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.

Aftersun (Charlotte Wells)

One of the 2022’s most resonant films, Aftersun looks at the scratchy dynamics between a father and daughter while on vacation. It’s about memory, the finite nature of the relationships in our lives, and the difficulties of a parent’s diminishing mental health. Charlotte Wells knows where to put the camera in her debut—undeterred from taking risks, from placing her characters outside of the frame, from looking at shadows instead of the people themselves. Aftersun is a rare, tremendous first film, full of heart and focused melancholy; it breaks you down and fills you up simultaneously. The consistent inclusion of camcorder footage, and the fact that it enhances the story rather than becoming a distraction, further proclaims Wells as a director with immense talent and overflowing care. – Michael F.

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Beast (Bertrand Bonello)

Where to begin with Bertrand Bonello’s wonderful The Beast? It’s been so gratifying to see the initial reaction to the French filmmaker’s tenth feature, after several decades of increasingly remarkable work––the majority of it dark, beautiful, and sleazy. In fact, for what a discomforting and despairing experience much of The Beast is, when I’ve thought back its moments of real, uncomplicated cinematic pleasure, its verve and sense of joyousness, are what mark my memories. It’s romantic, without a capital-R. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Copa 71 (Rachel Ramsay and James Erskine)

It’s one thing to ask a casual soccer fan if they’ve ever heard of the 1971 Women’s World Cup and hear a “No.” It’s another to get the same response from two-time World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold-medalist Brandi Chastain. Yet that’s how Rachel Ramsay and James Erskine’s documentary Copa 71 begins. They lead the American superstar to the obvious answer about how she actually played in the “first” Women’s World Cup in 1991, then show her two-decades-old footage from the 110,000-seat Azteca Stadium and blow her mind. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Handling the Undead (Thea Hvistendahl)

The first word that comes to mind when thinking of how to write about Thea Hvistendahl’s Handling the Undead is: dread. To expand: slow, ponderous dread. Written by John Ajvide Lindqvist (and based on his novel of the same name), this is a zombie movie in the tradition of the author’s own Let the Right One In. There are zombies here but, as with the vampires in the latter work, the focus is elsewhere, mostly. Its genre construct is meant to elevate a deeper kind of pain. In this incarnation, a series of sad people dealing with different variations of grief must contend with an unsettling new reality: those loved ones they’ve buried have come back to life. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

I Used to Be Funny (Ally Pankiw)

Rachel Sennott continued her impressive run as a quick-witted, creatively vulgar comic in Bottoms, which premiered during South By Southwest’s second night. But she does something more impressive in Ally Pankiw’s I Used to Be Funny, her second starring turn in this festival that highlights her full dimensionality. Though she still gets to show off her standup skills here––Sennott garners laughs in a series of scenes performing in comedy clubs, something movies and television are rarely able to achieve––this character study about trauma’s unpredictable ripple effects doesn’t foreground too many jokes. As the title implies, this is a movie about losing (and attempting to regain) a defining characteristic due to circumstances out of one’s control. – Jake K-S. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Molli and Max in the Future (Michael Lukk Litwak)

A feat of small-scale, inventive sci-fi with a large imagination, Molli and Max in the Future subverts the oft-repeated idea that any peek deep into the future is one with a little less humanity. Taking the mold of a rather charming rom-com, the film follows the reunions of a man and woman over 12 years and various planets and dimensions. While some of its more eccentric touches don’t fully register, Zosia Mamet and Aristotle Athari find a grounded heart to their characters and evolving relationship that ensure the journey is one worth taking.

Where to Stream: Prime Video

Nostalghia (Andrei Tarkovsky)

Andrei Tarkovsky’s penultimate film, 1983’s gorgeously haunting Nostalghia, also marked new territory for the director. His first film made outside the USSR, the Cannes Best Director winner (a prize he shared with Robert Bresson for L’Argent), was also a unique collaboration with writer Tonino Guerra, frequent collaborator of Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, and Francesco Rosi. Now restored in 4K in 2022 by CSC – Cinetecanazionale in collaboration with Rai Cinema at Augustus Color laboratory, from the original negatives and the original soundtrack preserved at Rai Cinema, the restoration is now available digitally after a theatrical run. For more, read our interview with cinematographer Giuseppe Lanci.

Where to Stream: Kino Film Collection

Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan)

Several 2023 films share a desire to understand humanity’s worst tendencies through the eyes of perpetrators and the complicity that enables them. With Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan wields objectivity and subjectivity to unpack the motives behind innovating one of America’s greatest atrocities. It’s a portrait of brilliance choked by arrogance, naivete, and constant equivocation. Bringing these into conflict, Nolan avoids stodgy biopic form and instead traffics in backroom thriller––a once-in-a-generation experience yielding exhilaration and devastation. – Conor O.

Where to Stream: Prime Video

Reassembly: The Films of Bill Morrison

One of the greatest filmmakers exploring cinema history today, Bill Morrison gets a much-deserved spotlight at Metrograph’s streaming service following an in-person retrospective. The series features his 2016 masterpiece Dawson City: Frozen Time, along with a group of shorts: Buried News (2021), Her Violet Kiss (2021), Light is Calling (2004), The Film of Her (1996), The Letter (2018), The Mesmerist (2003), and Who By Water (2007).

Where to Stream: Metrograph at Home

 Slave Play. Not A Movie. A Play (Jeremy O. Harris)

Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play. Not A Movie. A Play is in fact a documentary self-portrait, at times providing a behind-the-scenes look at the workshopping of Harris’ provocative and acclaimed Tony-nominated play. Harris, with a filmography that includes co-writing Zola, co-starring in The Sweet East, and producing Pet Shop Days, likely could have adapted Slave Play with the support of his film collaborators and may still very well do that one day––but this is not that film, or even that play. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Max

Sometimes I Think About Dying (Rachel Lambert)

While she says her banal, nondescript, spreadsheet-crafting office job is the only thing she loves in life––besides cottage cheese––one wouldn’t guess it from the way Fran Larsen (Daisy Ridley) carries out her dreary 9-to-5 routine. Spending the labored minutes staring at leakage in the ceiling tiles, gazing at her computer screen, and barely speaking a word to her overenthusiastic colleagues, Larsen has something more existential eating away at her soul: she’s preoccupied with dying. Whether it’s being washed up on a beach, hanging from a crane outside her window, being consumed by the forest, or a violent car crash, she has recurring visions of what could be an escape from her lonely life of isolation. Although not feeling fully formed with its emotionally rushed finale, Rachel Lambert’s Sometimes I Think About Dying is a humorously droll, narratively restrained look at the feigned personalities of workplace office culture and the social anxieties of being forced into such spaces. Continue reading my review.

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Une Simple Histoire (Marcel Hanoun)

Le Cinéma Club is excited to present a guest selection from the talented playwright and filmmaker Annie Baker, to celebrate the release of her debut feature, Janet Planet. Her choice––Marcel Hanoun’s own excellent feature debut Une Simple Histoire––echoes many of Janet Planet’s concerns; chiefly, the limitations of language, the experience of a difficult mother-daughter relationship, and the mysteries of storytelling. Hanoun, whose work remains tragically overlooked, was a singular voice in French cinema whose films were greatly admired by Jean-Luc Godard, Jonas Mekas, and their contemporaries.

Where to Stream: Le Cinéma Club

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