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.
Allure (Carlos Sanchez and Jason Sanchez)
Capturing the complexity of abuse is tough to accomplish when mainstream audiences clamor for black and white delineations between predator and prey. Some go the horror route for metaphorical terror focusing on the pursuer while others go dramatic for the helplessness of a victim unable to break free. Writer/directors (and photographers) Carlos Sanchez and Jason Sanchez chose to throw out convention, using their feature debut as a vehicle to explain how easy boxes don’t exist for the devastation wrought by abusive relationships built on love. Way too often the abused becomes abuser, leading to a continuous chain of violence and psychological torment spanning generations. Allure seeks to get to the heart of how these tortured souls must impossibly reconcile love, hate, jealousy, and rage at once. – Jared M. (full review)
In This Corner of the World (Sunao Katabuchi)
Occupying a lyrical middle ground between social and magical realism, Sunao Katabuchi’s elegiac, decade-spanning anime epic In This Corner of The World meditates on life during World War 2-era Japan through the perspective of a young woman on the homefront. This is far from another misrerabilist time capsule though. Buoyed by a spectacular art style that blends together Chibi-influenced character design, muted watercolor backgrounds, and exhaustive digital details, it’s a hypnotizing film as concerned with finding ways to make a great meal out of daily rations as the endless bombing runs and the personal tolls of the war. – Michael S.
Where to Stream: Netflix
Jane (Brett Morgen)
Even though now it’s almost impossible to think of a world in which Jane Goodall isn’t the preeminent primatologist, her notorious career could’ve been thwarted due to sexism. As a 27-year-old secretary with no college education, she “struck gold” when paleontologist Louis Leakey chose her to conduct research on chimpanzees in Tanzania. Leakey was looking for a fresh mind, unbiased by scientific knowledge, and Jane happened to be at the right place at the right time. More than five decades have passed since Goodall left for Africa and revolutionized the study of primates, and while her astonishing career and scientific breakthroughs are rightfully celebrated in Brett Morgen’s documentary Jane, more than being a standard biographical doc, the film serves as a cautionary tale against the perils of male chauvinism. – Jose S. (full review)
Mimosas (Oliver Laxe)
A “religious western” is how Moroccan-based Spanish director Oliver Laxe describes his second film, Mimosas, winner of the top prize at Cannes’ Critics’ Week. It’s a spiritual, ambiguously plotted journey through the Atlas Mountains, and those willing to give in to its mystical embrace and gorgeous visuals should find it a sensual, engrossing watch. – Ed F. (full review)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson)
Perhaps the most audacious series of gambits this past year (certainly in franchise filmmaking) came late, in the form of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Jettisoning much of the established conventions and narrative structures, Rian Johnson orchestrated a daring four-part narrative, moving between intersecting, asynchronous tales of disappointment and the balance between hope and evil. It is a genuinely exciting and innovative new chapter in the closest thing modern society has to myth, while delivering some moments of levity and pain along the way. – Ryan S.
Also New to Streaming
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