HomeNewsFriday FlicksFriday Flicks: ‘Wilding’, ‘The Rider’, ‘Zama’

Friday Flicks: ‘Wilding’, ‘The Rider’, ‘Zama’

Turn your attention to all the great indie cinema hitting the big screen this weekend. FD’s got you covered with our picks of the best movies to catch at the theater. Pull up to a bumper with 'Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami'; go bareback with 'The Rider'; and run from a creature of the night in 'Wilding'.

Friday Flicks: ‘Wilding’, ‘The Rider’, ‘Zama’

Happy Friday the 13th, folks! Big news this week, as the draconian Hollywood event that is Cannes released its official 2018 lineup and there are some glaring holes in the list. While the works of Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing), Jean-Luc Godard (A Woman Is a Woman), and Jafar Panahi (Taxi Tehran) made the cut, we couldn’t help but notice Netflix’s contenders were nowhere to be seen.

That’s probably because the streaming giant pulled out of the festival after Cannes director Thierry Frémaux banned any films without French theatrical distribution from playing in competition. Oh yeah, and the comp section also showed a severe lack of female talent as well as a Lars von Trier-shaped hole, as the festival continues to turn away the badboy auteur following his 2011 press conference blunder. Cannes really knows how to hold a grudge.

Elsewhere, the world of anime lost one of its great visionaries this week as it was announced Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata passed away aged 82. While Takahata was less commonly in the spotlight than Miyazaki, his contribution to Japan’s most celebrated animation house should not be underestimated.

The director, animator, screenwriter, and producer was best known for directing Grave of the Fireflies – a powerfully moving tale of two orphans in Japan during the second world war. His other notable work includes films such as the romantic drama Only Yesterday, raccoon romp Pom Poko, and the last movie he ever worked on: the 2013 adventure drama The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. R.I.P. Takahata – you will be greatly missed.

Over to the box office and – fresh off the success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle –  Dwayne Johnson is back in theaters this weekend in Rampage, playing a primatologist whose beloved pal (a silverback gorilla) is transformed into a giant menace due to a genetic experiment. Sounds . . . great?

It’s probably in your best interest to give Rampage a swerve (IndieWire called it “one of the blandest and most boring films ever made”) and instead turn your attention to all the great indie cinema hitting the big screen this weekend. FD’s got you covered with our picks of the best movies to catch at the theater. Pull up to a bumper with Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami; go bareback at the rodeo with The Rider; and run from a creature of the night in Wilding.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (Kino Lorber)

on limited theatrical release now


Pull up to that bumper baby, because we’re about to go on an electrifying journey through the public and private worlds of pop culture mega-icon, Grace Jones. Mixing musical sequences with intimate personal footage, Sophie Fiennes’s documentary goes beyond the traditional music biography, offering a portrait as stylish and unconventional as its subject. Travelling to her home country of Jamaica, taking viewers through the studio with longtime collaborators Sly & Robbie, and going backstage at gigs around the world, the film reveals Jones as a lover, daughter, mother, and businesswoman.

The Rider (Sony Pictures Classics)

on limited theatrical release now


Based on a true story, The Rider centers on Brady Blackburn (Brady Jandreau) – a thwarted rodeo star whose tragic riding incident left him wondering what’s left to live for. Starting soon after the accident, the drama film shows Blackburn as he undertakes a search for a new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America. But the standout feature of the film is lead Jandreau, who has received rave reviews despite having no acting experience to lean on. However, he does have life experience, having also been a rodeo rider who suffered a severe head injury in competition. As such, Jandreau gives a believable performance as the rodeo legend based in significant measure on himself.

Wildling (IFC Midnight)

on limited theatrical release now


Fritz Böhm’s debut stars Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) & Liv Tyler (The Strangers) in a contemporary creature feature, offering a terrifying twist on the werewolf legend. Described as a “clever and unsettling horror”, Wilding follows Anna (Powley), who has been raised in isolation by a man she knows only as Daddy (Brad Dourif). Once she reaches kidulthood, Anna is suddenly thrust into the real world under the protection of no-nonsense police officer Ellen (Tyler), where it soon becomes clear the young woman is far from ordinary. With a desire for the freedom of the forest, a bloodlust awakens inside of her that proves to be an unstoppable force.

Zama (Strand Releasing)

on limited theatrical release now


Based on Antonio Di Benedetto’s 1956 novel of the same name, this period drama film directed by Lucrecia Martel (The Headless Woman) is based on Don Diego de Zama – an officer of the Spanish Crown who was born in South America. Waiting for a letter from the king granting him a transfer from the town in which he is stagnating, he hopes to be transferred to a better place. In a bid to ensure nothing overshadows his transfer, Zama is forced to accept every task entrusted to him by successive governors who come and go as he stays behind. However, when the king’s letter fails to arrive, Zama realizes he’s got nothing to lose and decides to join a party of soldiers as they go after a dangerous bandit.

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Hailing from England, Daniel Bennifer shares FilmDaily’s vision to support independent film and its goal of bringing it to the widest possible audience. In his free time, he enjoys reading, tinkering with technology, and regular weekly trips to the theatre.

bennifer.daniel@gmail.com

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