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5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want To Check Out (10/29/13)

by Tambay A. Obenson
October 29, 2013 7:00 PM
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Sean Nelson and Samuel L. Jackson in FRESH (1994)
Sean Nelson and Samuel L. Jackson in FRESH (1994)

To reiterate a suggestion I previously made, if you're a filmmaker/producer/distributor reading this, and your film is streaming on Netflix, please let me know. Netflix unfortunately doesn't have what I feel should be a more efficient search/sort method, and it can be quite a chore trying to find something worth watching. So, help me out if you can.

The same goes for non-filmmakers. If you stumble across any titles that you think should be featured in this weekly series, let me know!

But as usual... These aren't necessarily recommendations. Consider the list more of an FYI - films and TV shows 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 for yourselves.

Without further ado, here is this week's list of 5:

1 - Boaz Yakin's 1994 drama Fresh, a film I rarely hear mentioned anymore, despite how fresh (pun intended) the movie is, with a stellar cast that includes Giancarlo Esposito, Samuel L. Jackson, N'Bushe Wright, and Sean Nelson, as the title character.

In Fresh, Boaz Yakin's feature debut, a 12-year-old drug runner nicknamed Fresh (Nelson), a precocious, introspective kid, uses chess philosophy, steadfastly taught to him by his estranged father (Samuel L. Jackson), a speed chess player/hustler, as the chess board becomes a metaphor for life, as seen through the eyes of young Fresh, who plots a cold and brilliant plan to save himself and his junkie sister (Wright) from a world of drugs and violence.

If you haven't seen Fresh, it's well worth a look! And lucky for you, it's streaming on Netflix.

Here's a scene:

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  • Geneva Girl | October 31, 2013 7:58 AMReply

    I just streamed The Sapphires thanks to your earlier recommendation. I appreciate these lists because I get onto Netflix and can't think of what to watch. I'm keeping a list now and checking them off.

    I do, however, watch more films on Amazon. It just seems easier.

    Thanks of the lists and keep 'em coming!

  • CareyCarey | October 30, 2013 12:32 PMReply

    I live in the cornfields of a sea of whiteness, needless to say, movies starring people of color seldom come my way. Consequently, the opportunity to view "black" films is why I purchased Netflix. And, Tambay's suggestions have been well worth Netflix's asking price of $6.99. So thanks Tambay, my world... my movie viewing experience would not be as pleasurable without you in it.

    Having said that, there have been some films (that have been suggested) that I just can't do or haven't been able sit through. Specifically, those that are spoken in a forein (to me) language.

    Having said that, I do however have my eye on a movie titled "Tsoti". I don't know if that has been suggested, but the actors are Africans (I believe) and they're speaking a broken English with subtitles added.

    Speaking of suggestions, I am going to encroach on Tambay's post by adding what I'll call CareyCarey's corner.

    Okay, since this is a black blog which highlights movies of the African Diaspora, I have too thread lightly. I mean, although the two films I am going to suggest would not be considered "black" films, people of color are front and center (to a degree).

    Now mind you, these movie fit my groove zone... I love dramas, thrillers, mysteries and "talkies" (lots of thought provoking dialog).

    First up is House of the Spirit (1993). This movie is set in South America, hence, people of color. But here's the first rub. It's stars actors who are not people of color but we are given the impression they are native South Americans. Now I don't know the history Latin American countries, but it's safe to say Eropeans were somewhere in the mix. But again, in this film, the actors may have been wearing makeup that gave the indication that they were native to that country.

    Anyway, this movie had an outstanding cast of Oscar winning actors... Glenn Close, Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons. The supporting cast included Winona Ryder, Antonio Banderas and Vanessa Redgrave. Come on now, that cast has the makings of something great... and in my opinion, it was a fantastic movie. Forbidden love, adultery, bastard children, politics, forced labor, mournful deaths, spirits, power, greed & corruption was all there -- on a large plantation in South America.

    Next... Arbitrage (2012). Wait now, I know some of you may know that is not a black film (by any stretch of imagination), but who knew (or knows) Nate Parker plays a key role? Listen, I won't go into great details but it's a tight suspense and Mr. Parker is in the center of the mix... and he does an admirable job.

    Both movies are presently on Netflix.

  • CareyCarey | October 30, 2013 10:48 PM

    Thanks JMac, I'll keep that in mind when or if I decide to watch Tsoti.

    Reference House of the Spirit, yeah, I thought about whites playing those roles, but I just looked at it as how I look at White South Africans. I mean, like I said, I've never studied South American History, so it was easy for me to believe white folks, to some degree, were in power position all around the world.

    Hey, did you see the film? Once I got by the "heritage" issue (put it on the back burner) I thought the film was very well acted... and very intriguing. Some of the scenes forced my eyes wide open as I looked at my lady with a look of "Can you believe what just happened?". How about that scene leading up to and including Jeremy Irons slapping his wife (Glenn Close) down to the ground? When she got up I said "UT OH, sh*t is about to break loose up in here". Well, we know what she did... but we can't tell nobody.

    I don't do Shonda Rhimes. But I understand where you coming from.

  • JMac | October 30, 2013 10:09 PM

    Tsotsi is a good film but it falls in the category of movies like Fresh where the story/screenplay is written by a white guy although most of the characters particularly the main characters are black. Lately I am torn on whether I should encourage and laud these types of films when, more likely than not, if the screenwriter was black the film probably would not have been made or received the same resources. Similar issue with House of Spirits - how on earth you can make a movie about a prominent Chilean family and yet the only Latino is Antonio Banderas (and he plays such a small role)? I don't expect the characters to look mixed but at least get actors with reasonably acceptable accents. Although I am not a fan of Shonda Rhimes, I am now really interested in seeing her show centering around a young white teenager. Better yet, I can't wait to see a film of George Washington and the fight for American independence written by a black screenwriter where all the main characters including the title character are black.

  • Frank Lee | October 30, 2013 12:03 PMReply

    Your '5 Netflix' lists are the nicest. It is IndieWire's easily most digestible article for a casual reader and film fan like me.
    On that note, IndieWire's search function is not very good. It is difficult to find your previously published lists. The article tagging seems to be broken and useless.
    After some successful results with this search -"5+netflix" , but it would be most helpful if the default sort was set on 'Most Recent'
    Anyway just techy-food for thought to pass on to your geeks dept. ;-)
    Keep 'em coming though!

  • Phred G | October 30, 2013 11:03 PM

    THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU CareyCarey! I got a Netflix sub as a birthday gift so NOW I can go back and start a'viewin' the goods.

  • CareyCarey | October 30, 2013 1:18 PM

    Frank, it's true and most will agree, IndieWire's search function is a funny thang. Like most search engines it seems to target key words. In this case, the key word is Netflix.

    However, there is a way to narrow your search. Well, more specially, if you look at the title of this post, what word or words would separate it from "Netflix", yet still get results you're looking for?

    Granted, that's easier said than done. But it does help - a little.

    Here they are-->"You May Not Know Are Available" . If one drops those words in the search box, all of S&A's previous Netflix posts will be listed first.

    Again, having cussed out IndieWire's search engine (with no positive results) I 've found it wise to drop in words that are specific only to the post you're looking for.

  • Frank Lee | October 30, 2013 12:05 PM"5+netflix"

  • DP | October 30, 2013 11:18 AMReply

    This is my favorite article. keep them coming

  • Val | October 29, 2013 10:14 PMReply


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