• BEST MOVIES: 2020
• BEST DOCUMENTARIES: 2020
• BEST TV: 2020
• C R I T E R I O N
Note: This will often spotlight directors for special merit.
But Auteur Theory is a shoebox; films are a collaborative effort with everyone involved.
Because of the pandemic, many films made in 2019 got broad release in streaming formats to fill the product gap, and are included.
B E S T
M O V I E S :
2 0 2 0
T H I N K
• MANK ⇧
Did Orson Welles write CITIZEN KANE (1941), or did Herman J. Mankiewicz? Yes.
They both did, but this arresting and shrewd film gives the other guy some needed spotlight. Directing his father's script, David Fincher's labor of love is generally accurate to the facts, while focusing more as an allegory about creativity in an exploitative system than a strict biography. As such, its wry satire is politically right on time, launching acerbic barbs at the Hollywood veneer and its capitalist underbelly, the Rich rigging Right Wing elections for power, and the indomitable punk spirit that guides creatives to battle the corrupt machine with art.
Enjoy it all, and then watch it again just for the craft: its emulation of KANE with layered flashbacks, lush B/W photography, and epic eye; the sterling dialogue, quoting the actual Mank' and his scripts; the sly turns by a perfect cast; and the wave of cameos by important historical figures from Chaplin to Hearst.
• MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM ⇧
The heralded August Wilson wrote 9 stage plays about the African-American experience, one for each decade of the 20th Century.
Set during a 1927 Blues recording session, this riveting drama explores the coiling tensions between hope and exploitation, between what's made available and what needs to be possible. Viola Davis and Glynn Turman are marvels of subtlety and slow burn. And the late Chadwick Boseman, in his final role, is on righteous fire as the sideman who demands Front Street.
• ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI ⇧
In her directorial debut, noted actor Regina King co-adapts Kemp Powers' play. Activist Malcolm X, boxer Muhammad Ali, singer Sam Cooke, and footballer Jim Brown once met up in a 1964 Florida hotel room, and this imagines what sociopolitical riffs and rifts might have happened in such an amazing get-together.
• THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 ⇧
The CounterCulture proposed Love to all throughout 1967, and the world spent 1968 trying to destroy them for it. (And still does.).
Aaron Sorkin (West Wing) examines the infamous trial of the activists who disrupted the '68 Democratic Convention, and how their populist ideals still resonate in contemporary politics, as does the corruption of the power elite that continues to assault activism and progress.
• SHIRLEY ⇧
Josephine Decker's examination of psychological horror scribe Shirley Jackson's home life isn't an accurate bio, but instead an intense thriller in Jackson's own style. [And much more faithful in effect than the cheap shocks of The Haunting Of Hill House (2018).]
Masterful performances by Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg.
• THE ASSISTANT (2019) ⇧
Kitty Green's slow-fuse shell game styles itself like an office documentary, following Julia Garner in her duties while quietly peeling away the layers of passive sexist degradation that women endure daily in the workplace.
• SUMMERLAND (U.K.) ⇧
Jessica Swale's nuanced story of a temperamental writer forced to care for a displaced boy is bittersweet and lovely, driven by the ever-great Gemma Arterton and another radiant turn by Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
• NOMADLAND ⇧
Chloé Zhao's adaption of the non-fiction book about modern nomads follows Frances McDormand in plain-stated documentary fashion, upending conventional perceptions of poverty, community, retirement, and personal change.
• BACURAU (Brazil)
Led by natural unknowns along with stalwarts like Sônia Braga and Udo Kier, this Weird Western unwinds through an evolving mystery that's especially effective in the eerie setup of its first half.
• MINARI ⇧
This engaging and fresh tale of a Korean family trying to make it as farmers in 1980 Arkansas is based on writer/director Lee Isaac Chung's youth. Steven Yeun scores another acting win, while the spunky Grandma and the unaffected kids swipe it.
• TIGERTAIL ⇧
Alan Yang (Parks and Recreation) explores how a father's disconnect from his daughter is rooted in his troubled past in this moving character drama starring reknowned character actor Tzi Ma and Christine Ko.
