Here is an interesting new release available this week in virtual cinemas as well as some new titles currently available for streaming.
Video on demand
"Driven to Abstraction": Buckle up for an outrageous story of how a forgery ring brought down a prestigious New York City gallery. The documentary's tagline is, "the greatest hoax ever of Modern American Art," and I will admit to being absolutely clueless about the entire scandal, so it was a fascinating watch.
Journalists and experts are interviewed to explain how the Knoedler gallery shuttered after serious claims and litigation accusing the gallery's director of deception for acquiring "unseen" artwork from master painters and then selling them for millions. How was it possible that there were works from the likes of Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko of which no one was aware of but she had for sale? The truth was they were being cranked out by a Chinese immigrant in Queens who likely had no idea exactly what was happening once he completed the paintings. Truly unbelievable, this film takes us through the chain of events that brought the scheme to its bitter end. (Available in virtual cinemas nationwide beginning Aug. 28)
Also on streaming services
"Extra Ordinary": "Saturday Night Live" alumnus Will Forte stars with Maeve Higgins in this clever Irish horror-comedy about a driving instructor who can communicate with the dead. Blending genres is not an easy task, but if you enjoyed Hulu's "Little Monsters" or "What We Do In The Shadows," this one should be right up your alley. (Showtime)
"Greed": Steve Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom are frequent collaborators going back to 2002's Manchester music staple "24 Hour Party People." They perfected the art of breezy improvisational travelogues with four features in "The Trip" series and reunited again for this satirical mock of British billionaire Philip Green. Coogan plays Sir Richard McCreadie, a filthy rich fashion mogul headed to the Greek island of Mykonos for a lavish celebration of his 60th birthday. Isla Fisher, Asa Butterfield and Shirley Henderson are some of the great actors in a tremendously solid cast, and you also get celebrities like Keira Knightley, Keith Richards and Ben Steller appearing as themselves. (Starz)
"Lingua Franca": Fresh off an appearance at the virtual AGLIFF festival, this is the first film to be written and directed by a transgender woman of color. It tells the story of an undocumented trans woman working as a caregiver in Brooklyn who begins a relationship with the man she works for in the hopes of earning a green card. The film, which competed at the Venice and BFI London festivals last year, recently was acquired by Ava DuVernay's Array Releasing. (Netflix)