There are new series on Disney+, Netflix, and Amazon, but the new movies this week are on more niche platforms like MUBI and Shudder. I’d urge everyone to take a look at these smaller streaming services. MUBI features a great curated selection of independent, classic, and foreign films. It’s this last category where they bring in movies that you really don’t get a chance to see anywhere else. It’s still not easy in the U.S. to see the low-budget, independent, or experimental movies from other countries that push cinema as a whole forward.
Shudder picks up a lot of low-to-mid budget horror movies, but competes for these with streaming services that know there’s a solid audience for them. They can’t outbid a Netflix or Hulu for these, so their newer films can be a mix. What I’d really recommend them for is a selection of classic horror films that show the evolution of the genre spanning across decades.
There are also great options that aren’t featured this week. OVID TV has become one of the best and most interesting platforms for featuring documentaries made in recent years.
Most of these are relatively inexpensive, too. MUBI runs $11 a month, OVID is $7, Shudder is just $6, and each has some version of a free trial.
I’d also like to highlight Kanopy. Kanopy is free through many universities and public libraries. If yours takes part in the service, all you need to watch is a university log-in or your library card. It includes many new and classic movies, the library of A24, a portion of the Criterion collection, the list goes on. They have a Directed by Women category that includes films as new as this year’s “Shiva Baby”, “Shadow in the Cloud”, and “Carmilla”, and films from recent years such as “The Assistant” (my pick for best film of 2020), “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”, “The Farewell”, “Clemency”, “Lady Bird”, and “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”. The service’s focus on film history means they also boast films like Larisa Shepitko’s Soviet-era “The Ascent”, Ida Lupino’s 1953 thriller “The Hitch-Hiker”, even Lotte Reiniger’s silhouette-animated films from the 1920s. It’s an amazing resource across the board, and because Kanopy is designed to be used for academic services, it’s incredibly well-organized.
Take a look at these other services, because that’s where you’ll find so much that’s glossed over or skipped entirely on the more popular ones.
OK, that’s enough of my spiel, let’s get to this week’s new series and movies by women:
Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. (Disney+)
showrunner Kourtney Kang
Lahela Kamealoha picks up the torch of Doogie Howser as a wunderkind starting her medical career while she’s still a child. The show takes place and is shot in Hawaii.
Showrunner Kourtney Kang has previously written and produced on “How I Met Your Mother” and “Fresh Off the Boat”, two of the best sitcoms of the last two decades.
You can watch “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.” on Disney+.
On the Verge (Netflix)
showrunner Julie Delpy
Julie Delpy, Elisabeth Shue, Sarah Jones, and Alexia Landeau star as women facing midlife crises in L.A.
Showrunner Julie Delpy is best known as the star of the “Before Sunrise” trilogy opposite Ethan Hawke. She also became co-writer of the latter two in the series: “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight”. Both earned Oscar nominations for their writing. Delpy has also written and directed a number of French, often multilingual films. This includes a nomination for France’s national film awards, the Cesars, for writing “2 Days in Paris”.
You can watch “On the Verge” on Netflix.
Pretty Hard Cases (Amazon)
showrunners Tassie Cameron, Sherry White
Competing detectives from two different departments team up in a buddy comedy. The series comes from Canada. It also features a rare live-action role for Tara Strong, whose voice you’ve probably heard if you’ve even glanced at an animated series in the last decade. (One of her most recent roles was as Miss Minutes in “Loki”.)
Tassie Cameron and Sherry White have produced a number of Canadian shows together.
You can watch “Pretty Hard Cases” on Amazon.
Martyrs Lane (Shudder)
directed by Ruth Platt
Leah is a girl who lives in a clergy house. Many are helped there throughout the day, but leave at night. That’s when she’s visited by a girl who appears to be an angel, but might not be all that she seems.
This is Ruth Platt’s third film as writer and director.
You can watch “Martyrs Lane” on Shudder.
directed by Li Dongmei
We see life in a rural Chinese village during the 1990s, recounted through the eyes of a 12-year-old. The film is a semi-autobiographical recounting of the last days of writer-director Li Dongmei’s mother.
This is her first film.
You can watch “Mama” on MUBI.
Fucking with Nobody (MUBI)
directed by Hannaleena Hauru
Hanna loses a filmmaking opportunity, so she begins a parody romance on Instagram. The Finnish film helps lead a recent trend in Scandinavian film of examining the falsities inherent in social media.
Hannaleena Hauru co-writes, directs, and stars. This is her second film in all three roles, after 2018’s “Metatitanic”.
You can watch “Fucking with Nobody” on MUBI.
Omo Ghetto: The Saga (Netflix)
co-directed by Funke Akindele
Leftty leads her group in a gangster comedy that became the highest grossing film in Nigerian history.
Funke Akindele co-directs and stars as Leftty. She won Africa’s continental award for Best Actress at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2009. This is her second time directing.
You can watch “Omo Ghetto: The Saga” on Netflix.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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