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New to Streaming: ‘Burning,’ ‘Velvet Buzzsaw,’ ‘Piercing,’ and More

Written by on February 1, 2019 

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’re highlighting the noteworthy titles that have recently hit platforms. Check out this week’s selections below and an archive of past round-ups here.

At Eternity’s Gate (Julian Schnabel)

When Vincent Van Gogh stares at the flat southern France landscape in Julian Schnabel’s contemplative At Eternity’s Gate, what does he see? Cemeteries of dead sunflowers, fields of wheat, solitary trees standing calligraphic on the horizon, but in Willem Dafoe’s awestruck eyes and Benoît Delhomme’s spellbinding cinematography, the horizon becomes “nothing but eternity,” an early line that sets the elegiac and lyrical tone permeating the rest of Schnabel’s work. At Eternity’s Gate is a film made by an artist (“plates painter” Schnabel) less concerned with a painter, more with the way a painter saw the world. In its rupture from traditional biographical narratives, it does not merely stand out as unconventional biopic–it also comes close to resuscitating the idea of cinema as moving pictures.Leonardo G. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed)

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After the apocalyptic implications following the cliffhanger of Avengers: Infinity War, one wonders where Marvel could go next. Small, of course. Ant-Man was the franchise’s most playful, inconsequential offering, so it’s only fitting that another insular story featuring Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang and shrinkable company would make a worthwhile breather in a world of superheroes where the fate of the world is often the name of the game. That’s clearly–and thankfully–not the mission here and in his follow-up Peyton Reed doubles down on the comedic charms of his cast, playing up Rudd’s aloofness and winning reactions to the quantum-related craziness going on around him, while also providing inventive new perspectives into their size-adjusting quarrels. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Burning (Lee Chang-dong)

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After Poetry, it makes sense that Lee Chang-dong would find himself interested in deconstructing another literary genre: the murder mystery. Adapting Haruki Murakami’s short story “Barn Burning” for the screen, the South Korean master has created something that feels akin to a real page turner, with each cut, the tensions, and the mystery rise as we become desperate to know whatever happened to Shin Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo), the young woman who went missing, leaving her childhood friend Lee Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) searching for her. With pulpy characters, including a delicious Steven Yeun as a mysterious Gatsby-like figure, and a dark sense of humor, the film also serves as a study of class and the way in which the lives of the have-nots become cute anecdotes for the haves. Like in the greatest literature, the filmmaker allows for sumptuous moments in which the images wash over us in the same way we revisit our favorite passages in books we love. – Jose S.

Bonus: Listen to our discussion on The Film Stage Show.

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig)

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Say what you will about comic-book adaptations and the like, but there may not be a genre more tired in Hollywood than the coming-of-age film. Thanks to their relatively cheap budgets and aims to connect with a pre-determined movie-going (though even that is up for debate) audience, many often feel like they are hitting checkboxes and not much else. Enter The Edge of Seventeen, which depicts teenage angst with such pinpoint accuracy one wonders why it’s never been handled precisely this way before. A debut no less, writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig’s script — which never dumb downs or generalizes the high school experience — is brought to life perfectly by Hailee Steinfeld in an emotionally honest performance that even outpaces her break-out in True Grit. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: Netflix

Incredibles 2 (Brad Bird)

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Incredibles 2 might be a cash grab for NYSE:DIS, but, thankfully, not the artists behind the project. Here’s a rare sequel that matches the original by narrowing its focus. Instead of adding to the Supers’ milieu, its animators reveal new sides of the beloved family. Bob struggles with Jack-Jack’s new powers and Violet’s love interest as Dash’s motormouth and hot head adds to the tension. Mixing up the family dynamics creates a combustion of new scenarios that take the action and color palettes to a new level. By building on the Parr family’s dynamics — as opposed to adding new characters for story variation, the death knell of many a sequel — Pixar grounds their animated kinetics in a stronger foundation than your average superteam. – Joshua E. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas)

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After Clouds of Sils Maria, Personal Shopper confirms Olivier Assayas as the director most adept at drawing the best out of Kristen Stewart. Here she follows in the footsteps of Maggie Cheung and Asia Argento, actors whose exceptional central performances prevented fundamentally flawed films by Assayas – Clean and Boarding Gate, respectively – from foundering altogether. Stewart’s achievement is arguably even more remarkable considering that for the bulk of Personal Shopper’s running time, her only co-actor is an iPhone. – Giovanni M.C. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Piercing (Nicolas Pesce)

A marriage between the gorgeously disturbing imagery Nicolas Pesce delivered via his debut The Eyes of My Mother and the surreally warped sensibilities of Audition author Ryû Murakami definitely piqued my interest as far as the former’s adaptation of the latter’s novel Piercing. This psychological thriller concerns new father Reed’s (Christopher Abbott) need to briefly leave his wife (Laia Costa’s Mona) and the baby he can’t stop himself from wanting to stab with an ice pick in order to find a prostitute with which to cleanse his dark thoughts of murder elsewhere. Maybe he’s a serial killer or maybe this urge is the culmination of not yet having put metal into flesh. Either way, his carefully laid plans will inevitably go awry so our voyeuristically perverted Gods may laugh. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson)

The Royal Tenenbaums

Perhaps the quintessential dysfunctional cinematic family, the Tenenbaums are all looking for redemption, catharsis, and love, but thus far have only found misery. The children were all prodigies, geniuses some said, assured of their uniqueness and importance from a dangerously young age, told they would go on to do great things. But something went wrong along the way. The parents, Royal (Gene Hackman) and Ethel (Anjelica Huston), split up ages ago, but never divorced, leaving the family in a strange emotional limbo. When Royal turns up again, years later, informing his family that he’s dying of cancer, the children are drawn back together into that old house and old family rhythm. Wes Anderson’s whimsically hopeful The Royal Tenenbaums demonstrates that when it comes to family, there always remains the open prospect of a redemptive second chance. – Tony H.

Where to Stream: Hulu

Velvet Buzzsaw (Dan Gilroy)

How does one review the movie about the murderous paintings? Velvet Buzzsaw, written and directed by Dan Gilroy, looks and sounds like some kind of satire; a takedown of art, critique, etc. After a few minutes, that’s how it plays. We meet Morf Vandewalt (Jake Gyllenhaal) at Art Basel in Miami, an art critic of some influence who proceeds to rip apart an installation piece called “Hoboman,” a robotic rendering of a man asking for change and lamenting his invisibility. At the same show do we meet – deep breath – ex-punk rocker-now-gallery-owner Rhodora Haze (Rene Russo), her assistant Josephina (Zawe Ashton, very compelling), competing gallery owner Joe Don Don (Tom Sturridge), legendary artist Piers (John Malkovich), up-and-coming artist Damrish (Daveed Diggs), installation man Bryson (Billy Magnussen), and museum curator Gretchen (Toni Collette). – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Also New to Streaming

Amazon

Braid (review)
The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
Outlaws (review)
Then Came You (review)

Amazon Prime

Generation Wealth (review)

MUBI (free for 30 days)

Winter’s Bone
The Endless Film
Stevie
Fake Tattoos
Les Unwanted De Europa
Pi
But I’m A Cheerleader

Discover more titles that are now available to stream.


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