Unstreamable is a weekly column that finds films and TV shows you can't watch on major streaming services in the United States.
USA | Denmark | Sweden, 2001, 89 min, Dir. R.D. Robb
Don's Plum's writer/producer Dale Wheatley really wants you to see this movie. He says so on his website, Free Don's Plum Dot Com, that he is willing to send you a copy of it. Take him up on the offer because you basically can't find it anywhere (except Scarecrow Video) since some people don't want you to see it. It's a curious piece of film history that will likely become more valuable as we get further away from the '90s and the film's subjects, the "Pussy Posse."
Significant members of said posse included Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Kevin Connolly—all of whom are in Don's Plum, an infamous film which a very skewed documentary released by the New York Post covered in detail in 2019. This indie, black and white, improvised hangout movie shows a version of the Pussy Posse chilling in a diner, called Don's Plum. They act casually misogynistic, try to get laid, and fight. It's attractive because of its actors, but it's a feature film that should have been a short film; a bare display of '90s male chauvinism that can be surprisingly enjoyable, with plenty of fans. But—and this is directed at the writer/producer, who I know will find himself here—let's not pretend Don's Plum is a lost masterpiece. This is not Losing Ground. CHASE BURNS
The Netherlands, 1973, 108 min, Dir. Paul Verhoeven
Turkish Delight sort of reminded me of another Unstreamable pick, Sweet Movie, in how intertwined eating, shitting, puking, and fucking can be with one another. It's a delightfully freaky pre-American mega-fame film from both Verhoeven and Hauer, that played in porn theaters here in the United States. But in 1999, the film received the Golden Calf Award for Best Dutch Film of the Century. Those people over in Holland are such weirdos! JASMYNE KEIMIG
France, 2007, 85 min, Dir. Céline Sciamma
Water Lilies is the debut feature from Portrait of a Lady on Fire director Céline Sciamma. Fans of Lady on Fire will find similar things here: hushed, dramatic shots; fluid and femme sexuality; curious, blistering horniness. She wrote Water Lilies's script while still in film school, and it became a breakout hit. The story follows three 15-year-old suburban girls: Floriane (Lady on Fire's Adèle Haenel), a confident team captain of a synchronized swimming group; Anne (Louise Blachère), another synchronized swimmer who doesn't take anyone's shit; and Marie (Pauline Acquart), a quiet girl with a blossoming crush on Floriane. In less than 90 minutes, Sciamma executes a thoughtful, forceful feature on what's it's like to be a girl standing in front of another girl asking her to take off her swim cap and kiss her.
The thing I come back to with Water Lilies is how focused Sciamma is about the way her characters move through space—whether they're strutting down a long cement runway, or swaying in a nightclub, or kicking across a pool. Since it's about synchronized swimmers, Sciamma fills the film with shots of young girls cutting through the water, their rigorous and athletic kicking obscured by elegant lines and smiles. I love how the bodies literally make a splash. But she carries this motion into her regular scenes, like when she places the teen girls against clashing fabrics so their bodies pop out like, yes, lilies. Even with this debut, it's clear Sciamma is a force. CHASE BURNS
USA, 1983, 127 min, Dir. Allan Arkush
Set on New Year's Eve at the fictional Saturn Theater in L.A., Get Crazy follows stage manager Neil (Daniel Stern) as he tries to wrangle the night's talent so that the concert can go off without a hitch. There are a few things in his way, however. The kind and ailing owner's scheming nephew, Sammy (Miles Chapin), is trying to sell the venue out from under everyone; there's an enormous fire in the basement; a visiting stage manager Willy (Gail Edwards) is super hot. Things get, well, CRAZY!!!!!!!!
Also worth mentioning: Malcolm McDowell as Reggie Wanker (a Mick Jagger spoof), Bill Henderson as King Blues (a Muddy Waters spoof), Lori Eastside as Nada with her fifteen-member band (a Bangles/Go-Gos spoof), and Howard Kaylan as Captain Cloud (a Strawberry Alarm Clock spoof). JASMYNE KEIMIG
*Unstreamable means we couldn't find it on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, or any of the other 300+ streaming services available in the United States. We also couldn't find it available for rent or purchase through platforms like Prime Video or iTunes. Yes, we know you can find many things online illegally, but we don't consider user-generated videos, like unauthorized YouTube uploads, to be streamable.