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New to Streaming: ‘Dawson City: Frozen Time,’ ‘Marjorie Prime,’ ‘Lady Macbeth,’ ‘Landline,’ and More

Written by on October 6, 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.

Abundant Acreage Available (Angus MacLachlan)

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Faith-based cinema is as diverse a genre as there is, from the extreme, often violent portraits of devotion from established directors like Martin Scorsese and Mel Gibson, to the attacks on logic in the God’s Not Dead and Left Behind pictures. Angus MacLachlan, a great storyteller of the not-too-deep south, offers a nuanced example of what this genre can bring, returning with the moving Abundant Acreage Available. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes

Dawson City: Frozen Time (Bill Morrison)

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There is a scholarly theory that proposes films are always telling the story of their creation, singing an endless song about their own history. That seemed to have been literally the case in 1978 when Frank Barrett, a construction worker in Dawson City in the northern Yukon, discovered strips of nitrate film poking out of the earth in the site of a new recreation center — like stubborn blossoms trying to defeat the harshness of winter. Children had taken to lighting the visible strips on fire unaware that in the joy of the pyrotechnic display they were erasing history. Barrett’s unique discovery led to the unearthing of over 500 reels containing films made in the 1910s and 1920s, and considering that it is believed that 75% of all silent films were lost, this might have been the most important finding in the archaeology of film. Taking clips from these reels and solving the mystery of how they ended up buried in the Yukon, director Bill Morrison made Dawson City: Frozen Time which might just be the ultimate found footage film. – Jose S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Films of Josh and Benny Safdie

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If this summer’s stellar Good Time was your first introduction to the exhilarating films of Josh and Benny Safdie, then FilmStruck + Criterion Channel have a treasure trove of their early work to experience. Along with a new nearly hour-long documentary on the New York-based duo from Michael Chaiken, they are also presenting shorts and features, from The Pleasure of Being Robbed to Daddy Longlegs. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: FilmStruck

Girls Trip (Malcolm D. Lee)

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For way too long now, the concept of #girlpower in comedies has been dominated by white female narratives in which women of color are an afterthought, either playing an assortment of nondescript characters or sassy sidekicks who are always a call away from the white heroine, just waiting to help her solve her problems and win the man. For every How to Be Single, Bridget Jones sequel, He’s Just Not That Into You, and Bridesmaids there are approximately 0.05% (not a real statistic, but it feels like one doesn’t it?) women of color-led comedies out there starring women who aren’t J.Lo. Therefore, Malcolm D. Lee’s Girls Trip feels like the first of its kind: a raunchy, endlessly entertaining comedy written by and starring black women. – Jose S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Hermia & Helena (Matías Piñeiro)

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For beginning with a dedication to Setsuko Hara, recently departed muse of Ozu and Naruse, Hermia & Helena — the new film by Viola and The Princess of France director Matías Piñeiro — perhaps aligns us to be especially attuned to the Argentinian auteur’s use of female collaborators. One to already emphasize the charisma and big-screen friendly faces of frequent stars Agustina Munoz and Maria Villar, he still seems to have an ability to make them points of representation, not fetish. – Ethan V. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Lady Macbeth (William Oldroyd)

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Before William Oldroyd’s first foray on the silver screen with Lady Macbeth, he was an experienced theater director, which clearly has aided his adaptation of Nikolai Leskov’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. The gothic allure of this period piece about a woman forced into marriage and deciding to take things into her own hands is both refreshing and captivating, and make no mistake: there is nothing theatrical or stiff about the film. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Landline (Gillian Robespierre)

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Although it was marketed as an “abortion romantic comedy,” Obvious Child went beyond that basic moniker, using the set-up to mine humor from the fears and anxieties tied with such a personal decision. Writer-director Gillian Robespierre and star Jenny Slate have now reteamed in Landline, a 1995-set drama about the dysfunctional lives of one family in Manhattan. Refreshingly scraggly in its structure and plotting, with an enormous heart and affecting honesty permeating every scene, it marks an impressive step up for the duo. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Marjorie Prime and Escapes (Michael Almereyda)

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Humanity’s most invaluable asset is our memory. It fuels our imagination, ignites conversations, and can unite us. It can also be distorted, reshaped, and forgotten altogether. Marjorie Prime, a micro-scale sci-fi chamber drama, fascinatingly explores the perception and dissolution of what we remember throughout our lives. Michael Almereyda’s contemplative new film, which could double as the best-written episode of Black Mirror yet, most poignantly serves as catalyst for a personal self-reflection on the part of the viewer. – Jordan R. (full review)

Note: Also streaming is Escapes, Almereyda’s recommended documentary on Blade Runner (and 2049) writer Hampton Fancher.

