25 Essential Winter Films to Devour This Season + Where to Watch Them

Every season comes with its own set of cravings. The moment the summer sun begins to beat down on our exposed flesh our mouthes begin to water for something strong and sweet to drink as our ears want nothing more than to hear the stylized sounds of  that particular hum that pulsates in the air. When autumn arrives and we begin crunching leaves under our leather boots, it’s almost impossible not to be thrown into the depths of a nostalgia fit, our sense memory beckoning us to look back into our past selves that which we craved once upon a time. And when it comes to the frozen chill of winter and the looming threat of a new year, we’re unconsciously forced to do our yearly reflection and investigation into ourselves, diving into the insular world we’re able to escape from in the warmer months. As we become more hermetic by nature and hide away into heated rooms with cozy company, we wrap ourselves in fuzzy sweaters and find ourselves stimulated by a very specific set of sights and sounds. 

The winter psyche begs for consumption, to be kept satisfied and warm—we find ourselves drawn to music, films, literature, and art that we can be totally devoured by. Yes, of course there’s the usual list of wonderful and horrific holiday films to get you into the faux cheerful spirit, but then there’s those films that feel so perfectly befitting to the mindset one adapts in the cold—films whose essence give off a glow and invite you into a world to disappear into for however long they allow. So as the descent into the holidays and New Years begins, take some time to hide away in some wonderful wintry films—from psychosexual and Christmas light lit dramas and spun-out psychedelic wonders to inquires into the moral and existential. Cozy up, grab yourself a whiskey, and enjoy.


(Rent on iTunes)

“The only performance that makes it, that makes it all the way, is the one that achieves madness.”


(Rent on iTunes)

“There’ll come a time in the future when I shan’t mind about this anymore, when I can look back and say quite peacefully and cheerfully how silly I was. No, no, I don’t want that time to come ever. I want to remember every minute, always, always to the end of my days.”


(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“There’s nothing wrong with here. It’s the same crapness everywhere, so stop dreaming.”


(Rent on iTunes)

“ I am the motherfucking shore patrol, motherfucker! I am the motherfucking shore patrol! Give this man a beer.”


EYES WIDE SHUT, Stanley Kubrick
(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“ No dream is ever just a dream.”


CIAO! MANHATTAN, John Palmer & David Weisman
(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“ I’d like to turn the whole world on just for a moment… just for a moment. I’m greedy. I’d like to keep most of it for myself and a few others, a few of my friends. Keep that superlative high just on the cusp of each day so that I radiate sunshine.”


(Watch on Hulu)

“I’m happy around you. If I’m happy with you, it’s because we’ll never meet again. The thought of the future needn’t depress us, since we have none.”


BAD TIMING, Nicolas Roeg
(Watch on Hulu)

“Leave and you kill me. Leave and I’m dead.”


(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“I was gonna marry you!”


(Rent on iTunes)

“It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.”


OPENING NIGHT, John Cassavetes
(Rent on iTunes)

“I have a small part. It’s unsympathetic. The audience doesn’t like me. I can’t afford to be in love with you.”


(Watch on Hulu)

“Therefore let us be happy while we are happy. Let us be kind, generous, affectionate and good. It is necessary and not at all shameful to take pleasure in the little world.”


(Watch on Hulu)

“It’s sad, believe me, when you realize that the distressing things by far overweight the beautiful things you feel.”


SHAMPOO, Hal Ashby
(Rent on iTunes)

“You never stop moving! You never go anywhere!”


(Rent on iTunes)

“ I’ve had this business: “Anything is better than nothing.” There are times when nothing has to be better than anything.”


(Rent on iTunes)

“The cha cha is no more ridiculous than life itself.”


THE CONFORMIST, Bernardo Bertolucci
(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“I’ve already repented. I want to be excused by society. Yes. I want to confess today the sin I’ll commit tomorrow. One sin atones for another. It is the price I must pay society. And I shall pay it.”


