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15 Films to See in July

Written by on July 1, 2019 

With the year coming to its halfway mark, we recently rounded up the 21 most essential films to seek out thus far, and now it’s time to look towards the second half. July brings some festival favorites, some oddities, a few studio release highlights, and a floral fever dream. Check out our 15 picks to see below, followed by honorable mentions.

15. A Faithful Man (Louis Garrel; July 19)

Fluffier than the finest French pastries, Garrel’s latest film is a brisk romantic dramedy to the point of near-satire, which is more of a recommendation than a jab. Ethan Vestby was a fan at TIFF, saying in his review, “Beginning on a shot of the Paris cityscape–yes, the Eiffel Tower plainly in view and everything that surrounds it–Louis Garrel’s A Faithful Man self-awarely announces itself in the tradition of decades of French cinema; say the kind that the average movie-goer assumes every single film from the country is like. With long conversations, wistful romances, and a deadly earnest piano score, one won’t be unable to see of influence of Garrel’s father on the picture. Yet if not as recognizably personal and hear-ached as those magnificent pictures, the son still shows heavy promise in his second feature.”

14. The Mountain (Rick Alverson; July 26)

With Comedy and Entertainment, Rick Alverson has pulled no punches in delivering brutally, beautifully unpleasant scenarios and characters. His latest is no different. Rory O’Connor said in his Venice review, “As visually overcast as it is emotionally dead-eyed, The Mountain is probably the most intentionally–and unwarrantedly–bleak film you’re likely to see in 2018, a draining head-fuck of a movie with perhaps some stuff to say about misogyny, creativity, and mid-20th Century mental asylums.”

13. Rojo (Benjamín Naishtat; July 12)

One of the smaller releases this month deserving of more attention is Benjamin Naishtat’s Rojo, which Jared Mobarak caught up with at TIFF. He said in his review, “Despite feeling as though I was treading water throughout, my investment was never in question. The odd slow-motion sequence during the opening credits and the many unprompted conversations like that between Claudio’s friend and an older woman sunbathing in the backyard of the ownerless house around the mid-way point or his daughter’s boyfriend and a mutual acquaintance getting heated towards the end all possess the tension-fueled trappings of the type of film Rojo wants to be even if they never gel together into a cohesive whole.”

12. Sword of Trust (Lynn Shelton; July 12)

After finding her voice in humorous, touching films like Humpday and Your Sister’s Sister, Lynn Shelton has dedicated more time recently to the world of TV with GLOW, Love, and more. She’s now back with her eighth feature film, Sword of Trust, which premiered at SXSW and will arrive in theaters this month. Starring Marc Maron, Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins, Jon Bass, Toby Huss, and Dan Bakkedahl, it follows the peculiar story of attempting to pawn off an inherited sword purported to be from the Civil War.

11. Season of the Devil (Lav Diaz; July 30)

Distribution for Lav Diaz’s often lengthy films is hard to come by the United States, so even if it won’t arrive theatrically, it’s worth highlighting our first chance to see one of his films. Arriving on MUBI at the end of the month is the follow-up to his Golden Lion-winning drama The Woman Who Left, his “anti-musical musical rock opera” Season of the Devil. Featuring 33 songs composed by the Filipino director himself, the story, which takes place during former president Ferdinand Marcos’s military dictatorship, follows “a man whose wife has been abducted in their remote village.”

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