How to: watch rare films online
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. Mubi.com 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.