Please kick me, Spike
Please kick me, Spike. Courtesy Funimation

Unstreamable is a column that finds films and TV shows you can't watch on major streaming services in the United States.*

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COWBOY BEBOP: THE MOVIE
Japan, 2001, 115 min, Dir. Shin'ichirô Watanabe

The rare anime film beloved by weebs and normies
The rare anime film beloved by both weebs and normies. Courtesy Funimation

Before the shouting starts—Yes, Cowboy Bebop the series is available to stream on multiple platforms. But I can't find Cowboy Bebop: The Movie officially available to stream, at least as of right now. (Funimation has a landing page for it, but when you click "Stream Now" it takes you to the series.) Does its unstreamability have something to do with the live-action Cowboy Bebop Netflix series coming later this year? Hard to say! But instead of endlessly searching streaming sites or digging through fan uploads on YouTube, your best bet to watch this foundational film is to head to your local video store or library for some physical media, baby.

There's so much to say about Cowboy Bebop, so I won't get deep in the limited space we have here. If you want an in-depth breakdown, I recommend throwing a stone at any apartment window in Capitol Hill. I'm sure a local techie or weeb can speak at length about this genre-breaking series and its quintessentially cool group of bounty hunters flying around in their spaceship named Bebop. I arrived at Cowboy Bebop late, after working through director Shinichirō Watanabe's other space-themed anime, Space Dandy, and I regret every night I put off watching this classic! (Re)Watch it all before Netflix comes through and does whatever the fuck it's going to do. (Composer Yoko Kanno, the genius behind the original soundtrack, returns to compose new music for the Netflix series, which is heartening!) CHASE BURNS

Available for rental at Scarecrow Video and Netflix DVD.

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ANDRE
United States, 1994, 94 min, Dir. George Miller
Oh, Andre.
Oh, Andre. Courtesy of Paramount Home Video
OK, have you ever really looked at a sea lion? Its slick black eyes, nubby ears, wet-looking fur. While watching Andre, I realized that I've never really taken in the creature before trying to make it through this slog of a family movie. My pot-addled brain couldn't make sense of the sea mammal with a very human name—something about it made my stomach do several nauseous flips.

Unfortunately, this sea lion is the most interesting part of the movie. Based on a true story about a seal with a predilection for entertaining humans, Andre is set in Rockport, Maine in the early 1960s. It follows the Whitney family's years-long relationship with a *seal they name Andre. The youngest Whitney, Toni (Tina Majorino), has a particularly special bond with the creature, dancing with him, taking him to class, and sobbing when it's time for the animal to move back into its natural habitat. Obviously playing off the popularity of movies like Free Willy, this film is waaaay less fun and iconic, opting for a goopy sentimentality that feels instantly forgettable. We need to protect the seals and sea lions alike, but boy does Andre freak me out! JASMYNE KEIMIG

*In the film, Andre the harbor seal is controversially played by a California SEA LION. And before you ask, yes, I had to look up the difference between a seal and a sea lion.

Available for rental at Scarecrow Video.


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TROPICAL MALADY
Thailand | France | Germany | Italy, 2004, 118 min, Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

I love these two.
I love these two. Tropical Malady

There's this one shot at the beginning of Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's masterfully sexy Cannes Jury Prize-winning film Tropical Malady that lives in my head rent-free. Here's the shot.

The camera is still and focused on a naked man with a fat ass. The man (or maybe he's a ghost, it's hard to be sure with Weerasethakul) steps across a plain. The plain touches a forest's edge. This song plays. Nothing much happens, but the shot is paradoxical: it's bleak and lush, ominous and sweet, regretful and proud. It becomes a rubric for the next two hours, in which Weerasethakul tells two unique but parallel stories. The first is romantic and gay, and the second is mythical and ghostly.

The first story follows Keng (Banlop Lomnoi), a soldier assigned to a small city in rural Thailand. Farm animals are mysteriously dying, and it's his job to figure out what's up. Tong (Sakda Kaewbuadee) is a villager in that city. (Kaewbuadee reappears as Tong in Weerasethakul's 2010 film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.) Keng and Tong get hot for each other. Keng gropes Tong's leg in a movie theater. Tong licks Keng's knuckles around midnight. It's fresh and honest. It's required gay viewing.

The second story involves men and tigers and men-turned-tigers. Just go with it. CHASE BURNS

Available for rental at Scarecrow Video.

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SHOW ME LOVE (aka FUCKING ÅMAL)
Sweden, 1998, 89 min, Dir. Lukas Moodysson
I wish I could have seen this film as a teen!
I wish I could have seen this film as a teen! Courtesy of Strand Releasing
Lukas Moodysson's debut film Show Me Love (a.k.a Fucking Åmal) is a little nugget of queer joy. Set in the tiny Swedish town of Åmal, the teens in the movie scratch out their own eyeballs due to extreme boredom. They take drugs, drink, and party to have some semblance of a good time. All except for Agnes (Rebecka Liljeberg), a loner and rumored lesbian at school.

One night, Agnes's parents force her to invite her cruel schoolmates over to celebrate her 16th birthday—including her secret crush Elin (Alexandra Dahlström), a chaotic teen who's falsely rumored to have slept around with tons of boys at school. A mean prank pulls the two into each other's orbits, and Elin fights against her desire for Agnes. (Not to spoil it, but the movie has one of the best coming-out sequences I've ever seen.)

As much as this is a queer love story, it's also a fascinating time capsule of the Y2K era in Sweden. Though Åmal is culturally light-years behind the rest of the world, its culture is deliciously vintage. Nearly every girl in the film has pencil-thin eyebrows. Romeo + Juliet and Scream posters line the walls of the teens' bedrooms. In one scene, a character shows off his hot and brand new flip phone to a group of friends. Even the graininess of the film itself captures a kind of pre-millennium feeling. All to be savored! JASMYNE KEIMIG

Available for rental at Scarecrow Video and Netflix DVD.


*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.

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