OVID.tv – Now Streaming: Films Starring Asia Argento, Tilda Swinton, & More! 

There’s Derek Jarman’s EDWARD II, a postmodern take on Christopher Marlowe’s Elizabethan drama. This landmark of gay cinema features an incredible performance from Jarman muse and Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton as Edward’s spurned Queen Isabella and a rare film appearance by singer Annie Lennox. 

Next up, we have Asia Argento‘s feature debut and instant cult classic SCARLET DIVA newly restored and in HD. Argento stars as the charismatic Anna Battista, a rising young actress who, despite her popularity and success, experiences despair and degradation at the hands of an abusive industry.

Also new: three films from Chinese filmmaker Yi Cui including LATE SUMMER follows the modern day incarnation of a centuries-old theatre, OF SHADOWS is a poetic ethnography, and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS takes place on a high-land Tibetan pasture, which sounds pretty relaxing, right?

Check out these films, other new releases, our new curated collection of films starring Tilda Swinton, and a special offer below:

Special Offer on OVID Gift Subscriptions
Have a friend in quarantine? Cheer them up with a gift subscription to OVID. I mean we’re all stuck indoors, we may as well catch up on all those brainy, deep films we’ve been meaning to watch. Use the code THREE to get a three-month subscription for just $15.
 
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Adriana’s Pact
Directed by Lissette Orozco; Documentary

When Lissette Orozco was a girl, she had a strong role model in my life: her aunt Adriana. In 2007, Adriana was detained and Orozco found out she worked as an agent at DINA (Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional) in Pinochet’s secret police, which has often been compared to the Gestapo of Nazi Germany. Adriana claims to have never seen or participated in any instances of torture, but nevertheless she fled to Australia to avoid trial. In the hope that she can prove her aunt’s innocence, Orozco made her own inquiries and started filming, interviewed experts, former DINA colleague and family and along the way. 

There are conflicting stories provided by Adriana, human rights organizations, colleagues, and the press, but….who is telling the truth? As her family’s worst nightmare unfolds on screen, Orozco’s Adriana’s Pact bridges the divide between emotion, memory, and history.

In Exile: A Family Film
Directed by Juan Francisco; Documentary

The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) left a million dead and over 500,000 refugees. Mexico welcomed about 20,000. Among them were filmmaker Juan Francisco’s grandparents, parents, and some of their friends. In Exile: A Family Film tells some of the forgotten stories of memory and history -personal accounts that are intertwined with the shared history of Spain and Mexico from the time of Spanish King Alfonso XIII (1874-1923) through the present.

Cassandro, the Exotico
Directed by Marie Losier; Documentary

This stirring feature portrait of lucha libre star Cassandro in his waning years in the ring is less a swan song than a meteor shower rendered in Technicolor. Famed as much for his flamboyant drag and sky-high pompadour as for his show-stopping kicks and flips, Cassandro’s trailblazing ascent as one the industry’s first openly gay wrestlers has resonated internationally for a quarter century. Marie Losier captures the moving, at times humorous, and always colorful dualities of this legendary figure with her talent for forging intimacy with a subject while celebrating his individuality broadly. Cassandro, a prize-winning fighter who reinvented a staunchly macho sport, exudes resilience of all kinds—from the physical power to leave his opponents KOed to an ability to revisit past trauma and cope with the scars of a body pushed to its limits.

Cassandro’s story—of an underdog and a queer icon, simultaneously fragile and mighty—is ever more evocative as it unfolds on both sides of the Mexican-American border. Losier’s signature 16mm filming melds tender encounters and larger-than-life fight scenes into a stylish whole that reflects the vivid textures and hues of a dazzling life in sport.

Late Summer
Directed by Yi Cui; Documentary

The film captures a centuries-old Beijing theatre in its incarnation as a modern-day transient space.

Of Shadows
Directed by Yi Cui; Documentary

Of Shadows is set in the unique landscape of China’s Loess Plateau, where the shadow play, as an enigmatic art form, has entertained people and deities for centuries. The film follows a lively and resilient group of shadow play performers as they navigate between the rural staging of ancient plays and the urban spectacle of national cultural heritage.

As the last part of Yi Cui’s trilogy Ying, which explores the theme of cultural decay and revival, Of Shadows goes beyond the melancholy over the decline of traditional culture and searches for the resilience and vitality in the grassroots and the folklore. This poetic ethnography continues the filmmaker’s pursuit for the rhythmic flow in cinematic medium – meanings are conveyed not only through narrative threads but also through the musicality.

Through the Looking Glass
Directed by Yi Cui; Documentary

Through the Looking Glass takes place on a high-land Tibetan pasture, where a screening event unfolds quietly. Monks, herdsmen and their families gather by the screen to observe life captured through their own lenses.

Karl Marx City
Directed by Petra Epperlein; Documentary

Twenty-five years after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), filmmaker Petra Epperlein returns to the proletarian Oz of her childhood to find the truth about her late father’s suicide and his rumored Stasi past. Had he been an informant for the secret police? Was her childhood an elaborate fiction? As she looks for answers in the Stasi’s extensive archives, she pulls back the curtain of her own nostalgia and enters the parallel world of the security state, seeing her former life through the lens of the oppressor.

Reconstructing everyday GDR life through declassified Stasi surveillance footage, the past plays like dystopian science fiction, providing a chilling backdrop to interrogate the apparatus of control and the meaning of truth in a society where every action and thought was suspect.

Do Communists Have Better Sex?
Directed by André Meier; Documentary

Twenty-five years after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), filmmaker Petra Epperlein returns to the proletarian Oz of her childhood to find the truth about her late father’s suicide and his rumored Stasi past. Had he been an informant for the secret police? Was her childhood an elaborate fiction? As she looks for answers in the Stasi’s extensive archives, she pulls back the curtain of her own nostalgia and enters the parallel world of the security state, seeing her former life through the lens of the oppressor.

Reconstructing everyday GDR life through declassified Stasi surveillance footage, the past plays like dystopian science fiction, providing a chilling backdrop to interrogate the apparatus of control and the meaning of truth in a society where every action and thought was suspect.

Edward II
Directed by Derek Jarman; Narrative
Starring Tilda Swinton

In this new restoration of the iconic New Queer Cinema classic, Derek Jarman offers a postmodern take on Christopher Marlowe’s Elizabethan drama. Pleasure-seeking King Edward II sets the stage for a palace revolt by taking as a lover the ambitious Piers Gaveston – who uses his favor in bed to wield political influence – sending the gay pair from the throne to a terminal torture dungeon. This landmark of gay cinema features an incredible performance from Jarman muse and Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) as Edward’s spurned Queen Isabella and a rare film appearance by singer Annie Lennox.

Scarlett Diva
Directed by & Starring Asia Argento; Narrative

In her stunning, semi-autobiographical directorial feature debut, Asia Argento plays Anna Battista, a rising young actress who, despite her popularity and success, experiences despair and degradation at the hands of an abusive industry. Her harrowing journey towards redemption leads her on a sordid spree of excess across American and Europe while trying to recapture her innocence and find true love. Newly restored in HD, SCARLET DIVA has been rediscovered by audiences and critics alike in the wake of the “Time’s Up” movement for its “full-throated rage against the international filmmaking machine” and is credited as “perhaps the earliest #MeToo film” (San Francisco Chronicle).

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