This week on Fandor: Grandmaster Flash, David Lynch, Jean-Michel Basquiat and more. Plus, a camel.
It’s been quite a week at Fandor! We made some industry news with our new friends, and we got to cross a big bold item off of our streaming device bucket list when we got our Fandor app onto the new Apple TV. That’s right: Fandor is now on TVOS!
We also had a great week in new films, with a new Spotlight Collection that tests auteur theory with some of cinema’s most beloved names and some truly exciting new releases. We have thirty-eight new films in all, just in time for weekend watching.
Why not go old school with Wild Style (pictured in this week’s featured image), based on burgeoning hip-hop culture of pre-gentrified NYC? Starring Grandmaster Flash and Fab Five Freddy, among other early DJ and MC luminaries, this authentic tale of a graffiti writer on the come-up practically leaks beats and aerosol fumes. It makes a great pairing with Downtown 81, a day-in-the-life of a New York starving artist – played by none other than Jean-Michel Basquiat himself – that was long thought lost and is now brand new to the Fandor library. It probably goes without saying, but both of these films have incredible soundtracks.
If you’d rather test international waters this weekend, why not watch The Big Animal? It’s a dark but warm Polish drama (based on a screenplay written in the 1970s and buried until much later) about a couple who sort-of-accidentally adopt a camel when it is abandoned by a traveling circus. If the premise sounds a bit absurd, that’s because it is, but in the grand tradition of animal films (think Au Hasard Balthasar) it’s a story that speaks volumes about human nature.
If non-fiction film is more your thing, we have good news: as of this week, we now have sixteen incredible titles from the storied Chicago-based production company Kartemquin Films. For nearly half a century, this nonprofit has fostered the production of wide-ranging, hard-hitting and ever-fascinating documentaries by founder and longtime artistic director Gordon Quinn (who also produced Hoop Dreams) and many others. Be sure to take a look at this excellent new mini-collection. Talk about a deep dish serving of Chicago cinema!
On the heavier side of our new docs are Happy Valley and Watchers of the Sky, which tackle human evil and its impact through child molestation scandals and genocidal war crimes, respectively. While seemingly disparate in subject matter (Jerry Sandusky’s arrest and the subsequent investigation into Penn State vs. activist Raphael Lempkin’s human rights work to establish an International Criminal Court), both seek to probe, if not fully answer, the same question: How
could this happen?
Also heavy, but in that deeply atmospheric and terrifyingly earnest way we’ve all come to know and love, is The Grandmother, one of the highlights of our newest Criterion Picks collection of cinematic experiments. In all its luscious 16mm glory, behold the birth of a landmark surrealist mind.
With that, we bid you the happiest of watching, whether it’s on the big screen via Apple TV or any other way you like to get your film fix. We’ll be back next week with more recommendations from our deep and lovely pool of new releases!