Re: Unbundled

1

You know what I'm mystified by? Smearcase was asking about this elsewhere, and didn't get what looked like a satisfying answer. Is there any kind of encyclopedic source for old movies?

I'm really low energy on this stuff, so maybe there is and I just haven't noticed. But the streaming services I know about (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime) seem to have a very small random selection of old movies, and things appear and disappear irregularly. If you want to see something black and white, it's an ordeal to find it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
2

Legal, couldn't tell ya.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:21 AM
horizontal rule
3

Yeah, yeah. As a lazy and law-abiding person, I just want to pay someone ten bucks a month for a really big library of movies. I'm not sure what the rights-holders are doing that makes them more money than what I want them to do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:24 AM
horizontal rule
4

Streaming services can't get all the good shows because the rights cost too much.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:26 AM
horizontal rule
5

Streaming-wise, no. It's a bit bizarre, as presumably for most of these films the rights are way cheaper than for first-run movies, and there's literally no competition. In the UK at least, it goes something like Amazon Prime PPV > iTunes PPV > Netflix > Amazon Prime subscription, but they're all pretty crap compared to what you can get on DVD. At least with new or newish movies you can always PPV if you have to. With old movies most of the time it's DVD or bust.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:27 AM
horizontal rule
6

"Streaming service" and "legal" are not fully synonymous, but anyhow, the best place (legal or illegal) for old/rare movies wouldn't be useful for streaming so, yeah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:30 AM
horizontal rule
7

Mubi is supposed to specialise in old and indie films, but when I had a subscription, the selection was very limited. Maybe it's improved in the last couple of years.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
8

I'm using streaming as a catch-all for films you download rather than buy/rent a disc.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
9

Maybe people who watch older movies mostly like to buy DVDs? All my older relatives have libraries of hundreds or thousands of DVDs and Blu-Rays. Most of which have presumably been watched only once or twice. Maybe streaming (mostly) only appeals to younger people and younger people don't (mostly) watch older movies?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:35 AM
horizontal rule
10

I'm really low energy on this stuff, so maybe there is and I just haven't noticed. But the streaming services I know about (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime) seem to have a very small random selection of old movies, and things appear and disappear irregularly. If you want to see something black and white, it's an ordeal to find it.

Hulu has the entire Criterion Collection, the ones that are currently in print anyway. That was a pretty big move when that appeared, because otherwise, yes, streaming services basically have every English-language TV show of the last 30 years, 5% of the English-language movies of the last 20 years, and nothing else.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:41 AM
horizontal rule
11

1: It's not exactly "encyclopedic source for old movies" but Warner Archive's streaming service is pretty great. TCM has a very good streaming-on-demand catalog but of course you need a cable subscription (or ahem a friend with one) to get that.

7: MUBI is still a very small selection, and they rotate every month which can be frustrating. Also only a third or so is in the "old movie" category.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
12

Hulu has the entire Criterion Collection, the ones that are currently in print anyway.

I don't think so -- I think it has a weird subset.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
13

My parents have a DVR and record everything TCM broadcasts so they have a new movie every night.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:46 AM
horizontal rule
14

CBS announced a new subscription Internet streaming service on Thursday that allows people to watch its live television programming ... without paying for a traditional TV subscription

Isn't that what my free antenna does?

(Also: Halford has exited?)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:46 AM
horizontal rule
15

Netflix's DVD-by-mail service was great for old movies, but their streaming service is shit.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:47 AM
horizontal rule
16

Halford drove away D^2 and was driven away by Sifu who is to be driven away by a draft pick to be named later.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
17

12: Yeah, it's definitely not the whole Criterion catalog, but it's a good portion of the non-recent releases, and also includes quite a number of things that are streaming-only.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 10:50 AM
horizontal rule
18

As a lowbrow, what I want is 30's through 50's Hollywood, which is pretty much exactly what the Hulu Criterion movies aren't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:02 AM
horizontal rule
19

I will be thrilled, thrilled, THRILLED if this spreads as far as Turner Classic Movies. I want my damn Joan Crawford pictures but what I do not want is to pay $100/mo for the privilege of Turkey Basting Central and The Dollhouse Decorating Network.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
20

18, what you want is Warner Archive Instant, I think. Although they need to fix the algorithm that decides what to put on the front page to entice people in. Wow, Season 4 of "Medical Center"? Sign me up!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
21

Got the appearance and disappearance from services totally pisses me off. I wanted to show Ghostbusters to my kid and it was on Netflix a few months ago and now it's not. Netflix does their best to hide this fact, when you search a movie it doesn't say "nope, don't have that" it just shows random other crap results, like you typed your search wrong.
Has anyone tried an Areo approach to DVDs using the first sale doctrine? Have a library of physical DVDs, when you want to watch someone pops it in the player that essentially connects to your TV/computer via a really long cable. Or does Areo loss essentially wipe out that option under the same legal reasoning?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:10 AM
horizontal rule
22

streaming services basically have every English-language TV show of the last 30 years, 5% of the English-language movies of the last 20 years, and nothing else.

