This summer, take a break from the blockbusters and join Fandor’s block party! You’re guaranteed to see a lot of familiar faces and old friends—plus, you just might find some new favorites in the crowd. Pick and choose, or just watch them all—we’ve got indie gems, cult classics, Hollywood darlings, and foreign movies from around the globe. With so many genres to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Pass the popcorn!

Top 5 Staff Picks


1. Art School Confidential (Available on Fandor until October 31st)

Director Terry Zwigoff (Bad Santa) adapts comic book artist Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) yet again, serving up every conceivable art school cliché in a satirical comedy set on a prestigious yet deteriorating academic campus rocked by several recent unsolved murder cases. Enter Jerome (Max Minghella) a new freshman with big dreams who will do whatever it takes to become a successful artist or, at the very least, get a date with his muse. Art School Confidential stars John Malkovich as a painting professor with a giant ego and Jim Broadbent as a struggling, alcoholic artist who has been crushed by rejection, and includes other greats like Anjelica Huston, Adam Scott, and Steve Buscemi.

 

2. Desperately Seeking Susan(Available on Fandor until September 30th)

Madonna, Rosanna Arquette, Lady Bird’s Laurie Metcalf, 80s New York… what isn’t there to love about Desperately Seeking Susan? Compelled by a personal ad in the paper for a mysterious woman, Susan (Madonna), suburban housewife Roberta (Arquette) goes to the meet-up point to see what unfolds. She finds herself following the beguiling Susan into a thrift store, where she buys her iconic pyramid jacket. Amnesia, a case of mistaken identity, and other hijinks ensue! Desperately Seeking Susan won director Susan Seidelman, whose debut feature Smithereens is an iconic cult classic of the New York indie scene, a César Award for Best Foreign picture.
 

3. Behind the Sun (Available on Fandor for the month of August)

Winner of the Little Golden Lion at the 2001 Venice Film Festival, and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2002 Golden Globes as well as the 2002 BAFTA Nominee for Best Film not in the English Language, Behind the Sun is a drama by award-winning Brazilian director Walter Salles. Set in 1910, it follows two families who for years have been locked in a continuous cycle of violence over a feud for land. Beautifully composed cinematography by Walter Carvalho captures expansive landscapes, juxtaposing the rich golden hue of the land with the cool blue of the sky as the eldest son of one of the families struggles with the choice between continuing the brutality or following the love of his life.

A Fandor essential movie, Dogtooth (directed by The Killing of a Sacred Deer’s Yorgos Lanthimos) is a must-see in the Block Party Spotlight. An incredibly unique filmmaker, Lanthimos makes movies that are recognizable for their bizarre plot lines and ominous world view. Winner of the Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2011 Academy Awards, Dogtooth is a dark comedy that essentially focuses on a family kept in isolation in their home by a father who demands obedience and practices strict social control. His son and daughters develop in a distorted reality completely concealed from the outside world.

5. Howl

Written and directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Howl unfolds with poet Allen Ginsberg recounting his life through interviews, interwoven with scenes from the courtroom in San Francisco where the publisher of “Howl” is on trial. A mix of color and black-and-white, and interspersed with animations featuring voice-over narration of the poem, Howl creates a textured account of a literary work that defined the Beat generation. James Franco stars as Allen Ginsberg, with John Hamm as the lawyer defending freedom of speech. Witnesses in the trial include Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker, Treat Williams, and Alessandro Nivola.

Watch Now: Keep the good times going and check out all of the movies in our Spotlight: Block Party!

For more themed and hand-curated goodness to keep you cool — and entertained — indoors, don’t miss our recent curated collections Date Night, which is good for a date with yourself OR someone else, MIXTAPE, our compilation of favorite music movies (and movies about music), and Summer Daze, which maximizes this season’s sun-drenched and langorous vibes. Enjoy!