Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe star in Lars von Trier's horror film / psychodrama

Lars von Trier’s ‘Antichrist’ on Criterion Channel and Sundance Now

I’m not sure how I manage to keep my simultaneous fascination with /repulsion for Lars von Trier in balance, but it’s back with a vengeance in Antichrist (2009), a provocation that is at once beautiful and perverse, personal and cynical, and filled with his sour vision of the emotional small-mindedness (small-heartedness?) of the human animal. […]

'American Playboy' - Chicago Playboy club opening night.

What to stream: ‘American Playboy’ on Amazon, ‘The BFG’ on Netflix, ‘Rogue One’ and ‘Paterson’ on VOD

Amazon Prime presents the original documentary series American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, which profiles the man, the brand, and the lifestyle he advocated through his magazine and his clubs with a mix of documentary and dramatic recreation. “If not quite a hagiography, it is very much an official document — “my story, or at […]

Peter Sellers and Claudine Longet in the Blake Edwards comedy

Peter Sellers joins ‘The Party’ on FilmStruck and Criterion Channel

The Party (1968) reunited Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers after a falling out during the second Pink Panther movie for a different kind of comedy: a modern sound version of a silent movie comedy. They don’t pretend it’s a silent film, mind you, but rather build a series of visual gags on a basic premise—Peter […]

Dennis Hopper is Tom Ripley in Wim Wender's take on Patricia HIghsmith

‘The American Friend’ on Criterion Channel

The American Friend (Germany, 1977) – “What’s wrong with a cowboy in Hamburg?” Dennis Hopper’s Tom Ripley is nothing like the character that Patricia Highsmith created and explored in five novels, and while Wim Wender’s adaptation of Ripley’s Game, the sequel to The Talented Mr. Ripley, remains more or less faithful to the plot (with […]

What to stream: ‘Jackie’ and ‘Moana’ on VOD and more

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand Natalie Portman earned an Oscar nomination in Jackie as the widow of JFK in the days after his assassination. Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain brings his passion for political and social history to his American film debut and his perspective is illuminating. Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, and John Hurt co-star (R). […]

What to stream: 2017 Oscars and new arrivals for March

So, did you catch the drama at the Oscars on Sunday? You can relive the moment or watch the entire 89th Annual Academy Awards (not rated) on Hulu. If you just want to see the winners, these are on VOD and disc and at Redbox: Moonlight (Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, R), Manchester by the […]

Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Maggie Cheung in Wong Kar-Wai's award-winning film

Wong Kar-Wai’s melancholy ‘In the Mood for Love’ on FilmStruck

There may be no more sensual director in the world than Hong Kong’s Wong Kar-Wai, and In the Mood for Love (Hong Kong, 2000) is one of his richest and most melancholy works, a shadow dance of would-be lovers sketched in suggestions and intimations. Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai star as next door neighbors […]

P.J. Soles and The Ramones

‘Rock ‘n’ Roll High School’ on Criterion Channel

“Do your parents know you’re Ramones?” If Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979) isn’t the greatest rock and rebellion film of all time it is certainly on the short list, a pure, cheerfully juvenile blast of blitzkrieg guitar rock, Looney Tunes sight gags, teenage hormones, and rebellion against authority because it’s there. They aren’t exactly […]

Juliette Binoche and William Shimell star in Abbas Kiarostami's first European production

‘Certified Copy’ on Criterion Channel and Sundance Now

The Certified Copy (2010) of Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami’s first European production refers to artworks—Why do we value a reproduction less than an original and what does authenticity even mean?—but resonates just as effectively with the art of filmmaking and its relationship to reproduction and recreation. “It’s our perception that gives it value,” to quote […]