What’s on TV Thursday: ‘Joan of Arc’ and ‘Princess Mononoke’

What’s on TV Thursday: ‘Joan of Arc’ and ‘Princess Mononoke’


JOAN OF ARC (2020) Rent on Film at Lincoln Center’s virtual cinema. In his 2018 historical drama, “Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc,” the French director Bruno Dumont infused Saint Joan’s formative years with a sonic landscape that featured prominent, raucous guitar shredding. For his follow-up, “Joan of Arc,” Dumont focuses on Joan of Arc’s later years, this time using electronic pop music to help tell the story. The film casts one of the performers who played Joan in Dumont’s earlier movie, Lise Leplat Prudhomme, opposite the French pop singer Christophe, who plays one of the priests who try Joan. “Here and in the earlier picture it’s perhaps easy to apprehend Dumont’s approach with a ‘What’s this oddball up to now?’ smirk,” Glenn Kenny wrote in his review for The New York Times. “But if Dumont is joking at all, it’s a form of what used to be called ‘kidding on the square.’”

CHUTNEY POPCORN (2000) Rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. The filmmaker Nisha Ganatra is back this weekend with a musical comedy, “The High Note,” that’s being released digitally. Early in her career, Ganatra directed, starred in and co-wrote this dramedy, in which she plays Reena, a young New Yorker who offers to be a surrogate mother for her older sister (played by Sakina Jaffrey). Their situation is complicated by the disapproval of Reena’s girlfriend, Lisa (Jill Hennessy), the sisters’ relationship with their traditionalist mother (Madhur Jaffrey) and, eventually, second thoughts. The movie “carries off the tricky feat of being wisecracking one minute and serious the next while staying true to its characters and sustaining a jovial easygoing tone,” Stephen Holden wrote in his review for The Times. “Here is one comedy that actually earns its mostly happy ending.”

PRINCESS MONONOKE (1997) Stream on HBO Max. Movies from the influential Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli have long been absent from stateside streaming services, but the studio’s library is now available on HBO’s new streaming service. One of its most well-regarded movies (and a good place to dive in, regardless of your familiarity with the studio) is “Princess Mononoke,” an anime action movie with an environmental message. It follows a young prince in an imagined version of ancient Japan, where humans clash with animal gods. “Frequent battle scenes, graphic enough to make a sharp distinction between ‘Princess Mononoke’ and animation made for children, keep the story in motion,” Janet Maslin wrote in her review for The Times. “These are often breathtakingly rendered, but it is the film’s stirring use of nature, myth and history that make it so special.”

QUESTLOVE’S POTLUCK 10 p.m. on Food Network. You can cancel your Zoom plans and have dinner with Questlove instead thanks to this special, a benefit for the coronavirus relief effort America’s Food Fund. That musician will host a dinner party with celebrities including Tiffany Haddish, Hannibal Buress, Zooey Deschanel and Olivia Wilde.



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