Shirley and Flannery

Shirley and Flannery

Shirley Jackson is perhaps best known for her short story, The Lottery (although her novel, The Haunting of Hill House, is widely considered a master class in how to write a ghost story). Elizabeth Moss gives an uncanny performance as the unconventional writer in the new movie, Shirley. Set in a small Vermont college town (Bennington), in the summer of 1964, Shirley and her husband (the influential literary critic and philandering college professor Stanley Hyman) offer to share their house with a young graduate student and his pregnant wife. The newly married couple have no idea what they’re in for.  At one point Shirley describes herself as a witch; Shirley (the movie) leaves us as giddy and unsettled as if we too were under her magical spell.

For those of you who have a special interest in films about female, mid-century American Gothic writers, we will be screening Flannery, the new documentary about Flannery O’Connor. We’ll have more on that next week when it opens on July 17th.

Also opening this weekend in our virtual theater: Guest of Honour, the new film by Canadian filmmaker Adam Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter). Acclaimed British actor David Thewlis stars as a Toronto health inspector who spends his days frequenting family-owned restaurants and wielding the power to shutter their dreams at the slightest provocation. But serving as a guardian angel for unsuspecting diners can’t begin to ease the conscience of a confused and conflicted man.

45 Arrests, 33 Years in Congress: It’s disheartening to think of how relevant this film is to our lives in the summer of 2020. There are few who can rival Georgia Congressman John Lewis and his 60 plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care reform and immigration. The new film, John Lewis: Good Trouble, opens nationally (and in our virtual cinema) on July 3rd. It tells the story of this national treasure so that generations to come can continue to learn from Mr. Lewis’ remarkable story.

We are featuring two delicious murder mysteries this week: one from Italy and one from France. Both will keep you guessing who is the true murderer until the very end.

THE INVISIBLE WITNESS:  (opens June 26) A young, successful entrepreneur wakes up in a hotel room locked from the inside next to his dead lover. He becomes the chief suspect, While awaiting trial under house arrest, he enlists the aid of a defense attorney who has never lost a case. Largely told in flashback, this noirish thriller from director Stefano Mordini recreates the days of intrigue that lead up to that fateful night. Characters’ motivations begin to blur until no one is quite who they seem to be, leading to a pulse-pounding conclusion that will leave you guessing until the final shot.  (in Italian with subtitles; 102 minutes; 2020)

THE GIRL WITH A BRACELET: Lise is 18 years old and is accused of murdering her best friend two years earlier. She’s been under house arrest, wearing an ankle bracelet to monitor her whereabouts, hence the film’s title. As her trial starts, her parents stand by her side. But once her secret life is revealed in court, her innocence is far from certain and her parents’ faith begins to unravel. Directed by Stéphane Demoustier (in French with subtitles; 96 minutes; 2020)

Here’s a film for the young and the young-at-heart

Marona’s Fantastic Tale: Marona is a mixed-breed Labrador whose life leaves deep traces among the humans she encounters. After an accident, she reflects on all the homes and different experiences she’s had. As Marona’s memory journeys into the past, her unfailing empathy and love brings lightness and innocence into each of her owners’ lives, in this beautiful and deeply emotional story of an average dog and her extraordinary life. (92 min / in Romaian and French with subtitles)
Critic’s Pick! Buoyant! A beautiful and original animated film. – The New York Times

Check out for more films.

The July edition of The Ryder magazine is on the virtual newsstands.
This month’s issue features some great reads:  Spike Lee’s new movie, K-pop fans as Political Activists, travel stories on Bulgaria and Ecuador, and a profile of IU student Jewher Ilham, whose father is a political prisoner in China.

Click HERE to read the July edition!

Do you have a comment or a suggestion for a film? Maybe you’d like to write something for our magazine. Send an email to We can be talked into almost anything.