Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp is going from the world of the Upside Down to world of the culinary arts in the newly released comedy Abe from Brazilian director Fernando Grostein Andrade (Wandering Heart, Quebrando o Tabu).
The film, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last year, features Schnapp as the food-obsessed titular pre-teen Abe — although that is not his only name. The Israeli-Jewish side of his family calls him Avram while the Palestinian-Muslim side Ibrahim. Meanwhile, his first-Generation agnostic lawyer parents call him Abraham. Then there are the readers of his food blog that know him simply as Abe.
Needless to say, the family dynamics are as interesting as the layered cultural nuances of his name. He has never had a birthday where there isn’t a fight about politics. It reaches its apex on his 12th birthday and as a result, he sneaks out to a late-night food festival where he meets Afro-Brazilian chef Chico (Seu Jorge), who has quit his job at a high-end restaurant to bring his own cuisine to the streets of Brooklyn via a pop-up eatery.
His parents give him the gift of cooking camp for the summer, but Abe opts to escape from that and seek mentorship from Chico to develop his skills as an aspiring chef. All the while, he learns to incorporate his cultural background into his food.
“I wanted to write a story that’s universal, about kids who have different backgrounds, and [are] trying to figure out their identity,” Andrade told Deadline at Sundance when the film premiered. “I think this [film] is something really universal because most kids want their parents to get along, be together.”
Watch the trailer below.
Since we are in a time of quarantine and we have more time to consume all kinds of media, it is appropriate that there are not one, but two documentaries about books hitting streamers and VOD services in the forthcoming week.
The first is D.W. Young’s The Booksellers which gives a behind-the-scenes look at the rare book world. The documentary premiered at the 2019 New York Film Festival and had a limited release in March that coincided with the annual New York International Antiquarian Book Fair. Now, the film will launch in Los Angeles as part of Greenwich Entertainment
Virtual Cinema Initiative starting today.
Greenwich is partnering with Los Angeles movie theaters that are closed due to the pandemic. Patrons can support their local theaters and purchase tickets for the virtual cinema initiative. Theaters participating include the Laemmle Royal, Laemmle Monica, Laemmle Town Center 5, Laemmle Noho 7, Laemmle Glendale, and Laemmle Playhouse 7. Visit BooksellersMovie.com to purchase tickets.
Executive produced by Parker Posey, the film features interviews with some of the most important dealers in the business, as well as prominent collectors, auctioneers, and writers such as Fran Lebowitz, Susan Orlean, Kevin Young, and Gay Talese. The docu celebrates book culture and explores the future of the medium while spotlighting importance of tangible media.
Starting April 22, Netflix will stream Circus of Books which focuses on a different kind of book store. Directed by Rachel Mason and executive produced by Ryan Murphy, the docu premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year and follows Mason’s parents’ iconic gay porn store in West Hollywood.
Although it is dubbed as a gay porn store, the titular locale is more than that. For over 35 years, it was an LGBTQ institution before shuttering in February 2019. Circus of Books was space for the queer community to socialize and celebrate themselves without judgment. The twist is that the store was owned by Karen and Barry Mason, a straight couple with three children who went to religious school and had no idea that their parents were running a gay porn store.
The Masons kept Circus of Books a secret from their friends and family for years and while doing so, they were witnesses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic which made them lose beloved employees. Rachel Mason’s feature docu debut unpacks her parents’ story, how they don’t see themselves as activists, how they became the biggest distributors of gay porn, how business was destroyed by the internet and why her mom didn’t exactly respond well to her son coming out.
Dropping on Amazon this weekend, Selah and the Spades marks the directorial debut of Sundance Institute Alum Tayarisha Poe. The film bowed at Sundance in 2019 and stars Lovie Simone as the titular 17-year-old Selah Summers. Of five factions, Selah runs the most dominant social group called the Spades at Haldwell, an elite Pennsylvania boarding school. She is the woman in charge as they supply students with illegal alcohol and pills. Tensions between the factions escalate, and when Selah’s BFF Maxxie (Jharrel Jerome) gets involved in his own romance, Selah finds a protégée in the eager Paloma (Celeste O’Connor). As graduation nears, Selah fears that Paloma is learning too quick and her role as the Queen Bee is in jeopardy.
“I went to boarding school in Central Jersey and I loved it. It was a really formative experience for me. I think it was because of the independence that we had and that was the first time that I felt that way,” Poe told Deadline during its premiere at Sundance. “There’s that’s something that’s so particular to being a high schooler who lives away from home… I just wanted to try to just capture that feeling of living away from home and having that independence.”
Drake Doremus’s Endings, Beginnings will be available on digital starting this weekend and move to On Demand on May 1. The romantic drama from Samuel Goldwyn debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019 and follows Daphne (Shailene Woodley) for one year as she navigates the landscape of romance, love and heartbreak. Along the way she becomes involved in a love triangle with free-spirited bad boy (Sebastian Stan) and his scholarly best friend (Jamie Dornan). During that time, she will unlock the secrets to her life in a sudden turn of events and in the most surprising of places.
“It’s just an exploration of her humanity, and who she is as an emotional creature, trying to do the best she can, day in and day out, as she tries and navigates life, and also goes through the journey of self-exploration, realization and identification,” Woodley told Deadline at TIFF. “I think this movie is a true journey into oneself, of figuring out how she identifies within her own soul, and within her own heart.”
Also hitting On Demand this weekend is Scott Teems’s thriller The Quarry adapted from the novel by Damon Galgut. The film from Lionsgate and Grindstone follows a fugitive drifter (Shea Whigham) who has murdered a traveling preacher. He travels to a small town and assumes the identity of the man he killed. He charms everyone in the town but local police chief (Michael Shannon) grows suspicious.