The Best Movies to Stream in Seattle This Weekend: September 3-7, 2020

Mulan, Beau Travail through Grand Illusion, and More Top Picks
September 2, 2020
Disney's live-action, non-musical remake of the 1998 animated favorite Mulan finally premieres on Disney+ this Friday. (Disney Enterprises, Inc.)

If you plan on spending the better part of Labor Day weekend avoiding people and watching movies at home (or if you want to wind down after your socially distant hike/picnic/LARP/etc.), we're right there with you. Below, you'll find our picks for newly streaming movies available through local theaters, like Claire Denis's Beau Travail and Marco Dutra Juliana Rojas's Good Manners, plus ongoing films and some options from national platforms, like the live-action Mulan on Disney+. Longing for the big(ger) screen? Check out our guide to drive-in movie theaters in the Seattle area, or check out our guide to streamable shows that received Emmy nominations.


Jump to: New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses | New & Noteworthy: Nationwide | Last Chance to Stream: Films Ending This Week | Ongoing: Supporting Seattle Businesses


New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses

Beau Travail
Never before have I wanted to etch the images of a film inside my eyeballs to play privately for me whenever I wanted before watching Beau travail. It's gorgeous and strange and made purely of dreams. Set in Djibouti and based off Herman Melville's Billy Budd, the story is told in an extended first-person flashback, narrated by ex-sergeant Galoup (Denis Lavant) after he's kicked out of the French Legion for cruel mistreatment of the charismatic and promising new recruit Gilles Sentain (Grégoire Colin). While it's sort of vague why he disliked Sentain so much—ostensibly because the boss took a liking to the young man—Galoup's jealousy borders on obsessive. To me, all obsessions have a fetishistic or erotic quality to them and Sentain was likely a locus of unspoken desire for the sergeant. Make sure to watch to the very, very end to witness one of the most heartbreaking dances I've seen. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Available via Grand Illusion
Opening Friday

My Prince Edward
After agreeing to marry her long-term boyfriend, a woman becomes embroiled in the headache of ending her decade-old sham marriage to a mainlander who needs her help securing a Hong Kong ID. 
Available via SIFF
Opening Friday

Nocturnal Emissions: Good Manners
Mistress Isabella and her "faithless manservant" will be the special guests at these virtual screenings of Marco Dutra Juliana Rojas's Good Manners, a gothic fable that follows a nurse in São Paulo whose hired as a nanny by a mysterious rich woman. Press materials describe it as "Disney meets Jacques Tourneur."
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Opening Friday

New & Noteworthy: Nationwide

Away
Hilary Swank plays an astronaut slated for a three-year mission to Mars, but the real emotional meat and potatoes of the movie is the heartfelt goodbye she has to give to her husband and teenage daughter.  
Available via Netflix
Premiering Friday

Borgen (Seasons 1-3)
This Danish drama series follows Birgitte Nyborg as she takes on the role of her country's first female prime minister. 
Available via Netflix

The Boys (Season 2)
This Amazon original series about a gritty group of ostensibly anti-capitalist superheroes (interesting given the show's streaming platform, eh?) is back with a second season. 
Available via Amazon Prime
Premiering Friday

Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices
Gather your kiddos for this heartwarming- and educational-looking family reading series, wherein well-known Black actors and entertainers like Lupita Nyong'o and Tiffany Haddish read stories centering Black voices. 
Available via Netflix

Chef’s Table: BBQ
Cue the dramatic soundtrack laid over the slow-motion pouring of sauces! Netflix's latest installment of the beautifully shot food series that highlights acclaimed chefs—and in this case, pitmasters—around the world will focus on smoked and slathered meats. 
Available via Netflix

Critical Thinking
John Leguizamo's (Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet, etc.) directorial debut is about the 1998 Miami Jackson Senior High School chess team—the first "urban team," as press materials call it—to win the U.S. Chess National Championship. Instead of premiering at SXSW as planned, it's being released online.
Available via multiple platforms
Premiering Friday

