Netflix Instant Recommendation - The Big Knife (1955)
It’s legendary title designer Saul Bass’ birthday, and Google had really great tribute. So here’s the only film with Saul Bass credits on Netflix. At least the only one that I know he worked on and have seen. Giving myself some wiggle room in case there’s another one on there. As for the movie itself, it’s a decent noir that’s not really talked about too much. It certainly doesn’t help that Robert Aldrich’s other film from that year was Kiss Me Deadly, which is leagues better and a flippin’ classic.
You might also like: Anatomy of a Murder (1959) - So many Saul Bass films to choose from, I just kind of picked one.
Netflix Instant Recommendation - Cinema Paridiso (1988)
I have been really shitty about posting recently. But I got around to it today, so here’s something to warm your heart cockles. Yeah it’s like the Disney of foreign film, but being pure sentiment isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it’s done well. And I will admit that I’m a total sucker for that last scene.
I believe the Netflix version is the theatrical cut, not the director’s cut. Which is good because I think it’s the better version anyway.
You might also like: Life is Beautiful (1997) - Similar kind of film, in that it walks that thin schmaltzy line. This is also on instant watch.
Netflix Instant Recommendation - The Turin Horse (2011)
If you’re unfamiliar with the work of Bela Tarr, just think of any parody of an art film. It’s black and white, in some eastern European language, and it takes place on some farm where everyone is starving. That pretty much sums it up. For his reported swan song, Tarr has made a two and a half hour instructional film on how to eat potatoes.
You might also like: Werkmeister Harmonies (2000) - Whale…
Netflix Instant Recommendation - White Material (2009)
Claire Denis’ gorgeous film about ugly things. Things like civil war, imperialism, alienation, and the what the autumn years of a Highlander are like.
You might also like: Chocolat (1988) - Claire Denis first film, which also takes place in French colonial Africa.
Netflix Instant Recommendation - James and the Giant Peach (1996)
Since I made a point of saying how great Selick was yesterday, here’s another one of his films. It’s not his best work, but it certainly not his worst. That would be Monkeybone. For the love of God, do not watch Monkeybone.
You might also like: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) - Another Roald Dahl stop motion adaptation. Now even though it’s an adaptation, it’s unmistakably Wes Anderson. And I mean that in the best way, because it’s really cussing good.
Netflix Instant Recommendation - Paranorman (2012)
I had mild interest going in, and it ended up being my favorite animated film from last year. Way to drop the ball Pixar. Also way to drop the ball me, for still having not seen The Secret World of Arrietty.
You might also like: Coraline (2009) - A film from the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas. No not Tim Burton. Everyone thinks Tim Burton directed it. He didn’t. I’ve literally have won numerous bets knowing that fact. Now I’m not saying Burton didn’t play a significant role in the film, but it’s quite unfair he garners all the praise, while Henry Selick’s direction has basically become a matter of trivia. Henry Selick’s stop motion > Tim Burton stop motion
Netflix Instant Recommendation - Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Yesterday was Top of the Lake, so keeping it Kiwi, we’ll do Heavenly Creatures. Before this film Peter Jackson was kind of a camp/gore specialist. Then this came along and his whole career changed. This film is basically the reason he has the career he has now.
You might also like: Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) - Everyone makes this pairing, so I will too.
Netflix Instant Recommendation - Top of the Lake (2013)
This finished up on The Sundance Channel last night, and today it’s on Netflix. Had I known that was going to happen, I probably would have just waited and plowed through it. Anyway, Jane Campion co-created this miniseries that’s basically like a really good version of The Killing.
You might also like: An Angel at My Table (1990) - Like I said before, Top of the Lake is very similar to The Killing, but in a very non crappy way. I watched a whole season of that stupid show, and it just got worse and worse. Although I’ve heard the Danish original is better. But since I haven’t seen that, here’s Jane Campion’s first mini-series.
Netflix Instant Recommendation - Pi (1998)
First films from great directors are always fun to watch. So here’s Darren Aronofsky’s first film.
You might also like: Eraserhead (1977) - In all honesty Pi probably has more in common with a film like Primer, but I already mentioned that. So here’s another low budget, black and white, first film, from a great director. These films actually get mentioned together a lot, I kind of understand why, but they’re pretty different.
Netflix Instant Recommendation - The Evil Dead (1981)
I haven’t seen the remake and really I don’t particularly want to see the remake. But it certainly doesn’t look like the worst remake ever, and since it finished #1 at the box office this weekend, I figured maybe there’s new found interest in the original. So go watch it on instant watch.
You might also like: Evil Dead II (1987) - This is my favorite Evil Dead film.