By Gabe Cohn
Pawel Pawlikowski’s acclaimed “Cold War” is streaming on Amazon. And Netflix releases the next season of “The OA.”
COLD WAR (2018) Stream on Amazon. This latest black-and-white film from the Oscar-winning Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski packs a decades-long romance into a swift 89 minutes. That it includes Polish, French, German, Russian, Italian and Croatian dialogue hints at its country-hopping nature. It begins in the Polish countryside at the end of the 1940s, when a musician, Wiktor (Tomasz Kot), and his colleague, Irena (Agata Kulesza), travel among villages recording the music of the people living there. While traveling, Wiktor meets Zula (Joanna Kulig), a singer. Romance ignites between them amid a thorny political landscape. They struggle to navigate that landscape — together and apart and together again — for years after, in several European countries. In her review for The New York Times, Manohla Dargis praised the film’s “two knockout leads” and the cinematography, which, she wrote, “is filled with ordinary and surprising beauty, with gleaming and richly textured surfaces, and the kind of velvety black chiaroscuro you can get lost in.”
THE OA Stream on Netflix. The second season of “The OA” takes place in a new city — and a new dimension. Created by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, this puzzling thriller series introduced the young Prairie Johnson (Marling) in her small hometown in Michigan after she had been missing for several years. Calling herself, mysteriously, “the OA,” she gathered a group of teenagers and one teacher (Phyllis Smith) for a “mission” that culminated in a polarizing end. Those attracted to the series’ narrative risks will like the complicated setup of Season 2: After jumping into another dimension, Marling’s character finds herself in San Francisco as a wealthy heiress. She teams up with a private detective (Kingsley Ben-Adir) to investigate a teenager’s disappearance. And in the dimension where Season 1 took place, the teenagers and their teacher try to pick up the pieces.
THE LAST RACE (2018) Stream on Hulu; rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. This slim documentary looks at speed and those who pursue it at Riverhead Raceway, the last remaining car racetrack on Long Island, which once bursted with them. Mixing racing footage with film of the drivers working their day jobs, the documentary is more or less equally interested in the racing and the culture that surrounds it. In his review for The Times, Glenn Kenny wrote that the director, Michael Dweck, clearly considers that culture lively and eccentric, “and does a committed job trying to convey that.”
What’s on TV
THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS (2001) 9 p.m. on Syfy. This first movie in what became a franchise stars Paul Walker as an undercover Los Angeles police officer in the nitrous-oxide-propelled world of illegal street racing. Pair it with “The Last Race” on Hulu for distinct approaches to car culture on different coasts.