Instant Picks of the Week 5/6/16

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, here are the hottest releases in film and television on instant viewing platforms that we know you’ll love, or at the very least not despise.

mr hulots holiday


Jacques Tati’s genius as a screen comedian has gone greatly unappreciated by many over the last fifty years.  His immaculate, detailed framing and blocking is second to none and his use of physical and visual comedy is easily on part with the likes of Chaplin and Keaton (his two biggest influences).  It is in MR. HULOT’S HOLIDAY that Tati introduces the character for which he is best remembered: the bumbling Monsieur Hulot, whose absentmindedness brings chaos everywhere he goes.  Following Hulot on a vacation to the beach resort, Tati juggles brilliant visual gags with a few good jabs at the uptight French bourgeoisie.  Although not matching the monumental scale of his magnum opus, PLAYTIME, MR. HULOT’S HOLIDAY is easily one of Tati’s silliest works and a delightful treat to relax with on a summer afternoon.

spend it all


Few documentarians were able to do what Les Blank did across his forty year career.  Blank’s keen eye for faces and places, his deft camerawork, and his intuition for editing should place him among the best filmmakers in any genre or field, if it weren’t for the fact that his career remains woefully unrecognized by most.  Thanks to Criterion, Blank’s films are finally getting the exposure they deserve and allow us a view into the wondrous world of Americana and pleasure that Blank’s films reveal.  Blank’s films drip with unbridled happiness and bliss.  They are also sensory experiences to be felt, with sights and sounds that capture the essence of life in any region his camera travels.  Nearly any film in Blank’s film is a delight to indulge in, but at a brisk 40 minutes, SPEND IT ALL is a particularly light and happy treat that reminds us of the simplest pleasures in life

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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