streaming criterions

This legendary Italian composer Nino Rota created iconic scores for countless films. This week, you can enjoy some of his greatest – including 8 ½, JULIET OF THE SPIRITS, LA STRADA, and PURPLE NOON – for free on our @hulu channel.

upvane  asked:

Hi! I apologize if this is not a great place to ask you things like this or you've publicly answered this question before, but I'm a HUGE fan of your analytical videos and I was wondering if you could detail how you taught yourself film theory, as you alluded to in your marvellous F for Fake video?

Thanks so much! This is a question I get asked a lot and I always need to update it.

If you’re looking for resources on film theory, that’s a very broad topic but I can give you some titles that got me started.

The first book on theory that I read was Maria Pramaggiore and Tom Wallis’ Film: A Critical Introduction, though it’s a bit outdated now. There’s also Stefan Sharff’s The Elements of Cinema, which was taught in my intro-level Film Theory class. There’s also the bestselling Film Art: An Introduction, as well as the Poetics of Cinema and The History of Film Style, all by David Bordwell. You’ll also want to dig into some of the classics - Cahiers du Cinema, Pauline Kael, Roger Ebert of course…

There’s also a thriving community of film critics online, which I recommend since they’re easily available and free as long as you have an internet connection. Fandor does a yearly list of their favorite video essays. I recommend them to get you started on channels to look out for. Here’s a list from 2014:

…and 2015:

Rocket Jump Film School has a fun practical advice series if you’re looking for technical insights:

…and Filmmaker IQ has a wonderful series on the history of film technique:

But really, the best way to learn about film is to watch it. I’ll swear by Mark Cousin’s 15 hour documentary The Story of Film miniseries which, unfortunately, is no longer on Netflix. It’s one of the most comprehensive film histories I’ve seen. Like, it goes out of its way to include the filmmaking traditions of India, China, Japan, the Arab world, Western Africa, Latin America, places that are too often ignored by traditional film histories. By all means, track it down. It should give you a great list of titles to track down and new styles to appreciate.

And if you’re looking for places to expand your palette, Hulu Plus has a good portion of The Criterion Collection streaming and Fandor, again, has a great selection of hard-to-find titles.

But most importantly, never stop looking. Keep that curiosity fresh. Keep watching movies. Rewatch movies. Watch new movies, old movies, strange movies, boring movies. Don’t be afraid to relearn what you think you know, because you never know what you don’t know.

Hope this helps.


If you’re hankering for a heavy dose of sleaze, you need look no further than John Waters’ 1970 sophomore feature, Multiple Maniacs, which joined our collection this week and is now streaming on the Criterion Channel. Made in Waters’ beloved hometown of Baltimore when he was only twenty-four, this low-budget shocker tears through the sanctimoniousness of suburban America with a ferocity that few of the director’s contemporaries have mustered. In the NSFW excerpt below, the Pope of Trash can be heard at his wisecracking best on the audio commentary, guiding viewers through a scene in which his larger-than-life muse Divine lounges naked at the Cavalcade of Perversion, a traveling tent show introduced at the film’s opening. Watch the clip for Waters’ insights into the influence of foreign cinema on his work, the ironic humor that kept his films from being embraced by grindhouse audiences, and Divine’s emulation of Elizabeth Taylor.

John Waters on Art-House Exploitation

The premiere screening of Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’avventura in 1960 was one of the most infamously divisive in Cannes Film Festival history. While Antonioni’s opaque characterizations and languorous pacing retain their ability to befuddle uninitiated viewers, these qualities also marked the film early on as a path-breaking work of modern European cinema. The film, along with the latest installment of Observations on Film Art, is now streaming on the Criterion Channel.

On the Channel: David Bordwell on the Restraint of L’avventura


This week, it’s all about foreign-language Oscar winners in our free festival on @hulu.

Visit this page for links to all the films, including Paolo Sorrentino’s THE GREAT BEAUTY (2013) and Ingmar Bergman’s FANNY AND ALEXANDER (1982).