I never gave FilmStruck a chance because I thought the idea of it being “Netflix for film buffs” I assumed was just marketing crap because my first contact with it was a huge ad for it on the PS4 that had the description of how it was showing important films and stuff so I immediately downloaded it to check out the app and the first movie it had plastered all over itself was Resident Evil: Retribution and there is no typeface on earth that can express the caliber of the LOL I had at that juxtaposition being its first impression before I deleted it and forgot it existed.
Anyway if they have the entire Criterion Collection and you have a membership besides all the other great recommendations folks have made so far I’d check out:
Eyes Without a Face
Last Temptation of Christ
Night of the Living Dead
Testament of Dr. Mabuse
Throne of Blood
Wages of Fear
Of possible relevance to folks in this thread: BBC released its list of the 100 Best Foreign Language Films of all time.
I’m not enough of a cinephile to really judge the quality of the list, although there’s nothing particularly surprising that jumped out - I’m sure we’d all be shocked to see Kurosawa, Fellini and Lang grabbing multiple top spots. (I maybe would’ve thought The Mirror would be higher, but those are some damn fine films ahead of it.) I’m happy to see Spirited Away and my personal foreign-language fave Pan’s Labyrinth on there. I’m a little surprised Akira did not make the list.
for those intending to go wild, i made a list with members of the flickchart fan community by having each recommend the five criterion collection films they would suggest to those mostly inexperienced with the arthouse. many of the films here are on filmstruck, though the list was originally designed for the criterion collection on hulu.
also, the criterion collection regularly goes on major sale, roughly three times a year at barnes & noble, twice on amazon, and twice on their own website. these deals tend to go as high as 50% off! so keep an eye out.
I recommend Two Lane Blacktop for an interesting look at counter culture of the 70s and the detail that is packed into the shots.
Hey, if y’all are feeling down or stressed, here are some warm films!:
Tampopo (dir. Juzo Itami) is a really fun movie about Japanese food and the culture around it and is just a fun silly movie? Juzo Itami’s films are in general really fun and entertaining. Heads up, though: this movie does feature two major instances of dead animals
Pretty much any movie directed by Jacque Tati. Mon Oncle is a pretty good place to start. Really colorful and extremely French films. He has this really great style of physical comedy that doesn’t rely on slapstick as it does just being generally silly.
Black Orpheus is a little sad, as it is based on the tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice, so I do recommend it with that caveat, but it’s also a beautiful and vibrant film with incredible music and style, set during Carnevale in Rio de Janeiro!
also Hausu is a masterpiece (tho major seizure warning)
Also I’ve begun to appreciate Satyajit Ray’s work, so I’ll recommend his films, too!
Bumping this thread back up because it seems like our fears of losing the Criterion Collection on streaming services are no longer founded, but our fears of having to pay more for separate streaming services are:
I have a DVD version of Solaris. I remember watching it on my laptop, and nudging the trackpad, and seeing that it only had ~10 minutes run-time left and wondering how on earth is this all going to get wrapped up in 10 minutes? Totally forgotten that it was 2 DVDs long!
All of Tarkovksy’s films are streamable here for free I think
Unfortunately, that site seems to just have links to Mosfilm’s YouTube, and they took down all their Tarkovsky last year (except Ivan’s Childhood, apparently).
Weekend is my favourite movie, no doubt about it. It’s a tiny British movie from 2011 about a relationship that spans a weekend. It’s slow, quiet, honest, and has some of the best portrayals of sex I’ve seen in cinema. Check it out if you’re into slow stuff with lots of talking about life
Oh. I’ve had it bookmarked for ages but hadn’t checked recently
in the final days of filmstruck i have watched:
- Fantastic Planet
- Watership Down
- Carnival of Souls
- Taste of Cherry
- Cat People
- La Jetee
- Lady Snowblood
- The Passion of Joan of Arc
- Cleo from 5 to 7
- Dr. Who and The Daleks
- F for Fake
- Night on Earth
- The Seventh Seal
- Arsenic and Old Lace
- Come and See
- The Watermelon Woman
- Harlan County U.S.A.
- Hour of the Wolf
- Shadows in Paradise
- Stage Door
- The Match Factory Girl
- Branded to Kill
- Paris , Texas
- Ivan’s Childhood
- Good Morning
- Desert Hearts
- Fallen Angels
- Chungking Express
anything bolded i highly recommend. I’m also trying to get in: Throne of Blood , The Hidden Fortress , Ikiru , Tokyo Story , An Autumn Afternoon and Happy Together before the shutdown thursday.
I’ve discovered a lot of great film but i hope i never have to do this kind of marathoning of film again because it’s exhausting. but it occasionally rewards me with some truly amazing stuff.
Thanks for this really thorough list!
I actually tried to squeeze in films not on Criterion, specifically because I was unsure if I’d be able to find them conveniently afterwards. Namely, Hana-bi and North By Northwest I watched with family while I was home for the Thanksgiving.
I literally can’t imagine having access to a streaming services with a selection like that. And there is zero chance Criterion Channel will be available here.
Basically stopped downloading movies over the last few years, and the result is more or less that I never see any quality film whatsoever.
This is less about must-see films, but I wanted to build on some of the discussion here after reading this paragraph in Alex Pareene’s great recent article for The Baffler:
[…] It is effectively impossible, on almost every new TV, to watch a movie as it was intended to be seen. […]
But that hardly matters when you can’t even watch a movie made prior to 2006 to begin with. The 2004 Wired magazine story that became Chris Anderson’s airport-bookstore smash The Long Tail , which posits a glorious future of unlimited consumer entertainment, was illustrated with a movie marquee reading “Now Playing: Every Movie Ever Made.” The Wired art department didn’t account for licensing fees. Fourteen years later, Netflix and Amazon are creating hundreds of hours of “film” and “television” content at a ridiculous rate purely so that they can eventually stop paying the rights-holders to “every movie ever made” prior to the digital revolution. AT&T, shortly after acquiring the entertainment monolith Time Warner, announced that it would shutter FilmStruck, the niche streaming service that featured classic, art-house, and international cinema offerings that basically don’t exist on the more popular services. According to a spreadsheet created by data researcher Stephen Follows, even relatively recent hit movies like True Lies , Cocoon , and The Cannonball Run are totally unavailable digitally, to say nothing of smaller films by canonical American directors like Mike Nichols’s Silkwood or David Lynch’s Wild At Heart. Netflix choked the life out of the home video market by promising instant online access to everything ever made, and then, like any other monopoly, reduced the quality of its service and raised the price after conquering the market.
It’s a great phrasing of something that I think more folks are coming around to feeling. I think the article might make some interesting reading for folks in this thread.