Tim Streeter and Doug Cooeyate star in the directorial debut of Gus Van Sant

Gus Van Sant’s ‘Mala Noche’ on FilmStruck and Criterion Channel

Mala Noche (1986), the feature debut of Gus Van Sant adapted from the autobiographical novel by Portland “street poet” Walt Curtis, is an intimate black and white tale of l’amour fou steeped in the culture of Portland, Oregon’s (now long gone) skid row. Walt (Tim Streeter), a counter jockey at a grimy liquor store in […]

Federico Luppi stars in the vampire film from Guillermo Del Toro

Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Cronos’ on FilmStruck and Criterion Channel

Cronos (Mexico, 1993, R, with subtitles), the feature debut of Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, is an alchemic twist on vampire lore and the costs of eternal life. It’s also the first expression of the budding genre master’s affinity for cinema fantasy and horror as a crucible for exploring humanity. Federico Luppi stars as Jesus, […]

Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish star in Jan Campion's drama about John Keats and Fanny Brawne

What to stream: ‘Bright Star’ on Netflix, ‘Images’ and ‘Sophie’s Choice’ on Amazon

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, FilmStruck, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Lose yourself in the romantic passions of Jane Campion’s Bright Star (2009, PG), the love story of impoverished poet John Keats (a frighteningly fragile Ben Whishaw) and the self-assured and fashionable […]

Joan Crawford stars in the film noir directed by David Miller

Joan Crawford in ‘Sudden Fear’ on FilmStruck and Criterion Channel

Joan Crawford took charge of her career as she aged out of the ingénue roles that propelled her to stardom, developing stories and pursuing properties that offered strong characters for a mature woman. She gave herself a second act when she fought hard for Mildred Pierce (1945) at Warner Bros. and seven years later, as […]

What to stream: Writing the ‘Obit.’ on Amazon and a ‘Little Evil’ on Netflix

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, FilmStruck, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … The documentary Obit. (2016, not rated) profiles the staff obituary writers of The New York Times, one of the last papers in the country to support a staff of writers dedicated […]

Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 'World on a Wire'

‘World on a Wire’ – the first virtual reality thriller on The Criterion Channel

World on a Wire (Germany, 1973), made by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in 1973 for German television, is to the best of my knowledge the first film to explore virtual reality. And this from a director who never made a science film before or since. There are no Matrix visuals here—you might say that Fassbinder suggests his […]

Peter Serafinowicz is "The Tick" in the superhero comedy series.

What to stream: ‘The Tick’ is back and as cheerfully dim as ever on Amazon and more ‘Guardians’ on VOD

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, FilmStruck, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Peter Serafinowicz plays the big blue insect of justice, most cheerfully, sweetly oblivious hero to squeeze into tights, in the Amazon original series The Tick, the third version of the superhero […]

‘The Red Shoes’ on The Criterion Channel

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressberger’s The Red Shoes (1948) has been called the greatest ballet film ever made. To girls of a certain age and a predisposition to the romance and beauty of ballet, this film is a touchstone that remains an impassioned favorite long after their invitation to the dance is over. To me, […]

Keir Gilchrist stars in "Atypical." Photo credit: Netflix

What to stream: an ‘Atypical’ Netflix sitcom and more on Amazon, Hulu, FilmStruck…

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, FilmStruck, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … The Netflix original half-hour dramedy Atypical: Season 1 adds a new family to the sitcom world, this one with Keir Gilchrist as a high school teenager on the autism spectrum struggling […]

Arletty, Marcel Herrand, Pierre Brasseur, and Jean-Louis Barrault star in Marcel Carné's classic of French cinema

‘Children of Paradise’ – The theatre of love and crime on The Criterion Channel

Children of Paradise (France, 1945), Marcel Carné’s legendary drama of love, theater, and crime in 19th Century Paris, is an epic in every sense of the word. It opens and ends on a stage curtain, which rises to reveal the Boulevard of Crime, the theater district of 1830s Paris, where street performers and pickpockets alike ply […]