Tuesday, August 31, 2010

British Film Institute Films Online

Catherine Grant at the highly informative blog, Film Studies for Free, has brought to my attention that The British Film Institute has entered into a partnership with the advertising-supported, video-streaming site Daily Motion to provide access to some of the incredible wealth of films that the BFI has funded and distributed over many years.
Some of these movies are very edgy, dramatic, plainly odd, and clearly only meant for adults--though the vast majority may appeal to more general tastes. Titles include examples of the uniquely beguiling silhouette animation of fairy tales by Lotte Reiniger, the superb documentary A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese (1995), several of Terence Davies very moving, poetic documentaries, Derek Jarman's biopic about Caravaggio (1986) (with Michael Gough and Robbie Coltrane in the cast) and a modern retelling of the spaghetti western with Alex Cox's Straight to Hell (1987) featuring Dennis Hopper, and with the one and only Courtney Love, along for a hectic, bloody, strangely funny ride in a film that is reported to have influenced Tarantino, among others.

49 films have been brought online with more expected soon. Simple registration at Daily Motion will enable you to see this collection, found at the link that follows. You can receive notices of new films as they are added by subscribing to the BFI feed found here.

I would also love to see some of recorded conversations with filmmakers who have visited the BFI over the years online along with more films. This step at Daily Motion is especially welcome since many of the videos on the BFI's UK site are not allowed to be viewed by US users, due to copyright issues.

In the meantime, there are also many classics (or portions of them) on youtube via the BFI channel, found here:

One of my favorite documentaries about movies, A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese (1995), can be seen below through the Daily Motion site. Scorsese's most heartfelt, personal valentine to the cinema needs to be seen by anyone touched by film. It takes a moment for this film to begin, but please be patient. You will be richly rewarded by Mr. Scorsese:


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