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    Streaming’s hidden gems of 2023: from character dramas to dark comedies

    iscover 2023's Streaming Hidden Gems: Diverse and Captivating Films

    As 2023 draws to a close, it’s time to spotlight some of the year’s most captivating yet under-the-radar films available on streaming services. This selection includes a diverse range of genres, from intense character dramas and dark comedies to innovative documentaries and romantic comedies.

    ‘A Thousand and One’
    A.V. Rockwell’s debut feature, set in 1994 New York City, is a poignant character drama that delves into the life of a mother striving for a better future after her release from Rikers Island. Teyana Taylor delivers a powerful performance as the mother, with Josiah Cross equally compelling as her son. The film skillfully intertwines personal struggles with broader themes like gentrification and policing, culminating in a deeply moving narrative.

    ‘Raine Love’
    This Sundance hit by director Raine Allen-Miller is a fresh take on the romantic comedy genre. The story follows Dom and Yas, played by David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah, who share an unexpected connection in an art gallery bathroom. Their chemistry drives this witty and heartwarming tale of love and healing.

    ‘Rotting in the Sun’
    Sebastián Silva’s dark comedy, where he stars as a fictionalized version of himself, explores themes of guilt, privilege, and the impact of social media. The film, featuring Jordan Firstman, balances psychological depth with dark humor, offering a unique perspective on LGBTQ narratives.

    ‘Pinochet’s Last Stand’
    Director Pablo Larraín offers a genre-bending biopic about Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, portrayed as a vampire in hiding. This darkly comedic and horror-infused film comments on capitalism and political power, enhanced by Ed Lachman’s stunning black-and-white cinematography.

    ‘Sanctuary’
    Margaret Qualley and Christopher Abbott star in this intense drama about a dominatrix and her wealthy client. The film presents a complex exploration of power dynamics and desire, offering a mature and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

    ‘Sharksploitation’
    Stephen Scarlata’s documentary delves into the world of shark-themed exploitation films, tracing their evolution from “Jaws” rip-offs to modern-day absurdities like “Sharknado.” The film also examines the cultural impact of these movies on the perception of sharks.

    ‘De Humani Corporis Fabrica’
    Documentarians Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor blend observational filmmaking with experimental techniques to explore a French hospital and the human body’s inner workings. This documentary offers a unique and sometimes raw look at medical science and human anatomy.

    These films represent a rich tapestry of storytelling and artistic expression, showcasing the depth and diversity of content available on streaming platforms. They are must-watches for those seeking to explore beyond mainstream releases.

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