As a fan of international cinema, I am always on the lookout for new ways to see movies from around the globe. Having access to innovative resources such as Web sites and services that stream foreign films is essential to film buffs like me.
Most people are familiar with Netflix— the online subscription service that streams movies and TV shows over the Internet. Even with the demand for and popularity of Netflix, its vast archives, nevertheless, are still missing some of the greats in film history.
Last month I used Hulu.com for the first time, and on this site I discovered a wealth of international films. Those in charge of hulu’s international section have done a thorough job of making available some of the finest movies in the history of film. (Finally, I had the chance to see one of Robert Bresson’s films that I had never seen before!, Les Dames Du Bois de Boulogne)
During my first week with Hulu.com, I watched almost twenty international movies traversing a broad range of genres. Among them were works by French film icon Jean-Luc Godard, Ashes and Diamonds from Andrzej Wajda, Bitter Rice by Guiseppe De Santis, Kon Ichikawa’s The Burmese Harp, Children of Paradise by Marcel Carne, Cleo from 5 to 7 by New Wave filmmaker Agnes Varda, Claire’s Knee by Eric Rohmer, Close-Up by Abbas Kiarostami, Roger Vadim’s Don Juan, George Franju’s Eyes Without A Face, and the legendary Divorce Italian Style by Pietro Germi.
Hulu’s $7.99 monthly fee grants subscribers access to a treasure vault of movies spanning nations, decades, and categories. Adding to this value (comparable with Netflix) is the ease with which one is able to choose their movies. Hulu offers an easy way for site users to make film selections based upon criteria such as country of origin, director, and title.
Starting in December Cinema Without Borders will highlight many of the notable international films available through Hulu.com.
*Hulu’s free, ad-supported service is available for streaming on PCs, and Hulu Plus subscription service for $7.99/month lets you stream a deep library of current season episodes and back season episodes of classic series, as well as hundreds of titles from Miramax and the Criterion Collection.