JUANITA
2019, Netflix, 90 min, USA, Dir: Clark Johnson

Burdened by troubles in life and love, a mother of three grown children searches for hope and healing on an impromptu trip to Paper Moon, Montana. With Alfre Woodard.


THE JUNIPER TREE
1990, Arbelos Films, 78 min, Iceland, Dir: Nietzchka Keene

An unsung talent in her lifetime, director Nietzchka Keene’s stark, stunning debut feature is loosely based on a Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name, and stars Björk in her first screen performance. Set in medieval Iceland, THE JUNIPER TREE follows Margit (Björk) and her older sister, Katla (Bryndis Petra Bragadottir), as they flee for safety after their mother is burned to death for witchcraft. Finding shelter and protection with Johan (Valdimar Orn Fygenring), and his resentful young son, Jonas (Geirlaug Sunna Pormar), the sisters help form an impromptu family unit that’s soon strained by Katla’s burgeoning sorcery. Photographed entirely on location in spectacular black-and-white by Randy Sellars, this deeply atmospheric film is a potent allegory for misogyny and its attendant tragedies, and a major rediscovery for art house audiences. “Distinctive, ambitious, and genuinely poetic.” – Los Angeles Times.


LET THE SUNSHINE IN
UN BEAU SOLEIL INTÉRIEUR
2017, IFC Films/Sundance Selects, 94 min, France/Belgium, Dir: Claire Denis

Shedding the blood and guts but none of the stinging bite of her previous work on male-female relationships, Claire Denis’ LET THE SUNSHINE IN is a surprisingly caustic romantic comedy about a woman’s search for true love. Taking a narrative stab at French philosopher Roland Barthes’ 1977 book, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments, Denis and screenwriter-novelist Christine Angot examine a woman’s troubled love life as she finds little success beyond carnal gratification. Juliette Binoche plays the frustrated Isabelle, in one of her most riveting performances. “A simple story of enormous complexity. A romantic comedy and drama in which the questioning of those very categories is a part of the action ... a peculiarly insightful glimpse into the emotional fluidity within the formal boundaries of French culture.” - Richard Brody – The New Yorker.


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