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Over 800 Criterion Collection Films Are Streaming Free on Hulu Through February 17th

02.15.13 @ 11:27PM Tags : , , , ,

If you’re a big fan of cinema, at some point you’ve probably heard of The Criterion Collection. They specialize in cult, foreign, and critically acclaimed films from many of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Originally available on Netflix, their entire streaming collection moved to Hulu a few years ago. Right now and through Sunday, February 17th, they are streaming over 800 films for free (only in the United States, unfortunately). Embedded below are just a few of my favorites available on the service. Click through to check them out.

Paris, Texas — Wim Wenders

Paris, Texas follows the mysterious, nearly mute drifter Travis as he tries to reconnect with his young son, living with his brother in Los Angeles, and his missing wife.

A Woman Under the Influence — John Cassavetes

John Cassavetes’ devastating drama details the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family’s struggle to save her from herself.

Wild Strawberries — Ingmar Bergman

Traveling to receive an honorary degree, Professor Isak Borg (masterfully played by the veteran Swedish director Victor Sjöström), is forced to face his past, come to terms with his faults, and accept the inevitability of his approaching death.

Scenes from a Marriage — Ingmar Bergman

Marianne and Johan always seemed like the perfect couple. But when Johan suddenly leaves Marianne for another woman, they are forced to confront the disintegration of their marriage.

Breathless — Jean-Luc Godard

With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, Breathless helped launch the French New Wave and ensured cinema would never be the same.

Seven Samurai — Akira Kurosawa

One of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, Seven Samurai tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits.

The Spirit of the Beehive — Víctor Erice

In a small Castilian village in 1940, in the wake of the country’s devastating civil war, six-year-old Ana attends a traveling movie show of Frankenstein and becomes possessed by the memory of it.

While not every single film is available for free (some are still only available to Hulu Plus users), it’s still a great opportunity to experience some of the most interesting movies in cinema history.

What are some of your favorite Criterion films, and why? Feel free to share some of them below, and any that are currently streaming you’d recommend to other NoFilmSchool readers.

Head on over to Hulu’s Criterion landing page to waste your entire weekend away!

Link: The Criterion Collection — Hulu



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  • If you like your classic movies spliced up with 18 commercials throughout, this is really exciting!

    • Robert Hardy on 02.16.13 @ 12:29AM

      All the more reason to dish out a few bucks a month for Hulu Plus. And the Criterion films play uninterrupted unlike every other piece of content on Hulu, although there are ads at the beginning. Small price to pay for a bunch of awesome films.

  • Robert Hardy on 02.16.13 @ 12:11AM

    I’ll second Paris, Texas. It might just be the most “American” film ever, despite the fact that it was made by a German director. Also, Robby Müller’s cinematography in that film is some of the most inspiring I have seen to date. Here’s an awesome ASC blog post about Müller’s career for anyone interested.

    There are also a couple of Tarkovsky films on Hulu. I’d say the best place to start for people unfamiliar with Tarkovsky would be Solaris. Andrei Rublev is another good one.

    Also, F For Fake, Orson Welle’s “documentary” about trickery and filmmaking is a damn fun time.

    • Yep, Paris, Texas is definitely in my top 10.

      • Too bad this isn’t available in England. A Woman Under the Influence is such an underrated masterpiece. Gena Rowlands probably gives my favourite performance by any actor in any movie ever. I’m always trying to get people I know to watch it.

        • She is the character, it’s an absolutely devastating performance. That movie in general has absolutely no artifice, it’s like a documentary.

          • Devastating is the perfect word. The first time I saw the film I hated it, or at least I thought I did. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a strong emotional reaction to an actor. Her performance is just so fucking raw and really close to the knuckle, especially if you’ve ever had people in your life who have struggled with mental illness. After watching it again over the years I really came to appreciate it’s honesty and the way it refuses to be even slightly sentimental or relenting. Cassavetes was a master of putting pure, unapologetic, unobscured emotion on the screen. Faces is also a favourite of mine.

  • This is why I signed up for Hulu last month. I can’t stop watching “Paris, Texas”. It’s like every frame of film in this movie was a photograph taken by William Eggleston.
    Criterion Favorites:
    “Louie Bluie”
    “The Killing of a Chinese Bookie”
    “Grey Gardens”
    “Two-Lane Blacktop”
    “The Man Who Fell to Earth”

  • For streaming Hulu or Netflix in europe try Mediahint: for Chrome or Firefox. It works.

  • For people outside of the US, use hotspot shield to watch hulu, or any other VPN service

  • on 02.16.13 @ 10:25AM

    I was particularly moved by A Woman Under the Influence when I saw it because of various personal reasons. This is quite the collection. I hope to use this weekend to relax and I’m going to head over to Hulu to see which of these films are actually available for free.

  • I tried to watch “World on a Wire”, but then I realized the inserted black screen commercial failure messages didn’t stop the movie. No way I’m going to manually back up 90 seconds every 13 minutes to see what I missed while the commercial didn’t play. (This is with Hulu, not Hulu+.)

  • I watched “Wild Strawberries” a couple weeks ago and thought it was great. There is a lot (as with all those movies in the Criterion Collection) to get out of the film, and a number of interesting choices as well, including how they had the same actress play Sara. This was done in “Fahrenheit 451″ as well.

    Definitely going to be hitting up Kurosawa tonight!

  • google hotspot shield for europe ;)