Streaming Wars: Darren Aronofsky Can’t Stop Pissing People Off

Your weekly film queue.

HOLLYWOOD PICK 1:

Five years ago, Darren Aronofsky unleashed mother!, his sickening and exhilarating meditation on Christ and climate change. Whether you love the movie or loathe it, it’s Hollywood filmmaking at its most audacious; who but Aronofsky would have dared to funnel an epic saga of pregnancy and environmental devastation through a single, solitary house? Jennifer Lawrence stars as the anguished wife of a writer (Javier Bardem) whose narcissism unleashes hell on earth. Showtime.

INDIE PICK:

Ryan Coogler may have conquered the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Black Panther, but he’s also a master of intimate, character-driven drama. His feature directorial debut, Fruitvale Station (2013)—about Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Black man murdered by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer in 2009—remains his best, most bracing film, rich in both detail and feeling. By immersing us in Grant’s last day on earth, Coogler brought him back to life, if only for 85 artistically perfect minutes. BET+.

CLASSIC PICK:

Why whine about the supposed drawbacks of Method acting when you can bask in a beautifully naturalistic scene shared by Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint and a glove? Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront (1954) has lost none of its raw cinematic force—and that’s partly because the cast (which also includes Rod Steiger and Karl Malden) believed that film acting could be about more than movie-star peacocking and mid-Atlantic accents. HBO Max.

INTERNATIONAL PICK:

If you’re looking to get into African cinema, start with late Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembène. One of his greatest achievements is Xala (1975), a sneakily hilarious satire about El Hadji (Thierno Leye), a government official who seeks a supernatural cure for his impotence so he can sleep with his new wife. The movie’s climax—which involves a peculiar revelation and a lot of saliva—is one of the most magnificently absurd scenes ever captured on film. YouTube.