As Simon and Garfunkel once sang, ‘July, she will fly,’ and there are numerous reasons to keep watching the skies this month – if, by ‘the skies’, you mean the light projected onto a cinema screen in an otherwise unlit room. Along with aerially-inclined superheroes, hotshot Air Force pilots, and Voyagers travelling across the universe, some cool, dark July releases offer respite from how hot and bright it’s… well, supposed to be, this time of year.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 5th)
NT: Live Presents Angels in America (July 20th/27th)
Web-slinging into action from today is our third Spider-Man in 15 years. Will this one stick around? Marvel’s increasingly unfeasible long-term planning may suggest so! Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Michael Keaton playing some sort of bird-man (where have we seen that before?), early reviews of this one suggest it’s an above-average MCU movie to look out for – see what our own Dave Hanratty has to say about it here.
If you really miss recent ex-Spidey Andrew Garfield, you could always go and see him in the simulcast of the epic AIDS crisis chronicle, Angels in America on Broadway, as part of the NT: Live season showing in cinemas nationwide. Look at him, having a career! Meanwhile, did you know the ex-ex-Spidey Tobey Maguire’s last job was as the narrator in Boss Baby, that thing with Alec Baldwin? Maybe give that a miss.
It Comes at Night (July 5th)
Something wicked this way comes – at night! Starring Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott and Riley Keogh, the film focuses on two families – parents of a teenage son, and a young couple – who are thrown together in order to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, but as relationships develop and power dynamics shift, they find themselves as much at odds with each other as their mysteriously foreboding environment. Trey Edward Shults ramps up the tension in a quietly-buzzy psychological horror that could be this year’s Babadook (if whatever ‘It’ is does indeed come out at night).
The Beguiled (July 14th)
Keeping with the theme of increasingly unwelcome house-guests, Sofia Coppola walked away with the best director prize at Cannes for her remake of the 1971 tale of a family of blonde ladies who take in a wounded soldier during the Civil War, and the complicated tensions that arise from this claustrophobic and highly-charged environment. A stellar cast sees Colin Farrell blessed amongst women including Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning in what is reported to be a strong, moody return to form from Coppola after the somewhat disappointing The Bling Ring.
Dunkirk (July 21st):
If one wounded soldier isn’t enough for you, there’s a good chance you’ll get to see dozens of them in Christopher Nolan’s hotly-anticipated Harry Styles vehicle (kidding, kidding) Dunkirk. In a cinematic climate crowded with franchises, remakes and hell, even movies about The War in general, there’s still something exciting, eventful, about a filmmaker like Nolan taking on the story of the evacuation and defense of Dunkirk. Will it live up to the hype? We’ll see soon enough. If you feel like getting fancy, Dunkirk will be screening in IMAX, 35mm, and 70mm at selected cinemas, and the Irish premiere is happening out West…
If you’ve always told yourself, ‘one day I’ll Fleadh away’, July could be the time to do it. The 29th Galway Film Fleadh takes place this month and, as well as hosting the first national screening of Dunkirk, boasts plenty of national and international talent in its line-up. Highlights of the programme include the Sally Hawkins-led Maudie; the hotly-anticipated Pilgrimage, starring Tom Holland and Jon Bernthal; and one of the biggest WTF-generators at this year’s Sundance, A Ghost Story. Donnie Darko’s Richard Kelly is among those delivering filmmaking masterclasses; and it’s always worth keeping an eye on the New Irish Shorts for upcoming local talent.
The Galway Film Fleadh (July 11th-16th)
With its annual Open Day having moved to September from July, the Irish Film Institute makes up for it by offering us all the chance to build our own science fiction double feature from some old favourites and future classics. Films screening include the incredible new Irish documentary, The Farthest, tracking the tiny spaceship travelling into deep space with images of all our world; Shane Carruth’s mind-bending cult debut Primer; The Andromeda Strain, a true ‘them’ of the science-fiction movie canon, and many more.
Dark Skies: A Festival of Science Fact and Fiction Film (July 13th-16th)