AJFF Recommends: What to Watch in May

05/1/2017

We've got our film picks ready for this month. Among our recommendations are several documentaries including a film from the 2017 AJFF, an inside look at the world of stand-up comedians, and a war film by Quentin Tarantino.  

In Theatres

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
In this New York Times Critic’s Pick, Richard Gere stars as an incorrigible hustler and compulsive schmoozer, operating on the fringes of Manhattan’s circuit of money and influence. “Gere’s work in Norman is to be treasured,” says the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s one of the best performances in any movie this year.” Featuring an all-star ensemble that includes Michael Sheen, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Steve Buscemi, Hank Azaria and Israeli Academy Award winner Lior Ashkenazi, Norman is written and directed by Oscar nominee Joseph Cedar.

Netflix

Inglourious Basterds
With this "what might have been" fictional narrative, writer and director Quentin Tarantino snagged his highest-grossing film at that point in his career (It would later be surpassed by Django Unchained). The film follows two plotlines in Nazi-occupied France during World War II where a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same.

Forever Pure
Featured at the 2017 AJFF, this chilling documentary chronicles the effects of a secretive deal to transfer Muslim players to an Israeli soccer team in a timely and cautionary tale of nationalism and demagoguery. The film reveals an ugly and unsettling reality at the intersection of tribalism and sports. Investigative journalist-filmmaker Maya Zinshtein was named Best Director at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, and the film received Best Editing honors. 

DVD & Blu-Ray

Dying Laughing
Featuring notable comics like Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Jerry Lewis, and the late Garry Shandling, this documentary takes an honest look inside the agony and ecstasy of making people laugh for a living. Containing both original interviews interlaced with personal footage of life on the road, audiences get to see the life of a stand-up comedian from a comedian's point of view. 

Special Mention

The Wizard of Lies
Premiering on HBO on May 20, the film, directed by Barry Levinson, stars Robert DeNiro as Bernie Madoff. Madoff made headlines around the world when he was arrested in 2008 for perpetrating perhaps the largest financial fraud in U.S. history.