Instant Picks of the Week 3/24/17
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.
GHOST WORLD (HBO GO)
CLUELESS, MEAN GIRLS, HEATHERS, PRETTY IN PINK. These are all female-centric high school films I’ve heard of far more frequently than GHOST WORLD, and though each have their merits, none boasts the candid, earnest, and excessive vulgarity of this Terry Zwigoff vehicle. No film has ever captured the ennui of young adult life, and the ensuing loneliness of high school graduation better than GHOST WORLD, and that is not an understatement by any stretch of the imagination. The way Zwigoff captures a girl’s transition to adulthood is not only heartbreaking, but resonates with a complex, beautiful message about the virtues of leaving home. As a man, I can see much of myself in Scarlett Johansson and Thora Birch despite their gender, and that’s perhaps the most telling sign of GHOST WORLD’s universality. Their mean-spirited cynicism and introversion capture high school misfits with a brilliant naturalism, juxtaposing them with completely off-the-wall characters. That’s all I ask for when writing a high school romance; keep your characters realistic (after all, teenagers are gross and unappealing creatures, I would know), and let them inhabit a world that I can believe exists. [Sergio Zaciu]
TICKLED (HBO GO)
If you haven’t had the good fortune of seeing this documentary yet, you’re probably sick of asking people about it and having them tell you, “You just have to see it!”—and I hate to tell you this, but it’s true. You really do have to see it. I went into TICKLED looking for some cringey sexual weirdness, and I left more viscerally horrified than I was after seeing THE WITCH. And I wasn’t horrified in the way that a horror film might unsettle you—I felt literally afraid for my life after seeing TICKLED in theaters. This is impossible to explain without giving away the film’s hidden premise, and going on the journey of this film is one of the biggest cinematic treats of recent memory. Journalist David Farrier and his team lead the viewer deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of this film in a show of true journalistic spirit and unabashed possession of enormous cojones. Some will argue that TICKLED missing a Best Documentary nomination points to just how strong 2016 was for documentaries. I posit that TICKLED was just too good for its own good—a film so racked with ongoing controversy, scandal, and terror that no one dares give it away. [Kate Brogden]