Johannes Kuhnke and Lisa Loven Kongsli star in the Swedish drama from Ruben Östlund

‘Force Majeure’ from Sweden on Hulu

One of the surprises in the 2015 Oscar nominations was that Force Majeure (Sweden, 2014), Sweden’s official entry for the foreign language film category and a Cannes film festival winner, did not place among the five nominated films. Director Ruben Östlund gives us a family on vacation and what appears to be the inciting event […]

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 'Cemetery of Splendor' from Thailand

‘Cemetery of Splendor’ from Thailand on FilmStruck

In Thailand filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Cemetery of Splendor (Thailand, 2015), the world we live in and the world we dream are one and the same. An elementary school has been turned into a makeshift hospital for soldiers suffering from a mysterious sleeping sickness and Jen (Jenjira Pongpas Widner), a volunteer with a debilitating limp caused […]

Ava Gardner and James Mason star in the ravishing romantic drama from Albert Lewin

‘Pandora and the Flying Dutchman’ on FilmStruck

I have a soft spot for Albert Lewin, a literary Hollywood writer/producer turned director with a continental sensibility and an eye for handsome imagery (if not always cinematic storytelling). His productions tended toward literary adaptations (The Good Earth, which he produced, and The Picture of Dorian Gray, which he scripted and directed) but Pandora and […]

Sam Rockwell in the debut feature from Duncan Jones

‘Moon’ – Sam Rockwell’s great star turn on Netflix

In Moon (2009), Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is on the verge of unraveling. He’s the lone operator of a moonbase operation mining the new moon rock wonder fuel that has solved Earth’s energy, with only a computerized robot named Gertie (voiced by Kevin Spacey in a dispassionate HAL-9000 tone with just a hint of human […]

Martin Scorsese and Michael Henry Wilson present this documentary

‘A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies’ on Amazon Prime Video

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995) is both the title and the description of this idiosyncratic production made as part of the BFI’s A Century of Cinema celebration. The assignment was to make a 52-minute program. Scorsese and his collaborator Michael Henry Wilson overshot their target length by quite a distance: […]

‘Fruitvale Station’ on Netflix

Fruitvale Station (2013) embraces simplicity to remind us of the human being behind the news story. 22-year-old Oscar Grant was killed in an unprovoked shooting by BART officers as a station stop on early New Year’s Day 2009. Ryan Coogler’s film accomplishes what so many films fail to do: put us in touch with the life […]

Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan in Neil Jordan's 'Byzantium'

‘Byzantium’ – Women and men and life immortal on Netflix

Byzantium (2012), Neil Jordan’s take on the vampire genre (from a play by Moira Buffin), is not a traditional horror film. There is blood, of course, and there is sex, but it’s less eros and more survival. Clara (Gemma Arterton) walks the streets (or in this case, the boardwalk of a British coastal town in […]

Jesse Eisenberg stars in the Kelly Reichardt film with Peter Sarsgaard and Dakota Fanning

Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Night Moves’ on Amazon Prime

Night Moves (2013), the fourth film that New York-based director Kelly Reichardt made in Oregon with screenwriter Jon Raymond, was her most commercial project to that, though you won’t mistake this drama of eco-terrorists who blow a dam on a southern Oregon river for a Hollywood thriller. Reichardt and longtime screenwriting partner Jon Raymond focus […]

‘Gates of Heaven’ and ‘Vernon, Florida’ – the early documentaries of Errol Morris on Netflix

Errol Morris is one of the most celebrated—and most distinctive—documentary filmmakers of our time and his interest in unconventional portraits and offbeat subjects began with his first films. Gates of Heaven (1978, not rated) profiles two pet cemeteries—one that went out of business and another, more financially stable business where the graves were relocated—and the […]