If you're tired of digging through Netflix or Hulu for harder to find films, there are some options out there for you to consider. MUBI (formerly The Auteurs), an "online cinematheque," is a website dedicated to film culture, conversation, and criticism. They also have been doing online VOD streaming for a while now, but a new format has been rolling out in Turkey, Norway, and the UK, and now it's about to launch in the United States. It's quite a departure from the way most streaming sites are organized, but the site, which is partnered with The Criterion Collection and other art house distributors, already does things a little differently than everyone else.
Here is an excerpt from their announcement:
Every day we’ll curate a wonderful new film and you’ll get 30 days to enjoy it. 30 beautiful, hand-picked movies to watch at any time, with a new one waiting for you to enjoy every morning—all for just $4.99 a month.
MUBI's existing library will remain available for subscribers to watch through the next month on mubi.com. After that, you'll have 30 terrific, hand-picked films available to you, with a new title added each day.
If you're wondering exactly how this will work, here's a brief Q&A to explain:
How does the MUBI subscription package work? Every day, we introduce you to a new film our programmers love, and you have 30 days to watch it. That means there are always 30 films available to watch no matter when you log in. It's like your own never-ending film festival, constantly refreshed and personally curated.
What happened to the full MUBI.com website? Don't worry! Our social networking features and community forum, as well as our film database and editorial content like Notebook, are all still there. They can be accessed at this link, or by clicking the “Go to MUBI Social” link in the social menu.
How many films can I watch now? We always have 30 films available to watch. Every morning we add one new film, and the oldest film in the selection disappears.
What time does the Film of the Day become available? The Film of the Day is updated at midnight.
How do I know how much longer a film will be available? If a film is expiring in less than five days, we'll let you know on its film page. When a film displays “1 day left,” you can start watching it at any time before 11:59pm on that day.
The Auteurs was an excellent source of true criticism much like Cahiers du Cinéma, the famous French film magazine. That excellence has continued with MUBI, and now with the new curated streaming service, they are trying to make it easier to find quality art house or foreign films. While the new format may have something to do with cost, it's still pretty cheap considering it's only about 17 cents per movie. The new service won't compare to the number that's on a site like Netflix or Amazon, but MUBI is able to stream a lot of movies that may not be available in any other format, and will most likely not be streaming anywhere else -- so it might be a service to add in addition to one you already subscribe to.
If you're interested in broadening the scope of your entertainment a bit, head on over to MUBI and check out their new streaming service with a 30 day free trial by using this promo code: popcorn. Even if you don't want to try out the VOD streaming, MUBI is still a fantastic community of people who love films, and they have daily content involving news, film criticism, and film theory that is quite a bit more nuanced than your average local film reviewer.