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New to Streaming: The Northman, On the Count of Three, The Innocents & More
Each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit streaming platforms in the United States. Check out this week's selections below and past

New to Streaming: The Northman, On the Count of Three, The Innocents & More

Each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit streaming platforms in the United States. Check out this week’s selections below and past round-ups here.

Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) (Arie and Chuko Esiri)

Home is profoundly where the heartache is in Eyimofe (This Is My Desire), a finely wrought, wistful but mildly unsatisfying debut feature by Nigerian-raised, New York-educated twins Arie and Chuko Esiri. Tracking two resilient Lagos residents, in sequential order, united by one goal––to illegally migrate in search of a better life––the film occasionally feels akin to an immaculately put-together class assignment, over-mindful of the reaction of an end user or assessor, rather than a risky, personality-infused piece of art. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

The Innocents (Eskil Vogt)

The Innocents, the assured sophomore feature from Eskil Vogt, is a prickly film about childhood morality designed to get under its audience’s skin. It quickly becomes apparent that the remaining unease has very little to do with the lingering effects of slow-burning horror, and much more with problematic casting choices that render the drama uncomfortable. It’s a shame as this is a confident effort, utilizing many of the same vague supernatural aspects as 2017’s Thelma (for which Vogt co-wrote the screenplay with frequent collaborator Joachim Trier) to tell a completely different coming-of-age story. It makes for an unsettling, more overtly horrifying companion piece, but one with too many noticeable flaws to properly escape from its shadow. – Alistair R. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Italian Studies (Adam Leon)

Adam Leon’s third feature, Italian Studies, follows Vanessa Kirby as Alina Reynolds, a woman who at times doesn’t know her own name. Call it amnesia or memory loss or even a blackout, but Kirby’s leading performance is built on a calm confusion. Leon’s story gives little context or background to how this woman came to have these spells, instead accompanying her over the course of a 24-hour period in New York City. – Michael F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Bi Gan)

Bi Gan’s transportive, dreamlike odyssey Long Day’s Journey Into Night is a staggering testament to why the theatrical experience should be preserved, and not just for its inventive use of 3D. Mirroring the structure of his stunning debut Kaili Blues, it concludes with an astounding hour-long single take through (and above) multiple towns as we follow a detective’s journey to track down a mysterious woman. It’s become a go-to description to describe beautiful cinematography as dreamy, but what this emerging, brilliant director understands is how to cinematically translate the rhythms of such a subconscious experience in all of its isolation and wonder. He may be influenced by the likes of Wong Kar-wai and Andrei Tarkovsky, but Bi Gan is firmly charting his own path into unknown territory the likes of which have never been explored so thoroughly in film before. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: OVID.tv

The Lost City (Aaron and Adam Nee)

Without yelling at the clouds too loudly, let me just say: the theatrical experience is rough out there. There are still multiple screens dedicated to a certain web-slinging behemoth at any given cineplex. It’s an ever-present reminder that commerce is thriving, and movies for adults are, well, not. The rom-com, and studio comedies in general, have been all but relegated to streaming for some time now, that is if they aren’t chunked up into eight hour-long episodes as content fodder. It’s a hostile environment for a big-budget Sandra Bullock romance vehicle, but here we are. Despite those odds, The Lost City is a respite, an oasis, for anyone just looking to get away. – Conor O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Paramount+, VOD

The Matrix Resurrections (Lana Wachowski)

The Matrix Resurrections is misshapen, haphazard, and some of the happiest a film has made me in 2021, regularly inspiring surprises and enthusiasms the contemporary tentpole long deemed irrelevant. Though less a take-it-or-leave-it gauntlet-toss than Lana Wachowski’s more boldly experimental endeavors, the virtues of her fourth Matrix are often in excess of anything she’s made since the polarizing-but-great sequels, sometimes in contradiction to the matter of us even watching it—a work about the fact that it nearly should not exist. – Nick N. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Max

The Northman (Robert Eggers)

Whether the dread-inducing rituals of witches or a turpentine-fueled descent into hysteria, Robert Eggers’ cinema is of unflinching immersion. Trapped in the center of symmetrical frames and surrounded by immaculate production design, the only escape for his characters’ fury seems to be bounding off the screen onto the audience themselves. The effect oscillates between entrancing and grating, wearing one down until there’s no choice but to succumb to the mania and plunge into the madness. A considerable step up in scope, his third feature The Northman gratefully bears scant touches of a compromised vision, delivering a bloody, visceral Viking epic that utilizes a simple revenge template as the canvas to examine the contradictions of a hero’s journey. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

On the Count of Three (Jerrod Carmichael)

Considering the raw, uncomfortable truths found in Jerrod Carmichael’s comedy, the logline of his directorial debut shouldn’t come as a surprise: two friends make a pact to end their lives and experience one final day together before plans to carry through with the dual deeds. Though not scripted by Carmichael himself, The Carmichael Show writer-producer Ari Katcher and his Ramy co-writer Ryan Welch have crafted a character-focused story with layers of necessary darkness and pathos while still injecting humor that mostly feels like a natural fit considering the subject matter. As to be expected, Taste of Cherry this is not, but with its layers of despair and dark comedy mixed with genuine friendship, Carmichael owes a bit to Mikey and Nicky in this ride-or-die, last-day-in-a-life outing. Even if the last act doesn’t succeed as intended, On the Count of Three threads the difficult task of finding the humor in hopelessness while not exploiting the genuine pain of severe depression. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Pushing Hands (Ang Lee)

Long before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, and his era of big-budget Hollywood spectacles, Ang Lee made his debut feature with the 1991 drama Pushing Hands. Co-written by James Schamus, whom Lee would go on to work with throughout his career, the film was a selection at the 1992 Berlin International Film Festival and won three Golden Horse Awards. It’s now undergone a 2K restoration and is now available digitally.

Where to Stream: VOD

Also New to Streaming

Amazon Prime

Allied
Belladonna of Sadness
Exiled
You Can Count on Me

The Criterion Channel

Crimes of the Future

MUBI (free for 30 days)

Force Majeure
The Square
Miami Connection
Happy Hour
You’ve Never Been Completely Honest
The Ground Beneath My Feet
Oslo, August 31st

VOD

Banksy Most Wanted (review)
Private Property

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