Posts Tagged ‘free films online’

h1

Free On-Line Streaming of (Some of) Tribeca Film Festival

30 March 2011

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival running from April 20 to May 1 in Manhattan, is taking a newly adventurous approach to online distribution. Six features and 18 shorts will be streamed on the festival’s Web site during the event; the streams will be free, but in a throwback to the days of assigned seats in movie theaters, viewers will need to make reservations to watch the films online during designated 24-hour periods.

Among the features being shown online are David Dusa’s “Flowers of Evil,” a story of love and politics set in Paris and Tehran, in its American premiere, and Scott Rettberg’s “New York Says Thank You,” a post-9/11 documentary about New Yorkers helping other communities struck by disasters. Reservations can be made at tribecaonline.com beginning April 18 (April 12 for holders of American Express cards).

from the “Watchlist” column, Mike Hall, The New York Times, 3/27/11

h1

From the National Film Registry Entrants for 2010: ‘Tarantella’

22 January 2011

The Library of Congress added another 25 films to its National Film Registry in December. Besides such popular works as Airplane! and All the President’s Men, several experimental and silent films were chosen. Here’s an experimental film by Mary Ellen Bute (with the Library staff  notes):

Tarantella (1940)

Tarantella (1940)
“Tarantella” is a five-minute color, avant-garde short film created by Mary Ellen Bute, a pioneer of visual music and electronic art in experimental cinema. With piano accompaniment by Edwin Gershefsky, “Tarantella” features rich reds and blues that Bute uses to signify a lighter mood, while her syncopated spirals, shards, lines and squiggles dance exuberantly to Gershefsky’s modern beat. Bute produced more than a dozen short films between the 1930s and the 1950s and once described herself as a “designer of kinetic abstractions” who sought to “bring to the eyes a combination of visual forms unfolding with the … rhythmic cadences of music.” Bute’s work influenced many other filmmakers working with abstract animation during the ‘30s and ‘40s, and with experimental electronic imagery in the ‘50s.

For the complete list, see the National Film Registry Board website:

National Film Registry (National Film Preservation Board)

h1

Sites for Free Online Documentaries

27 January 2010

My, what a lot of sites showcasing documentaries!

I found a list of 15 recommended sources on a website on resources for online students and thought it looked useful for anyone interested in nonfiction film.

Here are those rated  ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ on video quality, sorted by ranking. For the complete list, please look under Online Viewing Options under Links.

Top Documentary Films
Selection:
Around 500 videos embedded from other sites
Categories: 9/11, Art & Artists, Biography, Comedy, Conspiracy, History, Military & War, Mystery, Nature & Wildlife, Other, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science, Sports
Notable Films: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Tupac: Resurrection, Planet Earth, The Bridge, Africa Addio, Bigger Stronger Faster, Super High Me, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, An Inconvenient Truth, Mad Hot Ballroom, Born Into Brothels, Why We Fight, Shut Up & Sing, Maxed Out, March of the Penguins, Step into Liquid, Grizzly Man, When We Were Kings, Rize
Video Availability: Good

Free Documentaries Online
Selection:
Around 280 videos embedded from other sites
Categories: Anthropology, Astronomy/Space, Biography, Biology/Environment, Cosmology/Physics, Crime/History, Lifestyle/Society, Mystery/Conspiracy, Politics/Religion, Science/Technology
Notable Films: Cocaine Cowboys, Man on Wire, What the Bleep Do We Know!?, Religulous, Planet Earth, Microcosmos, Baraka, Taxi to the Dark Side, Bowling for Columbine, The Yes Men
Video Availability: Excellent

SnagFilms
Selection:
Over 650 legally licensed videos hosted on site
Categories: Campus, Environment, Health, History, International, Life & Culture, Music & Arts, Politics, Science & Nature, Sports & Hobbies, Women’s Issues
Notable Films: Confessions of a Superhero, Hoop Dreams, The Times of Harvey Milk, Dig!, Life After Tomorrow, A Century of Black Cinema
Video Availability: Excellent

Online Documentaries 4 U
Selection:
Close to 250 videos embedded from other sites
Categories:
Activist, Ancient History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, Atheism, Biography, Biology, Countries, Economics, Education, Environment, Evolution, Film, Food, Future, General Science, Genetics, Health, History, Human Biology, IT, Language, Life Extension, Mathematics, Medicine, Murder, Music, Nature, New Age, Palaeontology, Philosophy, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Society, Space, Supernatural, Technology, War
Notable Films:
The Secret, The Business of Being Born, What Would Jesus Buy?, Religulous, Koyaanisqatsi, Cosmos, An Unreasonable Man, Super Size Me
Video Availability:
Good