(Watch on Hulu)

“Longing. Longing for a wave of love that would stir in me. That’s what makes me clumsy. The absence of pleasure. Desire for love. Desire to love.”


(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“My dreams sent me. People in dreams, ought to call them when you wake. Make life simpler. “Hello, dreamed of you. Love woke me.”


(Watch on Hulu)

“It’s Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and he’s a wild man, so bug off.”


OSLO, AUGUST 31ST, Joachim Trier
(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“It will get better. Everything will be alright. / “Except that it won’t.”


(Rent on iTunes)

“If a person has no love for himself, no respect for himself, no love of his friends, family, work, something – how can he ask for love in return? I mean, why should he ask for it?”

From ‘Carol’ to ‘Tangerine’: This Year’s Independent Spirit Award Nominees

This morning, Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced, boasting a diverse group of emerging artists and acclaimed filmmakers from Todd Haynes and Ed Lachman to Sean Baker and Cary Joji Fukunaga. The awards will be presented on February 27st so check out a selection of the nominees below and for the full list head here.

Best Feature
Producers: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rosa Tran

Beasts of No Nation
Producers: Daniel Crown, Idris Elba, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker

Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley

Producers: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar

Producers: Sean Baker, Karrie Cox, Marcus Cox, Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou

Best Director
Sean BakerTangerine
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes, Carol
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight
S. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk

Best First Feature
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Director: Marielle Heller
Producers: Miranda Bailey, Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit

James White
Director: Josh Mond
Producers: Max Born, Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Melody Roscher, Eric Schultz

Manos Sucias
Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka
Producers: Elena Greenlee, Márcia Nunes

Director: Jonas Carpignano
Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Chris Columbus, Jon Coplon, Christoph Daniel, Andrew Kortschak, John Lesher, Ryan Lough, Justin Nappi, Alain Peyrollaz, Gwyn Sannia, Marc Schmidheiny, Victor Shapiro, Ryan Zacarias

Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Director/Producer: Chloé Zhao
Producers: Mollye Asher, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Angela C. Lee, Forest Whitaker

Best First Screenplay
Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Joseph Carpignano, Mediterranea
Emma Donoghue, Room
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, The Mend

Best Male Lead
Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriquez, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male
Kevin Corrigan
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Best Supporting Female
Robin Bartlett, H.
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Best Documentary
Directors/Producers: Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe
Producer: Christopher St. John
Best of Enemies
Directors/Producers: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville

Heart of Dog
Director/Producer: Laurie Anderson
Producer: Dan Janvey

The Look of Silence
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen

Directors/Producers: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Producer: Shannon Ethridge

The Russian Woodpecker
Director/Producer: Chad Gracia
Producers: Ram Devineni, Mike Lerner

Best International Film
Embrace the Serpent
Director: Ciro Guerra

Director: Céline Sciamma

(France, Turkey)
Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Director: Roy Andersson

Son of Saul
Director: László Nemes 

Best Cinematography
Beasts of No Nation, Cary Joji Fukunaga
Carol, Ed Lachman
It Follows, Michael Gioulakis
Meadlowland, Reed Morano
Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Joshua James Richards

Revisiting the Devil in the Details of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’

In celebration of Halloween, we’re rerunning our essay on Rosemary’s Baby, one of the most haunting and wonderful films of all time. Take a read below and check out what other terrifying features you should be watching tonight.

“But I love him, Bob. I love him. I’m going to have to quit,” Mia Farrow said helplessly after her husband, Frank Sinatra, told her that if she was not done shooting Rosemary’s Baby by mid-February that he would divorce her. She was set to star alongside him in The Detective and Sinatra refused to delay his shoot date simply because Roman Polanski’s perfectionist obsessions were pushing Mia’s shooting schedule further and further back.

