Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Socializing Distantly

Hey you. Yeah, you. I'm so glad you're alive and doing well enough to come to this blog. Really, I mean it. You are here and that's great. I hope you have plenty of ammo to get through this lil' global pandemic Me, I've been preparing for this moment my whole life. I've stockpiled books and I've got DVDs for when the internet fucking dies, but obviously we're not quite there which means we've probably still got some streaming video options and, friend, please allow me to help out if I can.

One of the distinct advantages of streaming movies vs. the golden age of video stores is rabbit-hole viewing. I've been of a unique personal fortitude and position in life to afford exploring streaming rabbit holes for a while and they can be awesome.

What I mean by rabbit hole streaming is finding a particular director, actor or writer to explore and hopping from one film to the next with the freedom to bail and start exploring another as soon as you want to. Obsessives like me usually follow the hole to its deepest depths, but you are not bound by this obsessive compulsion, you are here to benefit from my experience.

Watching the works of a single talent back-to-back-to-back-to-back can really begin to bring their talents, obsessions or quirks into focus and you might find an appreciation for things you didn't particularly love when it was just a single movie amongst the selections at the multiplex last year.

So I'd recommend visiting multiple streaming platforms and entering a name you're interested in exploring and putting together a mini-film festival for yourself. Here are just a few of my favorite experiences with rabbit-hole viewing - pick and choose as you see fit. (The above graphics are some picks if you're looking for isolation-themed crime movies of the non-prison variety)

Crackle is free - ad supported
The Criterion Channel is a paid subscription\
Flix Fling is a paid subscription
Fubo TV is a paid subscription
Hoopla is free through libraries
Hulu is a paid subscription
Kanopy is free through libraries
Netflix is a paid subscription
Prime is a paid subscription
Showtime is a paid subscription
Shudder is a paid subscription
Tubi is free - ad supported
Vudu is free - ad supported

Nicolas Winding Refn: note - the Pusher movies are thematically linked and have some overlap with characters, but do not require sequential viewing and Too Old to Die Young is a TV series.

Bronson is available on Hoopla
Drive is available on Netflix
Fear X is available on Hoopla, Kanopy, Tubi, Vudu and Prime
The Neon Demon is available on Hoopla and Prime
Only God Forgives is available on Netflix
Pusher is available on Shudder
Pusher II: With Blood on My Hands is available on Hoopla and Shudder
Pusher III: I am the Angel of Death is available on Shudder
Too Old to Die Young is available on Prime

Karyn Kusama is putting together an interesting body of work with some acclaimed indie hits and some high profile flops. I think several years from now we'll look at her stuff more as the collective of singular voice than the odds and ends of a gun for hire director.

The Invitation is available on Netflix
Destroyer is on Hulu
Girlfight is available on Starz and Direct TV
Aeon Flux is available on Crackle, Hoopla and Tubi

Sam Peckinpah might be my all-time favorite director whom I'm glad I didn't ever have to live with.

Convoy is available on Tubi
The Wild Bunch is available on DirecTV
Deadly Companions is available on Prime and Tubi
The Getaway is available on Criterion
The Osterman Weekend is available on Hoopla, Tubi, Popcornflix

Kelly Reichardt is simply one of the most vital American voices in contemporary film and while many of her movies don't fit any crime mold they do amplify each other

Night Moves is available on Prime
River of Grass is available on Kanopy, Criterion, Prime
Meek's Cutoff is available on Hoopla, Kanopy, Crackle, Tubi, Vudu, Criterion, Hulu, Prime
Wendy & Lucy is available on Hoopla, Kanopy, Tubi, Criterion, Prime
Old Joy is available on Criterion

I'd highly recommend the new Netflix true crime docu-series Tiger King as well. It's mind-bogglingly entertaining with its unique blend of dipshittedness, psychopathy, con-artistry and the wacko-factor is off the charts. The seven episodes go by quickly though and if you're looking for more true crime docs and docu-series I'd recommend these recent offerings with a focus on outrageous characters, bizarre situations and odd-fraud.

Tiger King is available on Netflix
Tickled is available on Hoopla and Hulu
Author: The JT Leroy Story is available on Prime
The Source Family is available on Hoopla, Kanopy, Tubi, Vudu and Prime
Team Foxcatcher is available on Netflix
The Dog is available on Hoopla, Vudu and Prime
Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee is available on Netflix and Showtime
The Legend of Cocaine Island is available on Netflix
Wild, Wild Country is available on Netflix
Fyre is available on Netflix
The Imposter is available on Prime
American Animals is available on HBOgo
Evil Genius is available on Netflix
Exit Through the Gift Shop is available on Tubi
The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia is available on Hoopla and Kanopy
Crazy Love is available on Hoopla and Tubi
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is available on Starz and DirecTV

Some more recommended recent true crime docs and docuseries (less potentially whimsical)

The Act of Killing is available on Hoopla and Prime
Tower is available on Kanopy
White Boy is available on Hoopla, Kanopy and Starz
Don't F**k With Cats is available on Netflix
Let it Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 is available on Netflix
Ruby Ridge is available on Netflix
Oklahoma City is available on Kanopy and Netflix
Lot Lizard is available on Prime
Making a Murderer is available on Netflix
Cartel Land is available on Kanopy, Hulu and Prime
Danny Greene: Rise and Fall of the Irishman is available on Tubi and Prime
Let the Fire Burn is available on Kanopy
Smash and Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers is available on Hoopla and Kanopy
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is available on Hoopla, HBOgo, DirecTV and Prime

Blake Howard, the Australian film critic behind One Heat Minute productions and Graffiti With Punctuation has got a brand new globabl pandemic themed podcast called ConTENgen where he chats with some of his favorite movie folks about how they're coping in these strange times. Each episode is exactly 10 minutes long. He keeps inviting me back to these projects and I keep accepting the call. Here's a link to my episode that dropped this week.

Apparently Amazon is no longer shipping out books for a few weeks so if you're not finding your novel needs at your local bookstores consider ordering directly from publishers. Right Now PM Press is running a special. Use the coupon code SOLIDARITY to receive 40% off your purchase. If you read this blog you know I'm a big fan of theirs and I'd highly recommend exploring their catalog. Some of my favorite PM Press titles include Pike by Benjamin Whitmer, Nearly Nowhere by Summer Brenner, Jewish Noir ed. by Kenneth Wishnia and Send My Love and a Molotov Cocktail ed. Gary Phillips and Andrea Gibbons.

as well as the pulp fiction histories by Ian McIntyre and Andrew Nette
Girl Gangs, Biker Boys & Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture 1950-1980 and
Sticking it to The Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction 1950-1980

Anyway - I hope you're keeping it together and staying indoors. Thanks for hanging out with me.

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