Cinematic Enlightenment: The Auteurs Project
The long tail of film culture, or why content curation really is the future of everything.
By Maria Popova
Some time ago, we did a run-down of the top 3 sites for hardcore film buffs. And we wish The Auteurs — Europe’s visionary cinematic enlightenment project — had been around.
It’s a fascinating film library spanning everything from the timeless classics to the hidden gems of the world’s most prominent independent festivals — foreign language, art-house, documentary, animation, experimental, short films, and everything in between.
With its inspired long-tail view of cinema, The Auteurs revolves around the idea that popular doesn’t always mean good.
And it’s not your grandma’s YouTube, either — The Auteurs harnesses bleeding-edge technology that lets you stream feature-length films in high definition, something the team spends a lot of energy on and thus takes great pride in.
Four things that were on our minds when we first dreamt the Auteurs: Number one: why can’t you just watch In the Mood for Love in an airport lounge? Number two: why is it so hard to get hold of Antonioni’s complete filmography? Number three: Wouldn’t it be great to instantly send Tati’s Playtime to a friend if you think they need it (there’s nothing like film therapy)? Number Four: why do films on the Internet look just awful? And that was that.
It requires no software installation (take that, Netflix), works on both Mac and PC (take that, Blockbuster), is available anywhere in the world (take that, Hulu), and it’s beyond affordable — most films cost just $5 to watch, with some being completely free.
It’s also highly social, brimming with a vibrant community of fellow film buffs hungry to discuss anything from the best dream sequence to the most overrated director.
Our favorite part is the Auteurs Cinemateque — an editorially curated rotating online film festival, further proof for our content-curation-is-the-future-of-culture theory.
So go ahead, take the tour and dive into this brave new world of film culture. If anything, just imagine all the dinner party talking points it’ll give you.
Published July 7, 2009