• THE WILD GOOSE LAKE (China) (2019) ⇧
Diao Yinan follows the triumph of his crime thriller BLACK COAL, THIN ICE with this neo-noir journey, mesmerizing in its mood and unexpectedly grand moments.
• MOGUL MOWGLI (U.K.) ⇧
Riz Ahmed has done so many varied roles, it's a shock to see him essentially be himself, a British-Pakistani rapper of intimidating skill. But rather than a music success yarn, this tough and occasionally surreal film takes a more challenging and empathic turn.
An experiment in form that that benefits most from Ethan Hawke and Kyle MacLachlan's performances. A more effective take on the battle bwtween Tesla and Edison is THE CURRENT WAR (2017).
• BLACK BEAR
This film also dusrupts narrative form, which is interesting enough, but it's the Cassavetes-esque intensity of Aubrey Plaza's shaded performance that revs the engine.
S M I L E
• BORAT Subsequent Moviefilm ⇧
Sacha Baron Cohen tops himself in this superior sequel, taking on the worst excesses of current Fascistic politics full-on with a crazed bravery and vicious wit. Amazing newcomer Maria Bakalova is his match the whole way. And the climax has become legend.
• THE TRIP TO GREECE ⇧
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon trade cheeky snark and more impressions in this fourth and final playful riposte to the Hope and Crosby ROAD pictures.
• LUCKY GRANDMA (2019) ⇧
Did an NYC Chinatown grandma cross the wrong mob, or did the mobs cross the wrong grandma? Sasie Sealy and her all-female crew hit comedy gold with this savvy charmer starring the hardass Tsai Chin.
• THE 40-YEAR-OLD VERSION ⇧
What if MANHATTAN thought like DO THE RIGHT THING? Writer/director/producer/rapper Radha Blank's B/W meditation on trying to make it in modern New York just gets more exponentially hilarious and inspired as it goes.
• THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD (U.K.) ⇧
Armando Iannucci follows the Python-esque THE DEATH OF STALIN with a zany deconstruction of Charles Dickens as a metatextual farce, starring a cosmopolitan cast of greats, continually upended -of course- by any scene with Peter Capaldi, Tilda Swinton, or Ben Whishaw.
• MISS JUNETEENTH ⇧
Channing Godfrey Peoples' debut film gives Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow) the star vehicle that truly lets her breathe, with this tender and amaiable yarn about a mother and daughter's differing dreams for the future.
• THE HALF OF IT ⇧
As an antidote to the vanilla John Hughes coming-of-age formula, writer/director Alice Wu channels her youth as the outsider in a conventional small U.S. town through a sharp and funny rewrite of "Cyrano de Bergerac". Leah Lewis is a winning stand-out leading a fresh and supple cast.
• YES, GOD, YES ⇧
Karen Maine's merry and sacriligeous slapstick of sexual awakening at an uptight Bible camp is clever, and Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things) is a wide-eyed delight.
• EXTRA ORDINARY (Ireland) (2019)
GHOSTBUSTERS meets THE EXORCIST. All the ludicrous and leftfield fun you would want it to be.
• VILLAINS (2019)
This demented farce is a whirling curveball, pitting two dumb thieves against married serial killers in the woodlands. Mayhem and bizzarity tumbles.
D R E A M
• TENET ⇧
In his heart of hearts, Christopher Nolan wants to make James Bond films.
In ways, he already has: the skyscraper scene in THE DARK KNIGHT; the plane sequence that opens THE DARK KNIGHT RISES; and the snow fortress sequence in INCEPTION. But here he goes full-tilt with an ultimate James Bond-esque thriller that questions the very nature of the sequential itself. This smart and innovative film works on every level, as a layered mystery, an international intrigue, an action thriller, as speculative fiction, and as a mindwarp.
Anyone who says different doesn't know what time it is.
• MULAN ⇧
This fine film had the bad luck of being scuttled by the Pandemic (and attendant hysterical bias).
