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Streaming Selections: An American Werewolf in London

written by rick January 28, 2017
Streaming Selections: An American Werewolf in London

A note on this recurring column formerly known as New on NetflixDue to diminishing new titles of interest, an increased focus on television programming and original productions, and Netflix’s apparent preference for streaming things like Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, we are changing this up a bit.

Recommendations will still include Netflix streaming titles, since this still seems like the major place people frequent, but other suggestions will come from all over. This week’s entries include a number of shorts available to stream for free.

Future columns might include titles from FilmStruck, Shudder, Fandor, Amazon Prime, or any of the other streaming services that are proliferating across the instant media landscape. I can just no longer, in good faith, cue up a new Netflix release like Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging in the hopes that it is worth recommending. It’s probably not, and we’ve all got other shit to do. 

An American Werewolf in London

american werewolf2

John Landis’ horror-comedy masterpiece is back streaming on Netflix, and a stroll across the moors at night is always a good idea.

The script, punchy and fun (especially in the early going), is self-aware enough to keep the mood light and silly, without going overboard on the meta-horror. Makeup icon Rick Baker’s work here is justly celebrated, pairing legitimately gross set-pieces like Griffin Dunne’s steadily rotting corpse and David Naughton’s appropriately painful-looking transition from man to beast under the full moon.

This is a film that’s familiar even to those who haven’t ever actually sat down and watched it, thanks to the ubiquity of its imitations and parodies. But anyone even remotely interested in horror should give it a go, and those who’ve seen it already know it’ll be a revisit well spent. The Slaughtered Lamb is open for business.

Quick Links

Respect

Respect streaming

Benoît Forgeard describes the genesis of his 2011 short thus: 

Walking through the cereal isle at the supermarket, I was suddenly stunned by the violence of the images. The bursting colors, the milk splashing ouf of the bowls. The creatures representing the brands show hypocrite smiles. The violence is at its peak at breakfast time.

That is a very serious, and very seriously French, rumination on a film about a product mascot named Flippy, his oppressive relationship with a human lover, and that human’s controversial decision to go to ninja school.

(Streaming on LeCiNeMa Club through 1/29)

In Deep Waters

in deep waters

A moving and deeply sad film about the unfathomable connections to things we can’t ever get back. The animation in Sarah Van Den Boom’s short is lovely (particularly the superimposition of in-frame elements alongside hand-drawn images), but it’s the general sense of longing and fragmentation that sticks with you.

(Streaming at My French Film Festival through 2/13)

Of Shadows and Wings

of shadows and wings

A gentle and poetic rumination on conformity, and the revolutionary desire for authenticity, as felt by flightless birds in a subterranean society. Co-directors Eleonora Marinoni and Elice Meng present striking images and a sustained tone that combines melancholy and joy.

The term “tone poem” gets thrown around a lot, but I’m struggling to find a better one for this. It’s a gorgeous dream of escape and solidarity.

(Streaming at My French Film Festival through 2/13)

Maman(s)

mamans streaming

Maïmouna Doucouré’s short about an 8-year-old girl and the struggles within her Senegalese family calls out for a longer treatment, but as with the best short films, there’s a concision and compression that helps it land that much harder. Aida’s life in the Parisian suburbs — comfortable but confusing to her, immersed in the world’s mysteries as only a child can be — is disrupted by the arrival of her dad, his new wife, and their newborn.

Things get messy, but Doucouré refuses to sentimentalize or look away. This is Dardennes-style social realism located in an unmistakably genuine immigrant experience.

(Streaming at My French Film Festival through 2/13)

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