Mind you, this doesn't get much less maddening when you want to watch one of those TV shows, because each streaming service has a different random subset of the TV shows, and it does seem to change week to week.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:13 AM
horizontal rule
23

20: I've seen that, and while the available movies are Hollywood from the right period, there aren't all that many and they largely seem pretty obscure. Better than nothing, but what I'm complaining about is the absence of a service where I could think of a movie and have fairly good odds of finding it, rather than watching whatever random things they have.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
24

I wanted to show Ghostbusters to my kid and it was on Netflix a few months ago and now it's not.

How funny... I noticed that movie on netflix a month or two ago, and added it to my watchlist. Then just last weekend, I finally sat down to watch it with the kids (after getting them all hyped to see it), and, nope, gone. Infuriating.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
25

Isn't that what my free antenna does?

Yeah, the news about CBS is kind of a yawner compared to the announcement from HBO that they will offer unbundled service without a cable subscription from 2015 (with the caveat that it's not clear if the service offered will be identical to the cable product).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
26

I bet someone could make a killing by having actual brick-and-mortar stores with really complete DVD libraries that people could borrow from.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
27

26: Well, there are bookstores which do well by having author readings. I suppose you could do it by showing the movies there as well as having rentals. Oh wait, that's called a movie theater.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:22 AM
horizontal rule
28

Just visited Hulu and they currently have at least 50 classic 4-star Japanese movies, many but not all Criterion. Those were fucking good, and if they rotate at all there is no way you can't have a great Japanese movie to watch every single night. Counting rewatches, it's an overabundance. And that was only one country on the first page of countries

Watch, you want Rashomon, and Cruel Story of Youth or Harakiri or Sandakon No 8 just will not do? I feel sorry for you.

The trick is to not go looking what what you want, or think you want, but go watch what's there and give a little to other peoples judgement. When in doubt, there are plenty of resources.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
29

I thought 27 was going to propose having live actors perform scenes from the movie at the store.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
30

24: Yeah, it's like if TCM had a streaming subscription-based service, but it only gave you the movies they show between 4 AM and 4 PM. Oh boy, Mrs. Skeffington again!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
31

I'm afraid to watch Rashomon because then I might find myself in a conversation with somebody else who has seen it and it would get too meta for me to handle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
32

Do libraries have old movies? The non-ninja libraries, I mean.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:35 AM
horizontal rule
33

Sandakon No 8 is a fictional biography of a "comfort woman" sold to an Indonesian brothel by her family in Kyushu in the early thirties.

Much is an interview (fictionalized but based on a true story) with the aged woman in an isolated hut in 1979. Played by Tanaka Kinuyo (Sancho Dayu, Ugetsu Monogatari) in her last movie.

At one point Tanaka does a skip-jump up the side of a hill, exactly replicating the unscripted skip she took 48 years before in her first hit, The Izu Dancer, back in 1931.

Hadn't heard of it? Neither had I until I looked it up and turned it on.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
34

32: Some of them. Those that don't, or if you're looking for a specific movie, can probably get them through interlibrary loan. That being said, neither option has the spontaneity people want from Netflix/Hulu/etc.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
35

Greencine is still in business. They had a lot of foreign stuff, but I bet they have a sizable collection of old stuff, too.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
36

Here's their Criterion stuff.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:52 AM
horizontal rule
37

Also the pay-per-view services (Amazon Instant Video, etc.) are pretty wide-ranging these days. Decent odds of finding something you're likely to want.* Not a subscription model but cheap enough that renting one or two a week won't come out to much different than the typical subscription services. Transfer quality can be pretty hit-or-miss, though.

*21, 24: What is it with everyone wanting to watch Ghostbusters all the sudden? Last weekend I wanted to watch it with my niece and nephew; when Netflix failed us it was $3 on Google Play.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
38

Somebody is remaking it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
39

I think maybe Mindy Cohn.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
40

Oh boy, Mrs. Skeffington again!

This made me laugh, out loud.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 12:59 PM
horizontal rule
41

Ghostbusters. Frozen. Hunger Games. Orange is the New Black. What would happen if you put Zazie dans le metro or M. Hulot's Holiday in front of the rugrats?

32:The non-ninja libraries, I mean.

You obviously have no idea who I am. I, OTOH, have you and yours pretty well figured out.

