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New to Streaming: ‘Cameraperson,’ ‘Aquarius,’ ‘Christine,’ ‘It Follows,’ and More

Written by on January 13, 2017 

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With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho)

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The staggeringly accomplished debut feature by Brazilian critic-turned-director Kleber Mendonça Filho, Neighboring Sounds, announced the arrival of a remarkable new talent in international cinema. Clearly recognizable as the work of the same director, Mendonça’s equally assertive follow-up, Aquarius, establishes his authorial voice as well as his place as one of the most eloquent filmic commentators on the contemporary state of Brazilian society. – Giovanni M.C. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson)

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Kirsten Johnson brings us her memoirs by way of a videographic scrapbook. Bits and pieces of the numerous documentaries she’s shot in her years as a DP have been woven together into a travelogue / ethnographic study / commentary on the nature of cinematic framing. What was an establishing shot in one doc becomes, here, a study of the vagaries of a camera operator’s job. Documentary editing is already a frustratingly ignored art, and Cameraperson‘s assemblage of scenes from the cutting-room floor into a new narrative is a masterwork. – Dan S.

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google

Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami)

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Abbas Kiarostami’s first narrative feature outside of Iran broke away from questions of social reality through cinema to ones of artistic representation itself, a Socratic dialogue on theory masked as romantic melodrama in the vein of Rossellini’s Journey To Italy. The early, leisurely discussions between Kiarostami’s casually distanced protagonist (William Shimell) and chameleon vision of desire (Juliette Binoche) morphs into a meticulous waltz of passionate idealism and marital strife, all wrapped up in philosophical questions about observation and creation in a vein of new-media paradoxes placed into both ancient and practical consequences. Every line of dialogue, camera movement, edit, and sudden choice in mise-en-scène makes the spectator a critic, using evaluative measures to participate in the artistic claims being put on trial. But the intellectual operations are dependent on the single tear that continually grounds the pains of romance, a vision of decades of emotion squeezed into a single day. In the end, this walk-and-talk embodies the very nature of cinema’s space for open-ended possibilities — both a window and a frame. – Peter L.

Where to Stream: FilmStruck

Christine (Antonio Campos)

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After the formally rigorous character studies of Afterschool and Simon Killer, director Antonio Campos seems like the ideal fit for the unsettling drama of Christine. His first feature based on a true story, it follows the final weeks of the life of Christine Chubbuck (Rebecca Hall), a Florida-based news reporter who committed suicide live on air in the summer of 1974. Plagued by depression and fed up with the shifting exploitative nature of broadcast news, Craig Shilowich‘s script — the first time Campos hasn’t written his own — is a two-hander that digs into mental illness as well as the push for this brand of attention-grabbing stories, but both sides never fully gel. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Dog Eat Dog (Paul Schrader)

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Paul Schrader might want to consider expanding his thematic scope a little. Decade after decade, film after film, regardless of whether he’s been writing scripts for others (Martin Scorsese, first and foremost), or sitting in the director’s chair himself, the erstwhile Calvinist has come back to the theme of redemption with obstinate persistence. His protagonists are almost always men, they’re almost always amoral sinners of some ilk or other, and they almost always yearn to break out of the wicked, vicious cycles on which their lives have been relentlessly spinning. Not an unfruitful theme by any means, considering it has given rise to many a masterpiece across the history of cinema – of all arts, really – but Dog Eat Dog suggests that, as far his own filmmaking is concerned, Schrader may have exhausted its potential. – Giovanni M.C. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Innocents (Anne Fontaine)

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Captured on cinema since it commenced, if a filmmaker doesn’t find a new angle in which tell the horrors of World War II, then it can perhaps seem like a futile effort. Agnus Dei, the latest film from Coco Before Chanel director Anne Fontaine, digs up such an example of a compelling, true story from Philippe Maynial. Its title, translated as Lamb of God from its Latin origin, most commonly refers to the sacrificial giving that Jesus offers. However, specifically in the Old Testament, it can refer to a person who succumbs to the punishment of sins without willing to do so, which is clearly where Fontaine more specifically draws from. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

It Follows (David Robert Mitchell)

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Horror is a genre that gets passed over a lot in these kinds of lists. You can probably blame the cheap jump scare and loud noises productions that have dominated the field lately. So horror buffs and film fans of all stripes should be thrilled to see It Follows. Lovingly crafted with an emphasis on spatial relationships and slow burn tension, this is a film to remind the masses why horror is one of the most purely cinematic genres. – Brian R.

Where to Stream: Netflix

Little Men (Ira Sachs)

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As with all of Ira Sachs’ films, Little Men is a study in compassion and humanity where each character deserves a film of their own. As thorough in his writing (the film was penned with frequent collaborator Mauricio Zacharias) as he is detailed in his direction, Sachs offers his audiences the opportunity to embrace complex moral dilemmas the likes of which mainstream American cinema has practically eradicated. Regardless of one’s spiritual beliefs, Sachs’ films are about soul-searching, and Little Men might just be his most profound work to date. – Jose S.

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Monster (Bryan Bertino)

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Monster movies are tough because there’s a desire to go full bore into cat and mouse chaos or metaphorical symbolism. Things get muddled when both are attempted at once without the correct balance. I’m not saying picking one or the other always spells success — writer/director Bryan Bertino‘s debut The Strangers ultimately failed at mysterious chaos despite some effective scares — but it does often allow a filmmaker the opportunity to focus and reinforce his/her idea with less chance of getting distracted. Bertino’s third film The Monster, however, suffers the same fate within the other camp. This one utilizes metaphor and flashback to depict a volatile mother/daughter relationship wherein the “monster” proves an embodiment of their worst selves. Unfortunately, this idea is never dug into further than its surface conceit. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Under the Shadow (Babak Anvari)

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Cinema is often a space for abstract, subconscious expressions that require airing. Under the Shadow is an inspired psychological thriller from Iranian filmmaker Babak Anvari that effectively delivers the thrills expected, and more. Here, the horror is both personal and natural. It’s a theme found amongst a few world cinema selections at Sundance this year, notably the cancer drama A Good Wife, which also uses the landscape of the war torn Bosnia as an emotional theme. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Also New to Streaming

Amazon

100 Streets
Alone in Berlin (review)
Keeping Up with the Joneses
Masterminds
Ouija: Origin of Evil
Queen of Katwe

Amazon Prime

The Infiltrator (review)

FilmStruck

Logorama
The Times of Harvey Milk
Gloria
Appalachian Spring
Amélie
The Films of Godfrey Reggio
Irma La Douce
The Films of Terry Gilliam
2 Days in Paris

HBO GO

Demolition (review)
Genius (review)

MUBI (free 30-day trial)

The Happiness of the Katakuris
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
The Yakuza Papers 2: Deadly Fight in Hiroshima
Sister
Triple Agent
Elegy to the Visitor From the Revolution
Unrelated

Netflix

As I Open My Eyes
Miss Sharon Jones! (review)
Very Big Shot (review)

Discover more titles that are now available to stream.


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