Tribeca/Lionsgate Announce VOD Service

We had a long talk the other night about HBO breaking away from cable and moving to their own subscription-based service. CBS recently announced something similar with their “CBS All Access” service (anyone need an instant “Twin Peaks” fix?). Is this the way TV and movies are moving for good? Obviously Netflix is here to stay, but what I mean is, with all of these off-shoots, rather than paying a hundred bucks a month for cable, will we be shelling out a hundred bucks a month (or more) for several different streaming platforms? Though in my utopia there would be one service with everything I could possibly want and I’d be willing to pay a premium price for it. But it’s unlikely this will ever happen and with Hulu and Amazon and Netflix already going strong, the future seems to be an ala carte selection of various video on-demand services that you’ll have to navigate to separately. But I digress…

The latest “media conglomerate” seems an unlikely pairing at first whisper since when I think Tribeca Film Fest I think of artier, more thoughtful dramas and Lionsgate conjures thought of people having their limbs sawed off while evil clowns stand by laughing. But of course those are both generalizations and not altogether true. The Tribeca/Lionsgate VOD service has been dubbed “The Tribeca Short List.” Possibly a little misleading to some as some sort of shorts program; but no, this will be a highly curated list of titles from festivals around the world as well as critically acclaimed and prestigious films from the Lionsgate and Tribeca. The list of titles are to be replenished and refreshed each week.

Launching in early 2015, this sounds like a way to see the newest The Hunger Games movie as soon as possible while at the same time making it possible to hunt down all of the festival titles you heard about on podcasts and blogs, but know will never see the light of day (or the darkness of the cinema). In other words, depending on the launch titles announced and price point, I’m kind of digging this idea; count me in!
Would you like to know more…?

From Sundance to your living room: Watch My Prairie Home for free!

MyPrairieHome

Director Chelsea McMullan has had a really great year. Her documentary My Prairie Home (review) is an intimate and eye opening look at singer-song writer Rae Spoon’s music and the uphill personal struggle the artist has fought as a spokesperson for the transgendered. It’s wonderfully shot and a really beautiful story of an individual who, through their personal work, is inspiring and fighting for the rights of others.

Since its world premiere at VIFF in September, the film has been garnering acclaim, most recently at the Sundance film festival where it will have one last screening tomorrow night. My Prairie Home will be available on demand and for download on iTunes on January 28th but Canadians have a chance to see the movie, for free, before anyone else.

On Sunday, January 26 and Monday, January 27, My Prairie Home will be available for free either via the NFB Screening Room or simply by clicking play on the player below.

For now the player will stream the movie’s trailer but starting Sunday, it will change to play the doc so mark your calendars and enjoy!

My Prairie Home by Chelsea McMullan, National Film Board of Canada

Sunday Bookmarks: March 14-20

 

