The Criterion Collection, a home video label known for releasing some of the finest cinematic works as well as several Michael Bay movies, will no longer be allowing Canadians to access their online streams by the end of the year. While many of their titles had been offered on Netflix, the company has announced this week that they are jumping ship to a different service. Care to guess which one?
The company announced on Monday that they are planning to release their impressive catalogue on Hulu Plus over the coming year. All of their titles currently available to Canadians through Netflix, including important cinematic classics such as Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, several works from Akira Kurosawa, and Lars Von Trier’s genital mutilation masterpiece Antichrist, will all be removed before the end of the year.
Although the quality of these streams is predictably much lower than their physical home video counterparts, this will be a crippling loss for Canadians hoping to legitimately view these cinematic classics without having to blindly pay Criterion’s extravagant DVD and BD prices. Criterion’s justification for this move is that Hulu is willing to provide them space to upload special features as well as the privilege of having their own designated category, which they currently lack in Netflix’s more generalized system.
Canadians will still be able to access Criterion films online, but only through the website’s archaic “rental” program. Viewers are expected to pay $5 to access low quality streams of each individual film for a mere week, that can only be viewed through a computer browser. US customers, on the other hand, will continue to enjoy unlimited access to HD or near HD quality streams through any Hulu compatible device.
If you are dissatisfied with the latest in what seems like a series of regressive moves in regards to content accessibility in Canada, I suggest contacting this guy. Apparently he’s waiting for you.