“If you walk out in the middle of my film, you’ll never work again,” crooned producer Robert Evans. Now in hysterics, Mia continued to cry, “I don’t care, I don’t care. I just love Frank.” So to quell her sobbing, Evans brought Mia into his executive screening room and showed her an hour of Rosemary’s Baby cut together. “I never thought you had it in you. It’s as good, no, even better than Audrey Hepburn’s performance in Wait Until Dark. You’re a shoo-in for an Academy Award.” Yes, the world is an entirely different place when love is involved, but the world is also a very solipsistic place when satisfaction of the ego is in full view. Devotion tends to evaporate when you realize the person you love the most stands in the way of finally achieving something great. And when the lights when dark, Mia’s pleas of, “I don’t care,” turned into Rosemary Woodhouse’s “All of them witches.” She didn’t hit the road and run of—just as swiftly as she made her decision, she was served divorce papers by Sinatra’s lawyer on the set. And that, according to the notorious Evans, is how this kid stayed in the picture.

The studio heads at Paramount wanted William Castle, a veteran director, to helm the film but Evans wanted Roman Polanski—bad. He knew that the young Polish director, who had made Repulsion, Knife in the Water, and The Fearless Vampire Killers had just worked with Marty Ransohoff, someone whom Evans says, “whatever he liked, I hated, and vice versa. When I heard Marty ranting all over town about what a no-talent Polanski was, I knew Roman was the man for me.”  Knowing that Polanski was an avid skier, Evans lured him over to his house with the enticement of directing Downhill Racer. “He looked at the titles of the books on my shelves. Within five minutes he was acting out crazy stories—somewhere between Shakespeare and theater of the absurd,” recalls Evans. Eventually he told Polanski that Downhill Racer was out the cards, the director’s seat had already been filled, but if he read this book by Ira Levin and liked it, his next ski trip could be billed to Evans himself. And so thus their working relationship began and Levin’s 1966 novel, Rosemary’s Baby, was set for a screen adaptation. The two got along famously, although things weren’t always easy—but what good ever comes from easy? “Fighting is healthy. If everyone has too much reverence for each other, or for the material, results are invariably underwhelming. It’s irreverence that makes things sizzle. It’s irreverence that gives you that shot at touching magic,” says Evans.
When it came to casting the film, Farrow had been Evans’s number one choice for the leading role of Rosemary Woodhouse, a naive and loving housewife who becomes trapped in a haze of paranoia and obsession once she begins to believe that a coven of witches is scheming to steal her unborn child for a human sacrifice. Polanski worried that the “ethereal quality” she possessed wouldn’t translate onto the screen, but at the end of the day Evans won the battle and 45 years later, it’s still impossible to imagine anyone else fitting the role with such a haunting presence. And for the part of her husband, Guy Woodhouse, a narcissistic actor who sells his unborn child to the devil in exchange for personal fortune, Polanski had his eye on Robert Redford. But he was taken. Naturally, Warren Beatty was upset that Evans never bothered to offer him the role, to which Evans responded, “It’s yours Warren, but you’re not right for Rosemary’s Baby unless you play it in drag.” Eventually they went with a young actor by the name of John Cassavetes who had recently starred in The Dirty Dozen. At the time, this was hardly ideal casting, but when you watch the film now with all the knowledge of Cassavetes’ maniacal demeanor and volatility matched with an endearing charm the role of Guy only makes complete sense—someone that Rosemary loves so deeply yet is so blind to.
Rosemary and Guy are a young couple who have moved into a large new apartment in the Bramford, an antiquated (and supposedly haunted) New York City apartment building. They quickly become friends with their elderly neighbors, Roman and Minnie Castevet, who are a bit eccentric and nosey, but who at first pose no danger. The Castevets invite the Woodhouses to dinner at their home and the two couples begin to spend a lot of time together—particularly Guy, acting as if they serve as a parental figure missing from his life. When Rosemary becomes pregnant, Guy and the Castevets insist that she begin to see an obstetrician, Dr. Sapirstein (also the name of Polanski’s dog), who tells Rosemary that rather than taking the usual prenatal vitamins, Minnie will make her a special herbal drink to have everyday to aid in the baby’s health. Over the first few months of her pregnancy, Rosemary suffers from extreme abdominal pain, which the doctor tells her will “go away on its own.” She begins to loose weight and her complexion pales as she craves raw meat and chicken liver—to her own disgust. She senses something is wrong and doesn’t want to lose the baby. Meanwhile, Guy’s career is on the rise since his understudy role turned into a lead when the main actor inexplicably goes blind.