  • Why see ‘Don’t Look Now’?
    Coming to BluRay and rep screenings in the UK: “In hindsight, ‘Don’t Look Now’ is the perfect mixture of Roeg’s abilities as a teller of mysterious stories and as one of the most accomplished cinematic stylists ever to peep through a viewfinder. The film smashes up chronology and pieces it back together in a deviously strange order, so we get constant hints and suggestions of dark events to come. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie are utterly convincing as the central couple who flee to Venice to retain a focus on their messed-up lives.”
  • Notes on Charlie Sheen and the End of Empire
    “No, what this moment is about is Charlie Sheen solo. It’s about a well-earned mid-life crisis played out on Sheen’s Korner instead of in a life coach’s office somewhere in Burbank. The mid-life crisis is the moment in a man’s life when you realize you can’t (won’t) maintain the pose that you thought was required of you any longer—you’re older and you have a different view of life and this is when the bitterness and acceptance blooms. Tom Cruise had a similar meltdown at the same age in the summer of 2005, but his was more politely manufactured (and, of course, he was never known as an addict). Cruise had his breakdown while smiling and he couldn’t get loose, he couldn’t be natural about it. He’s always essentially been the good boy who can’t say “Fuck You” the way Sheen can.”
  • An Interview with Greta Gerwig at SxSW
    Greta Gerwig is no stranger to SXSW. Her new film, “The Dish & the Spoon,” marks the sixth time she has had a movie in the festival in an film career that has stretched the same number of years. This new film, directed by Alison Bagnall, about a woman and a young man (Olly Alexander) who bond during a tumultuous time in their lives. Ms. Gerwig’s acting style, which A.O. Scott lauded for its “apparent absence of any method,” is employed in this intimate, primarily two-character study.
  • Bernardo Bertolucci has a 3D Project
    “Cult Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci said in an interview for his 70th birthday on Wednesday that he will be making his first 3D film this year saying it was like riding on a “flying carpet” […] “I want to use 3D in a different way from what we have seen in films like ‘Avatar’ or other films characterised by special effects,” he said.”
  • Is Netflix Abandoning Its Business Model Again?
    With the production of David Fincher/Kevin Space HBO-styled TV DRAMA, It looks like a new strategy is here. In the great tradition of the network and cable game, make themselves a “must carry.” I wouldn’t be shocked to see them in the bidding for hockey or trying to make a deal to stream Major League Baseball or something like that before long. If they are going this way, no one show “airing” 13 times a year is going to keep customers paying $8 or more a month. If Netflix becomes a thrift shop, with content here and there and everywhere, the churn will get worse […] This choice, combined with the exit of Criterion and the abandonment of Red Envelope, their previously stab at original content, clearly tells us that Netflix sees no future in quality film lovers as a primary audience for the service. Fair enough. But it will be interesting to see when the cineastes get the message.”
  • Zediva – A Clever End Run Around the Movie-Streaming Gremlins
    “It lets you listen to the director’s commentary, turn on subtitles and change languages. It lets you enjoy your movie for two weeks instead of 24 hours, starting and stopping at will. It offers the 100 biggest movies for streaming on the very same day the DVD comes out. It sidesteps any meddling by the movie companies, HBO contracts and studio lawyers. And here’s the best news of all — are you sitting down on your favorite movie couch? The price is only $2 for one movie or $1 if you buy a 10-pack. There’s no signup fee, no monthly fee, no hardware to buy. Zediva’s secret is so outrageous, you may think it’s an early April Fool’s prank. But it’s no joke.”
  • Is Matthew McConaughey Really Shirtless in Every Movie?
    “Conventional wisdom likes to assume that Matthew McConaughey has taken his shirt off in every single one of his movies. True, McConaughey is not shy when it comes to going bare chested on-screen and in public, but is he really sans shirt in every one of his movies?” Yes, Movieline actually checks out each and every one of them to be sure.

 
 

You can now take a look at RowThree’s bookmarks at any time of your choosing simply by clicking the “delicious” button in the upper right of the page. It looks remarkably similar to this:

 

Bookmarks for September 2nd through September 3rd

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What we’ve been reading – September 2nd through September 3rd:

  • Where the Wild NY Times Feature Is.
    "Really, though, the quarrel was about something more unusual in Hollywood than darkness versus light, something more central to Jonze’s identity: the question of plot versus attitude." The NYT Magazine has a seven page feature on Where the Wild Things are and a Spike Jones Career retrospective (The visual version of this is at the Museum of Modern Art in the near future)
  • Online Steaming: Movies From Youtube and Google
    "Google Inc.'s YouTube is in discussions with major movie studios about streaming movies on a rental basis, a test of whether the online video giant can persuade its millions of users to pay for premium content."
  • So today is a very good day for dolphins!
    The Cove appears to be a successful piece of activism: "Today is September 1st, the first day of the dolphin slaughter season in Japan. But when I arrived today by bus from Kansai Airport with media representatives from all over the world, the notorious Cove from the movie was empty. There were no dolphin killers in sight."
  • Best ‘Movie Summer’ Ever?
    While the entire Cinematical.com staff go to town on their favourite movie summers, I have to side with Scott Weinberg. 1984. Temple of Doom, Star Trek III, Gremlins and Ghostbusters all within 15 days. O My.

Bookmarks for August 20th through August 24th

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What we’ve been reading – August 20th through August 24th:

