by Karina Longworth
I saw a couple of stories after hours yesterday touting the unveiling of YouTube’s new full-length Movies and TV sections. I didn’t have time to explore the offerings, but it seemed like a positive development. So why is that, when I Google “You Tube Movies” upon getting to the computer this morning, the first result was a story headlined, “YouTube Adds Movies, TV; Fails Miserably”? In it, writer Mark Hachman complains that the current library of ad-supported full-length films in the official Movies section is lacking in comparison to the wide variety of movies, uploaded illegally in installments by users, that remain on the site despite YouTube’s ostensible efforts to remove them.
It’s true that a lot of the good stuff — Slacker, Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail, Bobcat Goldthwait’s Sleeping Dogs Lie, a number of selections from Elvira’s Movie Macabre — was on YouTube already and/or is already available in a more elegant presentation on Hulu. And anyone looking for anything super recent and/or blockbusteriffic is likely to be disappointed. But even in the limited Day One offerings, I found a number of worthwhile surprises. Some of them are embedded after the jump.
One quibble: if YouTube is serious about redirecting eyeballs away from stolen content and towards the legit stuff, they need to at least restructure their search results so that video from their partners is highlighted above everything submitted by the rabble. As it is, the only way to really find anything in the Movies section is to browse for it, which I’m sure you’re eager to do with all your unlimited patience and time.
Early Werner Herzog: Anyone looking for a primer on what Werner Herzog was up to before saving Joaquin Phoenix and incurring the wrath of Abel Ferrara could do worse than to turn to YouTube, where a number of Herzog’s early films are now available for free streaming. Already seen Fitzcarraldo and Rescue Dawn forerunner Little Dieter Needs to Fly? Check out my favorite slice of 70s Herzog batshit insanity, Even Dwarfs Started Small.
Lots of Docs: Though you’ll have to go to their site if you want to embed anything, SnagFilms has their own channel on YouTube. amongst the titles not available on Hulu are the first films from Bradley Beesley and Margaret Brown, Okie Noodling and Be Here to Love Me.
James Toback Double Feature: With Tyson hitting theaters next week, take a trip down memory lane to the days when James Toback made half-unwatchable, half-unquestionably compelling movies about his own sexual obsessions and delusions by watching his Harvard Man and Nicholas Jarecki’s Toback documentary The Outsider back-to-back.