• People have been known to shed a tear or twenty while watching the movies offered in this week’s festival of free films on Hulu. In fact, to quote Orson Welles (on Leo McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow), they could make a stone cry. These are emotionally devastating films from five of the world’s greatest directors: Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru, about a bureaucrat who tries to change his life for the better after being diagnosed with cancer; Carl Theodor Dreyer’s miraculous Ordet, about a farming family’s struggles with love and faith; Kenji Mizoguchi’s indescribably affecting tale about a family in feudal Japan torn apart by slave traders, Sansho the Bailiff; Louis Malle’s semiautobiographical tale of two boys, one Catholic and one Jewish, who befriend each other in World War II France, Au revoir les enfants; and, finally, Vittorio De Sica’s neorealist masterpiece Umberto D., about an elderly pensioner and his canine companion. We’re releasing Umberto D. on Blu-ray later this year; for now, you can check it out in its entirety below or at Hulu. If you haven’t yet signed up for Hulu Plus, take note: for just $7.99 a month, you can watch the hundreds of Criterion titles that are now streaming there, including a great number that have never been on DVD or Blu-ray.

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