Meanwhile, on the real side, it reinvents the legend and the 1998 animated film much better, with an epic saga loyal in spirit, brave in innovation, and true in its aim.
Yifei Liu shines as the lead in this spectacular fantasy, amid a cast of all-star greats including Donnie Yen, Tzi Ma, Jason Scott Lee, Rosalind Chao, Gong Li, and Jet Li. Sword up and ride.
• THE VAST OF NIGHT
An effective debut, with elaborate Raimi-cam tracking shots zooming through weird goings-on in a '50s desert town. Sierra McCormick steals it as the irrepressible teen telephone operator.
N I G H T M A R E
• THE INVISIBLE MAN ⇧
This feminist retake on the Wells classic has the perfect star in Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale). Aside from some minor logic gaps, it's a bracing thriller with a lot of wry subtext.
• REBECCA ⇧
Hitchcock made his 1940 Hollywood debut with his smash adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's gothic romance thriller.
But the strong story is bigger than Hitch, and has been reinterpreted over the years through radio, plays, musicals, and TV mini-series. Here, Ben Wheatley (A FIELD IN ENGLAND, HIGH RISE) eschews moody studios and revivifys it filming on location in the natural settings of Monte Carlo, castles, and shore houses. Lily James and Armie Hammer bring the glamour and mystery.
A fractured soul finds herself being stalked in this canny thriller. Or.
The layered performance by Antonia Campbell-Hughes, who co-wrote it, galvanizes this metatext about perception, using subliminal traces of three '50s Hitchcock films (and one '60s Polansky film) -and our suppositions from them- to then question our assumptions.
• GRETEL AND HANSEL
Oz Perkins reaches peak stylization in this moody decoding of the creepy fable, engaging on its craft alone.
• HIS HOUSE (UK) ⇧
A Sudanese refugee couple, haunted by war and secrets, moves to an inhospitable London town and encounters fresh grief and old horrors.
• SHE DIES TOMORROW ⇧
Amy Seimetz starred in Shane Carruth's surreal mood piece UPSTREAM COLOR (2013), and she refracts it directing this jarring and entrancing film, in which a mysterious compulsion takes over one person after another.
Natalie Erika James scores points for macabre style in this gloomy gloss of three women navigating a haunted place.
G R A P H I C
I M A G E S
• WONDER WOMAN 1984 ⇧
Director Patty Jenkins completes the arc, transferring Diana from the dreary hackdom of Snyder's DC films to the bright nobility of Donner's SUPERMAN.
The transition began in WONDER WOMAN (2017) and reaches full fruition here. WW84 is a loving tribute to the beginning of modern superhero films, namely SUPERMAN (1978) and SUPERMAN II (1981), with all the noble action, grand stakes, broad fun, heraldic destiny, romantic night-flights, and bright days intact. But, in rewriting SUPERMAN III into the good film it should have been, this sly homage is informed by all the character beats, complex plotting, metatext, social subtext, and expert craft that contemporary superhero films have evolved into. It is essentially the best superhero film that the '80s never actually made, and right in every way for it. Truth.
A R T F L I X
• SOUL ⇧
Pete Docter wrote/directed the essential Pixar film INSIDE OUT (2015), a subtle film that understands the 3 levels of emotional perception.
(cheat chart: primary/basic, secondary/mixed, tertiary/abstract).
He expands that profundity in this heady film, as fleet as a bebop solo, as challenging as a Monk recital, as fun as a ballroom dance. Deep, funny, soulful.
• HILDA 2 ⇧
The latest season of Luke Pearson's charismatic adventurer tells bracing modern Fantasy tales, while taking the bold step of letting her have actual emotional growing pains along the way. A fine, fun show.
• THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL 1 ⇧
How do you possibly follow up the brilliant candy absurdism of Adventure Time? Creator Pendleton Ward turns conversations from Duncan Trussell's heady podcasts into multiversal mindwarps.
The art is so astounding, you'll want to watch it again at half-speed just to admire and catch everything.
