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New to Streaming: ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,’ ‘Age Out,’ The Koker Trilogy, and More

Written by on November 22, 2019 

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

Adam (Rhys Ernst)

There’s a specific kind of warm, crowd-pleasing aesthetic–often in the coming-of-age subgenre–that seems to find a home among the Sundance programming more so than any other festival. A few years ago, Sean Baker’s Tangerine heralded a major breakthrough for transgender representation in cinema and broke this mold in formally compelling ways. For better or worse, Adam has now arrived to fit more in the aforementioned lighthearted, simplistic, but ultimately empathetic dramedy conceit. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes

Age Out (A.J. Edwards)

The only thing worse than never getting your happy ending is having it within grasp and realizing you cannot accept it. To see salvation and turn around knowing it would be a lie is the type of heartbreaking choice we often have to make in order to keep on going. It’s the decision that separates man from monster: an admission of remorse, guilt, and regret. Our actions cause ripples that affect countless others we haven’t met yet or never will and while that truth allows some to sleep at night, the rest wonder what nightmares the collateral damage of their deeds endure as a result. You could say that the only thing separating those two groups is love. Knowing love is to understand its power and its pain. This idea is at the core of A.J. Edwards’ Age Out and his lead character Richie (Tye Sheridan). – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Booksmart (Olivia Wilde)

The universality of the reminiscence bump – the oft-researched theory that throughout one’s life, people have the most vivid memories from the ages of 16 to 25 – has meant there has been no period of time that has been more thoroughly dissected in cinema. Screenwriters have repeatedly drawn from that roller coaster of youthful emotions in hopes that both audiences young (those experiencing that time right now) and old (those nostalgically reflecting on the formative experiences, both good and bad) will connect with what is seen on screen. Despite a rocky, over-the-top start, Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart eventually manages to succeed on both fronts, feeling like a pointedly progressive snapshot of today’s generation while also bringing an earned sentimentality when it comes to the highs and lows of high school friendship.Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

An Elephant Sitting Still (Hu Bo)

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Though in many respects unpolished, late Chinese director Hu Bo’s first–and only–feature is a cry into the void so raw and resounding it shakes you out of a stupor you never even realized. The breathlessly long set pieces build up a sense of suffocation in real time, while the subtle music and camerawork evoke the constant, unspoken despair of a billion nobodies. This is the work of a keenly observant storyteller who bared his last outrage on screen and who probably proved too perceptive for the moral bankruptcy of this world. – Zhuo-Ning Su

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes

Genèse (Philippe Lesage)

Philippe Lesage’s stunning coming-of-age film Genesis (aka Genèse) follows the lives of half-siblings Guillaume (Théodore Pellerin) and Charlotte (Noée Abita) as they traverse first love, desire, and danger. Zhuo-Ning Su said in his review, “In the grand scheme of things, teenage love affairs–together with all the raptures, jitters, devastations associated with them–probably don’t count that much. But then again probably everyone can relate to the sheer groundbreaking force of that first quickening of the heart, of that blinding rush of hormones that compels us to act with a recklessness that we’ll later learn to forever suppress. Quebecois filmmaker Philippe Lesage’s Genesis is an ode to that time in our lives when we still paid more attention to impulses than consequences. Trifling perhaps in terms of subject matter and scope, but it absolutely mesmerizes.”

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes

Hotel by the River (Hong Sang-soo)

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“He’s hardly a real auteur,” says a woman of an arthouse director in Hong Sangsoo’s achingly melancholic Hotel by the River, “and he does ambivalent stuff.” Hong’s acolytes have reasons to rejoice in the Korean’s latest feature: beautifully shot in crisp black and white by Kim Hyung-koo – reminiscent of his work in Hong’s The Day After (2017) and Grass (2018) – and packed with a few of the director’s recurrent casting choices (including muse Kim Min-hee and Kwon Hae-hyo) Hotel by the River is imbued with the self-irony that permeates much of Hong’s ever-growing filmography, only this time the mockery is mixed with a tragic aftertaste that adds to the drama an unsettling and refreshing aura. – Leonardo G. (full review)

Where to Stream: iTunes

The Koker Trilogy (Abbas Kiarostami)

One of Abbas Kiarostami’s greatest achievements is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel, after an essential box set release earlier this fall. The Koker Trilogy, made up of Where Is the Friend’s Home?, And Life Goes On, and Through the Olive Trees, is an ever-expanding, playful look at storytelling at large as well as Iran at the time. Also included to stream is a plethora of extras, including conversations with Kiarostami and his son Ahmad Kiarostami. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)

