AJFF Recommends: What to Watch in July


From the big screen to the small, we have some ideas about what to watch this month. Among our recommendations is the opening film for the Cannes Film Festival, Steven Spielberg's latest, and a look at a classic before it heads back to Broadway.

In Theatres

Café Society
Café Society is the latest film written and directed by Woody Allen. The romantic comedy-drama recently opened at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, which brings the writer-director's current total with the festival to his 14th film to screen out of competition at the festival, and the third to open it. His latest stars Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, and Jesse Eisenberg as Allen's latest surrogate as a version of Allen himself.

The film, based on the beloved classic children's novel, is the latest work helmed by director Steven Spielberg. Among the discussion circling around the film, Spielberg has eloquently addressed the controversy around author Roald Dahl as an anti-Semite saying, "I wasn't aware of any of Roald Dahl's personal stories. I was focused on this story he wrote." While the film has opened to mixed reviews, not one has denied how visually stunning it is and the talent of Spielberg's newest frequent collaborator, Mark Rylance.


Hello, Dolly!
The classic musical, adapted first from Thornton Wilder's play and then Broadway musical, came to movie theatres in 1969 starring Barbra Streisand, who had recently won the Oscar for Funny Girl. The plot centers around resident matchmaker Dolly Levi as she travels to Yonkers, New York to find a match for the millionaire Horace Vandergelder. The lavish movie musical, directed by Gene Kelly, also stars Walter Matthau and a young Michael Crawford, who would later go on to originate the title role in The Phantom of the Opera. The musical also returns to Broadway next year with Bette Midler so now's your chance to get acquainted with the soundtrack before then!

By the People: The Election of Barack Obama
This 2009 documentary film produced by Edward Norton was broadcast originally on HBO. The film follows Barack Obama through two years leading up to the United States presidential election on November 4, 2008. Throughout the film various members of Obama's campaign team are highlighted including Jewish American political operative and analyst, David Axelrod, who has been credited for Obama's win in the past.

DVD & Blu-Ray

Jewish actor, Jake Gyllenhaal, gives a performance Variety calls "his best performance since 'Brokeback Mountain' as a man who refuses to mourn his wife's death."