August 10, 2018
New to Streaming: ‘Zama,’ ‘The Rider,’ ‘Summer 1993,’ ‘Certified Copy,’ and More
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.
Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami)
A British writer and a French antiques dealer meet after a lecture, strolling through the sunny streets of Tuscany, discussing the theories in his new book, Certified Copy. The book asserts the irrelevancy of authenticity in art, stating that a copy of a great art work could be considered as valuable as the original. The surface details seem simple enough, but, like any film from Abbas Kiarostami, the surface can be immensely deceiving. As they spend time together, a miraculous change occurs after they are mistaken for a married couple by a kindly local. Caught up in this hypnotic dreamlike narrative, we watch as this man and woman begin to act as if they really are married, a before-unseen back-story appearing before our very eyes. A gripping and mysterious meditation on art, life, and love, Certified Copy is a warmly jocose and beautifully unknowable gem. – Tony H.
Le fort des fous (Narimane Mari)
Algeria, Kythira island, and the Greek mainland. Three parts, three facets of globalization. Past, present, and possible futures. French-Algerian director Narimane Mari connects historical colonialism to contemporary economic upheaval. Its three acts also experiment with three major modes of documentary filmmaking – recreation, observation, and interview. Le fort des fous (“Madmen’s Fort”) is a strange and epic rumination on how the sins of empires past aggregate as time rolls on. – Dan S. (full review)
The Rider (Chloé Zhao)
What does a cowboy do when he can’t ride? Chloe Zhao’s absorbing South Dakota-set sophomore feature has its titular rider come to terms with such a fate, in a film that’s a beguiling mix of docudrama and fiction whose story echoes much of history of its actors’ own lives. Zhao’s combination of the visual palette of Terrence Malick, the social backbone of Kelly Reichardt, and the spontaneity of John Cassavetes creates cinema verité in the American plains. – Ed F. (full review)
Song of the Sea (Tomm Moore)
Song of the Sea, the latest animated feature from The Secret of Kells director Tomm Moore, opens with a dreamlike sequence that quickly lays the foundation for most of what is to follow, both thematically and narratively. The traditional, handcrafted animation that Moore is again working with gives the movie a distinct, yet classically appealing aesthetic that visually distinguishes it from the variety of other animated offerings we’ve seen of late. The depth of the environments is truly remarkable, a layering of complex details and visual flourishes juxtaposed against the simpler design of the central characters. The nighttime sequences are somehow even more impressive as the images glow with such clarity as to almost create a 3D effect. – Brian P. (full review)
Where to Stream: Netflix
Summer 1993 (Carla Simón)
I wish there was a way I could start this review of Carla Simón’s extraordinary Summer 1993 with its final scene. Not because there are eye-opening or plot-unravelling clues nestled inside it (like many other wonderful recent entries in the coming of age genre – think of Sean Baker’s The Florida Project – Summer 1993 unfolds more like an episodic tale than a plot-thick, action-packed three-act drama), but because it crystallizes what makes Simón’s debut stand out as one of the most memorable in recent years: an effortless ability to capture what it is like to deal with a tragedy of the kind its young heroine undergoes – the way traumas can be compartmentalized, but may always resurface. – Leonardo G. (full review)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)
There’s a reason Martin McDonagh can write a film like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri despite being a British playwright: he’s not writing America. He’s writing mankind circa 2017 through America. We are the angry townspeople screaming. We’re the posturing cowards who don’t actually care enough to act until our lives are affected. Anger begets more anger because we’ve lost the ability to answer it with anything else. There’s no redemption here. No vengeance. McDonagh’s damning treatise on 21st-century rhetoric’s rejection of responsibility is the blood-spewed rage we wield to combat the numbing guilt and hopeless despair consuming us whole. – Jared M.
Where to Stream: HBO Go
Zama (Lucrecia Martel)
After helming some of the best films of the previous decade with La Ciénaga, The Holy Girl, and The Headless Woman, Lucrecia Martel returned with the much-anticipated Zama. Produced by brothers Pedro and Agustin Almodóvar, Argentinean author Antonio di Benedetto’s 1956 novel has been adapted by Martel, which follows a story set in the late 18th century in Paraguay, tracking Don Diego de Zama (Daniel Gimenez Cacho), an officer of the Spanish Crown, who is tasked with going after a bandit. The film is a towering, elusive achievement of composition and craft that only improves on repeated viewings. – Jordan R.
Also New to Streaming
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