With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options—not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves–each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit platforms. Check out this week’s selections below and past round-ups here.
Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg)
Superlatives are fatuous, but Mads Mikkelsen’s final dance in Another Round was possibly one of the finest scenes of the year. It is here that Thomas Vinterberg tips his hand: in turns devastating and rambunctious, his latest neither glorifies nor condemns the magic––and sorrows––of day-drinking, but conjures a surprisingly sober study of a midlife crisis, climaxing in this moment of blissful catharsis. As a character-defining moment, it’s up there with Denis Lavant’s pirouettes at the end of Claire Denis’ Beau Travail. – Leonardo G.
Where to Stream: Hulu
Audrey (Helena Coan)
Despite her status as one of the most iconic movie stars in history, one can’t help but root for the girl at the center of Audrey, who dreams of nothing more than to find peace and love. The girl is, of course, Audrey Hepburn, a movie star from a time when pictures were made around personas, and a change of hairstyle could easily turn into a global phenomenon. Hepburn’s name conjures visions of diamonds, sophistication, and effortless grace. Perhaps even the girl who had it all if we want to navigate in tropes, but what Helena Coan’s documentary achieves is that it doesn’t need sensationalism or shock to make us recognize ourselves in a figure who was truly larger than life. On the screen perhaps. – Jose S. (full review)
Where to Stream: Netflix
Bad Lieutenant (Abel Ferrara)
Considering how prolific Abel Ferrara has been as of late, if you’re still catching up with some of his work, don’t forget to check out some of his seminal early films. One of the greatest, the grimy as hell, suprisingly spiritual drama Bad Lieutenant, is now available on Amazon Prime. Centered on one of Harvey Keitel’s finest performances, playing a NYPD police lieutenant that leaves no vice left untapped, it’s not a shock that Martin Scorsese loved the film upon its 1992 release as it feels like a spiritual sequel to Taxi Driver in many ways. – Jordan R.
Whee to Stream: Amazon Prime
Directed by Preston Sturges
The endlessly witty films of Preston Sturges have arrived on The Criterion Channel, featuring The Great McGinty (1940), Christmas in July (1940), The Lady Eve (1941), Sullivan’s Travels (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942), The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944), Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), and Unfaithfully Yours (1948). If you’ve already seen some of his oft-discussed classics, might I recommend the delightfully over-the-top The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, which shockingly made it through the Production Code era of Hollywood. – Jordan R.
Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel
The Fever (Maya Da-Rin)
By any conservative approximation, in the week that spanned the moment I left the Locarno screening of Maya Da-Rin’s The Fever and the minute I began writing this piece, an area as vast as 100 million square meters has been wiped away from Brazil’s Amazon basin. Over that seven-day window, President Bolsonaro has rushed to oust scientists unaligned with his regime, the international community promised sanctions against Brazil, and the Twitterverse rallied to the paean #PrayforAmazon, all while a surface as large as a one-and-a-half soccer field continues to disintegrate to flames each and every minute. The Fever, director-cum-visual artist Da-Rin’s first full-length feature project, puts a human face to a statistic that hardly captures the genocide Brazil is suffering. This is not just a wonderfully crafted, superb exercise in filmmaking, a multilayered tale that seesaws between social realism and magic. It is a call to action, an unassuming manifesto hashed in the present tense but reverberating as a plea from a world already past us, a memoir of sorts. – Leonardo G. (full review)
Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas
Happily (BenDavid Grabinski)
Just because Grabinski wields heady themes, however, doesn’t mean “fun” isn’t his top priority. Similar to Vivarium and Coherence, the elements that keep us thinking don’t stand in the way of our entertainment. Whereas those lean into the dark, existentialist dread of their scenarios, Happily tilts in the opposite direction towards irreverence instead. So when subjects such as murder arise under the umbrella of survival, they unfold with calm serenity and acceptance. When talk of the impossible arises that anyone in their right mind would instantly reject, the knowledge that the person talking isn’t a liar is enough to secure unwavering support. Add some deep-cut one-liners and a stoned-out-of-her-mind Yi calling shotgun in the most absurd way possible and this ride becomes a gift that keeps giving. – Jared M. (full review)
Where to Stream: VOD
Rose Plays Julie (Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor)
Get ready for a tense ride because writers/directors Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor’s Rose Plays Julie never relinquishes its sense of brooding until the very last frame’s welcome exhale of relief. Why should they considering the subject matter? This is a dark story dealing with a reality too many women have experienced without the means for guaranteed justice. So while it might be a spoiler to say, I’m not sure it’s possible to speak about the film without mentioning how everything we witness is the result of a rape that occurred two decades previously. That event led to Rose’s (Ann Skelly) birth. It forced Ellen (Orla Brady) to explicitly state that she did not want her daughter to ever reach out. And its shared pain drives them today. – Jared M. (full review)
Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas
Wojnarowicz: F**k You F*ggot F**ker (Chris McKim)
Almost thirty years since David Wojnarowicz succumbed to AIDS, Wojnarowicz: F**k You F*ggot F**ker, a movie about his life by director Chris McKim and produced by World of Wonder’s Randy Barbato & Fenton Bailey, captures his spirit because it’s made entirely of media from the artist’s archives. Wojnarowicz’s largesse of spirit couldn’t be contained to one artistic medium. He wrote, shot photography, painted, was a performance artist, played in the band 4 Teens Kill 3, and was an activist in ACT UP. If he were beginning his career today people would label him with the uninformative term “interdisciplinary multi-media artist” to try and snuff out his voice. Thankfully, his prodigious talent included scrupulous recordings capturing his profound thoughts and voicemails from people in his life. It takes David Wojnarowicz’s own words to tell his story; including an explanation of the movie’s provocative subtitle. It comes from David’s 1984 piece that has a scrap of paper he found which includes the phrase and drawing of two men having sex. – Josh E. (full review)
Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas
Zack Snyder’s Justice League
There recently went viral a clip from some adult cartoon wherein one character mouthed the oft-mentioned Martin Scorsese opinion that superhero films were ruining cinema, only to be rebutted with the argument that they were equivalent to modern myths. Removing form from this ever-recurring argument, if something truly separates Zack Snyder—who has dedicated most of his filmography to comic adaptations—from the average Marvel journeymen, it would be a genuine belief in superheroes as something greater than just post-9/11 escape. Judging by the amount of pain they go through, they’re subjects for a modern Passion Play. – Ethan V. (full review)
Where to Stream: HBO Max
Also New to Streaming
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