Instant Picks of the Week 10/13/17
Gone are the days of scrolling mindlessly through your queue! No longer will you have to sift through the vastness of what’s coming to the instant viewing wastelands this month! Whether you’re looking for a stellar film or an exciting new show to binge, Instant Picks of the Week brings you the hottest releases in film and television on instant viewing platforms that we know you’ll love, or at the very least not despise.
PARIS IS BURNING (NETFLIX)
A stunning and tragic expose on the “ball” scene of 1980s New York City, PARIS IS BURNING is a 1991 documentary that brings light to the struggles of a African, Latino, Gay, and Transgender groups of the time. The film serves as an insightful commentary on issues of racism, sexism, and classism in 1980s America. With the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic came a pouring out of young people onto the drug- and crime-infested streets of New York. For these young people, the vibrancy and pride that came with representing various “houses” in the “balls” was their saving grace from a life of vagrancy. The film features testimonials and interviews with prominent individuals in the community who add a simultaneously comedic and prophetic commentary on the discrimination they face in society in contrast with the celebration of their true identity in the “balls.” What is most beautiful about the film is seeing how these communities of various ages, backgrounds, and gender identities/orientations support and watch over one another in the absence of a stable home life. The film, selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, allows viewers a small peak into the unique history of one specific LGBT community while identifying the hardships that come with non-conformity to societally propagated institutions and gender roles. [Omar A. Cabezas]
PARIS, JE T’AIME (Hulu)
Love comes (and goes) in a multitude of forms at various times in life. PARIS JE T’AIME chronicles a diverse range of people and how love interacts with their daily routines. This anthological film set in the different arrondissements of Paris uses each of its varying segments to comment on the ways in which we show affection to one another and the many ways in which it can manifest itself. The film is a beautiful tour of the magical city that introduces us to some unexpected, interesting people: there’s an American tourist in trouble with a strange French couple over some differing cultural norms; a bald hairstylist selling his products to a tough hair salon owner in Chinatown; an old, separated couple who meet up for the first time in years before finalizing their divorce. The many different stories told, each varying in tone, mood, and style—though always structured around a unifying emotional theme—is at many times very intimate and vulnerable. PARIS JE T’AIME is a wonderfully poignant look into tender, passionate moments belonging to those living in the city of love. [Jordan Valdés]