Rosemary consults her old friend Hutch about her feelings of unease, and he is disturbed when he hears that her drinks from Minnie have been containing tannis root; he tells Rosemary he is going to look into what she has been consuming. A few weeks later, Hutch mysteriously falls into a coma only to regain consciousness right before his death to leave her a book about witchcraft. When Rosemary attends his funeral, she receives the book along with a cryptic message: “The name is an anagram.” She eventually realizes that Roman Castevet is actually the son of a former resident of the Bramford who was accused of worshipping Satan. This leads her to realize that her neighbors must be part of a coven of witches out for her baby and that Guy is cooperating with them in exchange for help in his career. From there, Rosemary spirals into a web of paranoia and doors with no exit. She’s trapped from that moment on, only to realize everyone in her world has sinister intentions and there’s nowhere to turn.

What works so incredibly well about Polanski’s adaptation of Levin’s book is how it avoids the pratfalls of the typical “horror” or “suspense” genre. It’s a brooding, anxious psychological horror-thriller that’s more of a slow breathing on your neck or a chilled hand grazing your spine rather than a swift jab at fright. The danger of the film is of another world: of the Devil; it’s beyond our mortal grasp and is therefore compelling in that it leaves us unable to know where to run. It’s not only frightening because of the outside powers that be, but speaks to the fear of one’s own mind. The Castevets, Dr. Sapirstein, and Guy all lead Rosemary to believe she’s the crazy one, and she is therefore trapped in a disassociated bewilderment at what reality really is. Her pregnancy also leaves her a vulnerable target for blame, allowing Rosemary to fall prey to their satanic demands.

Polanski gives us plenty of information early on in the film, and his attention to detail allows us to get to know the characters well from the very beginning; the slow reveal of their idiosyncrasies and personal details only heighten the suspense and make their later changes even more poignant. The horror in the film comes from the normalcy of it all. Rosemary’s live goes on as usual as this thing grows inside her. This sense of waiting creates an anxiety and therefore echoes Rosemary’s growing sense of paranoia. Polanski uses interior space and blocking to create a sense of claustrophobia. The Woodhouses’ apartment, which once seemed huge and open, now feels like a confined trap that Rosemary is locked in.

But one of the most important and most chilling scenes in the film comes in the form of Rosemary’s dream. The Castevetes have drugged her with a mousse dessert and, as she falls into a slumber, a dream sequence begins that is disturbingly realistic. The sequence hops from one moment to the next, inviting in fear and sexuality from the most unlikely of sources. Voices penetrate the dream as in life they are wont to do; this is not your typical haze-lit daydream. The dream’s bizarre world that moves from a boat, where Rosemary is being publicly undressed, to scaffolding where she lies under Michelangelo’s ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, is like a surrealist manifestation of her subconscious desires and anxieties. Naked figures surround her as a creature of some kind begins to claw at her flesh and rape her. Rosemary yells, “This is no dream, this is really happening!” The voices she hears in her dream mirror the reality of what is consciously happening in waking life, as Guy impregnates her, giving us two worlds that Rosemary is inhabiting—both evil. She is stuck in the nightmare, but would reality be any better?

The pay off at the end of the film, no matter how frightening, is that it’s finally a confirmation for Rosemary that she is not insane, that all the events she has experience actually happened. It’s a successful film because it wraps you around its crooked finger, never letting you know for sure just what to believe, and therefore consuming you in the fears that Rosemary faces. Mia Farrow’s face works as a wonderful blank canvas to project your fears onto as we see the once vibrant and beautiful mother-to-be wither away and succumb to her paranoia. We never see the demonic newborn, only the look of pure, unfettered horror on Farrow’s face. It’s a choice that at first feels like a tease, but then you realize that the act of not seeing is even worse—the imagination can make of it what they may.

