Monday, February 18, 2008

Netflix Watch Now and Italian cinema

Last year I gave you an introduction to Netflix's ample resources for watching Italian movies, old and new. Since then, Netflix has expanded its selection of Watch Now movies (those you can watch instantly from your computer). Not only that, but as of mid-January, they have made the Watch Now/Instantly feature unlimited and free to anyone who has a subscription of $8.99 and above. A good deal. Over 6000 movies, including Casablanca, 2001, and TV, documentaries, indie films and foreign films.

Foreign films. Italian films, of course. Check their site and carefully assess whether your computer is up to snuff and has the specs to watch online (movies hog a lot of memory, albeit temporarily, and you need a fast Internet connection). If so, you will be ready to watch a number of Italian movies immediately, without spending a red cent.

I've used this feature plenty, and one of its quirks is that films come and go from the Watch Now selection. Here are some that are present even as we speak, or rather, as I write:

  • Caro Diario, with Nanni Moretti (pictured above) as lead and director. Can't understand why Americans don't appreciate Moretti. Pshaw!

  • La Notte, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. A classic of course, but not a crowd pleaser. With handsome Marcello Mastroianni and the venerable Jeanne Moreau.

  • My Mother's smile, directed by the fine Marco Bellocchio. Recommended.

  • The Tiger and the Snow, Roberto Benigni as lead and director. He was, of course, the director and lead in Life is Beautiful. This movie is not Life is Beautiful, which I thought was overrated anyway. But I like Roberto.

  • The way we laughed, Gianni Amelio, director. So-so. Lots of dialect, so not so useful for your Italian practice.

  • The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio. Haven't seen it. Might be worth a look.

  • Good morning, night. Also by Bellocchio. About the Moro assassination and the Red Brigades. Recommended.
  • Volere volare. A light comedy, with some animation. Haven't seen.