IFC Entertainment and online rental service Netflix announced a partnership yesterday to offer 53 IFC titles for streaming online. This is good news and bad news.
The good news is it that it makes some of IFC’s great titles easier for people to see. Older stuff like John Sayles’ The Brother From Another Planet and Return of the Secaucus Seven, James Toback’s When Will I Be Loved, Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line and Gates of Heaven, plus some more current foreign titles including Susanne Bier’s Brothers (Jim Sheridan’s remake starring Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal opens soon), Hou Hsiao Hsien’s Three Times and others.
The bad news is that Netflix’s streaming service leaves a lot to be desired. It’s available at no extra charge to Netflix’s unlimited subscribers (and was recently made available on Sony’s PS3), but the video is at times sub-YouTube quality (at least on my internet connection) and navigating within a movie is sketchy at best.
It works in a pinch and it’s very convenient, but it’s not up to par for videophile types. Nevertheless, it’s yet another way somewhat obscure films are being made available to the masses. IFC has already experimented with offering their films on VOD concurrently with a theatrical realease and this is an interesting attempt to keep their strong catalogue of films alive. In the changing landscape of indie/foreign film distribution, I hope it works for them.
Filed under: Miscellaneous