Reviews of three films that were released this past June: Plus One, Leto, and Bloodroot.
(NOTE: A version of this article was published here.)
Joe Talbot’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco tells the story of Jimmie (Jimmie Fails) and Montgomery (Jonathan Majors), two black friends who live in San Francisco. Put simply, the film follows Jimmie’s attempts to reclaim a house in San Francisco’s historic Fillmore District. (For brevity’s sake, I’ll refer to this house as “the Fillmore house” for the rest of this article.) Although Jimmie and his family owned the house in the past, they were forced to move out as a result of gentrification. Despite this, however, Jimmie continues to believe that the house rightfully belongs to him, claiming that his grandfather built it “with his own hands” in the middle of the 20th century.
**** (out of 4)
Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir recounts the romantic travails of Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne), a 20-something woman who lives in 1980s London. An aspiring filmmaker, Julie is the kind of young person who earnestly, idealistically speaks of not wanting to live a life of “privilege.” Despite this, however, she ends up falling in love with Anthony (Tom Burke), an older man whose affected manner, opinionated views on art, and penchant for opera all make him seem like the epitome of wealth and elitism.
If you were just going by this basic plot summary, you could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve seen films like The Souvenir before.