Armchair Vacation: Five Films To Watch At Home This Weekend (March 29-31)


March is nearly on its way out the door, and with that comes various things, one of them being the mass dumping of various things onto the cavalcade of streaming outlets on the web. Be it the monthly adding of hundreds of studio pictures or the end all be all of additions in the form of nearly the entirety of Cartoon Network’s history of series (ranging from Justice League to Courage The Cowardly Dog), Netflix, Hulu, Fandor and everyone in between have made March yet another great month in the world of streaming. However, with so many options, what should you look to first? That’s what we here at The CriterionCast hope to help you with. Here are five things to check out this weekend, that you don’t even have to leave your couch to watch.

5. Rabindranath Tagore (Hulu)

From the great Satyajit Ray comes an engaging, but sadly short, look at the iconic Indian artist Rabindranath Tagore, and it’s one of the odder, but more intriguing, additions to Criterion’s Hulu Plus page. A small documentary, the film blends archival footage and photographs with dramatizations of moments in Tagore’s life, while weaving his life story in the most concise and consistently engaging way possible. An odd picture to come from an amazing director like Ray, it’s not much more than a curio for fans of the iconic filmmaker, but for those looking to discover a voice that is truly never talked about today, Ray’s film is truly enlightening. It’s also a beautifully made film to boot.

4. By Bogdanovich (YouTube)

While I myself am not one to watch a nearly three hour documentary broken into three bits on YouTube, I’ll make an exception for this sucker. Legendary filmmaker/historian Peter Bogdanovich sits down for nearly three hours to chat with director Adam Hulin for this chronicle of his career, ranging from his time spent as a stage director to his relationship with Orson Welles, and primarily his own feature film work. With the director himself pointing out interesting things like how he had passed on films ranging from The Godfather to The Exorcist, Bogdanovich gets deeply intimate with regards to his own work, talking about productions, who he liked to work with, and everything in between. It’s a tough thing to do, watch three hours of YouTube clips, but for cinephiles, this is about as great as they come.

3. Citadel (Netflix)

I had the pleasure of seeing this intense horror film at SXSW back in 2012, and it’s about time it becomes available to the general public via Netflix Instant. Easily looked over among the myriad of films at your local brick and mortar shop, Citadel comes to us from director Ciaran Foy, and follows the story of an agoraphobic father who tries to save his daughter from a roving gang of feral kids. Gritty and grimy, Foy’s film is a truly troubling picture, and one that’s perfect for anyone with an appreciation of genre pictures. Best described as a horror version of The Raid, Citadel will creep even the hardest of genre fans out, and leave those not accustomed to this type of thriller leaving their lights on after watching it.

2. The Carabineers (TCM; Saturday 12:30am EST)

Often talked about as one Godard film fans are hoping hits Criterion one day, The Carabineers is hitting TCM late Friday night/early Saturday morning for a screening that is as much a must watch TV airing as any you’ll find this weekend. An unsung Godard masterwork, the film is Godard’s fifth, and as militantly anti-war as any film made during this time period, Carabineers is distinctly Godard in every way imaginable. Entertaining and truly thought provoking, the film is very much a Godard picture, but it’s one that is as close to a possible entry point for those unfamiliar with his work as Godard has yet allowed. It’s truly fantastic.

1. Cartoon Network (Netflix; Available March 30)

This may be the biggest addition to Netflix to date. Including nearly everything Cartoon Network (more so Warner Brothers) has ever given us, March 30 marks the addition of shows like Justice League (season 1 / 2), Courage The Cowardly Dog (season 1 / 2), Regular Show, Ben 10, Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Dexter’s Laboratory (season 1 / 2), Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Adventure Time, Johnny Bravo, Squidbillies (season 1 / 2), Powerpuff Girls (season 1 / 2 / 3), Batman: The Brave And The Bold (!), Batman Beyond (season 1 / 2 /3), The Venture Bros and even Children’s Hospital (season 1 / 2), animation fans will have reason for excitement, and fans of Adult Swim’s live action shows will see reason to spend all weekend locked away in their houses as well. Saturday morning cartoon watching just got a whole new spin.

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