The wonderful Criterion Collection launched its new website today, and it does in fact feature streaming movies as rumoured. There are a small number of movies available as high-quality streams at the moment, with more to come. To view them, you need to pay $US5, which is pretty steep for a stream, but that $US5 counts towards your purchase of the film on DVD or Blu-ray. There are some free streams, however.
Every month, Criterion will join up with The Auteurs to offer an online film festival. That means that each month, films falling under a certain umbrella will be free to stream. The first month's festival focuses on Cruel Stories of Youth, so if you're looking to check out the quality of Criterion's streams while also being brought back to your horrible, painful childhood, this is the perfect opportunity.
In addition to the streams, the new site offers a ton of great content, including essays pulled from the booklets of their releases and top 10 lists by any number of famous names. All in all, the new site is definitely worth checking out. [Criterion Collection]