Two from Magnolia Pictures, the story of an iconic record album design firm back and a sighting of Brian Cox usher in a specialty weekend with smoke clearing over New York City. Acrid plumes from Canadian wildfires have smothered the key arthouse market over the past few days in an unusual air quality event that had Mayor Eric Adams urging people to home.
Friday the sky was visible and air fresher, a boon for all — including the ongoing Tribeca Festival, which opened Wednesday night and will be unspooling 100+ features and events through June 17.
New openings: From Magnolia, Dalíland by Mary Harron starring Ben Kingsley as the iconic artist in 20 markets (including Quad in NYC and Nuart in LA) and on VOD. Written by John C. Walsh. With Christopher Briney, Barbara Sukowa, Ezra Miller, Andreja Pejic. Premiered as TIFF’s closing night film, see Deadline review here. Follows the later years and fracturing marriage of one of the most world renowned artists of the 20th century. Set in New York and Spain in 1974, it’s told through the eyes of James (Briney), a young assistant keen to make his name in the art world who is helping the eccentric and mercurial Dalí prepare for a big gallery show. Rupert Graves, Suki Waterhouse, Andreja Pejic, and Ezra Miller also star.
Magnolia also presents Georgia Oakley’s Blue Jean in New York (IFC, Film at Lincoln Center), adding LA, San Francisco and Chicago next week in a traditional rollout for the film starring Rosy McEwen. It’s England, 1988, and Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government is about to pass a law stigmatizing gays and lesbians, forcing gym teacher Jean (McEwen) to live a double life. As pressure mounts from all sides, the arrival of a new student catalyzes a crisis that will challenge Jean to her core. Premiered in Venice, see Deadline review.
For a Brian Cox fix after losing him too early in the last season of Succession, Blue Fox Entertainment opens Mending The Line nationally with 403 runs. A marine wounded in Afghanistan is sent to a V.A. facility in Montana where he meets a Vietnam vet who teaches him to fly fish as a way of dealing with emotional and physical trauma and they forge a friendship that changes their lives. Directed by Joshua Caldwell, written by Stephen Camelio. Sinqua Walls, Patricia Heaton, Wes Studio, Perry Mattfeld also star.
Utopia presents documentary Squaring The Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis) about the iconic album art design studio. Director Anton Corbijn and Hipgnosis co-founder Aubrey “Po” Powell are in-person for Q&As June 7-9 at the Film Forum, where it opened on Wednesday. Will add LA’s Laemmle Royal June 16 ahead of a one-night nationwide event screening on June 20.
The story of Storm Thorgerson and Powell, creative geniuses behind some of the most recognizable album covers of all time, debuted in Telluride. The duo formed Hipgnosis in Cambridge in the ’60s and became rock royalty, producing visuals that popularized music previously been considered fringe. New interviews with Roger Waters, David Gilmour & Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Graham Gouldman of 10cc, Noel Gallagher. As per the synopsis: “During this period, record companies didn’t dictate to acts like Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Paul McCartney what their LP covers should look like – Storm and Po did. They made money; they lost money. They did great things; they did silly things. They fell out bitterly; they made up. They never played a note, but they changed music.”
IFC Films presents The Angry Black Girl And Her Monster by Bomanii J. Story, starring Laya DeLeon Hayes, on 56 screens. Vicaria is a brilliant teenager who believes death is a disease that can be cured. After the brutal and sudden murder of her brother, she embarks on a dangerous journey to bring him back to life. Inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Premiered at SXSW.
Cohen Media Group presents drama Persian Lessons by Vadim Perelman in NY (Quad) and LA (Laemmle Royal), expanding to top 25 markets next week. The film was very well received when it premiered in Berlin back in 2020 — and was Belarus’ 2021 Oscar entry (later disqualified for not having enough creative positions originating from the country). In the Russia-Germany-Belarus co-production, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart stars as Gilles, a young Belgian man who avoids execution in a concentration camp by pretending he can speak Persian, teaching a made-up language to a camp prison officer.