Feels Good Man
Watching Feels Good Man does not feel very good. And it shouldn't. A film about the rise of online hate groups is probably not the most cheery way to spend an hour and a half. Yet with vibrant animations and an astute look at a complex subject, it is one of the most fascinating documentaries of the year. The remarkable directorial debut from Arthur Jones is a deadly serious look at hate speech, artistic ownership, Pepe the Frog, and memes. It's completely understandable if hearing the unironic pairing of the words "deadly serious" with "memes" immediately elicits a groan. But Jones makes it work. Not only does Feels Good Man get to the core of the vile hate that can spew from the dark recesses of the internet, it also works as a compelling character study. CHASE HUTCHINSON
Available via multiple platforms
Premiering Friday

I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) uses Iain Reid’s novel I'm Thinking of Ending Things as an outline for his new Netflix original movie of the same name, in which the audience is privy to the circular neuroses of a woman in a nice-enough-but-not-that-exciting relationship who's, you guessed it, thinking of breaking things off with her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons). The slice-of-life vibe you get from the drive over to her boyfriend's parents' (Toni Collette and David Thewlis) farm quickly transforms into something much freakier when they arrive. 
Available via Netflix
Premiering Friday

Measure for Measure
Shakespeare's "problem play" Measure for Measure sits somewhere between tragedy and comedy, but Paul Ireland's adaptation, set in Melbourne's notorious commission flats, excuses the latter to focus exclusively on violence, revenge, Islamaphobia, and forbidden romance. 
Available via multiple platforms
Premiering Friday

Mulan
Disney's live-action remake of the 1998 animated favorite Mulan is, thankfully, really live-action and not an uncanny Lion King situation (although no doubt there'll be plenty of greenscreening). A young woman (the Chinese star Liu Yifei, who's been in the news for not-great reasons) disguises herself as a man and takes the place of her father in the Imperial Army. Don't expect the songs from the original.
Available via Disney+
Premiering Friday

The Owners
Home invasion thrillers are never not-stressful, but Julius Berg's newest film about a group of young people who break into a house allegedly harboring a safe full of cash looks especially jumpy. 
Available via Amazon Prime Video
Premiering Friday

Sister, Sister
Having been separated at birth doesn't stop twin sisters Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell from reuniting and going about their teen lives together! All six seasons of this classic Disney Channel show are available for your streaming pleasure when you're tired of Gilmore Girls or vice versa. 
Available via Netflix

Last Chance to Stream: Films Ending This Week

The Fight
Five civil rights attorneys fight for justice on behalf of a migrant mother separated from her child, a transgender soldier at risk of losing his career, and basic reproductive and voting rights that face threats from the Trump administration. This Kerry Washington-produced documentary will absolutely give you a new sense of appreciation for the ACLU.
Available via SIFF
Thursday only

Sunless Shadows
Like its 2016 predecessor Starless Dreams, Mehrdad Oskouei's new film follows the lives of teenage girls in an Iranian juvenile detention center. This time, however, the characters are serving time for the same thing: the murder of a male family member. "In this film we see murder through the eyes of murderers, both mothers and daughters. I wanted to scrutinize their act of killing from various perspectives, understand their reasons and find out whether the act itself was a difficult task," writes the director.
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Thursday-Friday

A Thousand Cuts
"Just because you’re a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination," stated Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. In Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary, Maria Ressa, the executive editor of the news website Rappler, literally puts her life on the line to investigate the administration's various anti-democratic injustices—most notably its violent anti-drug campaign—and to combat the misinformation that floods the news cycles.
Available via Northwest Film Forum and SIFF
Thursday-Friday

Ongoing: Supporting Seattle Businesses

Americana Kamikaze
NYC's interdisciplinary performance group Temporary Distortion blends theater, film, and installation to freakily contort Japanese ghost stories and horror (aka J-Horror) through an American musical tradition. In a 2009 New York Times review of the play, Jon Weiss wrote, "Hard-core horror fans should take notice, because with Hollywood’s rarely risking something truly upsetting anymore, preferring funny zombies and by-the-numbers remakes, you might have to go to the theater to see death performed live to really test your limits."
Available via On the Boards

