Flat-Rate Instant Streaming for the Indie/Foreign Film Lover?
September 19, 2011 5:25 PM   Subscribe

Netflix Instant Stream has about 1 out of every 20 movies I search for. I guess I'm too "indie" for them or something. Hulu+ and Amazon Prime aren't much better. Are there any streaming alternatives?

Movies I like
- Wes Anderson
- French "psych-thrillers" (dunno the right genre here, but think City of Lost Children, Delicatessen, etc.)
- Other foreign films (Italian, Spanish and some German, but really anything foreign to the US including Japanese Anime - bonus if anime includes Japanese language + English Subtitles)
- Indie films
- Cult films
- Short films (ok, I understand I really might not get that one)

Features that would be nice:
- Comprehensive search functionality (genre/keyword/title/actor/director/etc)
- Decent "suggestions" (ie "you liked this, you might like that" / rating functionality a plus)

Bonus points if it's flat-rate (monthly or yearly) and will stream through my Google internet TV or my XBox 360.

It's not that I'm anti-dvd rental, just that I'm spoiled with the new high tech way of doing things (and yes, the instant-satisfaction) and can never remember to return rentals (this extends to library books as well).
posted by MuChao to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 95 users marked this as a favorite
No, there is currently no better legal option. Content providers have made it so.
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:27 PM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You might like Fandor. They go for indie films that get festival awards but are too small for Netflix. Free 7-day trial, $10/mo, streaming service. Works with Macs, PCs and Boxee, but no other platforms yet, according to the site.

Disclaimer: I know the founder but have no financial interest.
posted by zippy at 5:41 PM on September 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: MUBI has a $12/month unlimited watching plan that focuses on classic/foreign/thoughtful films, but they have a pretty small catalog.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 5:46 PM on September 19, 2011

Best answer: I highly recommend the website: www.instantwatcher.com. It makes searching netflix for indie/foreign /cult movies very easy. There's a ton of great movies on netflx--you just have to browse for them.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 5:52 PM on September 19, 2011 [8 favorites]

iTunes and Amazon both have a pretty good pay-per-view selection. While it's nothing close to what you can get on DVD from Netflix, it's much better than Netflix streaming. But, yeah, pay-per-view instead of a flat fee. And I kind of hate the iTunes search functionality.

Based on what I've looked for, the vudu catalog just isn't there.

No legal alternatives come close to what you can get if you're willing to break the law.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:56 PM on September 19, 2011

Netflix for whatever reason hides certain movies from their search results, but all available streaming choices do return with instantwatcher.com. For physical discs, try greencine.com.
posted by asockpuppet at 5:58 PM on September 19, 2011

Another vote for instantwatcher. It's great.
posted by purephase at 6:45 PM on September 19, 2011

Best answer: Indiepixunlimited.com is basically Netflix for indie stuff. It's very new, though, so browse the selection to see if it's for you.
posted by Nattie at 7:14 PM on September 19, 2011

Oh, and yes, they have short films. One reason I like it.
posted by Nattie at 7:14 PM on September 19, 2011

Cuevana streams everything under the sun for a flat-rate of free. Not entirely legal though depending on your jurisdiction (they provide access but they don't host the content).
posted by Memo at 7:53 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: GreenCine is great but it's still DVD-by-mail. Check out the selection though - sometimes it'll give you good ideas for searching on Netflix.
posted by barnone at 9:48 PM on September 19, 2011

Best answer: Prescreen might be worth checking out.

Popcorn flix sometimes has decent options; it's free but ad-supported.

Filmmaker Magazine VOD Calendar is a useful site; it's a "curated guide to the top independent video on demand releases."
posted by barnone at 9:57 PM on September 19, 2011

Best answer: In my experience VUDU has a pretty good selection, although I am not sure if it has everything you want. It is also not flat rate. But you can search for movies without joining to see if they have what you want.
posted by TedW at 7:42 AM on September 20, 2011

Response by poster: Wow! Y'all are amazing. I honestly thought I was going to be S.O.L. for a while on this one, but after searching many of the suggestions here, I've found almost all of the specific movies I'd been searching for plus many many more I can't wait to see.

I'm gonna take my time, check out some of the free trials, maybe subscribe to one or two for a while, and maybe switch later.

Thank you all again! Feel free to post more, I'll be keeping an eye on thread.
posted by MuChao at 1:47 PM on September 20, 2011

Shilling for a friend, but FilmFresh may be what you're looking for -- certainly content-wise. It's DivX, which I believe works with the Xbox.
posted by turducken at 8:35 AM on September 21, 2011

posted by mattbucher at 10:33 AM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

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