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15 Films to See in June

Written by on June 1, 2017 

5.The Ornithologist (João Pedro Rodrigues; June 23)

The Ornithologist 1

Synopsis: Fernando, a solitary ornithologist, is looking for black storks when he is swept away by the rapids. Rescued by a couple of Chinese pilgrims, he plunges into an eerie and dark forest, trying to get back on his track.


Why You Should See It: Ever since its debut at Locarno last year, we’ve been waiting for The Ornithologist to make its way to theaters and it finally will this month. As we said in our review, “Publicly stated by its director to concern Saint Anthony, the Portuguese priest and friar who legend calls the most supernatural of saints, The Ornithologist luckily manages to see the profane outweigh the sacred — no white elephantine “spirituality,” but rather a progression of set-pieces. We have something of a return for João Pedro Rodrigues to his debut feature Fantasma, a nocturnal “erotic thriller” of sorts that moved by the logic of its own images, this in opposition to more character-driven films such as Two Drifters and To Die Like a Man or his most recent The Last Time I Saw Macao, a tad too much an academic exercise in mirroring post-colonialism through a deadpan ‘non-mystery.'”

4. In Transit (Albert Maysles, Lynn True, David Usui, Nelson Walker III, and Benjamin Wu; June 23)


Synopsis: Journey into the hearts and minds of passengers aboard the Empire Builder, America’s busiest long-distance train route.


Why You Should See It: One of the best films of 2017 is something I actually saw more than two years ago. The last work from the legendary director Albert Maysles will finally arrive this month, first opening at Metrograph. “Ripe with rich source material each worthy of their own feature films, In Transit provides a glance into various lives and narratives. Some intersect and interact with each other, if only for a brief moment, others are singular: they opt to tell their story to us directly as we share an aural overview of a whole life, relationships, connections, missed opportunities and narratives yet to be written, each in transit,” we said in our review.

3. Baby Driver (Edgar Wright; June 28)


Synopsis: After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.


Why You Should See It: Following rapturous response at its South by Southwest premiere, Edgar Wright‘s Baby Driver thankfully moved up from its mid-August bow and will arrive at the end of this month. With Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx in tow, Wright looks to be having a blast with this music-infused action comedy, and we can’t wait to experience it.

2. Okja (Bong Joon-ho; June 28)


Synopsis: Meet Mija, a young girl who risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive animal named Okja.


Why You Should See It: After providing thrills solely on a train with Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-ho is expanding his scope with the creature movie Okja. One of our favorite films of Cannes, we said in our review, “A dystopian story about a genetically engineered beast with overt anti-capitalist connotations, Bong Joon-ho’s Okja represents a synthesis and an upgrade – in scale as well as quality – of the director’s previous outings The Host and Snowpiercer, confirming him as one of the finest contemporary craftsmen of intelligent, ambitious blockbusters.”

1. The Beguiled (Sofia Coppola; June 23)


Synopsis: At a girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier is taken in. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn of events.


Why You Should See It: Having recently seen the original Don Siegel / Clint Eastwood picture, the material of The Beguiled seems tailor-made for Sofia Coppola to bring her specific vision and create something immensely special. It sounds like she did just that, according to our Cannes review: “Shooting in New Orleans, Coppola and her production team — including The Grandmaster cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd — have created a fully realized world of eroticism, humidity, and Southern Gothic atmosphere. The characters are simply engulfed by it, almost to the point that even the twisted willow trees appear to be reaching out to grab them.”

What are you watching this month?

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