Coup 53
Newly recovered 16mm footage and documents compiled by director Taghi Amirani and famed film editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now) supplement this account of Operation Ajax, during which the CIA and MI6 overthrew former Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh. The film happens to open on the 67th anniversary of the coup.
Available via SIFF

Desert One
Using archival footage and interviews with players on both sides, documentarian Barbara Kopple (Miss Sharon Jones!, Harlan County USA) explores a real-life secret mission to free hostages during the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Available via SIFF

Her Effortless Brilliance: A Celebration of Lynn Shelton Through Film and Music
Acclaimed Seattle director Lynn Shelton died too soon, and the grief felt by her fans, collaborators, and loved ones comes through in this documentary by Shelton's longtime friend Megan Griffiths. It's free to watch on YouTube and features a star-studded lineup of appearances, including Emily Blunt, Kaitlyn Dever, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark and Jay Duplass, Jeff Garlin, Joshua Leonard, Sean Nelson, Michaela Watkins, and Reese Witherspoon, as well as live music from her partner Marc Maron, Andrew Bird, Ben Gibbard, Laura Veirs, and Tomo Nakayama.
Available via YouTube

Epicentro
Along with the end of Spanish colonial rule in the Americas, the 1989 explosion of the US Navy Ship the USS Maine precipitated something else in Havana: a surge of on-screen propaganda painting Cuba as a utopian land. Oscar-nominated director Hubert Sauper (Darwin’s Nightmare) explores this point in Cuban history and "[interrogates] time, imperialism and cinema itself" in his latest film. 
Available via Northwest Film Forum

Ghost Tropic
Khadija, a Maghrebi cleaning woman living in Brussels in the wake of the fatal 2016 bombings, takes a long walk all the way across the city after falling asleep on the train one night. Those she encounters (a security guard, a convenience store clerk, a group of teenagers) punctuate Bas Devos' portrait of the immigrant experience during a time when xenophobia was particularly potent in Belgium. 
Available via Grand Illusion

House of Cardin
The French Italian fashion designer Pierre Cardin is known for his avant-garde, retro-futuristic designs that our plebeian grasp of haute fashion wants to compare to The Jetsons. Because he featured female models in blocky geometric shapes that did little to incentivize the male gaze, he's also credited as a feminist designer, and one who helped bridge the gap between couture and ready-to-wear. Todd Hughes and P. David Ebersole trace his career in this feature doc.
Available via SIFF

The Infiltrators
In this docu-thriller, two young immigrants purposely get themselves thrown into a shady for-profit detention center to dismantle the corrupt organization from the inside. Their detainers don't know that they're members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

Jazz on a Summer's Day
Filmed on a balmy night in Fort Adams State Park at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, this 4K-restored classic is believed to be one the first concert films ever recorded (!). It boasts Louis Armstrong, Thelonius Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Anita O'Day, Chuck Berry, Dinah Washington, and other legends among its lineup, closing with Mahalia Jackson's rendition of "The Lord's Prayer" at midnight.
Available via SIFF

John Lewis: Good Trouble
The late civil rights activist and Georgia congressman John Lewis fought for voting rights, gun control, healthcare reform, and immigration over the course of his long career. Using archival footage and interviews from his late years, Dawn Porter's documentary Good Trouble explores Lewis's childhood, his 1957 meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and his lasting legacy on social justice movements of the present.
Available via Ark Lodge, SIFF, and elsewhere

Made in Bangladesh
After a factory fire kills one of her co-workers, a garment worker in Bangladesh dedicates herself to starting a union, despite opposition from her own friends and colleagues, in Rubaiyat Hossain's film championing workers' rights. 
Available via SIFF

Martin Margiela: In His Own Words
The influential Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela, known by some as the "Banksy of fashion" for his public anonymity and his refusal to do interviews, went from Jean Paul Gaultier's assistant to the creative director at Hermès to leading his own Maison Margiela in Paris. This is a rare look into the designer's drawings, notes, and personal items. 
Available via SIFF

