Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Stopovana | Follow the Arrows by Petra Krejčová

I love short docs, something I can squeeze in during a lunch break and feel happy about. Yeah watching films between spoonfuls makes me happy. I am not that hard to please. So for today, I found a four-minuter and it did not disappoint.

Petra Krejčová 
2015 / Czech Republic / 4 min

these white arrows - signs of the times

A short documentary using man-on-the-street interviews or simply put, pestering passers-by for answers is about a bunch of arrows that litter a number of Czech city buildings.

Turns out if you really look into it, these arrows are in a sense historical tattoos. For some people, the arrows offer directions - back to the past and towards the future.

I actually wonder about the people who hid here. Hope most of them did survive.
You can watch the film Follow the Arrows by Petra Krejčová here.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Best Video on Demand Sites for World Cinema

Well do we really have much of an option when it comes to VOD sites streaming world cinema or art house fare?
So for Christmas I bought myself some presents - yeah I'm sad that way. I got two VOD accounts, one on Mubi.com and the other on DAfilms.com (Doc Alliance).

So why not Netflix? They got Iosseliani, they got most of the goods. Sorry but Netflix is not an option for me, they don't stream where I'm from. Not just yet. But Netflix seems to have everything like an Amazon.com for movies - obscure and mainstream. So I can't wait for that.

Every cinephile I know has a Mubi.com account, though you only get to see 30 films at a given time frame (a month exactly) and that's a good head start. However, if you're a voracious film buff and movie binges are the norm, Mubi might not just be enough to satiate your colossal appetite for cinema. 

To make the most of my monthly Mubi account, I make it a point to see 4 films a month. As much I want to see one film a day, that ain't possible with my work load. I skip the classics, the Criterion ones (which most likely I've seen), I concentrate on seeing festival films from 2000-2015, the short films and the docs, which I know I would be lucky to find copies of. But if they're on the 30-day list Mubi, yeah bring it on! These automatically go on top of my must-watch list. The only thing I mourn about Mubi.com is the demise of their forums, which like the Criterion forums, you get to bump into the most hard core of cinephiles and film listmakers.

Doc Alliance Films
The New Deal for Feature Documentaries

You get to access 1400 films from shorts and docs from the archive of 7 major documentary film festivals: CPH:DOX Copenhagen, Doclisboa, Docs Against Gravity FF, DOK Leipzig, FID Marseille, Jihlava IDFF and Visions du Réel Nyon. Something I am not able to resist, so hence my full subcription. Honestly, the fee is so minimal around 3.99 euros for something that offers 1,400 films. For some films, you will not find these elsewhere unless you know these filmmakers personally. Plus you can get the film that you like for a minimal fee for a legal download as well. 

Once you have your account there's not much social interactivity within the site, you only get a list of your recently watched films (but you can't view the full history list of all the films you've seen) that would have be quite helpful since I plan to write reviews and keep tabs of the films I go through. For monthly subscribers, you get a countdown timer (how many days left for viewing) which I think is a nifty feature.

And for jumpstarting this blog at the last month of this year, mostly blogging about the films I see from these VOD sites, and borrowed DVDs and some of the local festivals. I hope to have a fun time while at it.