Streaming films from the Criterion Collection was previously a bit scattered. A couple were on Netflix for a while, and then they exclusively began streaming on Hulu. You don’t know panic until you’re trying to stream as MANY Criterion selections as you can before your Hulu free trial runs out (I watched quite a few). But, by the powers that be, Filmstruck was created.
Filmstruck is a streaming service that offers “contemporary and classic art house, indie, foreign, and cult films.” It was created by the film lovers at Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection. There’s a pretty well stocked library of options across multiple genres, and even just scrolling genres seemed endless. Their partnership with the Criterion Collection gives a more immersive viewing experience to movie loves by offering their exclusive special features. This includes commentary and even exclusive curated programming made by guests in the film world and beyond. There’s 4 types of subscriptions (regular, regular + Criterion, annual, and even student), and they give a really substantial 14 day free trial.
Would I recommend Filmstruck? To film lovers like myself; absolutely. There’s an expansive library with tons of films to choose from. With TCM there’s classic films, and with Criterion it’s almost too easy to convert your watch list (everyone has one right?) to a streaming watch list. I like they offer a student option ($39.99 for 6 months) because that’s different and really helpful for film students (or any student really). If you’re not a film lover (or a cinephile), Filmstruck probably isn’t for you. There aren’t enough well-known titles on the service to make it incredibly universal, but that can change. The biggest disappointment I found was that the Hulu offerings were greater than the offerings on Filmstruck. I hope that will be changed soon because I have quite the Criterion Collection bucket list to keep checking off.
Whether you choose to subscribe (or have a free trial) or not, I have some film recommendations to make. These films are the ones I streamed most recently. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen these classic films, so it was more of a re-watch. I just couldn’t bring myself to watch the rainy day classic of my childhood, The Red Balloon, or the short about carrots and peas, although I’m sure it’s great. If you’re looking for a good movie to watch this weekend or just something to add to your watchlist, check out my selections below.
|Grey Gardens (1976)
Directed By: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer
The cult classic documentary about Big and Little Edith Beale, the reclusive cousins of Jackie Onassis, and their lives in the decaying disarray of their East Hampton home. It was entered into the Film Registry for being culturally or historically signficant, and has brought Little Edie to a new status as a fashion icon and philosopher.
|Jules et Jim (1962)
Directed By: François Truffaut
Jules et Jim is one of the greatest love triangles in cinema history. Catherine is passionate and captures the hearts of Jules and his best friend Jim. The story unfolds over time and showcases just how love can endure.
|Crazed Fruit (1956)
Directed By: Ko Nakahira
I watched Crazed Fruit in my international film class a few years back and I thought it was a really interesting example of post-war western culture on the Japanese. Adapted from a novel, Crazed Fruit is about two brothers who fall in love with the same girl over a summer of gambling, boating, and drinking. It’s a rebellion against Japanese tradition and the older generations.
|Masculin Féminin (1966)
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard
A group of young people in 1960s Paris love music, the revolution, and even each other. Paul tries to form a relationship with Madeleine, a pop star, while examining the changing culture and the tragedy of life. The conversations take place in a documentary style which dives into the male and female perspective on love and politics.
|The Graduate (1967)
Directed By: Mike Nichols
One of the most beloved films of all time, The Graduate, is a true classic (and one of my all time favorite movies). Recent college graduate, Benjamin, is lost in a sea of angst and confusion. That is until he begins a relationship with a friend of his parents, Mrs. Robinson, and subsequently setting his eyes on her daughter, Elaine, causing many problems. There’s a great soundtrack, iconic scenery, and even a young Mr. Feeny.