If you love the motorcycle-trip trilogy “Long Way Down,” “Long Way Round” and “Long Way Up,” try this documentary series about a group of people who decide to row from Chile to Antarctica. How do you prepare for such a voyage? Oh, by getting a rowing machine and having a pal throw ice water at you while you practice perseverance. The 10 short episodes are full of earnest determination and an imperviousness to discomfort, which feel like good qualities to embrace here in Late Quar.
The good news is that all three seasons of this joyous, eccentric series are now streaming. The bad news is that there will not be a fourth season, and I, for one, am crushed. This faux lifestyle show, starring Amy Sedaris, is funny and endlessly original — where else will you hear about “the ham that refreshes”? Beyond its humor, “At Home” also includes the most vivid abject art you will find on television. Sure, it’s couched in the show’s crazed style, but watching people glue individual beard hairs onto their faces is its own poetry of revulsion.
Season 2 of this glassblowing reality contest show is just as kindhearted as Season 1 and just as easy to down in one big gulp: There are only 10 episodes, and they’re each a half-hour. Contestants make cool glass objects, the judges offer restrained and supportive critiques, and we all learn about techniques and artistry. Fun! Learn from me and do not start this at midnight, unless you, too, love Googling “glass classes near me after Covid” at 4:30 in the morning.
Your newly available movies
Juan Jesús Varela in “Identifying Features.”Kino Lorber
There are a whopping seven Critic’s Picks for this week’s diverse list of features and documentaries from around the globe. They include picks for “Notturno,” a gorgeous survey of war-torn nations from the “Fire at Sea” director, Gianfranco Rosi, and for “Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself,” a filming of a magician’s idiosyncratic one-man show.
Some independent films are available via “virtual cinemas,” which share the rental fees between distributors and theaters. Unless otherwise noted, other titles can generally be rented on the usual platforms, including Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube. SCOTT TOBIAS
Written, directed and shot by Valentyn Vasyanovych, the movie is an especially economical, even ruthless exercise in what could be called “slow cinema.” — Glenn Kenny (Read the full review here.)
‘Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself’ (A Critic’s Pick; Hulu only)
“In & Of Itself” reframes familiar tropes like card tricks, vanishing objects and stupendous feats of mentalism to new ends. It is not often that a magic show makes you ponder not just the how, but the why. — Elisabeth Vincentelli (Read the full review here.)
The past two decades of documentary film have produced many anatomies of history that attempt to summarize several millenniums, but Rosi’s borderless tableaus bring out another kind of truth in faces, places and pure feeling. — Nicolas Rapold (Read the full review here.)
[The director Lili] Horvat’s subversive portrait of obsession flips the femme fatale trope on its head by taking the enigmatic woman’s point of view. A noirish psychodrama simmering with ambiguities, the film cleverly toys with our perception by loosening our heroine’s grip on reality. — Beatrice Loayza (Read the full review here.)
The director’s spare style allows him to get maximum emotional impact using relatively conventional effects; when he presents a rare close-up, it not only makes itself felt in the moment, but also sets up the film’s devastating finale. — Glenn Kenny (Read the full review here.)
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