Black Panthers Criterion Becky

In today’s Movie News Rundown: Many California film shoots can resume Friday; Criterion’s free collection of films about black lives; The Wretched hits a drive-in milestone; and we talk about the new film Becky, which its directors describe as “an ultraviolent Home Alone.”

Back to Work: The California Department of Public Health says film production can resume this Friday, June 12, though not in Los Angeles County. Everyone should follow these guidelines.

Criterion: “This is no picnic in Oakland. It is a political rally organized by the Black Panthers.” So begins Black Panthers (pictured above), one of the films now available for free from Criterion about the black experience in America. They’re mostly from black filmmakers like Maya Angelou, Oscar Micheaux, Charles Burnett, Khalik Allah and Leilah Weinraub, though there are some “documentary portraits of black experience by white filmmakers,” such as Black Panthers director Agnès Varda.

1991?: Thanks to Criterion, I just started Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust, the first film by a black female director to receive nationwide theatrical distribution — something that reportedly didn’t happen until 1991.

Enter: For every $25 donation you make to BlackLivesMatter via ActBlue Charities, you can enter to win some very cool things from Birth.Movies.Death, a film publication we like a lot. Here’s how it works.

Drive-In to $1 Million: IFC’s witchy horror film The Wretched has crossed the $1 million mark, largely on the strength of drive-in tickets, Variety reports.

Ultraviolent Home AloneAnother release now playing in drive-ins is Becky, starring Lulu Wilson as a 13-year-old girl who battles escaped prisoners (led by Kevin James) in the woods behind her house. I interviewed directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion for the new MovieMaker Interviews podcast, and you can listen on Spotify or by clicking the arrow here.

Comment of the Day: “YouTube is full of hobbyists making money. So it’s about brand building and generating awareness. Musicians and bands have done that for years and filmmakers haven’t. It’s time they do,” says a commenter named Wallard in response to Javier Reyna’s piece about whether SVOD will kill indie film.