Friday, January 22, 2010

Classic Italian movies on Netflix Instant Watch

This is a great time to watch classic Italian cinema through Netflix Instant Watch. As of today, most of the films listed in my Top Ten Italian movies are now available to watch instantly. The Bicycle Thief at number one has been on Watch Now for some time, but number two Umberto D (also by De Sica) and Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers just made the list today. I strongly recommend this trio. For those of you watching movies to practice your Italian: The Battle of Algiers is not in Italian (it's in French and Arabic). But it is a stunning masterpiece, technical and otherwise, of great relevance to the current questions of terrorism and the Muslim world.

If you don't have Netflix yet, it's easy to get a free trial. But finding out what is on Instant Watch, and when, is not so easy from the Netflix site alone. It's as if they didn't want you to know all of their offerings. Cool independent sites go to fill this gap, including Instant Watcher and Streaming Soon.

The video shows the trailer of The Battle of Algiers, with a memorable (as usual) score by Ennio Morricone (along with Pontecorvo himself.)

Update- several hours after writing this I remembered my numerous readers from outside the US (over half of you). I apologize profusely for not addressing the question of whether you can get Netflix streaming outside the United States, and humbly admit to being an arrogant imperialistic eggplant.
The answer for now seems to be "no" (at least legally). Even if you should want to (ahem) borrow an American's account and password, they would probably call your bluff due to your IP address. Netflix didn't get to be big and successful by being stupid. However, reputable sources within the company have spoken of an expansion of streaming in 2010, including the possibility of streaming abroad.