• STAR TREK: Lower Decks 1 ⇧
Seth McFarlane initially misstepped by trying to merge frat humor with Star Trek in his parody, The Orville, eventually settling better into gentle spoofing.
Mike McMahan, a writer for Rick and Morty, succeeds better here lobbing Douglas Adams absurdity in rapid-fire gasps. The ballyhooed Easter Eggs of Trek history are seriously deep cut, but the true depth lies in characterization that makes you really care.
• STAR WARS: The Clone Wars 7 ⇧
The beloved Clone Wars animated series was cut short from a 10-year goal by a Season 6 cancellation. Thankfully, fan support and the impact of its mythos on live-action films earned a 7th season finale reprieve, wrapping up the events between film Episodes II and III. And proving, quite touchingly, that Ahsoka Tano was the heart of it all.
B E S T
D O C U M E N T A R I E S :
2 0 2 0
• MLK/FBI ⇧
The best man in America was harassed and threatened by the worst; Dr. King fought for real justice for American citizens, while FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover corroded our nation with corruption and oppression. The same dichotomy remains between populist activism and systemic injustice to this day.
• WHO KILLED MALCOLM X? ⇧
It's been clear since 1965 that the murder of Civil Rights activism's bravest voice was deeper than the false narrative. Time only reveals more of the collusion.
How two women were tricked into murdering the heir to the leader of South Korea.
• THE CORDILLERA OF DREAMS
What is the legacy of the brutal 1973 Chile coup, and who does the interpretation?
• FLINT: WHO CAN YOU TRUST?
The city of Flint, Michigan, poisoned its water supply for profit. The people fought back.
This is everything about how modern corruption causes social collapse in one clear example.
• DELIA DERBYSHIRE: The Myths And The Legendary Tapes
As the wizard of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Delia created the classic 1963 Doctor Who theme purely out of tape loops. She has achieved cult status with all the other sonic wonders she created.
• MR. SOUL!
From 1968 to 1973, Ellis Haizlip used public access TV to bring real Black culture and social views into the living room, disprupting all the hate narratives with peace, love, and soul.
B E S T
T V :
2 0 2 0
N E W S
Feed your mind and your activism will follow.
• The Rachel Maddow Show ⇧
• LAST WEEK with John Oliver
• PBS NewsHour
• PBS FRONTLINE
• THE DAILY SHOW, with Trevor Noah ⇧
D R A M A
• BETTER CALL SAUL 5 ⇧
If Breaking Bad is THE GODFATHER, then Better Call Saul is THE GODFATHER II; while the first is a linear crime drama, the second is a prequel/sequel simultaneously, telling a wider and deeper story in between those time contrasts about consequences and redemptions. This penultimate season -a lesson in mature television craft- beautifully sets up the Sixth finale season to come.
• FARGO 4 ⇧
After a pause, Noah Hawley brings a new dimension to the Fargo-verse, one that the Coens have never entertained in their films: the African American experience on either side of crime. Chris Rock and Jason Schwartzman are good, but Glynn Turman and Ben Whishaw carry the gravity, and Jessie Buckley and E'myri Crutchfield steal it.
• BABYLON BERLIN 3
The noir detective series investigates murders at a 1929 movie studio, even as the terrible tide of Nazism begins to rise underneath.
• PERRY MASON 1
The untold origin of the world's most famous lawyer, told harsh and hardboiled a la CHINATOWN and Boardwalk Empire.
As a beat-down private detective in brutal 1932 L.A., Mason explores the grime under the gloss as he exposes corrupt cops, clergy, and conspiracies. A fine cast, featuring another unexpected turn by Tatiana Maslaney (Orphan Black), and many surprise twists.
• KILLING EVE 3
Another engaging season from a new showrunner, full of shocks and laughs, though maybe running the risk of formula at this point.
M I N I - S E R I E S
• "SMALL AXE" ⇧
West Indies immigrants tranformed the culture of London from the '60 to the '80s, but found a rough road in the doing. Director Steve McQueen (12 YEARS A SLAVE) dramatizes this in five film stories that examine the tolls paid in their struggles.
• THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT ⇧
An excellent adaptation of Walter Tevis's (The Hustler, The Man Who Fell To Earth) book which became a cultural phenomenon, winning awards and blowing up chess board sales. Anya Taylor-Joy is fascinating as the troubled chess prodigy who can conquer the world if she can exceed her own stalemates.
“There will be no peace in this land until slavery is done for.” -John Brown, 1856
John Brown was the fire to burn bigotry and class to the ground. Slavers and land barons quaked in fear, and still do, that the oppressed might rise up and overrun their tyranny. Under all their bombast, laws, and guns lies the panic that they are on the losing side of history. And they are.
This inversion of Huckleberry Finn, based on James McBride’s awarded book, boils with trenchant wit and righteous fury, by turns hilarious and heartbreaking. Helming an excellent cast, Ethan Hawke gives a career-best performance as the ice-eyed firebrand, while Daveed Diggs slyly preens as Frederick Douglass. Get it on the good foot and watch The Good Lord Bird. Fight for the power that should be.
What if the '40s Golden Age Of Hollywood had done the right thing by being inclusive and anti-bigoted?
This luminous alternate history story answers that by taking on all forms of bigotry dancing bantam and punching heavyweight. Ryan Murphy's (Glee, Pose) latest vehicle saunters breezy -and sometimes a few steps short of cheesy- with the chipper lilt of a Jacques Demy musical (note the gas station, a la Cherbourg), simmering with the erotic subversion of Kenneth Anger, and burning for better change like Paul Robeson. Patti Lupone is a force, Rob Reiner channels his hilarious dad, Queen Latifah brings the gravity, and the gorgeous Laura Harriel and the comely cast light up the nitrate.
Seeing what might have been clearly reveals how much we've lost for decades under the repressive. Action.
Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, and Betty Friedan
• MRS. AMERICA ⇧
For every positive action, there is a negative reactionary.
As soon as Feminists nearly passed the Equal Rights Amendment in the ‘70s, here came the zealot to turn back the clock. Phyllis Schlafly weaponized hick hate and gentry greed for her own power by manipulating the media, templating the next four decades of Right Wing oppression from Ronald to Donald.
This brave maxi-series is required viewing, both as an activist primer and a rallying call against injustice. See how the original Squad - Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, Betty Friedan, and Bella Abzug- fought the good fight for our future. Written and directed by women, it boasts an excellent A-list cast including fine turns by Sarah Paulson, Rose Byrne, Tracey Ullman, Elizabeth Banks, Uzo Aduba, Margo Martindale, and the chameleonic Cate Blanchett.
Today, we still fight the battles for equal rights - equal pay, diverse inclusion, sexual identity, political power- that we should have won in the ‘70s. Conservatives may constrict, but Progressives liberate. Raise your bullhorn and a fist.
• UTOPIA ⇧
A comic book by a madman unlocks the puzzle of a pandemic endangering all life.
The critically acclaimed UK version (2013) was like a ‘90s Vertigo Comic come to life. The prescient series gets a clearly reverent US adaptation by bestselling author Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects), which keeps the acidic comedy, some of the color saturation, and the Tarantino theatric sadism (the infamous spoon scene), all slightly streamlined with notable expansions in the second half.
And, unlike the subpar scribbling of the first series, João Ruas’ (Vertigo’s Fables) comic illustrations are glorious art that sells the whole surreal journey.
The original got 2 seasons when it deserved 3, and this one only got 1.* Explore each rabbit hole anyway.
* Maybe Bezos should spend his Plague Profits on worker protections instead of union-busting.
• BLACK NARCISSUS
Have Gemma Arterton, will succeed. The Powell-Pressburger film version (1947) is a stone classic, but this worthy 3-part adaptation brings in added elements of the book, enhanced by filming at actual Nepal locations.
Alex Garland (EX MACHINA, ANNIHILATION) crafts an 8-part headtrip, mesmeric in tone and provocative in implications. The ever-fluid Sonoya Mizuno plays a software developer at the cusp of a redefinition of existence.