Quentin Tarantino returns in a haze of cigarettes, cocktails, razzle-dazzle, and psychedelic rock with Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, a jarring concoction of ravishing 1960s fetishization and sliding doors “what if” moments that might just be his strangest film yet. It is certainly the director’s most patient, an uncharacteristic slow-burn that asks you to wait for it, jussst wait for it as it leads towards a fateful night in Hollywood folklore. The peculiarity of that pacing is notable and we’ll have to see if this cut–which was added to the Cannes lineup late on, supposedly as the director edited up until the last minute–will be the same that lands in theaters at the end of July. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Queen of Hearts (May el-Toukhy)

When it comes to sex, things can get real complicated real fast. While the act itself may be dictated by the most primal of instincts, questions of morality, legality, gender, power, not to mention that funny little thing called feelings often ensure that no bodily liquids are exchanged without consequences. In Danish writer/director May el-Toukhy’s gripping, thought-provoking erotic drama Queen of Hearts, problematic sex happens at an unlikely place. – Zhuo-Ning Su (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Queersighted: The Ache of Desire

Exploring film history through a queer lens, The Criterion Channel has launched a new series titled Queersighted. Featuring an excellent, thoughtful 30-minute conversation with Michael Koresky and Melissa Anderson, they discuss some of the films in the first installment, including Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966), Les rendez-vous d’Anna (Chantal Akerman, 1978), Yentl (Barbra Streisand, 1983), Desert Hearts (Donna Deitch, 1985), Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai, 1997), Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001), I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (Tsai Ming-liang, 2006), Raging Sun, Raging Sky (Julián Hernández, 2009), and Stranger by the Lake (Alain Guiraudie, 2013). – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

Too Late to Die Young (Dominga Sotomayor)

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Halfway through Dominga Sotomayor’s movingly tender coming-of-age tale Too Late to Die Young (Tarde Para Morir Joven), my mind jolted back to a movie I saw and instantly fell for a couple of months prior, Carla Simón’s Summer 1993. It took me a while to figure out why. Summer 1993 is set in early 1990s Catalunya; Sotomayor’s takes place at the decade’s outset, but on the opposite side of the world: a commune nestled in the arid cordillera towering above Chile’s capital, Santiago. Yet at some fundamental level, the two films speak the same language. Underlying Sotomayor’s follow-up to her 2012 feature debut and Rotterdam Tiger Award winner Thursday Till Sunday is a deep-seated nostalgia – the same longing for a long-gone era that rang achingly true in Summer 1993. – Leonardo G. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes

Viola and The Princess of France (Matías Piñeiro)

If there is one place to look when finding a history to connect with Piñeiro (a fallacy, but one every cinephile indulges), it would certainly be Jacques Rivette. Like Rivette, Piñeiro is interested in games and mysteries — and not just because Rosalinda ends with a game of Mafia. These games are less about solutions or, even, human truths, but instead about their pace and rhythm. His films are in constant motion, not only in terms of the camera and the actors moving in and out of the frame, but the motivations, locations, and stakes have a kinetic fluidity that is just as volatile. Piñeiro isn’t digressive of narrative, but he is of plot. Like Céline and Julie Go Boating, there’s clearly no answer made by the end of his films — we’re left in more mystery than not — but rarely do they even linger or examine the repercussions of any event. In They All Lie, a family curse is introduced in the first scene, and there is a certain game afoul between the young bohemians, but what, exactly, is the solution — or even a possible one — is never assured, and the ending is more surreal than resolution.  – Peter L. (full feature)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Richard Linklater)

A witty portrait of a deferred career, marriage, motherhood, and a missing matriarch, Maria Semple’s hit novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette unfolded in epistolary fashion, making a unique challenge for Richard Linklater and co-writers Holly Gent and Vincent Palmo Jr. Finding an engaging tone between tightly-packed eccentricities and a more grounded portrait of mental illness is difficult, but his film’s rocky introduction eventually settles into an involving tale of self-discovery and how a woman’s dreams can be sidetracked without those closest to her realizing it. As if beholden to laying the narrative cards out on the table as quickly as possible, Linklater seemingly wants to throw as much as he can into the first act before cracking open our characters to see what makes them tick, leading to a more intimate, emotionally rewarding journey. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Also New to Streaming

Amazon

The Goldfinch
IT Chapter Two

The Criterion Channel

Corpo celeste
The Wonders
Reprise
Oslo, August 31st

MUBI (free for 30 days)

La Femme Nikita
The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine
It All Started at the End
OSS 117: Lost In Rio
OSS 117: Cairo, Nest Of Spies

Netflix

Drive
Once Upon a Time in the West
Zodiac

Discover more titles that are now available to stream.


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