The dog days of summer are finally creeping into the rearview, and that most magical time of the calendar is upon us: good movie season, when studios roll out their Oscar hopefuls and indie distributors carefully, strategically releasing the movies they’ve picked up at festivals throughout the year. We’ve got eight great flicks to recommend, narratives and non-fiction (and one in between), profiles and experiments, all guaranteed to engage and entertain.
RELEASE DATE: September 5
DIRECTOR: Robert Greene
The latest masterful mixture of drama and documentary from director Greene (Kate Plays Christine, Actress) goes into the city of Bisbee, Arizona, as it approaches the centennial anniversary of the Bisbee Deportation, in which thousands of strikers (most of them immigrants) from the local copper mine were taken from the city by gunpoint, loaded onto trains, and sent into the New Mexico desert. As the city’s current residents commemorate and research the event, Greene extracts their ghost stories and folk tales, and stages a full, cinematic dramatization of the strike and deportation. The compositions, camera movements, and score are forceful — the climactic accumulation of elements is really quite astonishing — and the act of bringing the past to life in the present becomes a meta-textual commentary on keeping history safely distant. But it’s not; he observes even contemporary commenters insisting the conflict was neither anti-labor nor immigration, but a matter of “safety.” Greene doesn’t draw the line to current anti-immigrant rhetoric. He doesn’t have to.