If you’re reading this, congratulations, you’ve made it to June! We’ve somehow survived the first 150 days of 2017 and now the promise of summer hangs over us like a flock of seagulls over the canal, waiting to rob your ice cream and knock your cans over. A truly blessed time of year. Blockbuster season has already got off to a fast, if not furious start, with FF8, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Baywatch, Alien: Covenant and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but June brings its own high-profile new releases, bearing an unofficial theme of celebrating women, as well as classic cinema history. Here’s what we’ve got to look forward to in cinemas in the next few weeks:
Wonder Woman (2nd June)
Can you believe that, in terms of big-screen representation of comic book superheroes, we’ve had six Batmen, three Spider-Men, two of whatever the guy from Fantastic Four is called (Mr. Fantastic? Really?) but just one Wonder Woman? Introduced in Batman Versus Superman, a film so dull its rumoured original title was Fifty Shades of Grey, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman finally gets her own movie from today, which early buzz suggests is anything from absolutely adequate, to the best DC film to date. With a supporting cast including Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen and the rapidly-becoming-the-best Chris (Pine), here’s hoping director Patty Jenkins delivers more wonder than blunder.
Whitney: Can I Be Me (16th June)
A verifiable subgenre of documentary that has emerged as hugely popular in recent years, along with ‘police corruption chronicle’ and ‘messed-up murder miniseries’, is the beloved, departed female soul singer biopic: Janis:Little Girl Blue; Amy; What Happened, Miss Simone? The latest hoping to resonate with audiences is Whitney: Can I Be Me, using archive footage and interviews to trace three pivotal relationships in Whitney Huston’s life – with her mother, her ex-husband Bobby Brown, and PA/close friend Robyn Crawford – and how these impacted her life and career. Selected previews on the 11th of June include a live satellite Q&A with director Nick Broomfield.
The Mummy (9th June)
I know what you’re thinking – first Diana Prince, then Whitney Huston, and now a Mummy, ANOTHER wonderful woman? My heart just cannot take any more! Well then, you’ll be relieved to hear that this is not about your favourite female parent, but rather it’s a reboot of The Mummy franchise starring our beloved Brendan Fraser.*
*Brendan Fraser is now played by Tom Cruise, grappling with an undead princess who has awakened from a millennia-long slumber to get ancient Egyptian on everyone. Watch out for Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll as Universal attempts to begin building its Dark Universe series.
A full 50% of the films programmed at the IFI this month are directed by women, including a restoration of Julie Dash’s sensational Daughters of the Dust. Reissued last year following the release of Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade, on which it is a key influence, it tells the story of three generations of a Gullah family – descendants of enslaved Africans – preparing to resettle from their isolated island home to the US mainland. Daughters of the Dust (2nd-8th June)
Speaking of Dust, the IFI will also be Dustin off a few classic films to celebrate a certain Mr. Hoffman this month, marking his 80th birthday later this year as well as the re-release of the late Mike Nichols classic The Graduate. Whether you like your men as you like your long-distance runs (Marathon), your Irish weather (Rain), or singles by Samantha Mumba’s brother (Little Big), there’s something for everyone among Hoffman’s oeuvre. Dustin Hoffman Retrospective (10th-23rd June)
Whether Audrey is your Fair Lady or Katharine is your Woman of the Year, the Lighthouse has got you covered with their split tribute to two of Classic Hollywood’s biggest stars. Kicking off with a bubbly Breakfast at Tiffany’s breakfast this weekend, the programme features a diverse range of comedies, dramas, thrillers, romances, highlights include the wanderlust-inducing Roman Holiday, Jimmy Stewart’s best-ever performance opposite Katharine in The Philadelphia Story, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, a film about a white girl bringing her black boyfriend home to her socially-conservative parents that I can’t imagine continues to resonate at all in 2017… Hepburn Forever Season: (June 3rd – July 4th)
Every year on the 16th of June, Dublin goes a little bit Leo-opy marking a certain literary anniversary. But if Joyce is not your Jam(es) and you’re useless with Ulysses, fear not, because this year, the Lighthouse Cinema is giving you the chance to mark Jeff Goldblum’s Day instead! Screening The Life Aquatic, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Independence Day, it’s sure to be real fly over there. Jeff Goldblum’s Day (June 16th)