I already saw Dogtooth and OMG, that was weird
February 1, 2011 10:00 AM   Subscribe

I want to beat my friend in a race to see all (or as many as possible) of the Oscar nominees.

He is way better at movies than I am, so he has seen some of them that are already out of theaters. We have both seen most of the major movies. However, the smaller ones, the documentaries, the shorts, and the foreign ones seem impossible to find- they aren't in theaters, and they aren't on DVD yet. I found Exit through the Gift Shop on Hulu. I found several on Netflix Instant, and a few on DVD that seem to have a huge waiting list. Is there any way I can beat him before the Oscars? How do film buffs do it?
posted by jenlovesponies to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried just (slightly) illegally downloading the movies on torrent? Or perhaps just search for the movies on streaming sites?
posted by astapasta24 at 10:07 AM on February 1, 2011

Uh, your local video rental place?
posted by mkultra at 10:10 AM on February 1, 2011

People get screeners* because they are members of the academy. The rest of us are friends with the people who get screeners and borrow them to watch!

*Screeners now come embedded with digital codes to prevent bootlegging... folks only loan them out to people they trust won't lose them or copy them. This info might not help you this year, but maybe down the road?
posted by jbenben at 10:10 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I also have an Oscar race with my friends each year. This year I've seen 19 of the nominated movies so far! I target Hulu and Netflix too, but another good place to look are the little cheapie movie theaters that show movies that have already been out of theaters for a few months. Also Amazon.com has a new feature where you can watch a movie on-demand for a couple bucks and I THINK they get releases before Netflix.
posted by silverstatue at 10:12 AM on February 1, 2011

Shorts International has been putting together screenings of these for the past few years, typically shown in arthouse theaters. According to that site, this year the programs will be in theaters on Feb. 11 and on iTunes on Feb. 15. (To my knowledge, this is the first year they've done it on iTunes.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:15 AM on February 1, 2011

Really? Torrenting? Plbt.

Los Angeles residents can see Oscar-nominated shorts at the Nuart, starting Feb 19. Looks like Shorts International will begin offering the short films (both animated and live-action) on iTunes and OnDemand starting Feb 15. On Feb 22, the AMPAS will screen all the shorts and even include a Q&A with the filmmakers after, hosted by Kenneth Branagh, but that's also just in LA.
posted by incessant at 10:20 AM on February 1, 2011

To answer your question "how do people do this" There are legit ways such as getting screeners or having friends with screeners, but there's a pretty solid underground trade in these. MeFi's own waxpancake has been putting out this list for years, just about due for another one. You can get an idea of what's available where and how.
posted by jessamyn at 10:40 AM on February 1, 2011

jessamyn: I posted the new update last week.
posted by waxpancake at 10:57 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Yep, think of friends in the industry who could be getting screeners (and it seems you don't just have to be in the Academy -- my boyfriend is in SAG but definitely not the Academy, and we get a selection of screeners every year, though usually just the major ones). Think of anyone you know who might be in any of the major industry unions/guilds -- SAG, AFTRA, WGA, DGA, IGC, ASC, etc.
posted by scody at 11:40 AM on February 1, 2011

Best answer: AMC Theaters is running their Best Picture Showcase again this year, which will cover those 10. There are also theaters showing the animated and live-action shorts in mini-marathons. (In Milwaukee, which is not too far from you in Chicago, this is being held at the Times Cinema but I'm sure Chicago has their own). I haven't found anywhere to catch all the documentaries.
posted by JJtheJetPlane at 12:44 PM on February 1, 2011

Response by poster: Following up: I ended up seeing over 75% of the nominees. I saw the live action and animated shorts at the one theater that was playing them in Chicago (they were also available on iTunes, except for one). The documentary shorts were not screening anywhere, but one was available online. I watched all the movies that ended up in theaters except for two that I missed. I used the library, redbox, and Netflix. Gas Land was On Demand for a while but I managed to miss it. I did not download any movies illegally, because (honestly) it sounded really hard. I emailed anyone I could think of with screeners, but no one had any... though I found out two days before the Oscars that I had a coworker who had a connection, too late to do anything about that (and I am not sure he had anything I hadn't seen; it sounded like he only had the big major pictures). It appears that no one saw The Tempest- it may just be a myth.

I lost by one movie, damn it!
posted by jenlovesponies at 4:04 PM on March 6, 2011

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