Ever go abroad and realize, to your crippling chagrin, that your streaming subscriptions don't work in other countries? Yeah, me too.
To ameliorate that problem on at least one end, the generous San Francisco-based streaming service Fandor has launched a streaming site in Canada. (If you're a stateside cinephile who doesn't already have a US subscription, you're a fool.)
This landmark move arrives in the wake of the Toronto International Film Festival, currently in mid-swing as it wraps up this Thursday. And what a game-changer this service will be. Netflix currently offers its own streaming arm in Canada, but Fandor wants to supplement that VOD monopoly's gobbling selection with more cinephile-tailored offerings. Fandor's initial Canadian launch of 2,200 titles includes works from the vaults of Kino Lorber, Zeitgeist, Vanguard Cinema, FilmBuff and more. This can only mean that more Canadian streaming services will be queuing up to cash in on the VOD content vacuum. (Check out THR's story and interview with Fandor CEO Dan Aronson here.)
In celebration, this week I take a look at some of the best cinematic offerings from the Great White North currently available to stream stateside.
I'm late to the game here, as this film played fall festivals last year and had its US run in the spring, but I have just seen Sarah Polley's "Stories We Tell" (iTunes and Amazon). It is an emotional wallop of a doc, a glorious feat of self-discovery as troubling and poignant a nuclear family revisionist portrait since "51 Birch Street" and (the way, way darker) "Capturing the Friedmans." I have always admired Canuck auteur Polley's deeply personal films and earlier this year I went as far as putting her woozy romance "Take This Waltz" as number one on my top 10 of 2012.
But "Stories" is her most satisfying film yet, a passion project in which she examines the thorns of her own sinuous family tree while also retaining her gifts for cinematic style. Polley bravely conveys the sense that as hard as she may try, her work as an artist, child, daughter and a human will never be done. I won't spoil as much as the trailer (after the jump) does, but this film is as powerful a personal journey as it is a storyteller's reflection on her own art. (Check out TOH!'s candid video interview with Polley here.)
Picks from Fandor and SnagFilms you don't want to miss after the jump.