This week’s streaming highlights note the arrival of summer with the choice of dipping a toe (into a big pool) or going for full immersion (in a mucky swamp). The former will leave you refreshed, by and large, while the latter—well, one shower may not be enough.
We Are One: A Global Film Festival
For all its strange delights, the chunk of the canceled South by Southwest hoedown that Amazon Prime streamed earlier this month demonstrated the limits of virtual film festivals. Without the shared experience of a live audience, a film loses a huge component of what makes it effective, and special. This goes for any movie, of course—I’m mulling a story on the purpose and practice of public spaces like theaters in the eventual post-COVID-19 world—but it’s especially true for a one-off festival screening.
With festivals grappling with and grasping for ways to be connected and relevant to their constituencies during shelter in place, they are pretty much limited to online viewing. On the plus side, with programming delivered directly to your domicile, physical proximity to a venue or festival isn’t an issue.
If you missed or skipped the SXSW online edition, take a flyer on We Are One (May 29–June 7). Some 20 festivals worldwide contributed programs, from heavy hitters like Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Toronto to respected regional events like Tokyo, Locarno and Mumbai. The lineup includes 31 feature films (including eight documentaries), 72 shorts (including 15 docs) and 15 archived talks (including a master class with Tantoo Cardinal).
The films on offer include Crazy World, a highlight of the Midnight Madness sidebar at last fall’s Toronto fest. Ugandan DIY maniac/maestro Nabwana I.G.G.’s latest jaw-dropping, no-budget action extravaganza is, um, something. (Check out his previous movies, Bad Black and Who Killed Captain Alex?, on Amazon Prime.)