In an afterword to the 2003 New American Library edition of Levin’s novel, he said, “Lately, I’ve had a new worry. The success of Rosemary’s Baby inspired Exorcists and Omens and lots of et ceteras. Two generations of youngsters have grown to adulthood watching depictions of Satan as a living reality. Here’s what I worry about now: if I hadn’t pursued an idea for a suspense novel almost forty years ago, would there be quite as many religious fundamentalists around today?” Let’s chew on some tannis root about that one for a while.

From ‘Carol’ to ‘Heaven Knows What’: 2015’s Gotham Award Nominations

This morning, the 2015 Gotham Awards nominations were announced and the nominees look to highlight a potpourri of some the year’s most beloved films from both renowned directors like Todd Haynes (Carol) and brilliant filmmakers on the rise like John Magary (The Mend). The ceremony will be held on November 30 at Cipriani Wallstreet with tributes to celebrated artists Robert Redford, Helen Mirren. and Haynes. Check out the full nominees list below.

Best Feature

Carol— Todd Haynes, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Tessa Ross, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley, producers (The Weinstein Company)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl— Marielle Heller, director; Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit, Miranda Bailey, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Heaven Knows WhatJosh and Benny Safdie, directors; Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear-McClard, producers (RADiUS)
+ read our interview with Safdie brothers here

SpotlightTom McCarthy, director; Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagan Faust, producers (Open Road Films)

TangerineSean Baker, director; Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox, producers (Magnolia Pictures)
+read our interview with Baker here

Best Documentary

Approaching the ElephantAmanda Rose Wilder, director; Jay Craven, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, producers (Kingdom County Productions)
+ read our interview with Wilder here

Cartel LandMatthew Heineman, director; Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin, producers (The Orchard and A&E IndieFilms

Heart of a DogLaurie Anderson, director; Dan Janvey, Laurie Anderson, producers (Abramorama and HBO Documentary Films)

Listen to Me MarlonStevan Riley, director; John Battsek, RJ Cutler, George Chignell, producers (Showtime Documentary Films)

The Look of SilenceJoshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge Sørensen, producer (Drafthouse Films)
+ read our interview with Oppenheimer here

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Desiree Akhavan for Appropriate Behavior (Gravitas Ventures)
+ read our interview with Akhavan here

Jonas Carpigano for Mediterranea (Sundance Selects)

Marielle Heller for The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)

John Magary for The Mend (Cinelicious Pics)
+ read our interview with Magary here

Josh Mond for James White (The Film Arcade)

Best Screenplay

Carol, Phyllis Nagy (The Weinstein Company)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (Sony Pictures Classics)

Love & Mercy, Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)

Spotlight, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Open Road Films)

While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach (A24)

Best Actor*

Christopher Abbott in James White (The Film Arcade)

Kevin Corrigan in Results (Magnolia Pictures)
+ read our interview with Corrigan here

Paul Dano in Love & Mercy (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)

Peter Sarsgaard in Experimenter (Magnolia Pictures)

Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures)

Best Actress*

Cate Blanchett in Carol (The Weinstein Company)

Blythe Danner in I’ll See You in My Dreams (Bleecker Street)

Brie Larson in Room (A24 Films)

Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)

Lily Tomlin in Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics)

Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me (Alchemy)

Breakthrough Actor

Rory Culkin in Gabriel (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Arielle Holmes in Heaven Knows What (RADiUS)

Lola Kirke in Mistress America (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
+ read our interview with Kirke here

Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)

Mya Taylor in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)


Sonic Pleasures: Your Ultimate Autumn Playlist

As the season changes from the torrid sensuality and easy pleasure of summer to the macabre chills and insularity of fall, a sense of nostalgia looms in the air like a voice that says, “Well, here we are again. Better luck this time around?” We alter our cinematic preferences for the season, trade in our Hawaiian shirts for knee highs and sweaters, and become more hermetic by nature—and with all that comes the need for a new set of tunes to please the sonic desires of the colder months.

