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Hidden gems on Amazon Prime?

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Hidden gems on Amazon Prime?

#1

Post by Ebbywebby » July 20th, 2018, 7:56 am

I've had Amazon Prime for most of this year...enjoying it plenty. But it's not easy to research things to watch, because Amazon's recommendations system is so terrible. Do any fellow subscribers have suggestions for overlooked films I may have missed? Especially recent non-English stuff, because my knowledge is a bit slack about contemporary foreign film. (I'm talking about the "free with membership" films, rather than those that cost extra.)

For a point of reference, here are some items I've either already watched or queue'd to watch. I capitalized some of my favorite "discoveries." 20th Century Women, A Pistol for Ringo, A Quiet Passion, Agantuk, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972), Alpeis, AMERICAN HONEY, Angst, Antares, Arise! The Subgenius Movie, Bearskin: An Urban Fairytale, Beat Girl, Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story, Birdemic 2, Black Cat White Cat, Blood Tea and Red String, BORGMAN, Born to Win, Brad’s Status, Cameraperson, Captain Fantastic, Chi-Raq, Chiriakhana, Chopping Mall, Circus, Coherence, Come Drink with Me, Corridors of Blood, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, De Palma, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot!, DOGVILLE, Ecstasy, EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, EVERLASTING MOMENTS, Every Everything: The Music Life & Times of Grant Hart, Frantz, From the Manger to the Cross, Gimme Danger, Gomorra, Goya's Ghosts, Gozu, Hearts of the World, Ink, Institute Benjamenta or This Dream That One Calls Human Life, Jail Bait, Johnny Guitar, Keoma, Kin-dza-dza!, Lady Windemere's Fan, Last Flag Flying, Little Tony, Love Meetings, Mad Dog Morgan, Marjorie Prime, Martin Scorsese: History of American Cinema, Memories of Murder, Merry-Go-Round, Mother (silent), Murder!, Necromancy, Noroit, Nothing Sacred, Oasis: Supersonic, Olympia Part 1, One More Time with Feeling, One Who Set Forth: Wim Wenders' Early Years, Phenomena, Rejs, Robin Hood (silent), Rockers, Schneider vs. Bax, Shadowman, Sigur Ros: Heima, Sita Sings the Blues, Society, Song to Song, Spring in a Small Town, Starcrash, Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, The Company of Wolves, The Crazies, The Damned: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead, THE DEBUT, The Dress, The Farmer's Wife, The Golden Coach, The Jodorowsky Constellation, The Last Days of Emma Blank, The Love Witch, The Monk, The Neon Demon, THE NORTHERNERS, The Parking Lot Movie, The Punk Rock Movie, The Rainbow, The Return of Ringo, The Salesman, The Swap, The Ten Commandments of Creativity, The Terrorizers, The Time to Live the Time to Die, The Wrong Arm of the Law, Track 29, TRESPASSING BERGMAN, Tromeo & Juliet, Until the Light Takes Us, Vigo: Passion for Life, WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL?, Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell, Wild Guitar, William S. Burroughs: A Man Within, WONDERSTRUCK, Yakuza Apocalypse.

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#2

Post by Onderhond » July 20th, 2018, 8:39 am

Not an answer to your question and I don't want to hijack your thread, but still somewhat related to the topic so I'm going to ask it anyway:
If anyone knows a good website that lists the things that get added on Amazon Prime (including the country variants), do share. Like Netflix, the Prime Video interface sucks balls, but at least Netflix has a couple of good third-party websites where it's easy to keep track of new additions to the library. Haven't found that yet for Prime.

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#3

Post by 3eyes » July 20th, 2018, 12:44 pm

Ebby, yes, there are lots of gems on AP. I'll make you a list of some foreign-language movies I've seen later.

@Onderhund (and everybody): www.justwatch.com/ Has multicountry platforms and shows availability (stream, rent or buy) on many different streaming sites, including things like kanopy. Click your country to get in, then click "NEW" at top and "Prime video" (or whatever site you want) to see new additions.

Justwatch is a fairly new kid on the block, and they're still working out bugs, but in the 2 months or so that I've had it, its handling of foreign films has vastly improved; they say they hope to add a country filter. They also make it easy to report errors for individual film listings. For all its warts, I recommend it highly.
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#4

Post by Onderhond » July 20th, 2018, 12:51 pm

3eyes wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 12:44 pm
@Onderhund (and everybody): www.justwatch.com/ Has multicountry platforms and shows availability (stream, rent or buy) on many different streaming sites, including things like kanopy. Click your country to get in, then click "NEW" at top and "Prime video" (or whatever site you want) to see new additions.
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#5

Post by maxwelldeux » July 20th, 2018, 3:54 pm

Yes. Prime's interface sucks, and it's much easier to use a third-party site. I pay for another site (trakt.tv), which, among other things, has an interface that lets you list everything on certain platforms from certain countries (a paid feature). For example:

China/HK/Taiwan: https://trakt.tv/search/movies/?watchno ... s=cn,hk,tw

That link is every film China/Hong Kong/Taiwan. The country filter is dependent on the data on themoviedb.org, but that site is pretty good. And trakt.tv is US-based, so the films listed there are on the US Amazon Prime. And I can filter on the following variables: Streaming platform, genre, MPAA rating, langauge, country, year, runtime, IMDB/trakt/rotten tomatoes/metacritic rating. So if you want to get weirdly specific and want to see all French dramas on Prime made from 2000-2009 with an IMDB rating of 7.0 or higher, I can do that in a few clicks.

TL;DR: I can get you want you need. Just ask.

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#6

Post by 3eyes » July 20th, 2018, 4:00 pm

Here are AP (@) movies from my watchlists for this year's foreign language challenges so far this year. I haven't seen them all and can't promise they're all still available. Shows official lists if any.

