kottke.org posts about Hulu
Last weekend, Sarah alerted us that the Criterion Collection movies on Hulu were available to watch for free all weekend long. It was a classic kottke.org post: here's something of very high quality that everyone can experience right now. Spot on, nailed it, I personally got excited and I would have taken full advantage had I not been out of the country.
The funny thing is that Hulu's Criterion movies are almost always nearly free. There are many films -- like Hoop Dreams, Babette's Feast, A Woman Under the Influence, and Rashomon -- that are totally free right now, just click the links and they start playing. But the rest of the Criterion films (looks like there's dozens if not hundreds of them) are very nearly free all the time, all available if you subscribe to Hulu Plus for $7.99 per month. Dammit, I don't want to do this but I'm trotting out the hoary cups of coffee metric here: for the price of two cups of coffee, you can watch as many Criterion-caliber films in the next month as you want, until your eyeballs pus over and burst from all the electromagnetic radiation pulsing into your retinas. And you also get all three seasons of Arrested Development!
Thank you, G.O.B. Most iPhone apps are either free or nearly free. Hundreds of classic works of literature are available on your favorite reading device for free or nearly free. There are enough freely available longreads out there to gag Instapaper. And let's not even get started on YouTube, it's a cultural fucking goldmine. Louis, you were right: everything is amazing and nobody's happy. Because who has two thumbs, disposable income, an interest in excellent films, and is not subscribing to Hulu Plus because it seems like too much money and too much effort? This spoiled idiot right here.
In a deal last year, Criterion movies went from one paid online service to another (Netflix to Hulu Plus).
However from now through Monday February 18th, all Criterion movies are free on Hulu for anyone in the US. No sign-up or log-in required.
Some recommendations: Yojimbo, Schizopolis, Hoop Dreams, and Zazie dans le métro.
Update: The free weekend has ended and most Criterion movies are back behind the Hulu Plus paywall but there are still a handful of Criterion movies available to watch for free on regular-Hulu including Hoop Dreams as well as Zatoichi, Quadrophenia, and The Long Voyage Home
A bunch of old episodes of He-Man on Hulu! Wow, were these episodes this bad and slow when I was a kid?
All 101 episodes of Lost are available on Hulu right now (US only). The season premiere is in 5 days...plenty of time to catch up on all ~73 hours of plane-crashing, hippie-communing, smoke-monstering, eye makeup-wearing, nicknaming, time-jumping weirdness.
All 19 episodes of My So-Called Life are available on Hulu for free. (US only.) My huge crush on Claire Danes persists into the present. I've seen this Soul Asylum video about 5 kajillion times and even liked her in Terminator 3. (I know, I know.) (via andrea inspired)
Hulu has released desktop apps for Windows and the Mac that work with those platforms' respective standard remote controls. This will be a welcome change from fiddling with it in a web browser.
The entire Cosmos series is available for free on Hulu, in 480p no less (US only). From the Wikipedia:
[Cosmos] covered a wide range of scientific subjects including the origin of life and a perspective of our place in the universe. The series was first broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service in 1980, and was the most widely watched series in the history of American public television until 1990's The Civil War. It is still the most widely watched PBS series in the world. It won an Emmy and a Peabody Award and has since been broadcast in more than 60 countries and seen by over 600 million people, according to the Science Channel.
Some movies Rex didn't realize you could watch in their entirety (for free and in 480p) on Hulu: Metropolitan, The Fifth Element, 28 Days Later, Requiem for a Dream, Lost in Translation, Koyaanisqatsi, and Eternal Sunshine.
Me either! Also available are Raising Arizona, Lost Highway, Hoop Dreams, Sideways, Master and Commander, Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, and Groundhog Day.
The entirety of Hoop Dreams, which appeared at the top of the best documentaries list I posted yesterday, is available on Hulu to watch for free. Watch for Gates getting his pocket picked. (thx, skeets & david)