So although it may not quite feel like the weather has totally changed, it will soon, and even though there are plenty of new albums being released over the coming season, if you’re looking for something to really hit the spot—we’ve got you covered. From modern classical tunes that shatter your heart and make you ache for the things you’ve yet to taste to the whiskey-soaked and maudlin, here’s your alternate fall playlist. Enjoy.

The Best Movies to Watch Without Leaving Bed: The Female Filmmakers You Need to Know

Every Wednesday I find myself whispering that old Beckett adage into the morning air: I can’t go on / I’ll go on. As I settle into the week’s work, and no matter how thrilling the day’s prospects, it’s that beginning of the week existential stomach ache that always seemed to start gnawing away at my insides. But breathe, just breathe, the hours will pass themselves and soon it will all be easier and the weekend will come again—one that’s rife with fantastic films playing in theaters all around the city. But in the meantime, look forward to the evening, when a wealth of wonderful films will be at your fingertips.

With so many great movies streaming online, what better way to spend a cold March night than curled up beneath the sheets with some of the best rare and incredible cinema from the comfort of home? But with myriad options streaming, I understand the decision of what to screen in your private bedroom viewing can prove a challenge. So to make your troubles easier, this week we’ve highlighted some of our favorite films from our favorite female filmmakers, all available to watch now—from incredible new talent to some of the most internationally acclaimed directors. Peruse our list, curl up under the covers, and enjoy.


IT FELT LIKE LOVE, Eliza Hittman

Set amongst languid summer days filled with hazy teenage ennui, Eliza Hittman’s debut feature It Felt Like Love focuses on Lila, a lonely and curious 14-year-old living in Brooklyn with her father. Hittman’s film exists in the small but poignant moments of life, allowing us to inhabit the harrowing pains of growing up and the struggle for identity—crafting a refreshingly raw and potent portrait of youth.

Available to Watch on Netflix



Ade’s emotionally cutting 2009 film about a young couple whose core is shaken when spending time with another couple begins to reveal the true nature of their dynamic.

Available to Watch on Hulu +



Mia Hansen-Love’s harrowing, beautiful, and realistic portrayal of life-altering heartbreak and how that pain becomes an ache that stays inside you forever and prevents you from escaping that insular hurt and isolates you from connecting with others—but shows you how maybe that immense love can transpose itself into creativity and something can be born from that as we allow ourselves to be taken by life’s current, even if we can’t ever fully let go.

Available to Watch on Netflix


BASTARDS, Claire Denis

Starring Vincent Lindon as Marco, the Parisian noir thriller plays out in the aftermath of his brother-in-law’s suicide when he seeks to rescue is estranged sister and young niece (played by Lola Créton).What follows is a sinister decent into the bleeding heart of darkness that’s tight enough to leave you gasping for air but never fully exposes itself, leaving corners cloaked in shadows with an enigmatic wink.

Available to Watch on iTunes


NEWS FROM HOME, Chantal Akerman

“Letters from Chantal Akerman’s mother are read over a series of elegantly composed shots of 1976 New York, where our (unseen) filmmaker and protagonist has relocated. Akerman’s unforgettable time capsule of the city is also a gorgeous meditation on urban alienation and personal and familial disconnection.”

Available to Watch on Hulu +


LA CIENEGA, Lucrecia Martel

“With a radical and disturbing take on narrative, beautiful cinematography, and a highly sophisticated use of on- and offscreen sound, Martel turns her tale of a dissolute bourgeois extended family, whiling away the hours of one sweaty, sticky summer, into a cinematic marvel. This visceral take on class, nature, sexuality, and the ways that political turmoil and social stagnation can manifest in human relationships is a drama of extraordinary tactility, and one of the great contemporary film debuts.”

