As usual… These aren’t necessarily recommendations. Consider the list more of an FYI – films we’ve talked about on this site, at one time or another, that are now streaming on Netflix, that you might want to check out for yourselves.
Without further ado, here’s this week’s list of 5:
1. Previously titled Small of Her Back, the psychological thriller/drama Apartment 4E starring Nicole Beharie and Christopher Domig, is based on an off-Broadway play by writer/director Russell Sharman.
Apartment 4E centers on Piper, a secluded, bipolar young woman, who begins an online relationship with a woman named Molly. One night Molly gets a knock on a door from John, who claims to be Molly’s brother and who wants to help prevent her from doing what she has been threatening to do.
Here’s the new synopsis:
Piper (Nicole Beharie, The Last Fall, 42) is a beautiful, intelligent
young woman with everything to live for…but she’s trapped in a dark
world of her own making. Deeply troubled, desperate and clutching a
handgun, Piper has not left her apartment in a long time, and when
there’s a knock on the door, she will face a choice that will make the
difference between life and death. This stranger may have the answers to
the mystery at the center of Piper’s world, or he may have his own
reasons for tracking her down. The truth lies up the stairs and down the
hall in APARTMENT 4E.
Watch the trailer:
2. Carol Morley’s docu-drama Dreams of Life – the critically-acclaimed docu-drama stars Zawe Ashton whom Emmanuel interviewed last year (read that great interview HERE if you missed it); with all our coverage, most of you should be familiar with the film at this point.
If not, catch up…
As a recap… the film’s synopsis again reads:
Nobody noticed when Joyce Vincent died in her bedsit above a shopping mall in North London in 2003. Her body wasn’t discovered for three years, surrounded by Christmas presents she had been wrapping, and with the TV still on. Newspaper reports offered few details of her life – not even a photograph. Who was she? And how could this happen to someone in our day and age- the so-called age of communication? For her film Dreams of a Life, filmmaker Carol Morley set out to find out. Joyce may have died in tragic isolation, but Morley was not going to let her be forgotten. She placed adverts in newspapers, on the Internet, and on the side of a London taxi. What she finds out is extraordinary. A range of people that once knew Joyce help to piece together a portrait of the woman that became so forgotten. “She was very sweet, beautiful looking, a bit of a mystery. We weren’t too sure where she came from. It’s almost like she was a ghost, even then.” Dreams of a Life becomes as much about the people who remember her as it is about Joyce herself.
It was released (limited) in theaters here in the USA, after making its stateside debut at the SXSW Film Festival last year.
I saw it many moons ago and dug it (my review HERE if you missed it).
Here’s the trailer again:
3. Undefeated is the same film that Sean Combs aka P. Diddy jumped on the bandwagon for, as executive producer, before its release. At the time, it was also reported that Diddy would exec produce the feature film remake that The Weinstein Company was reportedly developing.
The Academy Award-winning (for documentary feature) football doc was directed by Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Matin, and centers on a single defining season of the Memphis Manassas Tigers high school football team; a severely underfunded and underprivileged program attempting a winning season after years of losses, whose fortunes reverse thanks to an immensely-devoted coach named Bill Courtney.
The film received much critical acclaim, and after its SXSW debut in March 2011, was quickly snatched up by The Weinstein Company for distribution AND remake rights.
Having seen it, it’s certainly worthy of all the acclaim, and its Oscar win for Best Documentary.
4. Director Sheldon Larry’s indie musical feature Leave It on the Floor, tells the story of Brad (Ephraim Sykes), a brooding twenty-something who leaves his dysfunctional single mom, Deondra (Metra Dee), to strike out on his own in a bigger city.
A chance encounter with Carter (Andre Myers), an emerging “drag ball” talent, leads Brad into that world, where he meets several colorful characters (including house mother Queef Latina who rules with discipline and love, keeping her “children” focused, and also safe from the homophobia that exists on the outside); they eventually become his new family. Of course, there are complications on this journey towards self-discovery.
But you’ll just have to watch the film to find out the rest of the story if you’re curious.
Directed by Sheldon Larry (primarily a TV director), from a Glenn Gaylord screenplay, music by Kim Burse and choreography by Frank Gatson Jr. (the last 2 being from Beyonce’s creative team, behind all her music and videos), Leave It On The Floor, shot in a documentary style, made its worldwide debut at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2011, and is now on home video.
Comparisons to Paris Is Burning are inevitable.
5. And finally, I Want My Name Back, directed by Roger Paradiso, centers on Master Gee & Wonder Mike of the ORIGINAL Sugarhill Gang who, 30+ years after the historic recording of their iconic mega-hit Rapper’s Delight, have come back to reclaim their identities and rightful place in Hip Hop history.
Described by the subjects as the “classic label versus artist battle” story, the film is said to give the audience an honest inside look at the origins, trials and tribulations of the original Sugarhill Gang.
This is the unfiltered, unbelievable and unheard story of the originators of Hip Hop – Wonder Mike, Big Bank Hank and Master Gee – the one and only, Sugarhill Gang! From a pizza shop in Harlem to performing on the biggest stage in the world, these young MCs seemed to be on the road to endless fame and fortune in the early 80s. But, they would soon find out that they would be taken for a ride by an unscrupulous record company, stealing their money and their name. Much like last year’s Academy Award® winning documentary Searching for Sugarman, here is a film that goes behind the music and reveals the realities of what happens after the gold records and the hype are gone. I Want My Name Back is the journey of two men who want what was taken from them: their names, their legacy and their music!
It premiered at the 18th Slamdance Film Festival in January this year, and soon after One Village Entertainment, an entity of Robert Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment, picked it up and released the film on DVD and digital download, last month.
It’s not streaming on Netflix as well.