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.
Amulet (Romola Garai)
Trust is earned, not given. Just because you believe you’re a just person who’d do everything in your power to protect the less fortunate doesn’t mean they should blindly provide their allegiance. They need to know for sure that what you say and do is true. They need to know that you aren’t acting one way via deception in order to act another way later out of some warped notion of entitlement. There are too many people in this world who believe that the bare minimum is worth both material spoils and sainthood to want for nothing in this life and the next. It’s how billionaires justify yearly earnings off the backs of others’ labor—turning so-called charity into profit. True heroes, however, never feel owed. We therefore ask ourselves whether or not Tomaz (Alec Secareanu) is someone who deserves the trust of strangers or if he’s someone who demands it. – Jared M. (full review)
The Assistant (Kitty Green)
The silences last a lifetime in The Assistant, written and directed by Kitty Green. Starring Julia Garner as the titular character, the film plays out over one long day at an unnamed independent film studio. Light on dialogue with no real score to speak of, we follow our new assistant as she makes the coffee, cleans the dishes, prints the screenplays, and takes the phone calls for an unrelenting man in the office behind her. Garner is effective, the camera rarely losing focus of her. This is an actress whose animated features tell an engaging story without needing much help. As she slowly accepts this world she’s living in, we relate to the ease with which she settles. – Dan M. (full review)
Where to Stream: Hulu
Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful (Gero von Boehm)
One of the great photographers of the 20th century, even if you have yet to hear the name Helmut Newton, you have certainly seen one of his photos. After fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany when he was a teenager and finding photographer work in Singapore, his career would take him across the world, eventually working for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Playboy, and much more. The German-Australian photographer’s life and work is now the subject of a new documentary. Directed by Gero von Boehm and featuring interviews with Grace Jones, Isabella Rossellini, Anna Wintour, Charlotte Rampling, Marianne Faithfull, Claudia Schiffer, Nadja Auermann, and more, it’s now available to watch digitally. – Jordan R.
Where to Stream: Kino Marquee
Impetigore (Joko Anwar)
Life has never been easy for Maya (Tara Basro). Raised by her aunt with no knowledge of her parents’ history, she’s struggled finding her place in the city. Her sole comfort is best friend Dini (Marissa Anita), a tollbooth operator like herself who’s promised to help open a clothing business if they ever save enough money. So when a strange man drives through her lane on a deserted evening three separate times, it’s hard not to fear the worst. No matter how difficult life has been, however, Maya has no intentions of dying—especially not at the hands of a creep who believes she’s someone else. And yet there is something familiar about the name he uses. Whether that realization is good or bad remains to be seen. – Jared M. (full review)
Where to Stream: Shudder
NYC’s Metrograph has now launched Metrograph Digital. Available nationwide, it’s a membership-based program for $5 a month or $50 annually, with previous NYC-based members already included at no cost. The first initiative is Metrograph Live Screenings, “a celebration of communal movie watching” which features a specific time where films will screen digitally, and also include intros, pre-show material, and Q&As. The eclectic lineup gets underway with one of Claire Denis’s most underseen (and perhaps finest) films, L’Intrus. The rest of the calendar through early September includes work by Éric Rohmer, St. Clair Bourne, Ulrike Ottinger, Alain Resnais, Djibril Diop Mambéty, Satoshi Kon, James Gray, Laurie Anderson, and Manfred Kirchheimer, and more. – Jordan R.
Where to Stream: Metrograph
Most Wanted (Daniel Roby)
It feels like a good time to release a film that depicts a deeply corrupt, miscalculated miscarriage of justice perpetrated by law enforcement officials. Most Wanted, written and directed by Daniel Roby, tells the real-life (though fictionalized for dramatic purposes) story of Alain Olivier and his tragic stint in Bang Kwang prison after being arrested for selling drugs. You see, young Alain was a victim of entrapment by the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). – Dan M. (full review)
Radioactive (Marjane Satrapi)
You can’t tell the story of Marie Curie’s genius without also touching upon the complex ramifications of the scientific work she accomplished. As her husband and research partner Pierre says in a dream at the tail-end of Marjane Satrapi’s cinematic adaptation of Lauren Redniss’ graphic novel Radioactive, “You can only throw the stone in the water, not control its ripples.” Her stone was the discovery of two new elements (polonium and radium) and the concept of radioactivity that so intrinsically connects them together. And while some of the resulting ripples that formed were game-changing advances in mankind’s evolutionary trajectory towards the future (nuclear energy and cancer treatments), others fed into our species’ lust for power and destruction (the atomic bomb). Both roads are crucially important to her legacy. – Jared M. (full review)
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime
The Rental (Dave Franco)
Terror in a hotel or motel (or motel shower) has been done to death, but bringing horror to the familiar trappings of an Airbnb is simple, brilliant, and surprisingly untapped before now. An ideal breeding ground for paranoid delusions––or horrific realities––it was only a matter of time before filmmakers embraced the innate weirdness at play here. Hands raised if you’d predicted those filmmakers would be Dave Franco and Joe Swanberg. – Chris S. (full review)
Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve)
Mia Hansen-Løve followed up a chronicle of her brother’s experiences in the French electronic music scene with a film even closer to home. Things to Come showed the young director examining the memory of her parents’ divorce and, perhaps, the choices her mother was faced with thereafter. Isabelle Huppert enthralls as the philosophy teacher who, after losing a mother and a husband, must reassess what direction her life is going in. Løve’s film not only understood the tragedy of life; it appeared to embrace it with thrilling defiance. Huppert’s performance might have been the greatest 2016 had to offer were it not for another from the same ageless wonder that appeared around the same time. – Rory O.
Where to Stream: Hulu
Yes, God, Yes (Karen Maine)
Similar to the inclusive comedy Blockers–which proved teen girls deserve their own kind of high school sex comedy like the boys have enjoyed for years–Yes, God, Yes continues to evolve the genre while remaining completely grounded in its complexities and contradictions. Obvious Child co-writer Karen Maine’s directorial debut is a witty comedy with nearly no false beats, trading crude comedy for smart insight without forgoing laughs. Natalie Dyer stars as Alice, a 16-year-old girl coming of age in the late 90 before MySpace and other social networking. Thanks to the new found freedom of AOL chatrooms she’s able to connect to a variety of like-minded people from her living room in Iowa, discovering newfound urges when an innocent game of movie scrambles turns into an “A/S/L” instant message. – John F. (full review)
Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas
Also New to Streaming
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