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.
The Before Trilogy (Richard Linklater)
Earning its status amongst the likes of Three Colors, Apu, Human Condition, Antonioni’s ’Decadence’ trilogy, and Kiarostami’s Koker trilogy, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke’s exploration of romance both fledgling and tested is one of the great film trilogies of all time. Though there’s The Criterion Channel
Blue Bayou (Justin Chon)
After Antonio (Justin Chon) is wrongfully arrested in front of his wife Kathy (Alicia Vikander) and step-daughter Jessie (Sydney Kowalske), he’s surprised to learn he’s been flagged for deportation. Due to his adoptive parent’s oversight, Antonio, who was born in Korea but has lived in Louisiana since he was a toddler, doesn’t have citizenship. Justin Chon’s Blue Bayou is an amalgam of real stories like Antonio’s, among which there are thousands. – Gabrielle M. (full review)
Where to Stream: HBO Max
Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino)
Guadagnino gets it. With miraculous ease and intimacy, he maps a summer romance from the first tingles of anticipation to the pangs of memories marking a life changed. There’s no blame, twists or drama. Just moments of realization that have surprised and would ultimately define us. Boasting an immaculate technical team, a dream cast led by the phenomenal Timothée Chalamet and the timeless words by André Aciman/James Ivory, this all-around spellbinding picture lays bare the workings of the heart so beautifully you don’t watch so much as relive them. A bona-fide masterpiece of shattering tenderness and wisdom. – Zhuo-Ning Su
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime
The relaunched Filmatique is now streaming more than 300 films. Among them are studies of contemporary Asian Cinema; lists curated by Ricky D’Ambrose, Michael Almereyda, and the Neptune Frost filmmakers; and a “Visionaries” collection boasting SVOD premieres for work by Miklós Jancsó, István Szabó, Ken Jacobs, Deborah Shaffer, Jonas Mekas, and Derek Jarman. Subscriptions cost $4.95 a month after a 30-day free trial.
Where to Stream: Filmatique
Montana Story (Scott McGehee and David Siegel)
It takes a certain amount of expertise to build a narrative without telling the audience everything as soon as possible. In Montana Story, filmmakers Scott McGehee and David Siegel demonstrate incredible restraint and a hefty trust in their audience. The basic premise: two siblings converge to face old sins and lingering scars as their father lies comatose in the final days of his life. McGehee and Siegel have been turning out impressive pictures for thirty years; this is their most nuanced to date. – Dan M. (full review)
Where to Stream: VOD
Noir in Color
While noir is usually synonymous with shadowy black-and-white, a new series on The Criterion Channel spotlights the genre’s stellar examples of films shot in glorious color, featuring Leave Her to Heaven (1945), Desert Fury (1947), Inferno (1953), Niagara (1953), Black Widow (1954), Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), House of Bamboo (1955), I Died a Thousand Times (1955), Accused of Murder (1956), Foreign Intrigue (1956), A Kiss Before Dying (1956), River’s Edge (1957), The Badlanders (1958), Man of the West (1958), and Party Girl (1958).
Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel
Ornette: Made in America (Shirley Clarke)
Independent film visionary Shirley Clarke’s form-bending, free-associative journey through Ornette Coleman’s life and work. After receiving the key to the city, the jazz composer returns home to Fort Worth, Texas, before lifting off into space. In concert footage, conversations, and dramatic recreations, Clarke delights in the generative force of Coleman’s music, from which her film derives both its tempo and its sense of wonder.
Where to Stream: Le Cinéma Club
Strawberry Mansion (Albert Birney and Kentucker Audley)
What if the government didn’t strictly tax your paychecks and transactions, but your dreams as well? With their vibrant, imaginative, and genre-melding new film Strawberry Mansion, directors Albert Birney and Kentucker Audley envision this reality in the near-future of 2035, but with their clear admiration for analog technology, it could just as well take place in an alternate timeline recalling decades past. Following a dream auditor named James Preble (Audley) who ventures to a remote farmhouse for his latest assignment, he’s tasked with auditing the dreams of the eccentric, elderly Bella (Penny Fuller), who has failed to file hers for decades. Fondly recalling Michel Gondry’s Science of Sleep as reality and dreams start to meld, the film is equal parts lovely and frightening as it explores romantic bliss, destructive capitalism, and the significance of the subconscious state we all spend a third of our lives experiencing. – Jordan R. (full review)
We (Nous) (Alice Diop)
One of the major documentary filmmakers to emerge this past decade is the Paris-born Alice Diop, subject of a recent Film at Lincoln Center retrospective and whose latest feature, the Berlinale winner We (Nous), is now on MUBI. Winner of the 2021 Berlinale’s Encounters section, the documentary explores the largely Black and immigrant communities in the Parisian suburbs whose lives and livelihoods are connected by the RER B, the commuter train that traverses the city from north to south.
Also New to Streaming
The Criterion Channel
MUBI (free for 30 days)