ill former dancer in a cavernous house in a windswept seaside town. A recent Catholic convert, Maud’s sanity gradually erodes as she takes it upon herself to save the blackened soul of her dying patient. Unforgettable.
Author, singer, artist and filmmaker, the polymath that is Miranda July is back with just her third film (following 2011’s The Future). This is undeniably a July movie, with its story of a family of petty crooks (Richard Jenkins, an unrecognisable Debra Winger and, as their daughter Evan Rachel Wood). Some will find it too quirky for its own good but others will delight in this coming-of-age curio abut breaking away from all you have ever known.
A 4K re-release for one of the all-time great animations, this 1988 apocalyptic tale from Katsuhiro Otomo hasn’t lost one ounce of its power. Based on Otomo’s own 1982 manga series, this story set in 2019 – 31 years on from World War III – is a lush, cyberpunk fever-dream. It’s also eerily prophetic, with its reference to a forthcoming 2020 Olympic Games (the phrase “just cancel it”, seen in the film, trended on Twitter earlier this year, in relation to the real event being pulled due to Covid). Don’t miss.
In a tragic coincidence, this biographical film of Australian singer Helen Reddy arrives just days after she died in Los Angeles, aged 78. Directed by Unjoo Moon, Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Hotel Mumbai) plays Reddy, who became an icon of the 1970s feminist movement with her song ‘I Am Woman’, written by her and Ray Burton. The film co-stars Even Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as her husband Jeff Wald, and Patti Cake$’ Danielle Macdonald as Aussie reporter Lillian Roxon.
Hilma af Klint take centre stage in this documentary from director Halina Dyrschka that sets out to recognise the Swedish abstract artist for her work, which has hitherto been somewhat overlooked compared to the likes of Kandinsky and Mondrian. Filled with interviews from art historians and writers who try to give af Klint her place amongst the greats, it’s a fascinating look at a radical who even decreed that her paintings not be seen for twenty years.
All films released on 9 October.