This week on Fandor: Watch “Demo” Versions of Your New Faves, Trace the History of American Protest, Dream with Werner Herzog and More!
Occupy. Ferguson. Baltimore. Malheur. The past few years have been packed with public demonstrations and outcries against the powers that be, but history shows that dissent has been a part of the American way for quite some time (like, since our nation’s inception). As the Democratic and Republican National Conventions wind down and this unprecedented presidential race enters its final phase, we thought we’d put together a movie list about American protest. Think of it as a counterpart to last week’s list of democracy-in-process-themed documentaries: Nearly three dozen short and feature-length movies that focus on pacifists and dissidents, anarchists and environmentalists, striking students and rebellious religious orders, civil disobedience and civil rights movements, direct action and protest art. Power to the people!
In non-political news, unless you’ve just been utterly hypnotized by watching the Clinton family play with balloons you’ve no doubt heard about both the straight-to-streaming premiere of Tallulah, an independent dramedy directed by Orange is the New Black‘s Sian Heder that stars Ellen Page and Allison Janney, and the shockingly topical second season of UnREAL, an episodic drama that takes place on the set of a reality dating show. What do these two very cool projects have in common besides plenty of buzz? Both began as short films, and we happen to have both available for streaming in the Fandor library. We love seeing these prototypes that proved a concept for their makers! It’s a rewarding experience both because 1) They absolutely hold up on their own, exposing the delicious kernels of a more fleshed-out and detailed final product and 2) It’s totally weird, in a really good way, to see a different set of actors and sometimes a completely different script bring a now-familiar story to life. It’s like peeking into an alternate universe! For the roots of Tallulah, check out Mother, and for the birth of UnREAL’s cutthroat producer Rachel don’t miss the scorching Sequin Raze (which stars TV regulars Anna Camp and Ashley Williams), pictured above left. This week also brought a diverse group of very excellent films back to our U.S. members after a brief hiatus, as we were able to get them licensed through a new distributor. Yes, the world of on-demand movies is a glamorous one full of complex paperwork and negotiations with rights-holders, indeed. That’s part of the reason we can only offer certain films in certain countries. For more on the nuts and bolts of our streaming deals, check out this article on how your membership pays artists and their distributors for their work. And help us welcome back top-notch titles like Klown, A Band Called Death, Wake in Fright, and more!
Over on Keyframe, we’re geeking out over beloved and utterly uncompromising German genius Werner Herzog, who shared some choice words about Pokémon Go!, the future of film school, and binge-watching his lectures this week. His brainchild, the Rogue Film School, is the place for established talents behind the camera who want to learn some of Herzog’s tactics for forging permits and otherwise circumventing the law in service of the perfect shot. Keyframe video essayist earned his spot in class with this epic meditation on the director’s commitment to attempting the impossible:
We can’t think of a better place to leave off until next week, when we’ll be back with all of the movie goodness from Planet Fandor that’s fit to print…er, post. Until then, happy watching!