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.
78/52 (Alexandre Philippe)
There’s been documentaries that analyze entire cinematic movements, directors, actors, writers, specific films, and more aspects of filmmaking, but it’s rare to see a feature film devoted to a single scene. With 78/52, if the clunky title addition didn’t tell you already, it explores the infamous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho with exacting precision and depth. Featuring interviews with Jamie Lee Curtis, Guillermo del Toro, Elijah Wood, Peter Bogdanovich, Karyn Kusama, and more, it’s bound to be better than most horror films this fall.
Brawl in Cell Block 99 (S. Craig Zahler)
A horror western that also found room to carve out characters with depth and personality, Bone Tomahak was among the best debuts of the past few years. Thankfully it took little time for director S. Craig Zahler to return for his follow-up. Led by Vince Vaughn as an inmate who must deal with the deadly arena of prison, Brawl in Cell Block 99 was one of our favorite films of TIFF.
City of Ghosts (Matthew Heineman)
After embedding himself on the U.S.-Mexico border to capture the harrowing drug war, Cartel Land director Matthew Heineman went to the other side of the world for his next documentary. “Cut together with gut-wrenching intensity and packed with footage that feels equal parts remarkable and horrifying, Cartel Land director Matthew Heineman returns to Sundance with City of Ghosts, a 90-minute documentary chronicling the lives of the head members of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS),” we said in our review.
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime
Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly)
Last year marked the 15-year anniversary of Richard Kelly’s debut cult curio, Donnie Darko. While the film’s cult-status has elevated it into its own separate canon alongside other 21st-century indie-cult hits, Kelly’s two other films — the positively delirious and daring Southland Tales and the labyrinthine sci-fi period piece The Box — prove that he is a director deserving of much greater consideration. Sadly it’s been about eight years since a new film of his has been in theaters, but the time is surely ripe. Kelly’s visions of the end-times feel just as urgent now as they did when we were first introduced to them back in 2001. And since we’re living in a time when the formerly reclusive Terrence Malick is miraculously pumping out multiple films a year, there’s every reason to be optimistic that, soon, the same will be the case with Kelly. Read my full interview with the director. – Andrew W.
Where to Stream: Netflix
Menashe (Joshua Z Weinstein)
The road to a respectable life is a demanding one for Menashe. He barely makes enough money as a grocery clerk to pay the rent of his small apartment. He is shunned by his family, neighbors, and boss for not conforming to the customary way of life. He’s in danger of losing complete custody of his son following the death of his wife. While aspects of this logline could be the basis for more than a few character studies released each year, Menashe sets itself apart by its striking specificity, taking place in an ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community of Brooklyn and performed completely in Yiddish. I said in my review, “Director and co-writer Joshua Z Weinstein understands that this entry point into the story must be more than just that and crafts an intimate, sympathetic portrait of faith and fatherhood.”
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (Noah Baumbach)
With the perfect casting of Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller as brothers, not to mention Dustin Hoffman as their father, Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is one of the director’s easiest-to-swallow concoctions. Feeling like a spiritual sequel to The Squid and the Whale mixed with the screwball fun of Mistress America, as well an ensemble of recognizable faces from previous Baumbach films, it feels like the director enters new territory here while still retaining his singular insight. Read our full review from Cannes.
Where to Stream: Netflix
Spielberg (Susan Lacy)
What more could we want to know about one of the most popular directors of all-time? Evidently, a lot. While Steven Spielberg is hard at work in the editing bay finishing his drama The Post in time for a release in later this fall, a new documentary spanning a comprehensive 2.5 hours will premiere at the New York Film Festival, followed by a HBO debut. Aptly titled Spielberg, Susan Lacy’s documentary chronicles the life and career of the blockbuster king, featuring interviews with Francis Coppola, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Tom Hanks, John Williams, Janusz Kamiński, Leonardo DiCaprio, Spielberg himself, and even his parents. Although it’s not getting a theatrical release, we’ll make a special mention to kick off this list.
Where to Stream: HBO Go
War for the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves)
War for the Planet of the Apes is the most serious film ever made, or at least comes across that way with every decision made by director and co-writer Matt Reeves. While Rupert Wyatt commenced this prequel trilogy with a vigorous dose of campy fun in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Reeves’ more operatic, unsmiling stylings were in full-force as warring sects of apes went toe-to-toe in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Now, in his trilogy capper, it’s a few years since Koba’s demise and the human-ape conflict is at its bleak pinnacle as the survival of an entire species is on the line. – Jordan R. (full review)
Also New to Streaming
Bridges-Go-Round and The Connection
Carnival of Souls
Oslo, August 31st and The Fire Within
Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise Trilogy
June Night, Per Lindberg
History Is Made at Night
The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists
The Seventh Continent
71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance
The Piano Teacher
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