  • SpeedCine Home Page
    A database of over 13,000 movies available to watch online legally – includes free sites like hulu, on-demand outlets like Amazon's Video-On-Demand, and subscription services like Netflix Instant Watch. I know hulu and Instant Watch are geo-restricted to the US, unfortunately; not sure about Amazon.
  • Tarantino on Soundtracks
    An interview with Quentin Tarantino in which he talks about how he comes up with the music soundtracks for his films and how they actually help shape the movie. Kind of a fun read.
  • Rethinking INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
    Karina Longworth gives one of the most thoughtful re-reviews (she saw both the Cannes cut and the release Cut) of the film yet. For those who have seen the film, this is a MUST-READ. "My initial assessment of the film was wrong. Maybe what I saw this week in New York really is a complete revitalization, so completely different from what I saw in Cannes as to excuse me from blame for not fully engaging with it in the couple of hours I had to form a correct opinion before the film was rendered old news by the maw of the festival cycle. But probably not. Probably, it is a couple of things. The film is now unquestionably a little bit tighter than the first version I saw; my complaints about the flow and movement of the action sequences is no longer valid, and as far as my complaint about the lack of “rock n’ roll efficiency”, well, that is idiotic now and probably was then, as well. But I honestly don’t know what has changed more since May: the cut of Inglouirous Basterds, or me."

Netflix on the iPhone? Why Not?

I take a lot of shit for watching the occasional movie on my iPod. But it seems I’m not the only one willing to watch My Bloody Valentine while on a bumpy bus ride or in the back of a taxi on the way to my next very important engagement.

Apparently Netflix, or at least so says an industry executive “insider,” plans to soon extend the “watch instantly” feature over to iPhone, iPod touch devices and the wii console. Of course Netflix refuses to comment on “rumor and speculation”, but a non-answer is pretty much an admission of ‘guilt’ is it not?

So what do you think? Gonna give me more guff over watching Saw V or would you too, if bored on your way to work on the smelly bus or in the back of your parent’s car commuting through Iowa for your family vacation, whip out the ol iPhone and watch an episode of “Family Ties” or maybe stream an old favorite; like Mystic Pizza?

UPDATE: Oop. Wait, hold the phone (pun intended). “However, Netflix’s streaming-video feature would probably be restricted to access over local Wi-Fi connections only — not over AT&T’s 3G data network — in the same the way other bandwidth-heavy video apps for the iPhone are limited.

So I guess unless I’m in the dentist office or coffee shop with nothing else to do or read – and I forgot my laptop – this will be a useless feature. Nevermind.

See How A Great Band Fell Apart: DiG!

DiG! One SheetRarely do I take advice from the folks working the floor of the video store but a few years back, after aimlessly and desperately searching the shelves of the local video store, I broke my own rule and talked to a meek looking floor guy. After the usual questions (what do you like, what have you seen, what do you feel like watching), he walked me over to a little shelf, hidden off around the corner with a tiny sign that read “Indies”. “If you like music, you’re going to love this,” he says as he hands me a DVD.

It was Ondi Timoner’s DiG! and that was the day I discovered both The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, a band I’ve come to love. Timoner’s documentary tracked both bands from their humble early beginnings and into moderate success while shining a not always pleasant light on the friendship and rivalry of the band’s founders Courtney Taylor and Anton Newcombe. It was fascinating to see how both bands managed through the ups and downs but it was even more interesting that the least talented of the two bands (in my opinion at least), managed to be successful while the other essentially disappeared into obscurity.

Since that first screening, I’ve recommended the film to a number of friends but they usually come back with a disappointed look on their faces, complaining that it’s nearly impossible to find. For my part, I’ve failed to buy the DVD but would certainly jump on it if I ever saw it at the store. I don’t feel so bad about recommending it now because it’s actually available and easy to find.

Earlier this week the folks at Cinematical noted that Timoner’s film was available for free streaming at SnagFilms. The only setback is that it’s only available in the US.

Still here you go: I recommend, very highly, that you check out this documentary and to make it that much easier, I’m even putting it here for your viewing pleasure.

Film is tucked under the seat!

Would you like to know more…?

See It Free: Sita Sings the Blues Streams Online!

Sita Sings the Blues Movie Still

It was surprising to hear Colleen rave about an animated film when she herself has said that animation is not her thing but she was very impressed with Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues.

We posted the trailer a few months back when the film was making the festival rounds but it looks like Paley’s film will not have to wait to find an audience on DVD.

Andrew will be happy to know that he’ll have a chance to see it sooner rather than later. After much fanangling with the rights, thirteen, a public broadcaster out of New York City, has managed to acquire rights to the film which is now available under creative commons licensing. The result? The rest of us benefit from the film’s availability online.

Sita Sings the Blues is streaming for free at Reel 13, the broadcasters blog, and though there’s no apparent “expiry date”, I urge you to check it sooner rather than later because who knows how long this opportunity will stick around. To make life that much better, it’s available to everyone not just American IPs.

I know what I’m doing when I get home tonight…(right after my screening of Pontypool (our review)).