• THE OUTSIDER
What if The X-Files was filmed like True Detective? This Stephen King adaptation gains most of its potency from the latter's form, unwinding a gripping procedural into a darkening thriller. Moody atmosphere, impressionistic photography, and a nuanced character script enfold a first-rate cast, all of which is stolen -as usual- by the rising Cynthia Erivo portraying King's answer to Will Graham.
• THE STAND
Stephen King's magnum opus gets an effective new interpretation.
The 1978 classic epic, about the lean survivors of a global pandemic, achieved its power from the gradual assembling of its cast and the deep character build in the journey. This maxi-series compresses that by flashing through a then/now shuffle (a la LOST, which the book directly influenced) instead of being sequential, losing much of the depth and gravity in between in the process. But it is still a riveting and effective adaptation that tells a timeless story very well with a worthy cast, albeit becoming a highlights reel strongest in its light than its dark, and King has written an interesting new postscript episode for the end.
S H O R T
• WHAT DID JACK DO?
A film noir short film in which tough cop David Lynch interrogates a cagey monkey. 17 minutes of hilarious.
W O N D E R
• STAR TREK: DISCOVERY 3 ⇧
'Star Trek: Discovery' is the Ultimate STAR TREK.
After summing up the strengths of all previous shows and films in its first two seasons, the most innovative Trek show in history rebuilt itself from a blank slate this year, defining itself in the unknown in real time in a way not seen since the Original Series itself. The show knows it, and its triumphant culmination at season's end proves it.
Catch up to the new future.
• STAR TREK: PICARD 1 ⇧
A brave show that challenges how Star Trek can be told, and what it tells about itself. Taking its cues from the fearless transmutations of Discovery, Picard upgrades The Next Generation into Phase II, with feature film production values, sociopolitical edge, scandalous upheaval, guerilla rebellion, and a ruthless questioning of what Starfleet is and should be. And along the way, some loved and familiar faces take on new life.
• THE MANDALORIAN 2 ⇧
Everyone loved the first season, which brought STAR WARS feature film values to weekly television, while expanding the depth of its stories with mini-series breadth. But everyone really loved the second season, when aspects from all variations of the canon came to life and together; from the live-action versions of animated characters to the astonishing guest at the end.
• OUTLANDER 5
Television's best romance told dual love stories, while balancing history, inclusion, fate, and tragedy.
• DOCTOR WHO 12
Jodie Whittaker is wondrous as the current Doctor, and showrunner Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch) has totally redefined and expanded the character for the ages in the stunning season finale.
• HIS DARK MATERIALS 2 ⇧
An adaptation of the second book in Pullman's Fantasy series, alive with vivid locations, pinioning deception, palpable edge, and the charm of Dafne Keen's puckish hero.
• WESTWORLD 3 ⇧
The source film WESTWORD (1973) was followed by the sequel FUTURE WORLD (1976).
The genius of this season was in reinventing itself into cyberpunk territory, while filming in real-world locations that exist because of the future extrapolations which have since come to pass.
• ALTERED CARBON 2
Richard K. Morgan's cyberpunk trilogy about body-changing mercenary Takeshi Kovacs lends itself naturally to renewal. This adaptation of the second book rejuvenates the series with a dynamic turn by new lead, Anthony Mackie.
• 3% 4 (Brazil)
The dystopian allegory reaches its end. Anyone with any casting sense would be building a STAR WARS spin-off series around break-out stars Bianca Comparato and Vaneza Oliveira.
• OMNISCIENT (Brazil) 1
In a 'crimeless' utopic surveillance state, her father's murder compels her to investigate a wider conspiracy. A tightly entertaining thought experiment about corporatism, exploitation, and classism, energized by the magnetic Carla Salle.
• AWAY 1
A solid show about the first flight to Mars, sometimes basic but more often sublime. Hilary Swank captains an international crew, navigating their inner demons and unexpected disasters as they hurtle through the vacuum. Though it was cancelled after one season, it plays like a maxi-series that tells a satisfying full story. Catch the ride.
