« All Features

New to Streaming: ‘Sing Street,’ ‘Equals,’ ‘Belladonna of Sadness,’ ‘Mustang,’ and More

Written by on July 15, 2016 

Sing Street

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 the interwebs. 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 Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Belladonna of Sadness (Eiichi Yamamoto)

Belladonna of Sadness 1

It all begins with Once Upon a Time. Such a simple introduction for Belladonna of Sadness, a 1973 Japanese animated feature whose newfound legacy includes a decades-long disappearance, a dramatic re-emergence, and a growing reputation as a frenzied, pornographic freakout. The final entry in anime elder statesman Osamu Tezuka‘s erotic Animerama trilogy has remained largely unknown to even the most die-hard cult cinephiles, a fate determined after its commercial failure bankrupted Tezuka’s production company, Muchi Films. That explains why the psychedelic feminist fairy tale fell by the wayside as similar X-rated animated contemporaries, including the T&A fantasies of Ralph Bakshi, lived on to titillate and traumatize poorly supervised video-age kids. Nearly two years after being acquired by Cinelicious Pics, this Aquarius Age curiosity returns in all its fully restored, 4K glory to reclaim its rightful place as a cultural artifact whose explicit themes still resonate today. – Amanda W. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey)

Carnival of Souls

A young woman in a small Kansas town survives a drag race accident, then agrees to take a job as a church organist in Salt Lake City. En route, she is haunted by a bizarre apparition that compels her toward an abandoned lakeside pavilion. Made by industrial filmmakers on a small budget, the eerily effective B-movie classic Carnival of Souls was intended to have “the look of a Bergman and the feel of a Cocteau”—and, with its strikingly used locations and spooky organ score, it succeeds. Herk Harvey’s macabre masterpiece gained a cult following on late-night television and continues to inspire filmmakers today. – Criterion.com

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Equals (Drake Doremus)

Equals

Lobbing the proverbial one up for dissatisfied critics to knock out of the ballpark, Drake DoremusEquals is a love story set in a dystopian future where emotions, it would seem, have been scientifically obliterated. The latest film from the Like Crazy director is not really lacking in emotions — quite the opposite if anything — but it is, quite frankly, a bit dull as it plays out in a near constant melodramatic key. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

H. (Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia)

H.

Regardless of one’s budget, a well-executed, smart idea can sell science fiction films on the smallest of scales. With seemingly little resources, the writing and directing team of Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia attempt to put that to practice in H., a character-driven, but narratively obtuse sci-fi film that vexes more than it satisfies. This isn’t to say a confounding experience isn’t appreciated to stretch our minds in the genre, but H. simply doesn’t feel fully formed, keeping us at a narrative distance from its otherwise relatable characters. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: iTunes

Hardcore Henry (Ilya Naishuller)

Hardcore Henry header

While perhaps not presented in a stylistic manner friendly to most Vulgar Auteurists, the film manages to pull off a hat-trick of comparisons to the movement’s deities. The rough-and-tumble cyborg mayhem recalls John Hyams’ Universal Soldier pictures, the final fight of hundreds of indistinguishable robot cronies is inevitably similar to a recent Paul W.S. Anderson film, and — even if not capturing their pure energy — there’s song-and-dance number featuring multiple robot clones that can’t help but make one think of a similar sequence from Neveldine/Taylor’s excellent 2009 feature Gamer. – Ethan V. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke) and Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang (Walter Salles)

mountains_may_depart_1

Though vastly more moderate than its predecessor, the ultra-violent A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart continues the director’s move away from the extremely measured, observational style that characterized much of his earlier work. Even as his narratives have become more charged, however, Jia’s thematic focus has remained constant and Mountains May Depart offers his latest reflection on the momentous societal changes that have swept over China as a result of its entry and ascension in the globalized world economy. If A Touch of Sin expressed Jia’s rage at the contemporary impact of capitalist progress on Chinese society, Mountains May Depart is his lament over the direction in which it is headed. – Giovanni M.C. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix and Netflix

Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven)

mustang_1

This year, Mad Max: Fury Road dominated the conversation about challenging patriarchal values and the ways that human values can be corrupted, but Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang is an exploration of social mores that’s just as trenchant, incisive, and visceral without ever needing the fantastical backdrop of a futuristic wasteland. Set in a remote village in Turkey, Mustang pivots on the aftermath of one event that, to much of the world, may appear innocuous. It’s a demonstration of gender expectations in a micro context that expands into a heartfelt, angry, and telling story of freedom, individuality, and the sheer potential of these repressed women. But, like other culturally sensitive films (e.g. Jafar Panahi’s Offside), Mustang continually pushes back at the staid conventions of society while recognizing that these social dictates have their own complicated history. Erüguven never needs to resort to explicit finger wagging, for the gradual cloistering of these girls stands as the most persuasive argument. – Michael S.

Where to Stream: Netflix

Sing Street (John Carney)

Sing Street 1

Returning to Sundance after breaking out with his Oscar-winning, shoe-string romance musical Once, director John Carney is back on a victory tour of sorts with Sing Street. Imbuing the same love for music its emotional highs, this is a film more earnest in its pleasure-giving than his last feature, Begin Again. While the structure can be a touch too formulaic, it’s difficult to resist getting swept up in the music and its modest ambitions, for his new musical is acutely attuned to being a crowd-pleaser in all the right ways. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes

Sworn Virgin (Laura Bispuri)

Sworn Virgin 1

Laura Bispuri’s moving, fiery Sworn Virgin comes in a recent tradition of cinematic meditations on gender as a form of identity like Tomboy and All About My Mother, but her film is, above all, about the privilege of access. For Mark (a revelatory Alba Rohrwacher), changing his gender identity was about personal freedom, but it’s not about self-expression or empowerment as much as a reflection of Mark’s need to conform to societal expectations in order to be recognized as a human being with agency. – Michael S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Wedding Party (Brian De Palma, Wilford Leachand, and Cynthia Munroe)

The Wedding Party

Brian De Palma‘s third feature — which he co-directed with his professor Wilford Leachand and fellow student Cynthia Munroe — is technically his first as it was made in 1963 and released six years later. Also technically marking Robert De Niro‘s first performance, it arrives on streaming in perfect timing with our career-spanning series on the director.

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Also New to Streaming

Amazon

The Boss (review)
Criminal
The Dark Horse
Outlaws and Angels (review)

Netflix

Colonia (review)
Holidays (review)
Marguerite & Julien
Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru (review)

MUBI

I’m Not Scared
No Home Movie (review)
Boy
Greenwich Village: Music that Defined a Generation
I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman
The Horses of Fukushima
0.5mm

Discover more titles that are now available to stream.


See More:


blog comments powered by Disqus


News More

Trailers More



Features More
Twitter icon_twitter Follow