You don’t have to have the Fandor channel to enjoy five carefully curated gems. Each month, the Sling Central channel refreshes with a handful of all-new titles for all Sling customers to enjoy for no additional cost.
This month’s collection of award-winning movies are made with gutsy vision and feature unforgettable characters, scenery, plot, and dialogue that will open minds with incredible stories and impactful images. Here’s what’s playing from now until May 15:
Impressively enough, this movie is made from only one shot, although it unfolds over an astonishing three centuries. Set in the opulent Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russian Ark follows a disembodied voice and a ghostly protagonist through a series of rooms that each represent a different, out-of-order period in Russian history where they meet various figures (including Peter and Catherine the Great). Formalities and flirtations, diplomacy and grandeur unfold before a final, breathtaking ballroom scene where hundreds of costumed and masked attendees dance to the music of a symphony. Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov, 2002.
The Beaches of Agnès
For the occasion of her eightieth birthday, the queen of the French New Wave herself, Agnès Varda, takes us on a journey back in time. The Beaches of Agnès explores her personal and artistic journey with her gentle humor and free-wheeling form, and the result is as fascinating as it is charming. In the ten years since she made it, she has received an honorary Oscar®, an honorary Palme D’or (the highest honor at Cannes Film Festival), and several lifetime achievement awards, and, despite thinking it might be her curtain call, has also released the acclaimed new documentary Faces Places. Directed by Agnès Varda, 2008.
Those who have seen Jodorowsky’s Dune, will already be familiar with the director’s intense, over-the-top, highly-aestheticized and “trippy” cinema antics. Santa Sangre is likewise a sumptuous and shocking hart-horror film that is not necessarily for the faint of heart. Told through flashbacks and flash-forwards, it is the mind-bending story of devotion, betrayal, and control in which a circus performer who escapes a mental institution only to become a brutal instrument of vengeance for his powerful mother. Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky.
My Best Fiend
One of the most fertile and explosive collaborations in cinematic history is without a doubt that of prolific German director Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams) and his former muse, actor Klaus Kinski. Over the course of fifteen years, they made five incredible movies together, and as this behind-the-scenes portrait shows, their dynamic was often fraught with disagreements and even threats of violence. My Best Fiend is a means of showing the complexities of an artistic relationship and a tribute to the talents of a controversial yet undeniably creative man who, in Herzog’s words, lived “like a comet.” Directed by Werner Herzog, 1999.
Nowadays, the name Orson Welles is nearly synonymous with early American cinema, but The Stranger remains one of his most underrated releases, though it is also one of his most mainstream. It’s a highly straightforward and deftly constructed thriller that stars Welles himself as a villainous Nazi who has escaped to New England and begun a new life under a different name. With an intrepid war crimes investigator on his trail, however, his attempts to cover his tracks create a trail of bodies. Directed by Orson Welles, 1946.
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