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  If you’re in the New York area, don’t miss the Athena Film Festival, which marks its eighth year later this month. The Barnard College festival will be held from February 22-25, 2018, and it will be a long weekend filled with movies directed by or starring women. Women’s representation is sorely needed both in front of and behind the camera: the Celluloid Ceiling, which tracks women’s employment behind the camera, found that in 2017, only 11% of the top 250 films were directed by women. And...
Out on Netflix today, Irreplaceable You tackles some difficult questions: What would you do if you knew you were going to die? What would you do if you knew the love of your life was going to die? What would it look like if Christopher Walken and Kate McKinnon were crocheting together in a cancer support group? (The answer to that last one: incredible.) Irreplaceable You, brought to life by a starry cast including Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Black Mirror: San Junipero, A Wrinkle in Time) and Michiel...
  In the Georgian drama film My Happy Family, Manana (Ia Shughliashvili), a middle-aged schoolteacher, decides to move out of the apartment she shares with her parents, her husband, her children, and nearly everyone reacts with varying degrees of scorn and shock. Manana’s own reticence to explain her sudden change of heart certainly compounds her family’s confusion; as she stoically gathers her things together and loads them in bags, she’s followed by an increasingly hysterical cacophony of curses and pleas. Why did Manana suddenly decide that what...
Permission Directed by Brian Crano Out on February 9, 2018 Anna (Rebecca Hall) and Will (Dan Stevens) have been a couple since childhood. Just turned thirty and on the brink of starting their adult life together, they decide to put their commitment to the test, sleeping with other people for the first time in either of their lives. Simultaneously, Anna’s brother (David Joseph Craig) and his life-partner (Morgan Spector) struggle with the decision to become parents. Written, directed, and produced by Brian Crano, the film follows Anna...
Many film critics have described Phantom Thread as a love story. But for myself and many others, it is not a love story but a horror film. Phantom Thread unravels the seams (pun intended) of toxic masculinity that underlies emotionally abusive heterosexual relationships. By exposing the horror of emotional abuse in graphic detail, it has provided many survivors with a cathartic viewing experience. As one abuse survivor and fan of the film, J, says, “It carries all the tension, timing and anxiety of a horror...
  Zosia Mamet made a name for herself in HBO's Girls, playing Shoshanna, an awkward, charming twentysomething living in Brooklyn and looking for success in love and her career. In her new movie, the Boy Downstairs, she plays...an awkward, charming twentysomething woman living in Brooklyn and looking for success in love and her career. But there are a few differences. In the Boy Downstairs, Mamet plays Diana, a young woman who has just moved to New York and reunited with her best friend Gabby (Diana Irvine) after living in London for...
  Please Stand ByDirected by Ben LewinOut January 26      In the road-trip dramedy Please Stand By, Dakota Fanning plays Wendy, a 21-year-old autistic woman who sneaks out of her group home with her dog and travels across California to enter a Star Trek script-writing contest. Along the way, she encounters a series of sometimes supportive and always stereotypical strangers, including a young mother with a criminal boyfriend and a heart of gold, a wise old black woman, and a goofy male nurse. As Wendy makes...
Like MeWritten & Directed by Robert MocklerReleased on January 26, 2017 A neon-drenched thriller, Like Me follows Kaya (Addison Timlin), a loner and YouTube vlogger on a crime spree. Egged on by her followers, she broadcasts her cross-country rampage on social media, hoping to amass "likes." Fueled by drugs and junkfood, Kaya’s erratic junket spirals into ever increasing violence, Written and directed by Robert Mockler, Like Me is a horror film that explores isolation in the age of digital connectivity. Kaya's character exists in a virtual reality of...
An indie-movie queen with festival hits like Frances Ha, Mistress America, and Greenberg to her credit, Greta Gerwig made the leap to big screen writer/director in November with the unapologetically woman-focused Lady Bird. Here, she talks candidly about the female gaze, the New York dream, and writing scripts where “the central story is not a question of whether a woman will or will not end up with some dude.” By Jenni MillerPhotos by Nadya Wasylko     When Greta Gerwig sits down to breakfast at Café Cluny in N.Y.C.’s...
BUST's current cover gal Greta Gerwig earned a well-deserved Best Director Oscar nomination for her film Lady Bird this morning. With it, she becomes the fifth woman ever to be nominated for the award, following Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, 2009), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, 2003), Jane Campion (The Piano, 1993), and Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties, 1976) in the unfortunately short list. If she wins, she’ll become the second woman to ever win the Best Director award, following Bigelow. That’s not the only good news....