This Week in Cinemas May 12, 2021.

Discover indie documentaries, including “What Drives Us” and “SPECIALish.”

Cinemas around the world from Austria to France and the Netherlands to Poland are reopening this month. Capacity in U.S. movie theaters is steadily expanding, with California allowing between 50 and 69% capacity in cinemas and New York allowing between 20 and 29% in their movie houses. While there’s still a long way to go before all the world’s cinemas reopen, it’s exciting to see audiences return to the movies. Meanwhile, vaccinated movie fans enjoy a hybrid cinema experience between streaming film at home and slowly returning to theaters.

Fun music doc “What Drives Us”’ pairs Dave Grohl and fellow Rock stars for stories about their first tours.

What I’m Watching:

“What Drives Us”

Watch Foo Fighters founder and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl driving his old red Ford Econoline Van. Listen to Grohl interviewing fellow Rock stars about early tours and on-the-road adventures. The music documentary “What Drives Us” is a high-energy storytelling jam between Grohl and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-worthy subjects from Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) to the Edge (David Howell Evans of U2) and Ringo Starr to Brian Johnson (AC/DC). Together, their stories create fun nostalgia. Grohl is the right artist at the right time for “What Drives Us.” His Rock cred gains access to top talent and their unforgettable stories. Grohl’s early tour adventures make him relatable to his fellow Rock stars. The various on-the-road stories are also relatable to “What Drives Us’ audiences who have their own experiences around early travels with friends.

“What Drives Us,” from Roswell Films and Therapy Studios, is available on Amazon Prime: The Coda Collection.

Comic Jessica Watkins walk across America in the documentary “SPECIALish.”

What I’m Excited to Watch:

“Sequin in a Blue Room”

Co-writer/director Samuel Van Grinsven makes his feature filmmaking debut with a story of a young gay man exploring his sexuality through anonymous encounters. Conor Leach (“Preacher”) headlines the drama. 

“Sequin in a Blue Room” debuts on VOD platforms on May 18, 2021

What I’m Excited to Watch:

“When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit.”

Director Caroline Link (Nowhere in Africa” adapts the Judith Kerr novel. “When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit” is the story of a prominent Jewish journalist and his family exiting Berlin in 1933 and escaping from the Nazis. Oliver Masucci, Carla Juri, Marinus Hohmann, and Riva Krymalowski lead the ensemble cast. 

“When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit” opens at select art-house cinemas on May 21, 2021

Behind the Screens: Cannes 2021 Programming Announcements Coming Soon 

The Cannes Film Festival may have gone dark in 2020 due to the Coronavirus. Still, entertainment industry pundits predict many high-profile titles with the official selection program announcement on May 27. Movies expected to join the fest opener “Annette” from filmmaker Leos Carax include Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” and the Sean Penn drama “Flag Day.” The following two weeks promise lots of forecasting and crossed fingers that the 2021 Cannes Festival occurs as scheduled from July 6-17. 

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