Instant Picks of the Week 4/29/16

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.

instant picks of the week horse moeny

HORSE MONEY (Netflix)

There is only one camera movement in the entirety of Pedro Costa’s HORSE MONEY: a slight pan from a painting of a dignified young man to the man himself 30 years later, fragile and decrepit. Symbolically, we can read this movement as visually uniting the past with the present, something much of the film is preoccupied with. Ghosts float every dark corridor of the film, haunting our elderly protagonist as he attempts to overcome the traumas of his past that have left him mentally and physically crippled. As one of the premier auteurs of the last two decades, Costa has continued to impress with his captivating cinematography and attention on the depravity that befalls the less fortunate in society. HORSE MONEY is yet another of his masterpieces, one of the unfortunately overlooked films from the past year.

instant picks of the week sonatine

SONATINE (Netflix)

People are likely to be familiar with Kitano for the 2000 film BATTLE ROYALE, which has become a cult favorite in the last decade and a half.  However, in SONATINE, Kitano tries something very different: what begins as a traditional yakuza film quickly becomes a meandering absurdist piece balancing great comedy with a dash of bleak nihilism.  An indifference hangs over every frame, with characters moving purposelessly from scene to scene, coming to terms with their own mortality.  Yet, even with the languid aimlessness of its narrative, it is a credit to Kitano that the film itself never drags.  Like any virtuoso, he is able to translate the experience of depression into something visually poignant and something worth reflecting on long after the credits roll.

Jon M.

Jonathan Mackris is a film studies student and co-founder of the New Cinema Society at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. When he's not singing the praises of Lars von Trier, Guy Maddin, Kenneth Anger, or the Iranian New Wave, he's probably listening to trap music and using ANTICHRIST as a date movie (hey, it hasn't failed him yet).

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