New releases 9/21/21

Top Hits
Censor (horror/suspense, Niamh Algar. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 69. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Gloomy in tone and gray in palette, ‘Censor’ returns often to a drab screening room where Enid [Niamh Algar], a conscientious British film censor, scrutinizes a stream of gory exploitation movies. It’s the 1980s, and the violence driving the unregulated home-video market has incited a moral panic that’s filling the tabloids and politicians’ outraged speeches.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
I Carry You With Me (Mexico, gay & lesbian romance, Armando Espitia. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 77. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Turning time and memory into an elliptical portrait of what it means when borders become barriers, ‘I Carry You With Me,’ the first narrative feature from the documentary filmmaker Heidi Ewing, trades distance for empathy. Dramatizing Iván’s story, and his longtime relationship with his partner, Gerardo Zabaleta (both men are friends of the director), Ewing and her co-writer, Alan Page, paint a journey — and a love story — defined by compromise.” Read more…)

Atlantis (Ukraine, sci-fi, Andriy Rymaruk. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 85. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “Conventional cinematic dystopian futures almost always compensate for their bleakness with nifty gadgets or, at the very least, incredibly fast and dangerous cars chasing one another. Not ‘Atlantis,’ Ukraine’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year. Written, directed and shot by Valentyn Vasyanovych, the movie is an especially economical, even ruthless exercise in what could be called ‘slow cinema,’ with no shiny widgets in sight.” Read more…)

Never Gonna Snow Again (Poland, comedy, Alec Utgoff. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. Metacritic: 69. From Guy Lodge’s Variety review: “In ‘Never Gonna Snow Again,’ a searching, cryptic satire of bourgeois insularity in modern Poland, the magic hands of an immigrant Ukrainian masseur are tasked with easing a litany of woes, from middle-class guilt to climate change anxiety to terminal cancer — though no one thinks to ask him about his own interior aches and pains. After last year’s moody but mildly received English-language diversion ‘The Other Lamb,’ prolific Polish auteur Malgorzata Szumowska returns to home turf in this Venice competition entry, and the result is her most compelling and hauntingly realized film to date.” Read more…)

New Television
Mare of Easttown (HBO crime series, Kate Winslet. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 82. From Mike Hale’s New York Times television review: “‘Mare of Easttown,’ which was created and written by Brad Ingelsby and directed by Craig Zobel, is in the tradition of Middle American miserabilism, a genre HBO has cultivated before in ‘I Know This Much Is True’ and other series. They’re shows that aren’t about much of anything besides their characters’ despair and the painstakingly rendered small-town or suburban milieus that inevitably cause it. In ‘Mare of Easttown,’ which takes the form of a crime drama, the fruits of middle-class American life include addiction, adultery, beatings, abduction, rape and murder, and that’s just in the five episodes available to critics.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
The One and Only Dick Gregory (bio, civil rights, race, stand-up comedy, activism, Dick Gregory. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 79. From Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review: “‘The One and Only Dick Gregory,’ an aptly titled new documentary, does justice to this fabled performance, setting the scene and the stakes. But what stands out most about this revolutionary moment in comedy is what a small role it plays in the overall portrait here. Gregory, who died in 2017, lived so many lives that he presents a challenge for anyone trying to document them.” Read more…)

The Human Factor (Mideast peace, diplomacy, human psychology. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 78. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “‘The Human Factor’ presents a cogent and involving view of the Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, mainly from 1991 until the end of Bill Clinton’s first term, told through the recollections of United States negotiators charged with brokering a peace. It shows how much any international agreement relies on a rare alignment of concrete compromises and personal trust — what the former Middle East envoy Dennis B. Ross here calls the ‘human factor.’” Read more…)