How to: watch rare films on­line

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ART­HOUSE and for­eign films can be hard to find on­line. That om­nipresent sec­tion of the video store has en­dured a dif­fi­cult tran­si­tion from real-world to on­line stores, as most movie ser­vices favour big-bud­get block­busters. But one in­de­pen­dent film ser­vice has signed a 16-coun­try deal to de­liver films to an un­ex­pect­edly main­stream host: the Sony PlayS­ta­tion 3. founder Efe Cakarel launched the new PS3 ser­vice in Aus­tralia this month, of­fer­ing more than 500 art­house, in­de­pen­dent, for­eign and rare films to users. These in­clude award-win­ning ti­tles such as La Dolce Vita and All About My Mother, as well as Aus­tralian-made films from in­de­pen­dent stu­dios Hop­scotch and Um­brella En­ter­tain­ment. To ac­cess Mubi movies, PlayS­ta­tion 3 own­ers can down­load a free app from the game con­sole’s menu. The Mubi store of­fers mem­bers some films streamed for free, while short film rentals cost $1.75 and fea­ture films $6.25. View­ers have a week in which to watch their pur­chases. Mubi users also have the op­tion of pay­ing $19.95 for a 30-day sub­scrip­tion to all movies in the ser­vice, which Cakarel says is an im­por­tant op­tion to let users dis­cover cin­e­matic gems. ‘‘Sub­scrip­tion is the right model for this type of con­tent be­cause you want view­ers to start dis­cov­er­ing films,’’ he says. ‘‘There are a lot of movies you will never have heard of.’’ The new PlayS­ta­tion Net­work ser­vice comes in ad­di­tion to its ex­ist­ing movie down­load ser­vice, on-de­mand mu­sic chan­nel and PlayTV tele­vi­sion ser­vice. Other movie stream­ing ser­vices in­clude of­fer­ings from Mi­crosoft’s Xbox 360, pay-TV provider Fox­tel, Tel­stra BigPond and Ap­ple’s iTunes net­work.

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