Pickings continue getting slimmer and slimmer every week folks, even as Netflix continuously rotates films in its streaming library. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot to choose from – not as much as I’d like anyway.
So here’s what I could dig up this week, and hopefully, at least 1 of this week’s 5 will entertain you.
As usual… These aren’t all 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 and see for yourselves.
Without further ado, here’s this week’s list of 5:
1 – Keith Miller’s work of cinema verite, Welcome To Pine Hill, released by Oscilloscope Laboratories.
Pine Hill follows a recently reformed drug dealer, now working as a claims adjuster by day and bouncer by night, who receives some earth-shattering news, forcing him to make peace with those around him, as well as himself.
The narrative was inspired by a chance encounter between director Miller and the film’s star Shannon Harper, who found themselves fighting over a lost dog one night in Brooklyn, NY. It has its beginnings in a short film, titled Prince/William, before it was expanded into the feature film, Welcome To Pinehill.
Made in collaboration with the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, a group which writer/director Miller belongs, the film, a 2011 Independent Filmmaker Lab participant, World Premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival last year, where it won the Grand Jury Award.
Watch a trailer for the film below:
2 – Gimme The Loot, written and directed by New York-based Adam Leon, and distributed by Sundance Selects, after it won the Grand Jury Prize in the Narrative Feature section at last year’s SXSW Film Festival.
Starring Tashiana Washington and Ty Hickson, the film’s synopsis reads:
Malcolm and Sofia, two determined teens from the Bronx, are the ultimate graffiti-writers. When a rival gang buffs their latest masterpiece, they must hatch a plan to get revenge by tagging an iconic NYC landmark, but they need to raise $500 to pull off their spectacular scheme. Over the course of two whirlwind, sun-soaked summer days, Malcolm and Sofia travel on an epic urban adventure involving black market spray cans, illicit bodegas, stolen sneakers, a high wire heist, and a beautiful, rich girl’s necklace that is literally their key to becoming the biggest writers in the City.
It’s now streaming on Netflix, so give it a look.
Check out the trailer for it below:
3 – A film that I’m sure a lot of you have already seen, although I frequently find myself in conversations with folks who haven’t even heard of it! So I thought it wise not to make assumptions, and add it to this week’s list.
The film follows a pair for 24 hours after they have a one-night stand, as they discuss and deal with issues of class, identity, and the evolving conundrum of being a minority in rapidly gentrifying San Francisco – a city withthe smallest proportional black population of any other major American city.
It stars 2 relatively unknown actors (at the time the film was made, 6 years ago) in Wyatt Cenac and Tracy Heggins.
Written and directed by Dortch, the film is an unapologetic between-the-sheets peek at black love and sexuality in an experimental set-up which comprises of four vignettes that tackle sex from different POVs.
The film was picked up by Magnolia Pictures after its Sundance premiere, but the company didn’t do a lot with it unfortunately – certainly not what I think it could’ve done theatrically.
So watch what Black & Sexy TV essentially was before Black & Sexy TV became the brand that it is today. It’s also been available on Netflix for a while.
5 – And finally, Mario Van Peebles‘ hip-hop-infused teen dramedy We The Party, which follows five friends as they deal with romance, money, prom, college, sex, bullies, fitting in and and finding themselves, and features an ensemble cast that includes Michael Jai White, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Snoop Dogg, Melvin Van Peebles, Tiny Lister and several other actors and musicians.
Here’s an official synopsis:
A revealing look at contemporary youth culture, writer-director Mario Van Peebles’ WE THE PARTY shows teenagers as they are, not as adults would like them to be. Set amidst the latest trends in music, dance and fashion, WE THE PARTY is a colorful, cutting-edge comedy set in an ethnically diverse Los Angeles high school during America’s first black president. The film focuses on five friends as they deal with romance, money, prom, college, sex, bullies, facebook, fitting in, standing out, and finding themselves. Evoking such classic teen comedies as The Breakfast Club and House Party but with an attitude and style all its own, WE THE PARTY captures the hopes, confusion, challenges and dreams of today’s teenagers as they plunge headlong into an uncertain future.
The film also features some of the latest teenage bands and dance crews that you may or may not have heard of.
Here’s the film’s trailer for a reminder: