Each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit streaming platforms in the United States. Check out this week’s selections below and past round-ups here.

Andrzej Munk Retrospective

An influence on the likes of Krzysztof Kieślowski, Roman Polanski, and Jerzy Skolimowski, and more, Andrzej Munk’s filmography is quite unspoken of here in the United States. Hopefully that will change with the arrival of new restorations, featuring his early political documentaries and his subsequent features including Bad Luck, Eroica, Man on the Tracks, and Passenger, which was finished after his untimely death in 1961.

Where to Stream: Film at Lincoln Center’s Virtual Cinema

Annette (Leos Carax)

In Annette, a provocative comedian (Adam Driver) and renowned opera singer (Marion Cotillard) fall in love and have a gifted child. Written and composed by Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks, the singular rock band that formed in the early 1970s, the musical is directed by Leos Carax, making his long-awaited return with his first feature since Holy Motors in 2012. (The Maels reached out after Carax used one of their songs in that film.) And though a dyed-in-the-wool collaboration, it remains an unmistakably Caraxian film—not long after Sparks’ overture (“This is the start!” goes the refrain) does the director dip into his own back catalog: a motorbike, shot from low, tearing down an illuminated tunnel at night; glistening limousines; nods to Jean Vigo and Melville; eroticism; lots of cigarettes. It really has been too long. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Cryptozoo (Dash Shaw)

The current state of American animated cinema is more than a little disappointing; Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, and more regurgitate the same formula and offer nothing new but a juxtaposition of cartoon designs and hyper-realistic imagery; animation for adults is all too rare. When something like Dash Shaw and Jane Samborski’s Cryptozoo comes along, it’s easy to recognize as one of the most gorgeous works of American animation in ages. – Juan B. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Documentary Month on OVID

The first-ever Doc Month is underway at OVID.tv, featuring work by Mirra Bank, Sophie Fiennes, Su Friedrich, Vitaly Mansky, Mila Turajlić, Fronza Woods, and more. From the daily life of the Dalai Lama to Vladimir Putin’s rise to power to docs on climate change, Texas education, poets, and much more, it’s a wide-ranging offering with something for every viewer.

Where to Stream: OVID.tv

The Green Knight (David Lowery)

A knight errant (or should that be apparent) dives into a lake on an errand given by a sainted spirit; as he is consumed by the dark water, it turns from blood-red to a star-filled night sky. Later he poses for a portrait (in fact a photograph) for a Lady Temptress; as the image gradually emerges out of the inky black, he is seen surrounded by stars. This same wild-hearted wannabe knight is given two identical protective belts: green (of the earth) and flecked with gold (of the stars). Perhaps this combination of the earth and the heavens is what gives this belt its strength, its power? And his eventual crown will have the rays of the sun extending from its headband. So why is young Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew (played here by Dev Patel), who has mostly been ignored until he volunteers for a foolhardy quest, portrayed as a celestial being several times in David Lowery’s adaptation of The Green Knight? – Fiona U. (full feature)

Where to Stream: VOD

In the Same Breath (Nanfu Wang)

Any newly-released film, book, or piece of media that begins its story in the latter months of 2019 is signifying something very clear: trouble like we’ve never known is afoot. Nanfu Wang’s new documentary In the Same Breath opens on the 2019 New Year’s Eve celebrations in none other than Wuhan, in the Hubei province of China, where the first cases of the novel coronavirus spread from. With the morass of revelers filling out the city’s skyscraper-laden main square, an awful feeling hits the gut: the reminder that we’ve added another year to the calendar, and still the pandemic dominates our lives and fortunes. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Max

The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea (Syllas Tzoumerkas)

It seems as though you really have to be a Missolonghi native to appreciate the beauty of that swampy eel-fishing Greek town where the characters of The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea aimlessly drift. Take it from those who just happen to be stranded there, and the picture you’ll get will be drenched in dread and ennui. “I still feel like a stranger here,” a long-time transplant muses half way through Syllas Tzoumerkas’ third feature, “it’s something deep in my heart.” Of the Sargasso, that mysterious ocean gyre stretching across the Atlantic where the world’s eels return to spawn and die, this singular offering only bears the name. And there are hardly any miracles in Missolonghi, a town hiding secrets and daytime hallucinations like a sun-scorched Twin Peaks. Writer-director Tzoumerkas sets his third feature in a place where time ticks differently, if at all, and the result is a mystifying genre-blending-and-bending trip that conjures a haunting locale, but ultimately suffers from an anfractuous and uneven script. – Leonardo G. (full review)

Where to Stream: Film Movement Plus

Reminiscence (Lisa Joy)

Despite being an amalgamation of virtually every elevated science-fiction movie of the past four decades—Strange DaysEternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindMinority ReportUntil the End of the World, both Blade Runners—the new film Reminiscence feels relatively lacking in self-importance. While prestige television (the film is directed by Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy) and A24 movies have seemingly accommodated us to seeing all genre now as capital-A allegory––the kind of work to inspire “it’s about” tweets or Letterboxd reviews––Reminiscence sticks to its narrow aims, never overwhelmed by a need to pander too hard to the New Yorker’s TV-recap culture. If certainly heavy-handed in its political allusions, one still gets the feeling its creatives ultimately just wanted to do their little ’90s throwback hard-boiled sci-fi noir. This is perhaps why it’s been dumped in late August and feels a bit like a disposable piece of “content” only contractually given a theatrical release. Yet maybe this is a good thing—the fate assigned to any mainstream movie that has a relative human touch. – Ethan V. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Max

Stillwater (Tom McCarthy)

Is it possible to stand out and disappear at the same time? Matt Damon makes a convincing case study in Stillwater. As roughneck Bill Baker, he wears the signifiers of a blue-collar Oklahoman—a thick goatee, a camo-colored baseball cap, an eagle-clutched skull tattoo, a sturdy pair of jeans. He strides with a cowboy’s gait and talks in muttery, southern tones. After a long day of working construction, cleaning up houses wrecked by tornadoes, he chews on a cigarette and pulls his pickup into the local Sonic drive-thru. At home, he says a small prayer, quietly eats his hot dog, and falls asleep on the couch. – Jake K.S. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Summer of ’85 (François Ozon)

François Ozon’s Summer of 85 has the sex, intrigue, and death that Call Me By Your Name left on the cutting room floor. Adapted from Aidan Chambers’ 1982 novel Dance on My Grave, the film stars Félix Lefebvre and Benjamin Voisin as summer lovers who meet in Le Tréport when Alexis’s boat capsizes and almost drowns before being rescued by David. Shot on 16mm film and dappled in neon light, Summer of 85 asks if our relationships with others primarily exist in our minds. But it’s more sexy, gay, and fun than the concept lets on. – Josh E.

Where to Stream: VOD

To the Ends of the Earth (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

Six years after his 2013 Seventh Code, Kurosawa leaves his familiar Tokyo grounds to embark on his second feature outside Japan, again with singer-cum-actress Atsuko Maeda as lead, only this time the setting isn’t Vladivostok, Russia, but the sprawling prairies of Uzbekistan, and the film doesn’t unfurl as a thriller, but a resolutely low-key, unassuming charmer, an intimate portrait of someone thrown into a foreign land and struggling to find her bearings back. – Leonardo G. (full review)

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

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The Criterion Channel

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