Quarantine got you down? Bored and not sure what to watch in the coming weeks? We are proud to announce that The On The Clock Team has got you covered! Throughout the next couple of weeks, until we reach the safe sweet spot where we can finally recover from social distancing measures, we’ve got a list of great films, TV shows, and alternative content for you! Enjoy our second round of recommendations, and come back next week for more enlightening content. You can also always check our previous article!
THE STENDHAL SYNDROME (1996)
Directed by Dario Argento
Currently Streaming on Shudder
Though Dario Argento’s maligned later catalog is mostly criticized fairly, The Stendhal Syndrome is a digital giallo actually worth its weight. The titular condition is psychotropic, occurring with a deep emotional reaction to something, in this case art. It can cause panic, fainting, and all sorts of presumably over dramatic reactions to a stimulus. This exaggerated energy fits with the giallo movement, a hyper stylized breed of crime thriller in Italy known for the dramatic killings within. On this case, it’s the tale of a woman trapping down a rapist and murderer. But here, she has a connection to the man, and has witnessed one of his killings. In typical Argento fashion, it opens with the surreal, scenes of paintings come to life and reality slowly melting. This is a rare beginning of CGI in Italian film. With it’s shaky imagery, the film shows the transition into digital work for horror master Dario Argento in what is perhaps his last great film before a series of utter misfires, including a Phantom of the Opera film, and Dracula 3D. – Sarah W
SAVE THE GREEN PLANET! (2003)
Directed by Jang Joon-hwan
Currently Streaming on Kanopy
A few days ago, it was announced that in co-partnership with CJ entertainment, alongside American new-horror icon Ari Aster, an English language American remake of the 2003 South Korean cult classic Save the Green Planet! was ready to begin development. I’m for one not excited for this upcoming feature in the slightest bit. For starters, nothing will ever match the same level of chaotic lunacy as the original film. In fact, it’s so unbelievably bonkers, over the top, and righteously satisfying to the point where it’s hard not dislike every ounce of ambition Save the Green Planet! radiates. Jang Joon-hwan directorial debut is nothing short of awe inspiring. It’s a film which perfectly captures the inhumane intricacies of paranoia and trauma, into one delightfully sadistic darkly comedic romp. Equal parts tragic and brutally hilarious, Save the Green Planet! will always be remembered and discussed among small social groups, regardless of an all-English reboot. – David Cuevas
THE ADULT SWIM 2020 LINEUP
Created by Justin Roiland, Dan Harmon, J.J. Villard, Michael Cusack, Zach Hadel, and Vernon Chatman
Currently Streaming + Airing on Adult Swim
Everyone’s favorite proprietor of surreal television animation is shaping up to having a pretty stellar 2020 lineup. For their annual April Fools gag, Adult Swim duped their audience by airing an animation showcase of sorts that featured new and returning series that would later air on the network throughout the year (think a Nintendo Direct, but for insane adult animation). The result is a tease for some pretty amazing original series to come, with returning ventures like Genndy Tartakovsky’s ultraviolet dialogue-less adventure series Primal, a new season of Dream Corp LLC, and the return of cult favorites Tender Touches and 12 oz Mouse acting as some particular returning highlights from the night that will be airing their full seasons later this year.
There were also teases to some series that are currently in the process of airing their full seasons on the network, such as the fan favorite Rick and Morty, the surreal stop motion horror anthology series The Shivering Truth, and JJ Villard’s Fairy Tales; which acts as a sort of demented retelling of classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales. All of which are currently airing back to back on Sunday’s at 11:30 PM, with online releases following shortly after.
However, the best surprises of the April Fools night happened to be the original pilots. Creator Michael Cusack, responsible for the Rick and Morty parody Bushworld Adventures, had his series YOLO: Crystal Fantasy picked up by the network recently, set to premiere this summer. Although, the real fan favorite happened to be a joint collaboration between Cusack and Zach Hadel (also known as psychicpebbles) titled Smiling Friends. This hilarious pilot about a corporation who aims to bring joy to those who are unhappy with life was both darkly comedic and featured a whole host of internet personalities lending their voices. There’s no official word on if Adult Swim has picked up Smiling Friends for a full series just yet, but given the immensely positive fan outcry, it seems like an absolute no brainer for the network. For now you can continue watching the pilot on the Adult Swim website for free, and keep your eyes on the network itself for more exciting announcements and premieres if you’re in the market for some animation that’s a little off the beaten path. – Curtis L
JOY STREET (1995)
Directed by Suzan Pitt
Currently Streaming on The Criterion Channel & Fandor
Suzan Pitt’s Joy Street is often known out of context for a sequence showing its mouse protagonist dancing to What a Wonderful World as it plays with the dials on the radio. The rest of the short film is far less innocently airy. Pitt’s experimental animation is all handdrawn here, with scenes in the latter half of the film pulled directly from her paintings while on a jungle retreat. It’s the tale of a woman who’s lost herself, fallen into a deep depression grimmer than the city streets around her. Perhaps in a dream, she lays in bed, wrist slit and bleeding out, before her life is saved and made whole. An ashtray comes to life, a mouse figurine gets up and walks from the rim it’s attached to, and through the sound of music he dances into her life. Neither mouse or woman is named, but they are not necessarily characters but ideas. The mouse takes her by the hand, patches up her wounds against a tree, and rings her into the world of color and life. It’s a story of healing; about having a friend to show you the way, or maybe just a 25 minute glimmer of hope that something out there can make it all okay too… – Sarah W
The On The Clock Team will return next week with another batch of recommendations!