[Watching tip: to enjoy the full Martian journey in sequence, watch THE FIRST (2018) series for the pre-flight, then AWAY (2020) for the flight mission, and finally MARS (2016-'18) for the colonization.]
H E R O E S
• AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. 7 ⇧
Since the beginning, this show has set the standard for smart adult fun in superhero shows: always funny without descending to crass, ever active while never stooping to hyper-violence, clever in its arcs without overstretching the taffy. Unloved at first for seeming too basic, it stealthily built a hardcore following with sharp stories, Whedon wit, and great characters. This finale season read like a love letter to its supporters, to Marvel history, and to its own admirable accomplishments.
• DOOM PATROL 2
Writer Grant Morrison's storied four-year run on the 'Doom Patrol' comic series completely redefined the misfits as lysergic surrealism for adults. This series channels his black comedy into what sometimes veers on madcap camp, still retaining enough of his concepts, arcs, and tone to be a fun translation of his legacy.
• UMBRELLA ACADEMY 2
Grant Morrison's acolyte is rock star Gerard Way, who with Brazilian artist Gabriel Bá created his own take on 'Doom Patrol' and 'The X-men' comics with the postpunk piss-take, 'The Umbrella Academy'. This solid series adaption, with its scope and tone, may even capture more of the Morrison style than DOOM PATROL does.
• SNOWPIERCER 1 ⇧
Two French graphic novels in the 'Metal Hurlant' style were the basis for Bong Joon-ho's acclaimed cult hit SNOWPIERCER film (2013), a metaphor about classism in a lone train endlessly circling a frozen Earth.
The malleable framework of the concept gets fully expanded here with the time it deserves, wringing the classism parable for all its immediate currency. Daveed Diggs does a dramatic turn here, but the steely star of it all is the multi-faceted Jennifer Connelly.
The Red Shoes; Ugetsu;
Pather Panchali; Nights Of Cabiria
C R I T E R I O N
Netflix is like the flashy dance club of streaming entertainment, but The Criterion Channel is for the deep cuts of real culture.
It needs to be said. Netflix and Amazon Prime and Hulu impress with their glossy New Now, and they do have many current gems, but they completely lack heritage classics. All width and no depth. That's all fun, but how long can you chew gum for supper? At some point, when you crave for a more well-rounded diet of substance that sustains your mind and soul, there's only one place to get serious about learning full-quality cinema... The Canon Of Great Films That Actually Matter.
The 400 Blows; Purple Noon;
Woman In The Dunes; A Hard Day's Night
While other streaming sites are High School, The Criterion Channel is Oxford.
The Criterion Channel film-streaming site is the best cinema from around the world and every decade since film began, along with new indie films and acclaimed documentaries. Plus, Criterion is the vanguard in restoring great films to a precision standard of picture and sound that matches the present. Restored classics now look better than the day they were struck. If you've watched Mark Cousins' "The Story of Film: An Odyssey" documentary series as a primer >, this site is the true library to expand your enjoyment into the most essential film classics. Every fine film we appreciate now branches directly from the roots of these timeless works of cinematic art, whether it's a romance, period piece, character drama, guerilla handheld, Rock film, style fest, rebel indie, or avant garde. Get the whole picture.
Later for sugar, next for substance. Subscribe today.
Solaris; Space Is The Place;
Eraserhead; Brother From Another Planet
(also explore: Fandor, Filmatique, Mubi, Turner Classic Movies, Kanopy, Filmhub, IndiePix, IndieFlix, Ovid, BFI Player (UK), OpenCulture)
Hey, who has access (or money) to see everything, even during a lockdown?
THE WOLF HOUSE ('18)
I MIGHT DESTROY YOU
AUNTY DONNA’S BIG OL’ HOUSE OF FUN
THE AMBER RUFFIN SHOW
TWILIGHT ZONE 2
RAISED BY WOLVES 1
MY FAVORITE WAR
STEVEN UNIVERSE FUTURE
ADVENTURE TIME: Distant Lands
© Tym Stevens
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