PBS Video
Selection:
Close to 100 high-quality (both video and content-wise), proprietory PBS productions hosted on site
Categories:
Arts & Literature, Cinema, Culture, Health & Wellness, History, Home & How-To, Nature & Environment, News & Public Affairs, Performing Arts, Region, Science, Technology
Notable Films:
Episodes of American Experience, American Masters, FRONTLINE, Nature and NOVA
Video Availability:
Excellent

GUBA
Selection:
Around 3,500 videos hosted on site, less than 100 of which are “feature length” (90+ minutes)
Categories:
Aviation, Conspiracy, General, Military; mostly unsorted and difficult to search
Notable Films:
Various Discovery Channel, History Channel and BBC programs.
Video Availability:
Excellent

Hulu
Selection:
Around 70 doumentary films and over 300 TV episodes, all legally licensed and hosted on site
Categories:
Unsorted
Notable Films:
Confessions of a Superhero, The Buena Vista Social Club, Hoop Dreams, The Times of Harvey Milk, Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, Super Size Me, Dig!, The Impaler
Video Availability:
Excellent

Joost
Selection:
Over 200 legally licensed films hosted on site
Categories:
Unsorted
Notable Films:
Hoop Dreams, The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, Trembling Before G-d, Jazz on a Summer’s Day, several dozen National Geographic specials
Video Availability:
Excellent

Internet Archive
Selection:
Thousands of vintage documentaries, shorts, educational films and newsreels hosted on site
Categories:
Various collections; not always easy to browse
Notable Films: Africa Speaks, Steal This Film, lots of public domain and special collections of historical value
Video Availability: Excellent

Babelgum
Selection:
Around 400 videos small independent productions of varying length hosted on site
Categories: Unsorted
Notable Films: All relatively unknown
Video Availability: Excellent

h1

Recommended On-Line Viewing: “Sita Sings the Blues”

8 January 2010

Nina Paley’s animated feature presents parallel stories: Sita’s and the filmmaker’s. Here’s a short synopsis from the Sita website:

Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920’s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as “the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.”

The film has also been presented to the public free (though donations to cover the copyright cost of the music are welcomed) by Paley. Visit the website to read about Paley–and her film’s–journey and watch the film! (See the link under As Mentioned in the Post).

h1

Link Added to The Auteurs

2 December 2009

We’ve added a link to The Auteurs, a site for on-line film viewing. There’s a charge (usually $5) for the films offered, but every month the site features one or more free options.

Earlier, we posted the Pixies’ “Debaser” video; now here’s the song’s film inspiration, plus two other free films:

The Auteurs is now showing 3 films by Spanish surrealist Luis Buñuel for free in the US to celebrate the release of the beautiful remastering of the filmmaker’s unheralded 1956 French/Mexican co-production Death in the Garden, shot in gorgeous Eastmancolor and starring Michel Piccoli, Simone Signoret, and Charles Vanel.

Death in the Garden and two classic Buñuel films from his earlier and most vividly surreal period, Un chien andalou (1929) and L’âge d’or (1930) are available to watch for free in the US. The Auteurs is presenting the 1956 film alongside more renowned films made before and after to put it on the context of his career.

(See The Auteurs under “On-Line Viewing Options” and the link to the 3 free Buñuel films under “As Mentioned in the Post” in the sidebar).

h1

More Online Viewing: Rembrandt’s J’Accuse

18 November 2009

Always on the lookout for features available for free online viewing, I found Peter Greenaway’s Rembrandt’s J’Accuse (2008).

The movie is an addendum to “Nightwatching,” Mr. Greenaway’s 2007 fictional feature about the painting that was part of a larger project of the same title that he created for the yearlong 2006 celebration of Rembrandt’s 400th birthday in the Netherlands. That project included an opera and a “re-presentation” of the painting. Mr. Greenaway was also the author of a handsome accompanying museum catalog. The “Nightwatching” project was, in turn, the first in an ambitious series Mr. Greenaway has undertaken titled “Nine Classical Paintings Revisited” that has, to date, included inquiries into Leonardo’s “Last Supper” and, as part of this year’s Venice Biennale, Paolo Veronese’s “Wedding at Cana.” (from “The Man Who Watched the Watchers” by Manohla Dargis, The New York Times, 10/21/09)

The film’s thesis:  the composition of “The Night Watch” shows that Rembrandt used the work to accuse the Amsterdam militia of murder within their own ranks. Throughout the analysis, Greenaway—who narrates the film, often seen as a talking head in a little box on the screen (Dargis  compared the sight to that of Jambi the Genie on Pee-wee’s Playhouse)—weaves in European history of many strands: political, religious,  and artistic.

rembrandt%27s-j%27accuse

h1

Link Added for National Film Board of Canada

10 November 2009

We’ve added another link for on-line viewing: the National Film Board of Canada site. (I think just about all the interesting films screened during my high school classtime were of NFB Canada origin).

Here’s a classic short, The Big Snit. (It’s on the NFB site, but I had to take this from YouTube because I couldn’t import the copy from north of the border for some reason….)