What to stream this weekend: March 27-29

Our latest series of streaming and renting recommendations from artists and cultural figures features Sarah Polley, Kaniehtiio Horn and Andrew Phung


Kaniehtiio Horn

Actor (Hemlock Grove, Slasher, Letterkenny) and filmmaker (The Smoke Shack)

Clearcut (Ryszard Bugajski, 1991). Starring Graham Greene in arguably his best role ever. I grew up watching this movie, which is pretty intense and probably explains a lot about me… it’s a Canadian movie made in Ontario with lots of local talent and the message seems pretty relevant right now. 

You can find it on YouTube.

Boy (Taika Waititi, 2010). Everyone loves the guy now, but this is where he started in features. This film encouraged me to tell my own stories and to never try and emulate anything or anyone, to have confidence in your own voice and style. 

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Tubi, and available for rental and purchase on Google Play and YouTube.

The Trotsky (Jacob Tierney, 2009). Is it weird that I’m recommending a movie that I’m in? I don’t care, I love Jacob, and this is the first time we ever worked together. This movie is fun and smart, and it’s like an early-2000s time capsule of amazing Montreal talent. 

Available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, YouTube and Cineplex.

Vengo (Tony Gatlif, 2000). The music in this film is incredible and I love how long he lets the scenes go. The scenery, music and the Gypsies will help you escape your isolation cave. 

Not currently streaming, but available on DVD from Amazon.

Shaun Of The Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004). One of my favourite movies of all time. I think this is probably the most accurate depiction of what the average Joe would be doing in the event of the apocalypse. 

Streaming on Netflix, and available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, YouTube and Cineplex.

The Awful Truth (Leo McCarey, 1937). Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. This is probably what taught me that comedy is timeless. A classic. 

Available for rental and purchase on Google Play and YouTube.

Nadia Litz

Filmmaker (The People Garden)

I have a real yearning for movies about the human condition right now. It feels almost subversive and resilient to turn to what connects us in these new times of separation and isolation. With that in mind, I don’t know what the theme of this list is exactly, but I think it might be something about how we humans cope with the inevitability of life not always going in the direction we planned with not having complete control over the outcome of our lives. That seems apropos (and perhaps nourishing) during a surprise pandemic.  Added bonus: the last two are on TCM this month!

Gentleman’s Agreement (Elia Kazan, 1947). Available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play, YouTube and Cineplex.

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks, 1958). Available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft and YouTube.

Splendor In The Grass (Elia Kazan, 1961). Available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play and YouTube.

Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959). Streaming on the Criterion Channel, and available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play and YouTube.

Pale Flower (Masahiro Shinoda, 1964). Streaming on the Criterion Channel.

Vincenzo Natali

Filmmaker (Cube, Splice, In The Tall Grass)

How about the films of Satoshi Kon, who tragically died long before his time. Every one is a brilliant work of anime.

Perfect Blue (1997). Streaming on Hoopla, and available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play and YouTube.

Millennium Actress (2002). Streaming on Hoopla, and available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play and Microsoft.

Tokyo Godfathers (2003). Available for rental and purchase on iTunes and Microsoft.

Paranoia Agent (TV series, 2004) (… which I have not seen but I’m sure is interesting.) Streaming exclusively on Funimation.

Paprika (2006). Available for purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, YouTube and Cineplex.

Andrew Phung

Comic and actor (Kim’s Convenience, The Beaverton)

I’m a child of the 80s and 90s, and I grew up watching those cheesy, over-the-top, easy-to-understand-but-with-MANY-plot-holes martial arts movies. I started doing tae kwon do as a young kid and watching these types of movies is what was at the core of my relationship with my dad. Every weekend, I couldn’t wait to hit up the video store, make our selection and pop in the VHS tape… sometimes Laser Disc. Now that we’re all participating in social distancing or are quarantined, it’s the perfect time to rediscover, or discover for the very first time, some classics!  So, I present to you five martial arts movies that can be enjoyed for free on YouTube!

The Perfect Weapon (Mark DiSalle, 1991). One of my favourite films from this era. It’s got the classic revenge plot line, but with some nice twists and new character setups. Jeff Speakman stars, and just has something special about him. To me, it’s almost a perfect North American take on a martial arts film.

YouTube also available for rental and purchase on iTunes.

Kickboxer (Mark DiSalle, David Worth, 1989). Most people know Jean-Claude Van Damme from Bloodsport, but this film came out the same year, and I feel like it’s often overlooked in the JCVD filmography. It’s got more heart than Bloodsport, but with a lot of the same elements that we’ve grown to love from these types of films. It also introduces quite possibly the scariest villain ever to come out of martial arts movies, Tong Po (Michel Qissi) (a shiver went down my spine as I typed that name).

YouTube DVD available at Amazon.

Surf Ninjas (Neal Israel, 1993). This movie was an attempt to cash in on the martial arts craze while appealing to a PG audience. There was even a video game released thatI played endlessly on my Sega Game Gear. It’s a fun watch, and you get to see Leslie Nielsen as the main villain. Yes, Leslie Nielsen was the villain in this movie, and he does a bit of martial arts. You have to see it to believe it. 

YouTube DVD available at Amazon.

New Police Story (Benny Chan, 2004). Jackie Chan did a sort of reboot of the Police Story series with this film in 2004. It’s unlike any other Jackie Chan film. It’s gritty, it’s over-the-top violent, and you see a broken-down and more serious Jackie Chan. It’s a terribly underrated film and deserves to be watched.

YouTube DVD available at Amazon.

3 Ninjas (Jon Turteltaub, 1992). I feel bad putting this on the list, almost ashamed. It’s three kids, as ninjas, it’s terrible, but it’s also so good! It’s the movie I’d watch on repeat as a kid and wish I could live out my dream of becoming a ninja. So much of it doesn’t make sense, but it’s also a joy to watch if you’re looking for something silly and family-friendly.

YouTube also available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play and Microsoft.

Sarah Polley

Writer, producer, director (Stories We Tell, Alias Grace)

The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965). Maybe more than once. Streaming on Disney+ and available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft and YouTube.

The Three Colors Trilogy (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1993-1994). Not currently streaming Blu-ray and DVD boxed sets available from criterion.com.

Running On Empty (Sidney Lumet, 1988). Available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft and YouTube.

The Princess Bride (Rob Reiner, 1987). Streaming on Crave with a Starz subscription, and available for purchase on iTunes, Google Play, YouTube and Cineplex.

Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life (Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, 1983). Streaming on Crave with a Starz subscription, and available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, YouTube and Cineplex.

Pontypool (Bruce McDonald, 2008). If you’re feeling brave and adventurous with your viewing. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Kanopy, and available for rental and purchase on iTunes.

Gord Rand

Actor and playwright (The Runner)

The best Gene Wilder movies:

Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 1974). Not currently streaming, but available on DVD and Blu-ray from Amazon.

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (Mel Stuart, 1971). Streaming on Netflix and available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, YouTube and Cineplex.

Silver Streak (Arthur Hiller, 1976). Available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, YouTube and Cineplex.

The World’s Greatest Lover (Gene Wilder, 1977). Not currently streaming, but available on DVD from Amazon.

Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 1974). Available for rental and purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, YouTube and Cineplex.

@normwilner

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