As I noted in a post late last week, with so many online video/film/TV show exhibition platforms, I tend to forget about Hulu, doing most of my viewing on Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. Even Vimeo gets more attention from me than Hulu.
No real reason, other than just that there's a lot to choose from.
But this weekend, I finally signed up for a Hulu+ account (it's $7.99 a month for unlimited streaming), mostly because I wanted to take advantage of 2 things: I wanted to watch the Lennie James BBC series Line Of Duty, which Hulu has exclusive USA rights to; and I learned over the weekend of not only Criterion Collection's 101 Days of Summer festival, screening a ton of Criterion-stamped classic films (all in HD), but also the availability of a week's worth of Criterion films from the World Cinema Foundation, an organization that maintains the integrity of rarely-screened, potentially endangered foreign films, spearheaded by Martin Scorsese.
The announcement from Criterion's website:
This week, we’re presenting something very special on Hulu. For the first time, selections from Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation will be available there. The mission of the foundation is to preserve and present rarely screened films from around the globe, specifically from countries ill-equipped to provide funding for such restorations. Eight of these rescued films will be available for the first time in the U.S., exclusively on Hulu. Watching these rare, newly restored titles is a great way to expand your movie horizons.
Here's a sample of the many Criterion films that are available on Hulu, for you to stream (all in HD) - specifically those of the Diaspora:
- Djibril Diop Mambéty's revered tale of hope and yearning, Touki Bouki (1973).
- Paul Robeson's tale of a Pullman porter who powers his way to become ruler of a Caribbean island, The Emperor Jones (1933).
- John Cassavetes' indie drama staple, improvised, and centered on interracial relations during the Beat Generation years in New York City, Shadows (1959).
- Gillo Pontecorvo's masterpiece tracing the Algerian war of independence from under French rule, The Battle Of Algiers (1966).
- David Gordon Green's homage to Charles Burnett's Killer Of Sheep, 2000's George Washington.
And lesser-known titles like:
- Arne Sucksdorff's My Home is Copacabana, about four homeless orphans struggle to survive in Rio de Janiero (1965).
- and from Moroccan director Ahmed El Maanouni, Trances (1981), a documentary which tells the story of Nass El Ghiwane, an influential musical group who came from avant-garde roots to lead a new social movement in Morocco, integrating native folk music into new pop forms. The group was famously described by Martin Scorsese as "the Rolling Stones of North Africa."
There are a few more...
So head over to Hulu right now, if you have an account there, and check out these films and countless other classics that aren't necessarily of the Diaspora, but are films you should see.