After a 19-month hiatus, I've decided to bring the Instant View Film Festival blog back to life. The first new post will be tomorrow, October 1. Subsequent posts will start coming out slowly, but eventually I will work my way up to daily entries. A few developments influenced this decision.
First, the Roku and Chromecast streaming devices and Samsung Smart TV apps have significantly changed my viewing habits, and I'd like to have an outlet for sharing what I discover using these relatively new tools. I became somewhat frustrated with the direction of the IVFF was taking because it was too dependent on Netflix as a resource. While Netflix titles will be featured prominently in upcoming posts, I also believe it is relatively easy for people to access other VOD and streaming resources not only on their computers but also on their televisions. So posts will feature a mix of films available from different sources, subscription-based (Netflix, Hulu), pay-per-view (iTunes, Vudu) or free (Crackle, certain Roku channels, some YouTube). Apologies in advance for the spoiler, but tomorrow's post will be a mini-festival of films by Andrew Bujalski available on three different sources, none of which are Netflix.
Second, I'm in the process of learning more about web design, and while I develop another cinema-related web project (stay tuned), I'd like to sharpen my skills in code-writing and graphic design by improving what I've already built here. For example, I hope to learn how to use APIs to provide some of the content for the entries, so basic movie synopses and images will come from the open source The Movie Database (http://www.themoviedb.org/). After a short course in the basics of Adobe Photoshop, I'm now able to produce buttons and other graphics that should make navigating to the films or to Roku channels much easier. Some posts will be designed specifically to force me to learn and use certain skills. So the look and navigation of the blog will be a work-in-progress as I move away from the Blogger template towards new ideas and features that I will design and implement myself.
Third, I had stopped watching movies. I want to start watching movies again, with a purpose. I want a return to the thrill the hunt, and to the rewards of finding and sharing good films. Posts will range from brief thoughts more dependent on The Movie Database synopses to more in-depth entries that provide analysis and context for the suggested mini-festival. Some will focus in films I have seen, others will focus on films I plan to see. The suggestions and links will be available and functioning at the time of the posting, but as you know not every film is available forever on every streaming source. I will make an attempt to go back and fix dead links, but in the case of Netflix the links for films no longer streaming should still bring you to their entry for the film if it is available on DVD.
Okay, enough talk about what I plan to do, it's time to start doing it. Again, thank you for your time and interest.
Original Welcome Message
I recently heard a reasonably well respected film commentator say in a discussion about Netflix that despite the growing number of titles available, there are never any “good movies” on Watch Instantly. While it is true that it can be harder than it needs to be to find good films while searching the collection, there are in fact quite a number of good films available. The purpose of this blog is to find some of those films, on Netflix and on other streaming sources, which are worth looking for, watching, and discussing.
The entries here will be of varying length and detail, and will serve different purposes in different contexts. Sometimes I will write about films that I have just seen and I will discuss them in some detail. Sometimes I will write about films that I plan to see in the near future, and I will just give some brief reasons why they might be worth checking out. Sometimes I’ll just cut and paste titles, descriptions and links, and leave it at that. In any case, all of the entries can be considered starting points for discussions to be continued in the comments section.
As the blog archive grows, hopefully none of us will have trouble finding something to watch when we’re in the mood for a particular type of film, or when we’re looking for anything to watch on a rainy day.
Thank you for your time and interest, and I look forward to your responses.