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.
Drylongso (Cauleen Smith)
Writer-director Cauleen Smith made Drylongso when she was in college, 25 years ago, premiering at Sundance in 1998. She has gone on to create dozens of short films, art installations, and more experimental work, focused on similar themes of feminism, racial violence, and Black communities. The low-key hangout movie should have been a stepping stone for Smith, but, as with many other works by Black female filmmaking of the last half-century, it fell out of circulation. – Michael F. (full interview)
Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel
Fingernails (Christos Nikou)
Is love quantifiable? No, but that doesn’t stop Greek filmmaker Christos Nikou from exploring that question over two dull, excruciating hours in Fingernails, his second feature and first in English. Like his directorial debut Apples, which concerned a man recovering from an amnesia-inducing illness that spreads worldwide, Fingernails concocts a high concept that attempts to look at an aspect about the human condition. In this case it’s love, as Nikou and co-writers Sam Steiner and Stavros Raptis imagine a world where a couple’s love can be measured as an objective figure through technology. Directed as a droll dramedy with a cast that can all do better than this, Fingernails is a pointless effort at finding something more from a truism. – C.J. P. (full review)
Where to Stream: Apple TV+
A Haunting in Venice (Kenneth Branagh)
A Haunting in Venice is both the best Kenneth Branagh film and the best Agatha Christie adaptation in decades. Adapted from the famed mystery writer’s 1969 novel Hallowe’en Party, Branagh returns as Hercule Poirot, the iconic Belgian detective with a penchant for sweets and the world’s most mustachioed mustache. This time the year is 1947 and we are in the Floating City. World War II has just ended and the melancholy of death and despair hangs over everything, despite the beautiful setting. – Dan M. (full review)
Where to Stream: Hulu
Inside the Bum (Frank & Tyrone Lebon)
A short documentary about the making of Harmony Korine’s Florida romp The Beach Bum. This singular portrait of one of America’s most mythic filmmakers by two fantastic London-based artists captures the chaotic cocktail of spontaneous genius and joy that has always characterized Korine’s projects.
Where to Stream: Le Cinéma Club
Invisible Beauty (Bethann Hardison, Frédéric Tcheng)
With every step she took on the catwalk, Bethann Hardison broke new ground. She did it while strutting in Chester Weinberg’s A-line skirts across the private showrooms of Manhattan’s garment district, where clients believed her to be “out of line.” She did it while dazzling audience members in Versailles in 1973, where she showed Europeans that girls of color brought personality to the runway and were not just human clothes-hangers. She did it ferociously, defiantly, and as shown in the documentary Invisible Beauty, she did it without ever planning to. – Jose S. (full review)
Where to Stream: VOD
Kino Film Collection
The latest streaming service to launch comes from Kino Lorber. The Kino Film Collection, featuring subscriptions at $5.99 a month, includes acclaimed films from Todd Haynes, Yorgos Lanthimos, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Christian Petzold, Lina Wertmuller, Ken Loach, Andrei Tarkovsky, Jafar Panahi, Taika Waititi, Oscar Micheaux, Susan Sontag, Jean-Luc Godard, Bruno Dumont, Jia Zhangke, Bernardo Bertolucci, Fritz Lang and more, along with new 4K restorations of The Conformist and Millennium Mambo.
Where to Stream: Kino Film Collection
It’s November, which means it’s time for a noir deep dive. Once again the best offerings come from The Criterion Channel with an epic collection featuring The Glass Key (1942), Laura (1944), Detour (1945), Fallen Angel (1945), Hangover Square (1945), Green for Danger (1946), Brute Force (1947), Ivy (1947), Nightmare Alley (1947), The Naked City (1948), So Evil My Love (1948), The Third Man (1949), Madeleine (1950), No Way Out (1950), Panic in the Streets (1950), So Long at the Fair (1950), The House on Telegraph Hill (1951), The River’s Edge (1957), Sapphire (1959), and All Night Long (1962).
Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel
Rewind & Play (Alain Gomis)
Félicité director Alain Gomis returned to the festival circuit last year with Rewind & Play, which recontextualizes Thelonious Monk’s appearance on a 1969 French television program into an experience that can only be described as a parade of horrors. His genius musical talent is on display, but in expanding far beyond the standard music documentary, Gomis focuses in on the white host’s inane, condescending line of questioning in a series of outtakes. As the bright lights burn down on a sweating Monk, the interview devolves into an uncomfortable, revealing look at the prejudiced belittling of a legend. – Jordan R.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson, Kemp Powers)
So it’s come to this: Spider-Man 10, technically. The future prophesied by many Hollywood alarmists, but now with more madness in the multi-verse (I cringe every time I hear it). Our prologue sees a super-powered Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) battling the iconic comic villain The Vulture, only to be interrupted by new variants like Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac) and his pregnant wife Spider-Woman (Issa Rae) emerging from another universe to assist her. Come there be something a little nefarious with them? – Ethan V. (full review)
Where to Stream: Netflix
The Souvenir Part II (Joanna Hogg)
When Joanna Hogg released her meditative bildungsroman The Souvenir, inspired by her own young adulthood attending film school and falling in love, she captured the indelible feeling many burgeoning artists have gone through: one of isolation and vulnerability, masterfully conveyed by Hogg’s author avatar Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne). The structurally ambitious yet still personal Part II is the metamorphosis of these feelings into a passion to create. Hogg conveys that in order to live we must tell stories, if only to show that we are never truly alone in this world. It’s a masterful duology destined to be adored by artists and audiences alike. – Margaret R.
Where to Stream: Netflix
The Year of the Discovery (Luis López Carrasco)
The formally audacious and politically enticing documentary The Year of Discovery may feel daunting with its 200-minute runtime, but Luis López Carrasco’s new film is anything but taxing. Presented mostly as two parallel screens, the documentary is shot with a VHS camera (which mimics most of the news footage that is used to illustrate its events) and focuses on a generation of factory workers in the Spanish region of Murcia, who protested due to the precarious condition of their jobs. While the protests were happening, the local parliament burned up. It’s an image also burned into the mind of the director, who decided to make the film once he realized that not many people remembered how or why it happened. – Jaime G. (full review)
Where to Stream: Film Movement+
Also New to Streaming
The Criterion Channel
Directed by Robert Bresson
My Two Voices
Women of the West
MUBI (free for 30 days)
A Mischievous Rebellion: Films by Nelly Kaplan
Phantoms Among Us: The Films of Christian Petzold
The Perfect Candidate
Les parents terribles
IWOW: I Walk On Water
Good Thanks, You?
Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin
All the President’s Men
Dressed to Kill
King of New York
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Drag Me to Hell
The Social Network