This Week in Virtual Cinemas: Blow the Man Down

From L to R: Sisters Marybeth Connolly (Morgan Saylor) & Priscilla Connolly (Sophie Lowe) stumble into an unexpected crime in ‘Blow the Man Down.’ Photographer Jeong “JP” Park.

I’m an admirer of David Sims’ writing at The Atlantic. I’m an advocate of his view that home on-demand movie releases in the time of Corona offer indie films a rare opportunity at national audiences.

Before Corona, indie filmmakers aim for entry to key cities and a platform release across some of the 5,400-plus cinemas in the United States. They want audiences to watch their movies in as many theatres as possible.

During Corona, cinemas close due to social distancing and shelter at home policies. Movie fans are watching the latest releases via at home, on-demand streaming. Our homes are now virtual cinemas. The silver lining is that nationwide audiences can now experience art-house releases usually limited to the major markets.

You do not have to make a pilgrimage to the Metrograph movie theater in New York’s Lower East Side. You can transform your home into a Metrograph. Just be sure to choose your concession candy carefully.

Home, on-demand streaming is bringing national attention to filmmaker Eliza Hittman’s pro-choice drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always. On-demand streaming is also attracting a large audience for the fun crime thriller Blow the Man Down. Initially planned for a limited art-house release before Corona, Amazon Prime is making the acclaimed Tribeca film available on its popular paid subscription service and streaming platform.

Filmmakers Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy deliver clever quirkiness and compelling twists to their fun crime thriller Blow the Man Down. Sisters Mary Margaret and Priscilla Connolly (Morgan Saylor and Sophie Lowe) stumble into an unexpected crime soon after their mother’s funeral. Instead of upsetting their tiny hometown on the coast of Maine with their bloody behavior, the Connolly girls discover a layer of crime beneath the quaint, small-town streets.

Blow the Man Down earns fair comparisons to the 1984 Coen Brothers film-noir Blood Simple.  I like the film’s girl power spirit courtesy of leads Saylor, Lowe, and Margo Martindale, playing a B&B owner with a vicious streak.

Cole and Krudy keep the suspense humming until the film’s abrupt conclusion. I’m excited for what’s next from Cole and Krudy along with co-stars Saylor and Lowe.

Check out Blow the Man Down on Amazon Prime.

A fun way for movie fans to virtually connect is to share streaming tips with friends, family, and work colleagues. I enjoy treating streaming platforms like repertory cinemas. Streaming platforms offer opportunities to discover classic films over the latest releases.

My Corona choice this week? Go to Netflix to watch Clint Eastwood transforming from American TV lead to global movie star with visionary filmmaker Sergio Leone for 1966 Italian Western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Leone tweaks Western mythology via a tale of three unlikely partners (Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach) searching for buried gold in a Texas cemetery during the American Civil War. Leone mixes long shots of desert landscapes with close-ups of his gritty leads. Composer Ennio Morricone provides the chilling score that completes the cinematic horse opera.

Entertainment execs Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg deliver their mobile video startup Quibi to Corona audiences hungry for new entertainment platforms. I continue to be excited about Quibi since watching Katzenberg demo the platform at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Are you passionate about short-form entertainment on Quibi? Look for a deeper dive from me soon.

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