Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Free Criterion Movies Online

If you've got broadband access, you've perhaps watched some video online. This internet thing sure is getting fancy! From the anybody-can-create-(or pirate)-and-upload YouTube to the networks-will-create,-upload,-and-have-to-pay-their-writers-some-web-revenue Hulu, you certainly have your options.

Not so long ago, IMDB and Hulu announced that they would have full movies available for viewing online. I was excited, thinking that now I could have a back up plan for when the DVD I wanted from the library was checked out (yes, this happens to librarians, too). In browsing through the list again, there certainly are some things worth being excited about (welcome to my back up plan list, Broken Flowers, Hoop Dreams, and Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project), as well as some confusion-inducing titles (The Nude Bomb? Gamebox 1.0? To the Hills 2?). It can take some digging through the list to find something worth watching, and if I'm feeling to lazy to grab something at work, I'm definitely too lazy to browse through unknown and unwanted titles for the gems of the bunch.

Now a new free to watch online movie program has me excited again. You may have seen Criterion Collection DVDs in the library or elsewhere--they like to provide the best sound and video quality possible on the DVDs they produce, to the point of finding the best copy of the original films to work from. They also tend to provide a lot of interviews and info from creators as well as input from experts.

The Criterion Collection, in partnership with The Auteurs, is offering a handful of films to watch online for free every month. They're calling them festivals, and they tend to group titles around a theme. For example, the January 2009 festival Killer Movies featured Branded to Kill, The Honeymoon Killers, and Divorce Italian Style. April's almost over, so if you want to see any of the Great Documentaries currently available, you'd better glue yourself to your computer screen. I can't wait to see what titles May brings.

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