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Ornithologist (João Pedro Rodrigues)

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Publicly stated by its director to concern Saint Anthony, the Portuguese priest and friar who legend calls the most supernatural of saints, The Ornithologist luckily manages to see the profane outweigh the sacred — no white elephantine “spirituality,” but rather a progression of set-pieces. We have something of a return for João Pedro Rodrigues to his debut feature Fantasma, a nocturnal “erotic thriller” of sorts that moved by the logic of its own images, this in opposition to more character-driven films such as Two Drifters and To Die Like a Man or his most recent The Last Time I Saw Macao, a tad too much an academic exercise in mirroring post-colonialism through a deadpan “non-mystery.” – Ethan V. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Rat Film (Theo Anthony)

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A horror movie. A nature documentary. An anthropological study. A history lesson. A social justice statement. All plus more. Rat Film is one of the most original films of the year, fiction or nonfiction, and it made me feel both as if I had learned a semester’s worth of knowledge and bereft of any idea as to how society’s problems can be mended. – Dan S. (full review)

Where to Stream: iTunes

Raw (Julia Ducournau)

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Raw doesn’t entirely work as a cohesive whole, but there’s enough unforgettable imagery presented by Julia Ducournau to be worth a recommendation. We said in our review that “the shocks of Raw — or, rather, Justine’s various humiliations — belong more to a dire Todd Solondz cringe comedy, even if there are aspirations to Carrie. (A chaste girl gets animal blood dumped on her in slow-motion, after all.)”

Where to Stream: Netflix

Song to Song (Terrence Malick)

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Let’s start this with an inquiry, one that hopefully engenders some consideration and an honest response: what are you seeking when watching a Terrence Malick film released in 2017? I take the unusual tack of beginning like so because it sometimes feels as if questions are the most that his recent work can ultimately encourage, and in particular because the latest, Song to Song — his fifth feature completed this decade, or the sixth if one counts the IMAX version of Voyage of Time, and preceding a sixth (or seventh) narrative film that’s rumored to premiere this fall — seems, no matter its very immediate and obvious pleasures, unlikely to change the current dialogue in any significant way. There are stronger-than-usual whiffs of narrative and a star-studded / -crossed-lovers cast to be found, yes — note how its poster puts those faces front and center while making no note of the auteur in question — but we are once again deep in Malick country, and they may only exacerbate the fact that the director has made one of his most emotionally dense films, and perhaps the most outright restless. – Nick N. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Super Dark Times (Kevin Phillips)

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Set in an familiar and ambiguous time and place (mid-90s in anytown USA), Super Dark Times functions as a kind of trojan house until its twist. Delivering horror thrills, the Kevin Phillips-directed feature first and foremost invests in character development as an effective and sympathetic coming-of-age story until it lives up to its title. We follow four friends Zach (Owen Campbell), Josh (Charlie Tahan), Daryl (Max Talisman), and Charlie (Sawyer Barth) as they have mild, seemingly innocent adventures: watching scrambled pay-per-view softcore porn, playing 8-bit video games, biking over an abandoned bridge, and ultimately stealing from Josh’s brother. The last part doesn’t end well and it is impossible to discuss the film without spoiling the twist. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Also New to Streaming

Amazon

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (review)
Better Watch Out (review)
Maudie (review)
The Osiris Child (review)
Planetarium (review)
Walking Out

FilmStruck

Harold and Maude
On the Waterfront
The Extraordinary Life of Rocky
The Arbor
The Selfish Giant
The Junk Shop
The Cremator
Golden Demon
La chambre
A Taxing Woman’s Return

MUBI (free 30-day trial)

Angst
The Cave of The Yellow Dog
Trouble Every Day
October November
Night of the Living Dead
The Chase
Rabid

Netflix

Before Midnight
Eyes Wide Shut
Never Let Me Go
Sleeping With Other People
The Survivalist

Discover more titles that are now available to stream.


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