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What’s on TV Monday: ‘Spoor’ and ‘Retro Report’


SPOOR (2017) Stream on Mubi. Rent on Amazon. The New York Times critic Manohla Dargis called “Spoor” one of the best titles of the 2017 New York Film Festival. It never received distribution, but it’s available on the streaming service Mubi until Oct. 11. Kasia Adamik and Agnieszka Holland’s ecologically inclined film is about Janina (Agnieszka Mandat), a pensioner with a passion for animal rights whose dogs disappear near her home in the Polish hinterlands. While searching for them, she is brought in contact with the violent deaths of several local hunters. According to Dargis, Janina’s trajectory is “a weird, occasionally funny and increasingly violent journey into assorted hearts of darkness — hers and others’ — that is as emotionally powerful as it is political.”

CLOVERFIELD (2008) Stream on Hulu. Rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. This thoroughly modern monster movie follows a group of friends in New York contending with an attack by a mysterious creature capable of spectacular destruction. Their story is told by found footage that has been stitched together in the aftermath of the monster’s rampage. Aside from the total destruction of New York City, the movie focuses on the fractured relationship between Rob (Michael Stahl-David) and Beth (Odette Yustman). Rob is preparing to leave the city for Japan the night of the attack, and Beth arrives at his going away party with a date. They separate after an argument before the mayhem begins, but, even with buildings toppling all around him, Rob can’t forget her.

THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE Stream on Netflix. Rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. Love stories almost always include a conflict that disrupts the relationship at their center. Sometimes it’s a disapproving family that creates friction. Sometimes it’s societal taboos or infidelity, maybe a terrible accident. In this film adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 novel, it’s time, more specifically the involuntary time travel of Henry (Eric Bana), a Chicago librarian. A genetic disorder causes him to drift, at random intervals, through the past and future. This is why, when he meets Clare (Rachel McAdams), she knows him already, but he is meeting her for the first time. She and Henry fall in love but find themselves tested by his condition.

RETRO REPORT 9 p.m. PBS (check local listings). This new series seeks to explain the present by looking to the past. The journalist Celeste Headlee and the artist Masud Olufani trace the sometime surprising connections they find between things that are in the news today and events from previous eras. In the premiere episode, they’ll link the recent protests by NFL football players to earlier examples of activism by black athletes; and explore current social media habits with psychological experiments from the 1950s. Past cases of woman fighting sexual misconduct will also be explored alongside the #MeToo movement. Andy Borowitz, the humorist known for his work in The New Yorker, will join the hosts to add some historically informed satire.


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