Films you need to see this August

Eva Mackevic 3 August 2022

Tasteful horrors, rowdy documentaries and more among our top cinema picks this month 

A Bird Flew In

Remember the restless days of March 2020, when we were all nervously following every government announcement and trying to make sense of the surreal events unfolding around the world? Though COVID is still very much around, the dizzying uncertainty, fear of the unknown and social isolation that accompanied those early lockdown days seem like the nightmarish flashbacks to some distant fever dream.

In A Bird Flew In, director Kirsty Bell returns to re-examine our collective trauma via seven interlinked narratives—each painful, enlightening, or hopeful in its own unique way. The characters of these brief vignettes (played by a scintillating ensemble cast including Derek Jacobi and Sadie Frost) are busy working together on a feature film when the UK lockdown is announced. Actors, directors, writers, and production crew are sent home to deal with the realities of their lives with no script or film set to turn to. Relationships break down, desperation ensues, some people face their own mortality while others find unexpected connections they had longed for so much.

"Though beautiful in its bleakness, A Bird Flew In can be a bit rough around the edges"

Despite the rather scarring subject matter, the film is a highly stylish and elegant affair. It’s black and white, unafraid to experiment with disorienting camera angles and unusual takes, filled with voiceovers and poetry. Though beautiful in its bleakness, A Bird Flew In can be a bit rough around the edges, losing steam with some storylines, while overplaying others. Luckily, the captivating cast never lets us linger on this fact for too long.

 

Girls Can't Surf 

This rowdy, rock ‘n’ roll documentary shines a light on the thankless task of being a woman in professional surfing in the 1980s and—unsurprisingly—is shockingly relevant today. A delightful blend of Eighties hits, peroxide hair and spandex, Girls Can’t Surf features interviews with a group of boisterous, larger-than-life former surfer girls reminiscing about their time trying to chase the waves in a world dominated by radical male egos. From not being taken seriously as pro surfers (the spectators would run out to get lunch when it was the women’s turn to compete) to the constant objectification (their one-piece bathing suits were cut so high they had to pull their straps up while manoeuvring on the waves to make sure nothing “fell out”), these renegade women had to fight hard to carve out their own spot in the sport.


She Will 

Produced by horror maestro Dario Argento and lauded by Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón, comes this atmospheric psychological horror from debut director Charlotte Colbert. Set in the verdant Scottish Highlands, the film follows an ageing actress, Veronica, who retreats to the countryside with her young nurse Desi to recover from surgery. Rather than finding peace, however, she reckons with mysterious ancient forces emanating from the ground where witches were once burned.

Spine-chilling, dream-like and visually breathtaking, She Will stars the electrifying Alice Krige as Veronica, whose intimidating mien can crack the screen, as well as a star-studded supporting cast that includes Malcolm McDowell and Rupert Everett. Expect timely social commentary, snails, red lipstick and lots and lots of peat.

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