Available to Watch on Hulu +


DAISIES, Vera Chytilová

“Maybe the New Wave’s most anarchic entry, Věra Chytilová’s absurdist farce follows the misadventures of two brash young women. Believing the world to be “spoiled,” they embark on a series of pranks in which nothing—food, clothes, men, war—is taken seriously. Daisies is an aesthetically and politically adventurous film that’s widely considered one of the great works of feminist cinema.”

Available to Watch on Hulu +



“In one of Akerman’s most penetrating character studies, Anna, an accomplished filmmaker (played by Aurore Clément), makes her way through a series of European cities to promote her latest movie. Via a succession of eerie, exquisitely shot, brief encounters—with men and women, family and strangers—we come to see her emotional and physical detachment from the world.”

Available to Watch on Hulu +



As a personal essay about the hidden past of her family, the feature beautifully weaves together an incredibly well-constructed experiment in storytelling. In the film, there’s a line that reads: “When you’re in the middle of a story, it isn’t a story at all but only a confusion, a dark roaring, a blindness. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story when you’re telling it to yourself or anyone else.” And that sentiment plays out as the through-line for the feature, as Polley’s family and those close to it reveal familial secrets, shared truths, and show us the ways in which we create the own narrative of our lives.

Stories We Tell also confronts the challenges of love—be it romantic or maternal—while exposing the myriad ways our own memory can deceive us. There’s a delicacy and heartwarming touch in Polley’s style of filmmaking that shines through in all of her work but is never more present here. It’s absolutely enthralling and fascinating to watch but heartbreaking in its honesty—always leaving you hungry to discover more. The film works as a eulogy as much as it does a perfect vehicle for self-discovery, yet feels universal in its open-ended questions and speaks directly to your soul in way that’s both rare and tender.

Available to Watch on Netflix 



As “cinema’s first Iranian vampire western,” Girl brings us into a black-and-white world of undead desire, all set in a ghost town know as Bad City, where a lonely vampire skateboards through its dimly lit streets and the sordid souls that inhabit it. Rife with prostitutes, pimps, and junkies lurking around every corner, we follow the “The Girl” as she occupies her bloodsucking isolated waking hours in darkness. Amalgamating everything from the Iranian New Wave and David Lynch-brand surrealism to graphic novels and playful nods to Sergio Leone, Amirpour has crafted a film that, while being deeply indebted to its influences, emerges as something wholly its own. With music that ranges from chilly techno to Morricone motifs, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night lures you into its strange and seductive world, putting a haunting new spin on the “pop fairytale.”

Available to Watch on iTunes 


On His Birthday, Admire the Love & Longing of Wong Kar-wai with 20 of His Best Scenes

Watching a Wong Kar-wai film can be an overwhelming experience. Of course there’s the technical mastery and his beautiful storytelling, but there’s also an atmosphere he creates—a tone and texture that weighs heavy on his films and hits directly in the heart. Between the brilliant actors like Tony Leung, Faye Wong, and Maggie Cheung that populate his films, the incomparable skill for soundtracking his films, and the signature and striking cinematography throughout his oeuvre, there’s so much to love and so much emotion to be experienced with each of his films. Whether it’s his early features like Happy Together and Fallen Angels, or his classic duo In the Mood for Love and 2046, the existential romantic yearnings, desires, and the thwarted passion evoked from his work occupy the same internal space, residing in the warmest corners of your heart, filling you with an inevitable sense of sorrow but also an ineffable joy and pleasure in the arduous nature of excruciating love.

As today marks the director’s 57th birthday, let’s take a look back on some of his most cinematically brilliant, emotional, brutal, and stunning moments.

