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Couch Cinema

Monday, May 25, 2020

Couch Cinema: The Wolf House

Posted By on Mon, May 25, 2020 at 6:46 PM

María tries to feed her "family" in The Wolf House. - COURTESY OF KIMSTIM
  • Courtesy of KimStim
  • María tries to feed her "family" in The Wolf House.
Where do we find entertainment these days? On our laptops and in our living rooms. The streaming options are overwhelming — and not always easy to sort through. So, in this weekly feature, I review a movie or series that might otherwise be easy to overlook.

The movie:
The Wolf House (La Casa Lobo) (2018; released in the U.S. 2020)

Where to see it:
Currently available for rent on the Vermont International Film Foundation’s Virtual Cinema platform.

The deal:
This 73-minute stop-motion animation took Chilean artists Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña five years to create. It’s immediately clear why — every second is mesmerizing.

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Couch Cinema: 'Normal People'

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2020 at 5:00 PM

HULU ORIGINALS
  • Hulu Originals
Where do we find entertainment these days? On our laptops and in our living rooms. The streaming options are overwhelming — and not always easy to sort through. So, in this weekly feature, I review a movie or series that might otherwise be easy to overlook.

The series:
“Normal People” (Season 1, 12 episodes, 2020)

Where to see it:
Hulu

The deal:
Based on the best-selling 2018 novel by Sally Rooney, “Normal People” follows the evolving relationship between Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal), who grew up in the same town in Ireland’s County Sligo. We meet them as high schoolers: Both are intellectual achievers, but Connell is a beloved athlete and Marianne a pariah. Social class separates them, too: Connell’s mom (Sarah Greene) cleans the mansion where Marianne’s mom (Aislín McGuckin) presides.

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Couch Cinema: 'Upload'

Posted By on Mon, May 11, 2020 at 5:00 PM

Nathan (Robbie Amell) discovering his new world in "Upload" - COURTESY OF AMAZON STUDIOS
  • Courtesy of Amazon Studios
  • Nathan (Robbie Amell) discovering his new world in "Upload"
Where do we find entertainment these days? On our laptops and in our living rooms. The streaming options are overwhelming — and not always easy to sort through. So, in this weekly feature, I review a movie or series that might otherwise be easy to overlook.

The series:
“Upload” (season one, 10 episodes, 2020)

Where to see it:
Amazon Prime Video

The deal:
In 2033, no one has to die — no one who can afford to have their consciousness digitized and uploaded to a virtual afterlife, anyway. Twentysomething tech bro Nathan Brown (Robbie Amell) hasn’t yet made provisions for his own untimely demise, which occurs in the pilot episode when his self-driving car rams itself into a truck.

Luckily (or unluckily) for him, his image-obsessed girlfriend, Ingrid (Allegra Edwards), comes from a 1 percent family with “unlimited data.” As medical personnel fight for Nathan’s life, she persuades him to let himself be preemptively uploaded to the swanky Horizen Lakeview, a rustic grand hotel inside a computer server. (Exteriors were filmed in a real place: Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, N.Y.)

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Monday, May 4, 2020

Couch Cinema: 'What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael'

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2020 at 5:56 PM

PHOTO COURTESY OF DEBORAH FEINGOLD
  • Photo Courtesy of Deborah Feingold
Where do we find entertainment these days? On our laptops and in our living rooms. The streaming options are overwhelming — and not always easy to sort through. So, in this weekly feature, I review a movie or series that might otherwise be easy to overlook.

The movie:
What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2019)

Where to see it:
Until May 15, stream the movie for $10 per household as part of the Vermont International Film Foundation’s Virtual Cinema program. On VTIFF’s page, you’ll find instructions for viewing the movie on your TV, plus an interview with the director from Seven Days contributing writer Luke Baynes.

The deal:
If you were a movie lover in the 1970s or ’80s, you already know the work of Pauline Kael (1919-2001), who reviewed for the New Yorker from 1968 to 1991. Her opinions were strongly worded, contrarian and frequently very funny. They carried so much power that Bob Fosse and George Lucas, both directors she’d skewered, inserted parodic references to her into their work (remember evil “General Kael” from Willow?).

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