‘I Saw The TV Glow’, ‘Evil Does Not Exist’, Ethan Hawke’s ‘Wildcat’ & Anita Pallenberg Doc Debut, Can They Give Indies A Bump? – Specialty Preview

It’s been a rough few weeks for indies but May is here with a handful of hopefuls looking to rev up the market — from A24’s buzzy I Saw The TV Glow to Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Venice award-winning Evil Does Not Exist. A documentary about Anita Pallenberg featuring Scarlett Johansson hits theaters, with a French animated sci-fi set on Mars, and a Flannery O’Conner biopic by Ethan Hawke.

I Saw The TV Glow is written and directed by Jane Schoenbrun (We’re All Going To The World’s Fair) and produced by Emma Stone under her Fruit Tree Banner. The horror-thriller that gripped Sundance (Deadline review called it a “trippy gut punch”) then SXSW follows a teenager named Owen trying to make it through life in the suburbs. The weirdness starts when his classmate introduces him to a mysterious late-night TV show, a vision of a supernatural world beneath their own. In the pale glow of the television, Owen’s view of reality begins to crack.

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Schoenbrun told Deadline at the fest that “staring at screens is probably the thing that we do most, that we make art about least … the screen becomes such a beautiful and malleable metaphor to talk about how it feels to be alive, and especially to be alive in a world where you don’t quite feel like you fit in.”

Stars Justice Smith (The American Society of Magical Negroes); Bridgette Lundy-Paine (Aytpical, Amelia’s Children); Ian Foreman (Let The Right One In); Helena Howard (Madeline, Madeline, The Wilds), Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst (The Education of Charlie Banks) and Danielle Deadwyler (Till).

A24 is selling the mid-90s soundtrack on vinyl. Opens the Angelika and AMC Lincoln Square in NYC, and AMC The Grove, AMC Burbank, AMC Burbank Town Center in LA. Expands May 17.

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Evil Does Not Exist from Sideshow/Janus Films is playing Film Forum and Film at Lincoln Center in NYC, and the AMC Grove in LA. The distributor had great success with its debut film, Hamaguchi’s Cannes-premiering Drive My Car, an awards magnet that did surprisingly well theatrically post-Covid.

Evil Does Not Exist premiered at Venice last year where it won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize and the Fipresci Prize, see Deadline review, going on to play TIFF, New York Film Festival and BFI London. It’s set in the rural alpine hamlet of Mizubiki, not far from Tokyo, where Takumi and his daughter Hana lead a modest life gathering water, wood, and wild wasabi for the local udon restaurant. Conflict ensues when a talent agency plans to build an opulent getaway for city folks. As sinister gunshots echo from the forest, both the locals and representatives for the new complex confront their life choices and the haunting consequences. Stars Hitoshi Omika, Ryo Nishikawa, Ryuji Kosaka, Ayaka Shibutani.

Drive My Car claimed the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best International Feature and was named Best Film at BFI London, the BAFTAs, Gothams, Film Independent Spirit Awards and by the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, National Society of Film Critics and Critics Choice Association.

Oscilloscope presents literary biopic Wildcat directed by Ethan Hawke, written by Hawke and Shelby Gaines, and starring Maya Hawke as Flannery O’Conner. The film melds the life of the seminal Southern Gothic writer of glorious, groundbreaking prose with her stories and novels. Premiered at Telluride. Also stars Laura Linney, Phillip Ettinger, Rafael Casal, Cooper Hoffman, Steve Zahn, Vincent D’Onofrio, Alessandro Nivola, Christine Dye, Willa Fitzgerald and Levon Hawke.

Opens in NYC at the Angelika and AMC Lincoln Square, in LA at AMC Century City. Expands May 10. Hawke will be at Q&As opening weekend and follow the film as it expands.

Wildcat invites the audience to weave in and out of O’Connor’s mind as she ponders the great questions of her writing: Can scandalous art still serve God? Does suffering precede all greatness? Can illness be a blessing? O’Conner, who was diagnosed with lupus at age 24, was forced to make her mark as a great writer living a reclusive life with her mother on a Georgia dairy farm. As she dives deeper into her craft, the lines between reality, imagination, and faith begin to blur, allowing Flannery to ultimately fine peace.

GKIDs opens original 2D animated sci-fi Mars Express from French director Jérémie Périn on about 300 screens. It’s Périn’s feature debut after directing animation for TV. “He has a very cultivated and intentional approach to the science fiction genre,” the distributor says, and the pic has generally solid reviews with some good pickup for the director himself. It’s a French production but is screening mostly in English.

Set it the year 2200, private detective Aline Ruby and her android partner Carlos Rivera are hired by a wealthy businessman to track down a notorious hacker. On Mars, they descend deep into the underbelly of the planet’s capital city, uncovering brain farms, corruption, and a missing girl who holds a secret about the robots that threatens to change the universe.

Magnolia presents Catching Fire: The Story Of Anita Pallenberg at the IFC Center in NY, CineLounge in the Bay Area and Nuart in LA starting 5/10 amongst others. The Cannes-premiering docs (see Deadline review) is directed by Alexis Bloom and Svetlana Zill. Features Scarlett Johansson reading the words of the Italian-German actress, artist, and model credited as the muse of the Rolling Stones, who was involved romantically with Brian Jones and later, from 1967 to 1980, with Keith Richards, with whom she had three children.

A woman who was often a newspaper headline — rock n’ roll goddess, voodoo priestess, evil seductress — and accused, among other things, of trying to break the group up, is see very differently from the perspetive of those who loved her. Never-seen home movies and family photographs explore her life from the Rolling Stones, to Barbarella (she played The Great Tyrant) to the Swiss Alps, Lower East Side and London.


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