What’s new here at Fandor? Well, for starters, we got a facelift! That’s right, if you haven’t experienced it already, you’ll soon notice that we’ve updated our homepage layout and design. Whether you’re a movie-watcher on a mission or simply browsing, waiting for something to jump out at you, we’re out to make it an enjoyable and intuitive undertaking. How did we go about optimizing the experience of our library? With the help of viewers like you, of course! Find out more about how we are building a better Fandor in this great article by Mark Borden, our fantastic Product Manager.
Hopefully, this new homepage will help you plan your weekend watching with ease and joy. But before you get your browse on, take a minute to familiarize yourself with the twenty-four amazing films we added to the library this week!
If you’re worried about your FOMO (fear of missing out) rising to critical levels over the next few days, don’t hesitate to peruse our newest Criterion Picks.
Yes, that’s Walter Mathau tying up Sam Waterston. From classic intrigue to silly send-ups, this week’s collection is all about spies. These films will only be available on Fandor through September 20, though, and then they’ll disappear back into the shadows.
You can also, if you’re in the mood for something new, choose from some truly stellar narrative features from the United States and abroad, including
- Telling Lies in America (pictured in this week’s featured image), which is set in the 1960, written by Joe Eszterhas of Showgirls and Basic Instinct infamy and starring Brad Renfro as a Hungarian immigrant teen in cahoots with a corrupt rock n’ roll radio disc jockey (played by the one-and-only Kevin Bacon)
- The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea, an adaptation of the Japanese novel set in Devon and starring songster Kris Kristofferson as the titular sailor who falls in love (a love that has far-reaching and unpredicted consequences) during a fated shore leave
- Liars, Fires and Bears, a fresh take on a road trip film about a thirty-something man-boy who meets his match in a street-wise nine-year-old foster care veteran on a quest to reunite with her brother
- Or The Moving Creatures, a Brazilian omnibus film about the power (and limits) of parental intuition, now playing in the USA for the first time in select NYC theaters (and your house, via Fandor)
If you’re in the mood for something extreme, look no further than “video nasty” classic The Driller Killer, but be warned: this hilarious heaping of horror is intended for mature audiences only. What’s a video nasty? We’re glad you asked! For a look back at a time of virile violence, vicious censorship and total VHS domination, check out the documentary about Great Britain’s dubious mass-produced art form, Video Nasties.
Not into weaponized psychopaths or glorious gobs of gore? Fear not! We also added some fantastic documentaries that profile feats of courage, strength, perseverance, ambition and even lunacy, like
- The Exiles, a newly-restored doc that was almost condemned to obscurity until its re-release in 2008, about a group of indigenous Americans who chose to abandon reservation life in the 1950s and stake a claim in Los Angeles’ then-burned-out Bunker Hill neighborhood
- Afternoon of a Faun, which chronicles the incredible life of Tanaquil LeClercq, prima ballerina, muse and lover of George Balanchine and, due to a shocking turn of events at the young age of twenty-seven, a paralyzed polio survivor
- The Epic of Everest, a hand-cranked camera feat from 1929 and one of the Western World’s first firsthand accounts of Tibetan culture, now restored to enhance the power of the peak’s sublime terrain
- Wild Bill’s Run, a too-strange-to-be-fictive account of a Cold War-era polar expedition leader and “Marijuana Air Force” drug runner whose whereabouts remain unknown to this day
- And this week’s Featured Release, The Troubles We’ve Seen, an unsung documentary opus from the Oscar-winning director Marcel Ophuls, a two-part epic shot almost entirely during the siege of Sarajevo in 1993 that explores the complexities of wartime and war-zone journalism
And we also added four films by director and UCLA film school alum Charles Burnett, whom the New York Times calls “the nation’s least-known great filmmaker and most gifted black director.” Recently, Burnett gave an insightful interview with Keyframe’s Susie Gerhard about his now decades-long oeuvre. In addition to his celebrated feature My Brother’s Wedding, which takes a tragicomic look at life in 1980s South Central, we are proud to now offer a diverse mini-collection of three short films from different points in Burnett’s career.
Speaking of stellar shorts, we would be remiss in our duties if we didn’t mention the thirteen-minute God’s Got His Head in the Clouds, a contemporary Italian short set in a small country chapel, stylized in crisp, lovely black-and-white and enhanced by a score from Angelo Badalamenti (longtime collaborator of David Lynch). And stay tuned! We have some very exciting short film news that we can’t share just yet, but will be waiting for you in next week’s roundup. Until then, happy weekend and happy watching!