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Video: Hulu Pacts with Criterion--And Netflix Couldn't Care Less

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 17, 2011 at 6:19AM

Reaction is mixed to news that Hulu and Criterion Collection have announced an exclusive new content partnership that will bring more than 800 titles to the Hulu Plus subscription service, including works from such auteurs as Ingmar Bergman, Charlie Chaplin, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Akira Kurosawa, François Truffaut and Orson Welles.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Reaction is mixed to news that Hulu and Criterion Collection have announced an exclusive new content partnership that will bring more than 800 titles to the Hulu Plus subscription service, including works from such auteurs as Ingmar Bergman, Charlie Chaplin, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Akira Kurosawa, François Truffaut and Orson Welles.

Netflix used to offer the Criterion Collection archive. But as Netflix hands out more dollars for original content from the studios, it seems it becomes less important to hang on to the sort of classic long-tail titles that mattered to its early adopters. Criterion simply went where the money was, where they could make the best deal. Also, Netflix didn't market the Criterion brand as such; that is something Hulu is eager to do. That's a win-win for Criterion.


Hulu Plus subscribers will now have exclusive access to over 100 of the rarest and most celebrated films beginning February 15, 2011, and the library will grow to more than 800 films over the upcoming months. This rich cannon includes high-quality films that have never before been on DVD or Blu-ray, and supplemental features like audio commentaries, restored director’s cuts, deleted scenes, documentaries, and more. A selection of Criterion titles will also rotate through free ad-supported Hulu.com in curated lineups.


Here are Matt Dentler, David Poland and Paste, which also offers ten titles to watch.

Hulu's Eugene Wei reminisces on his first experience with the nostalgic Criterion films. Peter Becker from Criterion also blogged about the deal.

Trailers are here:


This article is related to: Genres, Web/Tech, Video, Classics, Netflix, Trailers


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.