Looking for something new to watch?
We welcome everyone who loves art in all its forms, a great story well told, or is longing for connection to join us in exploring new ways of seeing the world through cinema unbound.
From Amy Dotson, NWFC Director, and PAM Curator, Film & New Media
Series Creators: Mark Williams & Bill Dubuque
Available on Netflix
I’d been warned as a day-one fan of Ozark that season three packed a wallop, but even still, I was unprepared for its final moments. Beloved by everyone from my Oklahoma relatives to Guillermo Del Toro (check out his quarantine watch list on Twitter!), this Netflix-series feels like sitting in the theatre for 24 hours straight –with all the trappings, high-production values and gut-punching performances we’d expect from such a cinematic offering…streaming on our TV.
Ozark sets the idea of corruption on its head, first by setting it within the Ozarks of Missouri (pronounced properly, that’s Miss-u-r-a) within a family of you’re-not-from-around-here “city folks” arriving to shake things up while trying to outrun their past white-collar crimes and demons. The first two seasons pitted these sophisticates against local criminal enterprises, but season three hits its stride as the entire family goes, well, rogue. Ok, I don’t want to ruin it – I’ve already said too much! But if you like acting, this is a masterclass in everything from Marty Byrd’s (Jason Bateman) slow burn criminal mastermind, Wendy Byrd’s (Laura Linney) heartbreaking oscillation between maternal and survival instincts and to her brother Ben’s (Tom Pelphrey) full tilt, entire episode journey into the heart of it all. This series went from rewriting the rules to breaking them entirely, setting up the audience for something truly unexpected, and dare I say in this heightened time, absolutely shocking. Expect the unexpected indeed!
From Micah Vanderhoof, Theater Manager
World on a Wire
Director: Ranier Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1973 – 2 Episodes
Streaming on the Criterion Channel
Fassbinder’s bafflingly prescient and deeply paranoid made-for-TV science fiction mini-series combines the height of ‘70s sci-fi aesthetics with a film noir-esque form. After witnessing some odd goings-on within the simulation that hosts the consciousnesses of an unaware group of humans, a cybernetics engineer uncovers a vast corporate conspiracy. With a keen focus on the philosophical questions raised by human’s relationship to modern/future technology, World on a Wire is perfect binge material for anyone thinking about the implications of living vicariously through one’s screen.
From Ben Popp, Filmmaker Services Manager
The Benefits of Gusbandry
Director: Alicia J Rose, U.S. Seasons 1&2
Available on Amazon Prime
Let yourself fondly remember the days of pre-social distancing in Portland filmmaker Alicia J. Rose’s comedic series The Benefits of Gusbandry. After her debaucherous 40th birthday party Jackie (Brooke Totman) meets younger River (Kurt Conroyd) who at first seems like he might just be the man Jackie is looking for—until she finds out his interests in sex lay elsewhere. This does not stop them, however, from becoming thick as thieves and over the course of two seasons they find themselves stuck in the bathroom of an A-gay soiree stoned on edibles, in the glory holes of a sex shop, flashing back to their high school “gateway gay” experiences, and much more. Reminiscent of episodic comedies such as Kath and Kim, and Absolutely Fabulous, this is a fantastic way to spend some time forgetting about the now, remembering the before and looking to the day of being less than six feet apart.
From Morgen Ruff, Exhibition Program Manager & Programmer
A sui generis gem from the 2019 Portland International Film Festival, which would make a great double feature with Diamantino.
Director: Caroline Poggi & Jonathan Vinel, France
Streaming on Shudder (offers free trial)
Deeply influenced by contemporary video game aesthetics, Poggi & Vinel fashion a hyper-stylized blast of pure cinema set in a dystopian near-future world that looks uncannily like our own in the time of COVID-19 quarantine (see: empty streets, depopulated malls, etc.). On the run from the techno-fascistic authorities, which take the form of pitch-black drones mounted with all manner of automatic weaponry, quasi-prophet and leader Jessica (Aomi Muyock) leads a vicious yet sensitive pack of “lost boys,” each with their own unique skill set, against the looming threat of world takeover—seeking nothing but peace and a life free of violence.