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New to Streaming: ‘Woodshock,’ ‘The Big Sick,’ ‘Heart of a Dog,’ and More

Written by on November 24, 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.

The Big Sick (Michael Showalter)

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From start to finish, The Big Sick, directed by Michael Showalter, works as a lovingly-rendered, cinematic answer to the dinner party question: “So how did you two meet?” Based on comedian Kumail Nanjiani‘s real life (he co-wrote the screenplay with his wife Emily V. Gordon), we meet Kumail (Nanjiani) as he finishes a stand-up set in Chicago. He becomes fast friends with a wooting heckler named Emily (Zoe Kazan, lovely), and a relationship begins to blossom. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Fences (Denzel Washington)

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An adaptation of a work from one of the most beloved playwrights of the 20th century, and the third feature from one of Hollywood’s most bankable movie stars, Fences has to contend with some heavy, and potentially unfair, expectations. And director Denzel Washington is only further courting comparisons to the original play by not only shooting the film with a style that prioritizes spatial power dynamics over camera movement, but also reassembling the same cast as an acclaimed 2010 Broadway revival. As such, Washington’s adaptation does bear the formal anxiety that comes from a fear of transitioning a play to film, and a performative self-consciousness that takes some time to situate, but it’s also a film that bursts with a conversational energy and burning intensity that only comes with familiarity with the source material. – Michael S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson)

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Heart of a Dog is essentially a highly personal and vaguely enlightening piece of video art that meditates on the life and death of the director’s dog Lolabelle. The affable terrier is the star. Anderson introduces her through a dream she had of giving birth to the dog — remembered in an odd comic book digital animation. Next we get a shot from the window of her Manhattan apartment, a view over the West Side Highway. Here we see the first of many segues into ponderings on post-9/11 New York. She recalls the white ash that covered everything when the towers fell in 2011 and the hectic disorder that followed. Seeking to avoid that “mess” and “noise” (her words) she took Lolabelle to the mountains in California. There she watched on as a hawk attempted to swoop down and attack the dog. Lolabelle escaped unscathed but apparently had a revelation. As Anderson sees it, it was as if she hadn’t considered the sky to be threatening before. You can see where this is going. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: FilmStruck

Woodshock (Kate and Laura Mulleavy)

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Although until now they’ve only been known as fashion designers, cinema has always been part of Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s work. The siblings often use films as inspiration for their collections and have delivered runway shows dedicated to the likes of Japanese horror movie Kuroneko among others, their elaborate, stunning designs are also staples of awards season red carpets with actresses like Kirsten Dunst and Natalie Portman wearing them to festivals and ceremonies. In fact, Portman collected her first Best Actress Oscar in a purple Rodarte gown, after Kate and Laura had designed many of the costumes for Black Swan. After being so immersed in the world of cinema, it seems that making a film was the logical next step, and so they’ve done with Woodshock, a hallucinatory journey into the mind of Theresa (Dunst) a young woman battling depression after the death of her mother. – Jose S. (full feature)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Also New to Streaming

Amazon

Home Again (review)
My Journey Through French Cinema
The Pink House (review)
Sweet Virginia

FilmStruck

The Vampire
Permanent Vacation
Bergman Island
The Challenge

MUBI (free 30-day trial)

Wet Woman in the Wind
Funny Ha Ha
That Most Important Thing: Love
Mulberry St.
Kagerô-za
First Name: Carmen
Dead or Alive: Final

Discover more titles that are now available to stream.


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