William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal debate the 1968 elections on ABC in 'Best of Enemies'

‘Best of Enemies’ – Buckley vs. Vidal on Amazon Prime

Best of Enemies (2015) carries the subtitle “Buckley vs. Vidal” and it is indeed a portrait of a rivalry, one that was presented on prime time network television at a time when there were three networks and TV news strived to be fair and balanced to a fault. In 1968, William F. Buckley was the […]

What to stream: ‘Pursuit of Love’ on Amazon, ‘Freaky’ on HBO Max, music docs on Apple + and Paramount+

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   Lily James and Emily Beecham play cousins—one rebellious and vivacious, the other shy and careful—who take very different routes to love in the limited series “The Pursuit of Love“ (TV-PG). The handsomely-mounted […]

Alfred Hitchcock directs Janet Leigh on the set of the 1960 film 'Psycho' from the documentary by Alexandre O. Philippe

’78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene’ – exploring ‘Psycho’ on Hulu

The title of 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene (2017), a documentary on the legendary sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1961 classic Psycho, refers to the 78 camera set-ups and 52 cuts in the three-minute scene, an astounding attention to detail to a brief sequence that shocked American audiences with transgressions suggested but not actually shown on screen. […]

‘Araya’ – a landmark of poetic nonfiction on Criterion Channel

Araya (Venezuela, 1959), Margot Benacerraf’s 1959 documentary of the hardscrabble lives on the peninsula of Araya, is non-fiction filmmaking as poetic realist portrait. Araya is a barren desert surround by ocean and salt marshes on the northern reaches of Caribbean Venezuela and was originally settled by the Spanish in 1500. The “daily ritual of salt” […]

What to stream: ‘Them’ on Amazon Prime, ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ on HBO Max, ‘Thunder Force’ on Netflix

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   A Black family is terrorized when they move into an all-white neighborhood in 1950s Los Angeles in “Them” (not rated). The first season of the anthology series plays out over ten days […]

Arnold Schwarzenegger pumps himself up for success in George Butler's documentary 'Pumping Iron.'

‘Pumping Iron’ – Arnold Schwarzenegger begins on Amazon Prime

Anyone who believes that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rise to Hollywood superstar was a fluke needs to see Pumping Iron (1977), George Butler’s documentary on bodybuilding culture of the 1970s which did more to popularize the sport in the culture at large than anything before or since. The film follows a handful of bodybuilders preparing for the […]

John Entwistle, Pete Townsend, Keith Moon and Roger Daltry perform at Shepperton

‘The Kids Are Alright’ – Long live rock on Amazon Prime Video

There isn’t another rock documentary in the world like The Kids Are Alright (1979). This is no familiar biographical narrative or historical overview talking about their generation, but a scrappy, vibrant musical portrait painted in the bold colors of rock itself: impassioned lyrics, power chords, crashing drums and smashing guitars. Die-hard fans of The Who […]