In a reassuring move for all us Criterion fans, Hulu has renewed its licensing agreement to keep the 800-plus Criterion Collection titles right where they are for Hulu Plus subscribers for the time being. Specifics weren’t disclosed, only that it is a multi-year deal.
A lot of talk on the podcast recently was devoted to why Criterion wasn’t steadily updating the page, and what that could mean considering they seemed to only be experimenting with adding streaming selections to iTunes and Amazon Prime. But all that was for naught.
On top of unloading the entire twenty-five film Zatoichi saga to Hulu Plus and, with the renewal announcement, the recent Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, director Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty. They also rounded out Michelangelo Antonioni’s informal trilogy with La Notte.
I couldn’t be happier with the renewal. For some reason I’ve been burning through a lot of Criterion titles on Hulu recently, and to suddenly have that convenience taken away—at $7.99 per month no less—would be quite a cinematic travesty. This does however put the kibosh on any ideas of Criterion adopting a similar subscription service to be housed on their own site, but Hulu seems to be letting them do their own thing and hopefully this amicable announcement means giving the cinephiles of Criterion even more autonomy.