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.
Fabian: Going to the Dogs (Dominik Graf)
In the first hour of Dominik Graf’s Fabian: Going to the Dogs, we see the title character running around 1920s Berlin, bumping into eccentric characters at bars and nightclubs while the camera moves and cuts at a whirlwind pace. It’s a time of indulgence and recklessness for Fabian and other young people in Germany, and then he finds himself standing face to face with a young woman in the back of a club. The camera cuts to a rapid-fire montage of both characters together and in love, scenes from later in the film we haven’t gotten to yet. Up to this point, Fabian was living in the present; without warning he begins to see a future, and we get to see it too. – C.J. P. (full feature)
A Girl Missing (Koji Fukada)
One of the most intriguing careers to track this past decade has been that of Kōji Fukada. Gaining international acclaim with his Cannes prize-winning family drama Harmonium, the Japanese director followed it up with A Girl Missing, a slow-burn mystery thriller that premiered at Locarno Film Festival. The film follows two timelines, both featuring Mariko Tsutsui’s character. In one, she works as a home nurse for a family, but one of their granddaughters goes missing and someone in the family may be involved. In another timeline, she forms a relationship with a younger hairdresser. One of the film’s many pleasures lies in Fukada’s specific rhythms of the mysteries of storytelling, offering little clues along the way but keeping more of a focus on his lead character and her emotional wavelength. For more, read Daniel Eagan’s interview with the director and Leonardo Goi’s review. – Jordan R.
Where to Stream: Film Movement Plus
Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie)
Like waking up to start your day in your dingy flat, only to realize you dosed three tabs of high-grade LSD before drifting off the night before; as the room shifts, your confusion rapidly develops into heart-thumping stress as you remember you have something really goddamn important to do today — life or death sorta stuff. This is the feverish, ultra-anxiety-inducing sensation that Good Time plunges viewers into from its opening seconds. A sort of cinema delirium, it pulses with a vibrant potency that reminds you film can grab you by the throat; I barely breathed, and I loved every second. – Mike M.
Where to Stream: Tubi
Listen Up Philip (Alex Ross Perry)
The slow-motion, bronze-burnished descent into personal desolation, itself suggested as some men’s only way of ascending to artistic greatness. Already-mild concerns that we’d never receive a proper adaptation of Roth are forever gone, for Listen Up Philip’s commitment to this idea––aided in no small part by Perry’s growing formal acuity––brings us as close as we’ll ever need to get. Zuckerman, Lonoff, and, at some turns, Sabbath do indeed haunt the film’s periphery, but less as a result of direct influence––more, I think, because we’ve only now confronted the wreckage they leave behind. – Nick N.
Paris, 13th District (Jacques Audiard)
There is no such thing as a typical Jacques Audiard film. Take his last three as examples: in 2012 he captured the trauma-induced romance between a wayfaring father and killer-whale trainer in rural seaside France in Rust and Bone; in 2015 he won the Palme d’Or for Dheepan, a film about a Sri Lankan freedom fighter who seeks refuge in Paris with the involuntary help of two strangers fronting as his wife and daughter; in 2018 he cast Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly as bickering, sharp-shooting brothers hunting down Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed in frontier-era Oregon in The Sisters Brothers. His newest, Paris, 13th District, is something entirely different. – Luke H. (full review)
Where to Stream: VOD
Tanner ’88 (Robert Altman)
The mini-series centers on fictional ex-Michigan Congressman Jack Tanner (Michael Murphy) as a candidate re-emerged after leaving public office in the 1970s to run for the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination. Tanner would be presented as interacting and be treated like a real-life candidate, Altman and Trudeau inserting him and his campaign at real primary locations and interacting with real-life figures — politicians, journalists, celebrities, and regular citizen– as though Tanner exists in the real world. There is no known direct political inspiration for Tanner and his political leanings (such as being a critic of the War on Drugs). “Think of Tanner not as a pretend candidate, but a novel kind of one. He does not mirror the electoral process and critique it, as we might suppose, but gains access to the workings of that process and physically interacts with it,” critic Gary Kornblau wrote in an essay for the mini-series when it was released on home video in the Criterion Collection. Through Tanner’s candidacy, Tanner ‘88 was about presenting the process, some of which is ripe for comedy and drama mined by Trudeau, Altman, and company. – Caden Mark Gardner (full review)
Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel
Thank You For Bombing (Barbara Eder)
An angry satire, Thank You For Bombing, from Barbara Eder (Inside America), takes dead aim upon the industry of journalism in war zones. No one is sacred in Eder’s eyes as she satirizes the veteran reporter haunted by demons of the past, a pretty young correspondent who will do anything for a story, and a rouge reporter in search of a war. The waiting is the hardest part and they kill the time in a number of ways from Zumba to opioids. – John F. (full review)
Where to Stream: Underrated
Featuring work by Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Joiri Minaya, Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada, Esther Figueroa, Johanné Gómez Terrero, and Dalissa Montes de Oca, Metrograph has teamed with Abrons Arts Center and curator Dessane Lopez Cassell for a new series Unraveling Paradis. Centering on Caribbean artists and the theme of challenging colonial ideas of paradise as it relates to the Caribbean, the series runs through May both in their theater and at home.
Where to Stream: Metograph at Home
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryūsuke Hamaguchi)
Ryūsuke Hamaguchi’s first masterpiece of the year, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, is an endlessly playful and inventive triptych. Exploring the thorniness of love, sparks of connection, and mistaken identities across three stunning vignettes, Hamaguchi’s skill at writing dialogue that is as entertaining as it is moving has never been sharper. On any given day my preferred of the three shorts changes, but there’s certainly no funnier or surprising sequence in cinema this year than revenge gone awry between Nao (Mori Katsuki) and Professor Segawa (Shibukawa Kiyohiko).
Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel
X (Ti West)
Ti West’s first film in six years, X, doesn’t have the exploitation bones to be as grisly and grimy as the films it pays homage to, but the tale of a porn-shoot-turned-slasher-venue has spurts of entertaining shocks––mostly contained to the latter third. The slow burn style would be all well and good if there was meat on the bone here, but West doesn’t have a great deal to say beyond the set-up. Nonetheless, Mia Goth delights once again in this genre space, providing the right level of uneasy dread the rest of the film lacks
Where to Stream: VOD
Also New to Streaming
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