CinemAddicts Ep. 97: “Maiden,” “Funan,” “Relaxer,” And “I Am Mother”

Left to right: Tracy Edwards, Mikaela Von Koskull Courtesy of Tracy Edwards and Sony Pictures Classics
Episode 97 is a pretty big one for CinemAddicts, as thanks to our Patreon backers we are now doing two episodes per month. Details on the movies we covered and other stuff (including our podcast audio) is found after the jump!!!


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Left to Right: Angela Heath, Mikaela von Koskull, Michele Paret, Tracy Edwards, Amanda Swan Neal
Courtesy of Tracy Edwards and Sony Pictures Classics

Opening in Los Angeles and New York on June 28th, Maiden centers on Tracy Edwards’ decision to become the skipper of an all-female crew to compete in 1989’s Whitbread Round the World. Directed by Alex Holmes, the documentary spotlights Edwards’ determination and perseverance in assembling the crew, ensuring they received financial backing for the race, and turning their secondhand boat into an able bodied craft. There were a ton of hurdles before the race even started, and it’s inspiring to watch this unit combat sexism and, more importantly, Mother Nature in attempting to win the race.

Maiden is a gripping story that had me captivated throughout its 97 minutes, and both Anderson and I gave the movie the proverbial thumbs up. My minor complaint (and it’s actually a compliment) is that Maiden, for me, was a bit too short for its own good. I personally wanted a bit more backstory from the crew members and even more interviews with Edwards (she’s a naturally charismatic individual). That being said, Maiden is an excellent documentary, and me simply wanting more is just a testament to its greatness.

I still haven’t seen the Netflix feature I Am Mother, which stars Hilary Swank and Rose Byrne, but Anderson recommended it. He also waxed poetic about Relaxer, a movie directed by Buzzard filmmaker Joel Potrykus. Anderson loves the collaborations between Potrykus and Buzzard star Joshua Burge, and the pair are back together with Relaxer.

The plotline centers on a dude (Burge) who attempts to beat the “unbeatable level 256” on Pac-Man. For some reason pop star Adina Howard is in this one, and since I’m also a fan of Buzzard, Relaxer is definitely on my list.

Other films covered include the Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson feature Hampstead, which is now out on VOD. The movie centers on a widow (Keaton) who becomes involved with a squatter (Gleeson) who may be kicked out of his domain. If you’re a fan of both actors, this light romantic comedy is worth a watch, as both deliver charming (and at times resonant) performances in the feature.

Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson in “Hampstead.” Courtesy of IFC Films.

Another film that I loved was Funan, an animated feature about a young family’s attempts to survive during the Khmer Rouge revolution. Directed by Denis Do and inspired by his own mother’s story, the 84-minute tale is an unflinching look at survival at any cost, and the feature is currently playing in select theaters and cities through July.

Funan – (Photo courtesy of GKIDS).

For this month’s Patreon episode, Anderson Cowan will be reviewing Street Smart, a 1987 flick starring Christopher Reeve and Morgan Freeman, and I’ll be covering Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire. To listen to the latest episode of CinemAddicts, check out the Soundcloud bar below.

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