Hulu and Criterion Team Up to Send You to Film School

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 15 2011 4:33 PM

Hulu and Criterion Team Up to Send You to Film School

I have seen Spaceballs close to 15 times. But I've never seen Breathless .

If, like me, you have significant gaps in your cinematic knowledge, you'll be pleased to hear that Hulu has just announced it will begin streaming films from the blue-chip Criterion Collection. There are 150 titles available today , including The 400 Blows , Seven Samurai , and the aforementioned Breathless . Eventually, Criterion's entire library will make it onto the site, including "movies that have been difficult or impossible to find on video in any format," writes Hulu executive Eugene Wei:

Advertisement

Le Silence de la Mer , by one of my favorite directors, Jean-Pierre Melville. The extended filmography of Kenji Mizoguchi. Early shorts by Chaplin. L'Assassin Habite au 21 , Henri-Georges Clouzot's first feature.

Criterion's famous supplemental features will be added over time, as well. (Currently, as the A.V. Club notes , you can watch many of the company's films via sites like Mubi.com or Netflix's Watch Instantly, but they won't match the depth and breadth of Hulu's total offerings.)

To access all the films, you have to subscribe to the premium Hulu Plus service, which runs eight bucks a month. With that you also get access to a deeper library of other shows, as well as the ability to stream material on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Android phone . (So if a teeny-tiny version of Yojimbo doesn't offend you, you can spend your next long bus trip doing something edifying.) Regular Hulu users can watch a rotating selection of Criterion films, but they'll come with commercial breaks.

Wondering where to start? Brow Beat asked Slate staffers for their recommendations:

Timothy Noah, senior writer:
                           
Shoot the Piano Player

Ingmar Bergman's The Magic Flute
Tunes of Glory
Smiles of a Summer Night
The Earrings of Madame De...
Tokyo Story
The Rules of the Game
Ikiru

Laurence Olivier's
Richard III
Modern Times

None of these is particularly obscure, but all rank among my favorite films. But almost everything on the Criterion list is at least good.

Emily Calderone, video producer for SlateV :

L'Avventura is a great thriller!
George Washington . I saw it years ago and I remember it really affecting me. I've tried to go back and watch it but remember being so heartbroken by it.

And a few that aren't currently on offer, but are worth keeping an eye out for in the future:

Lowen Liu, copy editor:

The Third Man . When Criterion cleans up black and white, it's a bigger impact than cleaning up color, because contrast is all, as they say. Orson Welles' shadow!

Jessica Grose, associate editor and managing editor of DoubleX :

Last Days of Disco . Essential viewing for women under 21 because it teaches you that ordering vodka tonics is cliché.

John Swansburg, culture editor:

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (which Troy Patterson wrote about here )

You can also check out Criterion's own, extensive set of Top 10 lists , where they get filmmakers (Wes Anderson, Jane Campion, Richard Linklater) and other culture creators (Jonathan Lethem, Iron and Wine, Rodarte) to proselytize for their favorites from the collection.

Nina Shen Rastogi is a writer and editor, and is also the vice president for content at Figment.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 22 2014 7:30 AM An Illusion That Makes Me Happy and Sad
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AMWe Need More Ben BradleesHis relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PMDriving in CirclesThe autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
Culturebox
Oct. 20 2014 3:22 PMNow Is the Time to InventThe legacy (and the return) of Sleater-Kinney, which was once the best rock band in America.