Welcome to a new monthly post we will be putting together here at Filmwell. As streaming video and VOD releases have become an essential part of the cinephile diet, keeping an eye on new releases can be a daunting task. In these posts, I hope to separate some of the wheat from the chaff as titles are announced. If you, like me, often find yourself spending a little too long browsing Netflix or Hulu for something interesting to watch – then consider this a list of monthly recommendations.
To keep things all neat and tidy I have only included things released January, 2015. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments.
The Congress (Amazon Instant)
This multi-media apocalypse from Ari Folman is one of the most creative attempts at “uncovering” I have seen in cinema. As it turns in the second act toward animation, Folman’s imagination unspools in a riot of odd movements toward its vision of time, culture, and desire. Don’t miss this underrated epic.
This 1991 cult classic series features John Lurie fishing with the likes of Jarmusch, Waits, Hopper, Defoe, and Matt Dillon. So great to see this available at Fandor.
Friends (Seasons 1-10 – Netflix Instant)
May we never tire of the opportunity to see Joey’s head stuck in a turkey, or Monica willing to thrash like a shark to fulfill Chandler’s carnal desires. The endless question: Is Seinfeld or Friends the tale of 1990’s America?
Skip the US remake. The first season of this co-production of Danish and Swedish TV has been available on Hulu, now season 2 is ready for your binge-watching – which is the best way to swallow this dose of Scandi-noir.
I have a deep and abiding aversion to the noxious stuff that streams into our homes every day, gushing through cables and flooding into living rooms, family rooms, bedrooms. Trance-inducing, rigidly structured around sales pitches. Story arcs that never land, like endless transcontinental flights that only pretend to have a destination, suspended mid-air by continual complications – whether mundane or melodramatic – until such time as certain contracts fail to be renewed and the exhausted shell of a thing comes crashing to the ground at last. . . .
Armond White comments that Stillman’s singular interest in character “reveals each one’s moral quest. The effort to behave decently, even by the most eccentric (self-serving) standards, gives Stillman’s upperclass stories a surprising kick and a fine grain.” It is marvelous to see these moral quests extend beyond the confines of a single movie, as a handful of familiar characters in fascinating variations are stripped of superficial childhood securities to make their slow, stumbling journeys toward grace.