Moroni for President
Every four years, the largest Native American tribe in the US, Navajo Nation, elects a new president to represent its people. This film follows the campaign of 2018 candidate Moroni Benally, whose background as a gay Mormon set him apart as an underdog. 
Available via Northwest Film Forum

Mr. SOUL!
You've probably heard of SOUL!, the weekly TV hit that aired from the 1960s to the early-'70s that highlighted Black voices and performers across the nation. But how much do you know about its host, Ellis Haizlip? This documentary goes deep into the life of the highly influential progenitor of "America's first Black Tonight Show." Catch a Q&A with the director this Friday.
Available via SIFF

My Darling Vivian
Johnny Cash's first wife, Vivian Liberto (for whom the country singer wrote his famous song I Walk the Line), has long been obscured in stories of Cash's life (see: 2005's Walk the Line, in which she's played briefly by Ginnifer Goodwin). Matt Riddlehoover's documentary, featuring interviews with Cash's children and archival footage of Liberto, reframes her narrative. 
Available via Scarecrow Video

Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin
Honoring the memory of his late friend Bruce Chatwin, the travel journalist and adventurer who died of AIDS in 1989, legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog takes the rucksack gifted to him by the writer and travels from Patagonia to Wales to Australia exploring Chatwin's favorite subjects: human restlessness and wandering, borders and exile, and art and objects. 
Available via SIFF

Now I'm Fine
Sean Nelson wrote, "Ahamefule J. Oluo, of Stranger Genius Award winning band Industrial Revelation, remounts his autobiographical odyssey, a harrowing, hilarious personal story punctuated by astoundingly strong songs, brilliantly arranged and performed by several of the most talented musicians in Seattle." Originally staged at On the Boards, Now I'm Fine received rave reviews during its recent New York run, and will now be screened online. 
Available via On the Boards

Out Stealing Horses
In this scenic, flashback-filled film based on the novel by Per Petterson, an aging man reflects on his childhood summers when he discovers that his neighbor in his new countryside town—where he moves after the death of his wife—is a man he's met before. These SIFF screenings include a post-film discussion between director Hans Petter Moland and Stellan Skarsgård.
Available via SIFF

Represent
Three women in different parts of the country and on different sides of the aisle (Detroit's Myya Jones, Granville's Bryn Bird, and suburban Illinois' Julie Cho) fight to improve their communities in Hillary Bachelder's feature-length documentary debut.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

Son of the White Mare
Described in press materials as a "swirling, color-mad maelstrom of mythic monsters and Scythian heroes, part-Nibelungenlied, part-Yellow Submarine, lit by jagged bolts of lightning and drenched in rivers of blue, red, gold and green," this early-'80s Hungarian animation centers the battle between a massive cosmic oak tree that guards the underworld with the help of 77 dragons and a white horse whose godly offspring want to rid the world of evil. 
Available via Grand Illusion and Northwest Film Forum

SPLIFF 2020
A new vibe of stoner entertainment is emerging—witness the rise of Broad City, High Maintenance, and basically every TV show created on Viceland. And, most importantly, The Stranger presents SPLIFF, your new favorite film festival created by the stoned for the stoned. Because we can no longer congregate in person, we're rescreening 2020 festival hosted by Betty Wetter and Cookie Couture online! Got some weed on hand? Check it out from the comfort of your home. All contributions received will be shared with the filmmakers.
Available via The Stranger

The Tobacconist
A man named Franz walks into a Vienna tobacco shop frequented by Sigmund Freud et voila: a historically inspired fictional friendship is born. When Franz falls for music-hall dancer Anezka, he seeks advice from the renowned psychoanalyst, who admits that he, too, is baffled by the opposite sex. This film, which is being wide-released online, is based off of Robert Seethaler's bestselling novel.
Available via Scarecrow Video

You Never Had It: An Evening with Charles Bukowski
No one can resist the intrigue of restored tapes that have been newly snatched from the lost and found, and they're all the more exciting when they feature a household name. This documentary is based on a video of the iconic writer talking about sex, books, childhood, and life over clinking glasses of booze in his California home in 1981. 
Available via Scarecrow Video