Watch List Weekly Recap 1/21/22

An online encyclopedia of African American cinema, ten great movies you can't stream, a new book about an old master, and a new film from a new master.

Watch List Weekly Recap 1/21/22

This is the Friday recap of Ty Burr’s Watch List postings for the week. If you’d like to receive this weekly email ONLY, please go to your account page and under “Email notifications” uncheck every box except “Weekly Digest.” If you’d prefer to not receive it at all, uncheck just “Weekly Digest.”

Monday was MLK Jr. Day, and to honor him and over a century of Black contributions to American cinema, I wrote about Maya Cade’s Black Film Archive, an invaluable resource, learning tool, and starting point for anyone wanting to stream a hidden history of film. Also: The pleasures of going down a Nicholas Brothers rabbit hole.

Site of the Day: The Black Film Archive
I can’t think of a better way for serious movie fans to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.,’s birthday than diving into the phenomenal labor of love and reclamation that is the Black Film Archive. The personal project of Maya Cade, whose day job is “audience strategist” at the Criterion Channel, the Archive arose from a hole in the culture: Cade wished t…

Wednesday was You Can’t Get That On Television day, with shout-outs to movies that remain frustratingly unavailable on Video on Demand. (Where are you, “Truly Madly Deeply”?)

10 Great Movies You Can't (Legally) Stream
It may seem odd for a newsletter that specializes in recommending movies on demand to devote a post to movies that you can’t get on demand, but it’s a slow January, I’ve got a little time before the Sundance Film Festival goes online on Thursday (the physical event was cancelled as of two weeks ago), and it cheeses me off that you can’t stream

For New Release Friday, a look at “A Hero,” below, a rich new moral tale on Amazon Prime from “A Separation” director Asghar Farhadi, plus an appreciation of Buster Keaton and Dana Stevens’ excellent new biography of him.

"A Hero" arrives, an icon returns
The Nut Graf: “A Hero” (on Amazon Prime Video, ***1/2 stars out of ****) is another gripping moral tale from Iranian Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”). A fine new Buster Keaton biography takes in the century in which he lived.

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