California Dreamin’, Chungking Express

I Don’t Care If You Love Me or Not, I’ll Love You Anyways, 2046 

Do You Have a Mistress?, In the Mood for Love

Dreams, Chungking Express

Expired Love, Chungking Express

Bar Scene, Fallen Angels 

I’ll Be Your Tree, 2046

Wherever You Want to Go, Chungking Express

Part 1, Fallen Angels

Mambo Dance, Days of Being Wild

Languid Passing, In the Mood for Love 

Dancing Scene, Happy Together 

Final Scene, Days of Being Wild

The End, In the Mood for Love

Take my Breath Away, As Tears Go By

In the Mood for Love Deleted Scene

Part 1, Happy Together

In the Mood for Love‘s Final Sequence

Soon We’ll Know, Happy Together 

We Shouldn’t Have Panicked, In the Mood for Love

Your Alternate List of Best Films to Watch This Summer

What makes a film feels distinctly of one season? It has little to do with the period of the year in which it is set, and much more to do with the tone and texture of the picture, making it tethered to a certain season psyche. The hazy, languid days of summer call for warm-hues, soft focus, and a more sensuous kind of film—one that both sparks our excited and wanderlust, but also allows us to wallow in a particular dreamy air of melancholy and nostalgia.

When it comes to films that have their debuts this summer, it’s a mixed bag of large Hollywood films and indie gems. This summer we’ll see films like Noah Baumbach’s Mistress America, Xavier Dolan’s Tom at the Farm, James Ponsoldt’s The End of the Tour, but if you’re looking for something out of time, something that feels distinctly in tune with the season—look no further.

Just as movies like Bad Timing and A Clockwork Orange are unmistakably winter films, we’ve put together a list of films that possess something that mirrors that seasonal affect of summer—from the tragically romantic and the existentially wandering, to the desperately delirious and the youthfully charged. So here’s your alternate list of summer movies to watch over the next two months. Enjoy.

3 WOMEN, Robert Altman (1977)

Available to watch on Hulu +

DAZED AND CONFUSED, Richard Linklater (1993)

Available to watch on Hulu +

SUMMER WITH MONIKA, Ingmar Bergman (1953)

Available to watch on Hulu +

DOG DAY AFTERNOON, Sidney Lumet  (1975)

Available to watch on iTunes and Amazon

SUMMERTIME, David Lean (1955)

Available to watch on Hulu +

WILD AT HEART, David Lynch (1990)

Available to watch on Vudu

PARIS, TEXAS, Wim Wenders (1984)

Available to watch on Hulu +

CITY OF PIRATES, Raoul Ruiz (1983)

Available to watch on YouTube

THE LONG GOODBYE, Robert Altman (1973)

Available to watch on iTunes and Amazon

SHAMPOO, Hal Ashby (1975)

Available to watch on iTunes

ZABRISKIE POINT, Michelangelo Antonioni (1970)

CHUNGKING EXPRESS, Wong Kar-wai (1994)

DO THE RIGHT THING, Spike Lee (1989)

Available to watch on iTunes and Amazon

LA COLLECTIONNEUSE, Éric Rohmer (1967)

Available to watch on Hulu +

LE RAYON VERT, Éric Rohmer (1986)

TOUTE UNE NUIT, Chantal Akerman (1982)

GUMMO, Harmony Korine (1997)

Sonic Pleasures: Your Essential Summer Playlist

People may “not notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy” but for anyone who has stepped outside their homes today knows, the summer has just begun. The humid air clings like electric sugar to your skin and you long for a cool breeze and cold drink in your hand. But summer is also a state of mind, specific psyche that allows us to bypass some of the anxious, constant hustle and flow of the colder months—we’re more inclined to slow down and enjoy our more essential sensuous pleasures.

A dreamy haze covers the summer months and blankets us with a need for sonic accompaniment to our lives that’s both ethereal yet tethered to the emotions that haunt so strongly they mingle with the sweat on our skin. Of course, summer is riddled with new releases and festivals just about everywhere you look, but if you’re in the mood for something a little more mellow, something timeless that just feels good—I’ve got you covered.

From the songs that make you want to travel back in time with a Blue Hawaiian on an island far off in the Pacific, to songs for night driving at the end of the world, and those meant for spaced-out dreaming in the sun, here’s your essential summer playlist. Grab yourself something cold, throw on a Hawaiian shirt, and enjoy.

Photo via The Pie Shops