A full-grown person whose interests are of a material and commonplace nature, and whose mentality is formed of the stock ideas and conventional ideals of his or her group and time. I have said "full-grown" person because the child or the adolescent who may look like a small philistine is only a small parrot mimicking the ways of confirmed vulgarians, and it is easier to be a parrot than to be a white heron...The term bourgeois I use following Flaubert, not Marx. Bourgeois, in Flaubert's sense, is a state of mind, not a state of pocket. A bourgeois is a smug philistine, a dignified vulgarian . . . generally speaking, philistinism presupposes a certain advanced state of civilization, where, throughout the ages, certain traditions have accumulated in a heap and have started to stink.[6]
...Nabokov

If I actually were special, Hulu wouldn't have all those categories. And if it were Brazilian telenovas or 50s wrestling or early 19th Gothic or Kalevela, I don't care.

But if it is "what everybody else watches because everybody else in my social set is watching it" then I don't feel required to respect it at all.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 1:19 PM
horizontal rule
42

Fuck off already! What are you waiting for?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
43

M. Hulot's Holiday in front of the rugrats?

My father tried this one -- he thought it was the funniest thing ever when he saw it as a teenager (I think. It came out in the 50s?) in the theater. Sadly, it left my sister and me cold, and it wasn't working for him either on rewatching it thirty-some years later.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 1:30 PM
horizontal rule
44

I'll cop to being a vulgar philistine.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 1:44 PM
horizontal rule
45

But a particularly immaterial and unconventional one, and completely undignified.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 1:44 PM
horizontal rule
46

I'm not a vulgarian, I eat all kinds of meat.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
47

Where's the Halford flameout thread? I missed that.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 3:08 PM
horizontal rule
48

It wasn't interesting -- a three comment back-and-forth with no big buildup before it, and then he said he was leaving, not because of the immediate argument, but because this place was generally a frustrating time sink for him lately. Can't remember the thread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
49

I read an article recently (I can't remember where) about how old niche titles will just never come to streaming legally because the costs of getting them set up are too high. It was thoroughly depressing.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 3:13 PM
horizontal rule
50

48: Oh, I think I did see that and didn't think he was in earnest.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 3:14 PM
horizontal rule
51

Love Tati, watched Trafic and Vacances with kid, he loved both. Criterion on The Evil Monopoly is okay, not complete but not too bad.

Just watched The Assassination Bureau last week, wow is that a deranged movie or what? Totally enjoyable. Extended sequence in a very early 20c Parisian brothel leading up to a shot of Diana Rigg in befrilled corset & bloomers lying supra fetchingly on a pile of (they looked clean!) sheets at the bottom of a laundry shoot. I think I heard both Oliver Reed and the camera sigh when they finally had to wrench themselves away... Then there is the proto steampunk bombing by dirigible plot, and the beyond fabulous outfits of the Venetian hottie. In short, recommended.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 3:29 PM
horizontal rule
52

chute


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 3:30 PM
horizontal rule
53

The Assassination Bureau

Is that a filmed version of the unfinished Jack London anarchist novel? I had no idea there was such a thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
54

Oooh baby indeed it is!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
55

Yowza. Did you watch it streaming, and if so, where?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 3:43 PM
horizontal rule
56

Yes, at The Evil Monopoly, it was a pretty good quality print for the most part. Enjoy!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 3:49 PM
horizontal rule
57

The Assassination Bureau!

I thought I must be the only person who likes (or even has heard of) that movie.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
58

We all (three) enjoyed it immensely!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 4:14 PM
horizontal rule
59

I was also thinking about Ghostbusters recently because it came up in conversation with my girlfriend and she had no idea what I was talking about. I think it was on Netflix at the time, but I couldn't convince her to actually watch it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
60

My kids watched it recently. It was streaming on Crackle, one of the weird options a ways down the Apple TV.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 5:24 PM
horizontal rule
61

D^2 was driven away again? I missed Halford's exit - news to me. Huh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 5:46 PM
horizontal rule
62

57. Anything with Diana Rigg ...


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 5:45 AM
horizontal rule
63

57: only available in Region 1! It's OUR FILM damn it!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 6:18 AM
horizontal rule
64

When the Warner Archive Instant service came out it loiked pretty great, but I checked back to see their selection a few weeks ago and it looked like garbage. Maybe I'm doing something wrong with browsing or remembered wrong but they seem to have pulled a bunch of movies since the first time I looked.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 6:50 AM
horizontal rule
65

Well we watched it streaming, but I gotta break it to you - certain DVD players have a code you can enter that unlocks them for all regions. Code not advertised, but a bit of research will turn it up.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 9:41 AM
horizontal rule
66

Certain Blu-Ray players as well, though the unlock only works for DVDs.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 9:45 AM
horizontal rule
67

Better half says they've cracked down on this in recent years so hear's hoping our dvd player doesn't crap out.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 4:13 PM
horizontal rule
68

Since this is the movie thread I should mention that you can all watch Parti/cle Fe/ver for free on Netflix now. Rumor has it they have a decent shot at getting on the shortlist for an Oscar, and more Netflix viewer statistics can't hurt, so go watch it so I can hope to see people I know on the red carpet.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-17-14 5:00 PM
horizontal rule