It’s officially Fall! For some of us, it means falling leaves, caramel apple spice, sweaters, and lots of cold rain(hopefully no snow). For others of you fortunate ones in the South and West, it means it’s another day. Enjoy the nice weather while it lasts! For all of us, however, it means less light and more time indoors. Therefore, you might need something to watch. We’re here to help with three streaming picks from our contributors to brighten the longer, darker nights of Fall. Enjoy it with friends and family and have a happy movie watching weekend!
via The Film Avenger
Via Gene Gosewehr
Salem (Netflix) – This is a very soft recommendation due to the fact that I did not stick with it past 5 episodes, but I recognize the material is there to peak interest in some people, especially if they’re interested in this genre. Salem is a historical fiction series focusing on, you guessed it, the Salem witch trials of the 1600’s. I don’t think this is treading any new ground from a story perspective, but there are some interesting angles it plays with and I can see the potential for a cult-like following. Starring Janet Montgomery and Shane West, who I still cannot see without thinking of Walk to Remember, this is a show that is worth a fair viewing.
via Blaine Grimes
Men & Chicken (Amazon Prime) – To be perfectly honest, I’m somewhat hesitant to recommend Men & Chicken to a broad audience. Anders Thomas Jensen’s films are deliberately offensive and shocking, appealing to the darkest of comedic sensibilities as they dare you to laugh in the face of abnormality. Men & Chicken is certainly no exception to this rule.
In the wake of their father’s death, two brothers, Gabriel (David Dencik) and Elias (Mads Mikkelsen), learn of three long-lost siblings and travel to a remote village to make their acquaintance. However, after an unusual first encounter with their new brothers—and an incident involving a stuffed fowl—Gabriel and Elias begin to unravel a deeply troubling familial mystery.
While Anders Thomas Jensen seems perfectly content to see and brazenly cross plenty of lines in this film, he never does so simply for the sake of being exploitative, à la Lars von Trier. Instead, Jensen more closely elicits comparisons the American Southern Gothic author Flannery O’Connor precisely because he uses the morbid, the grotesque, and the offensive to highlight the mysteries of grace and Christ’s radical call to love the outcasts and misfits of society. O’Connor, of course, has a much more elegant way of putting it: “When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal ways of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock — to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.” In other words, if you find yourself shocked and offended by Men & Chicken (and you most certainly will), consider that Jensen may be a voice crying in the wilderness, shouting to the near-deaf.