Over the last few years, A24 has quickly become one of the most respected second-tier distributors currently putting movies out in North America. In their first year (2013), the company put out three of the best films of that year, including Harmony Korine‘s wild-eyed Spring Breakers, The Spectacular Now, and Sofia Coppola‘s fantastic The Bling Ring. Over the last two years, the company has gone on to put out a handful of out-and-out masterworks that have continued to push pop cinema into its most strange and personal corners of thought and feeling, whether in Under the Skin and The Rover or Ex Machina and this year’s The Witch. And I’m leaving major works off that list, including Oscar-winner Room and new cult-favorite Green Room.
The Witch, Green Room, The Lobster, and Swiss Army Man has made A24 even more popular in the eyes of adventurous cinephiles worldwide this year, and they’re looking to back that up with a busy third and fourth quarter. We’ve already heard about Equals, Morris from America, and Ben Wheatley‘s Free Fire (which could be moved to 2017), and today, we’ve got release information on three other major releases from the company. First of all, there’s Mike Mills‘ 20th Century Women, the Air collaborator’s follow-up to Beginners, which A24 picked up today and is planning on releasing some time in 2016’s fourth quarter. The film stars Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, and Elle Fanning as three women who are involved with Bening’s character’s son growing up over the years; the film will be set in 1979, at least at the beginning.
Those who have seen Mills’ first two films will know the man has a way with imagery that can be quite gorgeous in passages, and the same goes for Andrea Arnold. The Scottish-born director made a splash at Cannes this year with American Honey, her follow-up to her recent, rather good Wuthering Heights adaptation, and A24 will release her film on September 30th. And then there’s Moonlight, the new film by Barry Jenkins, adapted from In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney, which will be released on October 21st by A24. Jenkins made a small commotion with his promising first feature, Medicine for Melancholy, which followed an unlikely courtship between two San-Franciscoans, played by Wyatt Cenac and Tracey Heggins, but he’s only made shorts since then. With a cast that includes House of Cards standout Mahershala Ali, The Knick‘s Andre Holland, and Moneypenny herself Naomie Harris, Moonlight has major potential, which is something I find myself saying a lot in regards to A24 releases.