• In March, we had a festival of free films on Hulu called Cinema Rarities, which highlighted some Criterion titles that haven’t come out on DVD or Blu-ray. Now, Cinema Rarities is back and bigger than ever. The titles in the original list (Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped, Kaneto Shindo’s The Naked Island, Bryan Forbes’s Seance on a Wet Afternoon, Kon Ichikawa’s Princess from the Moon, and Jaromil Jireš’s Valerie and Her Week of Wonders) are again available to watch for free, but now you can also check out Elaine May’s Mikey and Nicky, Frank Borzage’s History Is Made at Night, and Giuseppe de Santis’s Bitter Rice.

    Included in the selection as well is Kenji Mizoguchi’s long unavailable masterwork The Life of Oharu. In this searing 1951 drama, made in the amazing final decade of the director’s career, which also included Ugetsu and Sansho the Bailiff, Kinuyo Tanaka is devastating as a poor woman sold off by her father to be the mistress of a wealthy lord, before she falls into prostitution and is cast out of society. One of the director’s most haunting studies of female subjugation, Oharu is relentlessly gripping, and you can watch it for free in its entirety, below or at Hulu. And remember, if you sign up for Hulu Plus for just $7.99, you can see hundreds of other Criterion films, including a lot more unavailable on any home video format.

8 comments

  • By Gord
    September 24, 2012
    09:42 AM

    Well, 'History is Made at Night' has been free on Hulu for months now; however, it's an excellent film & as my first non-silent Borzage I can say it maintains my high opinion of the man. He was one romantic SOB too wasn't he?! Thank you for the other offerings - some truly great films here.
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  • By Jeff Stills
    September 24, 2012
    10:56 AM

    Free for you because you must a member of Hulu Plus.... But yes, great selections!
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    • By Gord
      September 25, 2012
      08:19 AM

      I would have to be rather simple to not tell the difference Jeff. No, you're assumption is incorrect. I'm Canadian (don't tell anyone) so I cannot subscribe even if I wanted to. I have watched it twice in the last few months because I love Borzage and it's a lovely film. Don't believe me? Go to it on the list of free Criterion titles - does it have an "expires in x days" tag when you move your cursor over it? No, it doesn't because it does not expire. In the same way that I Married a Witch, The Long Voyage Home, Woman Under the Influence, and several others do not expire. Now, put your cursor over "LIfe of Oharu". You are told: "! expires in 6 days" Not that it matters. I'm not accusing anyone of anything just pointing out a very minor error that may be of interest to someone.
  • By Gord
    September 25, 2012
    11:54 AM

    Yes, I see the irony in claiming I'm not simpleminded, but misspelling "your" haha
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  • By Craig J. Clark
    September 25, 2012
    12:22 PM

    Watched The Life of Oharu this morning and was duly devastated. Now I need to dig into Mizoguchi's "Fallen Women" Eclipse set.
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    • By Gord
      September 25, 2012
      12:38 PM

      Isn't it exquisite? A sense of quiet descends upon you as you watch that film. I hope it comes to the collection in a few years.
    • By Craig J. Clark
      September 25, 2012
      02:50 PM

      It would certainly be a worthy addition.
  • By Virginia
    October 13, 2012
    01:47 PM

    Pardon my love of quirky films with beautiful cinematography, but I'm waiting with bated breath for Wes Anderson films to join the Hulu+ catalog.
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