Streaming: The Hidden Gems of 2017 Movies Are on … Netflix?

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Merab Ninidze and Ia Shugliashvili in “My Happy Family.”

Credit
Memento Films International

It is a reality universally acknowledged that the primary two months of the yr are desolate instances for film lovers preferring to gorge on new releases. Once the vacation season’s tidal wave of blockbusters and status photos has receded there’s not a lot motion past the awards season itself. Releasing solely chaff in the course of the first two months of the yr has been a studio custom so longstanding that no person appears to recollect the rationale. But even for awards experts, now is an efficient time to catch up and discover.

During the final week of 2017 I used to be out of New York, visiting family, and one night circumstances left me alone of their home with a number of hours to kill. I ended up utilizing my telephone to look at “Série Noire,” a dirty 1979 French crime thriller that I noticed possibly 20 years in the past, through a reasonably grimy-in-itself 16 -millimeter print, and had no expectation to see once more. Directed by Alain Corneau, the film is an adaptation of the novel “A Hell of a Woman,” by the American style author Jim Thompson. (Mr. Corneau wrote the screenplay with Georges Perec, the French literary genius who wrote “Life: A User’s Manual.”)

The story line of “Série Noire” is jaw-droppingly squalid — lower than 10 minutes into the film an abusive aunt is pimping her younger niece (Marie Trintignant) to a feckless touring salesman (Patrick Dewaere) — and the film’s setting, an impoverished Paris suburb within the depths of a drippy winter, is depicted with such rigor that you simply suspect the movie inventory itself of carrying mildew. Not everybody’s cup of tea, clearly, and to not make gentle of set off warnings, however this film may conceivably be eligible for at the very least a dozen of them. But I’ve lengthy discovered it unnerving and interesting, and when a good friend on social media talked about that it was obtainable on FilmStruck, I used to be genuinely shocked.

[ See the perfect 100 films at the moment on Netflix. ]

One involves count on at the very least a certain quantity of the surprising on a rigorously curated web site like FilmStruck. That’s much less true of Netflix. Still, I’ve at all times thought the generally propagated grievance in regards to the dearth of “classic” movies on Netflix one thing of a straw man. The streaming service has by no means marketed itself as a curated haven of greatness. People maybe confuse Netflix’s DVD rental service, which affords all kinds of older and critically elevated movies, with the streaming service, on which you can’t watch “Citizen Kane” or “Casablanca.”

How to Cut the Cord on Cable

Television has modified remarkably over the previous few years. It is perhaps time in your viewing habits to vary as effectively.

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My personal grievance in regards to the service is extra in regards to the presentation of the flicks they’ve than the standard of the flicks themselves. It’s no secret that Netflix doesn’t do a fantastic job letting customers know what more moderen important favorites can be found, so for those who’re on that web site and in search of hidden gems, you’re not going to seek out them gathered underneath a class. Nor is it a certain factor that the positioning’s algorithm goes to advocate them to you.

But they’re there. Just a few weeks again Bilge Ebiri, the lead movie critic for the Village Voice, positioned “My Happy Family,” a drama from Tblisi, Georgia, on the prime of his 2017 finest movies record. Mr. Ebiri had first seen it on the Sundance Film Festival in early 2017, and after that it dropped from sight. As it occurs, it’s on Netflix. Another 2017 Sundance favourite, “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” turned up on Netflix very shortly after it performed the competition. But these streaming premieres have been hardly large Netflix occasions. An enormous Netflix occasion is “Bright,” a sci-fi fantasy movie extensively mocked by reviewers that garnered enough viewership on the service to justify a sequel. I perceive the relations of scale between indie movies and blockbusters, however within the streaming world there must be a center floor between “Bright”-style publicity and 0 public consciousness.

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