For those looking to catch up on their classics, Criterion’s deal with Hulu plus opens up the door for the cheap explorer. Recently Criterion is now including some of their supplements with the Hulu deal, which means for $7.99 a month you can watch George Lucas talk about Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, or hear Martin Scorsese wax on about Frederico Fellini. They’ve also added an additional 100 titles to their first announcement.
Those titles include, but are not limited to: Robert Bresson’s L’Argent , Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’eclisse, Max Ophüls’ La Ronde , Akira Kurosawa’s The Bad Sleep Well, Jean Renoir’s Boudu Saved from Drowning, Orson Welles’ Confidential Report, Jean-Luc Godard’s Masculin Féminin, Alain Renais’ Night and Fog, Fiend Without a Face, the Hanzo the Razor series, Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr, and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood.
As so much of the news of late portends, we’re unavoidably heading to a digital future. Criterion is staking out their position on this road by joining with Hulu, and have said they’re looking to eventually get more and more supplements digitized for this format. For Criterion collectors this is either an annoyance or a non-issue, the hard copies are still available, but for those looking to to get a sample of cinema history, every single director above (many with multiple titles on Hulu) is considered a master.
Criterion has established itself as the watermark of quality for older titles, and many directors (like Wes Anderson) have sworn by Criterion as their teacher when it comes to the old classics. Ultimately this feels like a stop-gap in how we will eventually be able to collect and/or absorb home video in the future, but as most Criterion DVD’s and Blu-rays have $30 to $40 list prices, for those who want to dip their toes in, this is a relatively cheap way to have instant access to many in the collection.
But if this is the future, Criterion will no longer have items to collect, and as the Criterion label has appealed to collectors, we shall see how that changes their brand.
How much do you watch through streaming?