Instant Picks of the Week 7/15/16
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.
THE BIG SHORT (Netflix)
Successful or not, the fact of the matter remains that documentaries which try to enlighten viewers on how financial bubbles and firm corruption work are simply too difficult to market worldwide; regardless of how digestible they are, they still suffer the burden of being labelled as documentaries. Adam McKay’s THE BIG SHORT is arguably the solution to this problem. Doing its utmost to maintain complete verité, THE BIG SHORT toes a fine line between documentary and fiction in order to reenact a compelling and humorous depiction of the development of the 2007 housing bubble crash, and the select individuals who profited as a result. The brilliance here lies in how McKay flirts with his genre trappings, employing imperfect focus pulls and photo montages in order to bridge the divide between narrative and documentary filmmaking. By veiling a documentary under the umbrella of an ensemble comedy, THE BIG SHORT has capitalized on the undeniable fact that viewers hate hearing about how good people become poor, but love seeing protagonists become rich. Read the full review here.
There are feminist motion pictures, and then there is Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s MUSTANG. MUSTANG accomplishes what seemed to be an insurmountable feat for many of these films: the ability to consistently keep its political agenda in line with its narrative threads, allowing the emotional roller coaster to not only inform its audience on all of the awful cultural customs that come with being a woman in a conservative Muslim household, but also the beauty of being a young woman in a forward-thinking Islamic country. Following the lives of five siblings in their early-to-mid teens who are being raised by their grandmother and conservative uncle, MUSTANG explores the intricacies of discovering one’s sexuality in a household that is a generation behind the norm. Somehow, against all odds, MUSTANG never manages to feel calculated or clichéd, intentionally avoiding the narrative beats that an audience member would expect, or willfully playing into these moments in order to subvert the reaction that the viewer anticipates from the film’s voyeuristic antagonists. MUSTANG is marvelous filmmaking and shockingly topical to boot, and the film does a fantastic job creating universally accessible cinema that aims to bring change to the current political climate. Read the full review here.