By: Cormac Riordan, Staff Writer
Self quarantining? Already ran through the selections on your favorite streaming sights? Here are a few lesser-known gems to keep you from going stir crazy in these isolating times.
Arthouse streaming on a schedule, Mubi only ever has thirty movies available. Every day a new film comes on the site, but one also leaves, giving the viewer only thirty days to watch it. If that sounds limiting, that’s kind of the point. How many times have you seen Netflix put up a movie you’ve been meaning to watch and excitedly add it to your list, only for it to languish there, forever unwatched? With Mubi, you don’t have that luxury, making you prioritize what you really want to see. Between that and themed selections that could feature the same actor or be a part of a film movement, Mubi is a wonderful resource for anyone looking to watch some out of the box films.
Mubi has currently available The Last Man on Earth (1964), a post-apocalyptic tale with Vincent Price one may find timely, as well as twenty-nine other interesting features. A subscription costs 10.99 a month.
For the people who are more interested in genre cinema, especially horror, there’s Shudder. This streaming service has something to offer any walk of horror fanatic, from fans of a haunted house to slasher fanatics to J-Horror devotees. They have classics like Halloween, Night of the Living Dead, and The Exorcist, while still giving a platform to new directors and films. Shudder also offers guest curated playlists for those who can’t figure out what they want to watch, as well as a live streaming channel that plays movies 24/7. Whether you’re a newcomer to the world of horror or a deep fan of the genre, everyone can find something new to watch in horror on Shudder.
In addition to a wide variety of horror and other genre flicks, Shudder has a podcast called Vistations. Co-hosted by Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah, the two interview people from the world of horror, from Guillmero del Toro to John Landis. If you’re looking for a new podcast to binge, this one is short and sweet. The podcast is free, but a subscription to Shudder is 4.99 a month.
A little of everything for the movie fan, the Criterion Channel is a varitible film school online. No matter the genre, era, or country, this website has at least one movie that checks off all your boxes. While the selection is sprawling, it can also be easily navigated, as one can search by director, actor, genre, or any other filter for films. The channel also offers thematic double features and playlists of film stars or movements. One of the most impressive aspects of their selection is how much “bonus” content they have on each film: interviews with cast and crew, short documentaries made on the subject in question, and talks with film critics and scholars discussing the films. If you’re craving a little more education now that school exists exclusively online, you can’t go wrong with the Criterion Channel.
One particularly great offering on the Criterion Channel is their selection of screwball comedies. A great double pairing of films to take your minds off the way the world is now is His Girl Friday and What’s Up, Doc? The first is a classic Howard Hawks picture starring Cary Grant, about the woman who hates him a little less than she lets on at first (Rosalind Russell). The two are newspapermen and duel the entire film like either the best couple or the worst. What’s Up, Doc? is a 60s New Hollywood joint inspired by the 40s comedies of Hawks, but has every bit the charm and wit. Starring Barbara Streisand as a Bugs Bunny-style creature of mayhem, the film revolves around a farce about four identical suitcases. Both films are hilarious as well as trickingly charming, and a perfect antidote to today. The Criterion Channel is 10.99 a month.