Latin America
@Anina (Uru/Col 13, 80m) (animated)
@The engineer (Guatemala/UK/El Salvador 13, 94m)
@Uma História de Amor e Fúria / A story of love and fury (Brazil 13, 73m)
@Infancia clandestina /Clandestine childhood (Arg 11, 112m)
@El premio (Arg 11, 104m)
1 @O Segredo da Múmia (Brazil 82, 85m) - Brazil
1 @El violin (Mex 05, 98m) - CT
@Wakolda / The German doctor (Arg 13, 93m)
2 @Whisky (Uru 04, 99m) - TSP21, CT

Russia
@Kak ya provel etim letom / How I ended this summer (Russia 10, 130m)
@Nu, pogodi! (USSR/Russia 69-06, 22 eps @10 m)
@Sadko [The magic voyage of Sindbad] (USSR 53, 84m)
1 @ Tsirk / Circus (USSR 36, 90m) - Film comedy [wonky subs]
@Volshebnaya lampa Aladdina/Aladdin and his magic lamp (USSR 67, 84m)

France
@L'ennemi intime / Intimate enemies (Fr/Morocco 07, 111m)
@Fanny (Fr 13, 102m)
@Les innocentes (Fr/Pol 16, 115m)
@Marius (Fr 13, 94m)
@La Rafle (Fr 10, 115m) [CW]
@La reine et le cardinal (Fr 09, 197m) - 2 eps
1 @La vie moderne / Modern life (Fr 08, 83m) - TSP21

Italy
R @La ciociara / Two women (It 60, 100m)
1 @I Crudeli / Hellbenders (It 67, 90m) - Spag
@El Alamein - La linea del fuoco (It 02, 117m) [WW2 desert war fr italian side]
1 @Pranzo di ferragosto / Mid-August lunch (It 08), 75m - TSP2
3 @Quién sabe? / A bullet for the general (1967) - Western, Spaghetti, Cult
1 @Tre fratelli / Three brothers (It 81, 113m) - AA For noms

Africa
1 @Félicité (Internat’l 17, 129m - incl Senegal, set in Congo) - FESPACO
@Lucky (S Afr 11, 100m)
@**Al midan / The square (UK/Egypt/US 13, 95m) docudrama -
@F^Matière Grise / Grey matter (Rwanda 11, 110m)
@F^Na Cidade Vazia / Hollow city (Angola 04, 90m)
@Rachida (Algeria/Fr 02, 100m)

China/Taiwan/Hong Kong
2 @Chik geuk siu ji / The barefooted kid/monk (HK 93, 90m) - HK, Martial
2 @Cìkè Niè Yinniáng / The assassin (Taiwan 15, 105m) - TSP21, BBC21
@Da hai dao / The pirate (HK 73, 92m)
4 @Dong fu ren / The arch (China 68, 94m) - double - DC, China GH HK
@Dongfang hong / The East is Red (China 1965, 117m) [musical]
@Dooman River (S Kor/China 10, 90m)
4 @Du bai deo / The one-armed swordsman (HK 67, 111m) - China GH HK Martial
6 @ Shao Lin san shi liu fang / The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (HK 78, 115m)
@Tie shan gong zhu / Princess Iron Fan (China 41, 73m) (animated)

Middle East
@An seh / Those three (Iran 07, 80m)
@Darbare 111 dokhtar / (About) 111 girls (Iran 12, 79m)
@Dast-neveshtehaa nemisoosand / Manuscripts don’t burn (Iran 13, 125m)
@Keshtzar haye sepid / The white meadows (Iran 09, 92m)
@Maarek hob / In the battlefields (Belg etc. 04, 88m) [Lebanon] [CW]
@Mahiha ashegh mishavand / The fish fall in love (Iran 05, 96m)
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#7

Post by OldAle1 » July 20th, 2018, 4:06 pm

One note I'd make - and thanks 3Eyes & maxwell for the suggestions - is that on a lot of commercial stuff, i.e. Hong Kong action films, you only get them dubbed into English, at least in the USA. I wouldn't be surprised if this is true for some older French and Italian comedies as well - a lot of those were first released dubbed in the USA, like La cage aux folles; haven't really checked though so I could be totally wrong on those kinds of things.

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#8

Post by maxwelldeux » July 20th, 2018, 6:22 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 4:06 pm
One note I'd make - and thanks 3Eyes & maxwell for the suggestions - is that on a lot of commercial stuff, i.e. Hong Kong action films, you only get them dubbed into English, at least in the USA. I wouldn't be surprised if this is true for some older French and Italian comedies as well - a lot of those were first released dubbed in the USA, like La cage aux folles; haven't really checked though so I could be totally wrong on those kinds of things.
This is definitely true, often. And even when it's not, many older films have hard-coded subs that suck (e.g., Accatone, with white text on a white background).

And tangential to Prime Video, but related to Amazon Prime, if you log into prime through smile.amazon.com, they'll donate a small portion of your purchase to the charity of your choice.

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#9

Post by Onderhond » July 20th, 2018, 6:34 pm

French Prime even have UK films dubbed in French ... I don't get how that is still an issue in 2018. Everything is digital, but they can't even provide the original dub?

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#10

Post by Ebbywebby » July 20th, 2018, 8:57 pm

Reading 3eyes' list....

I've seen "Two Women," and "Circus" (I haven't watched it yet) was already in the list I shared. Otherwise, I'll look up those films. Are all of them really free with Prime? For instance, it seems like I came across "Fanny" and "Marius" and found they cost extra. And why do some of your lines begin with a number between 1 and 6? This list needs its own legend, like a map. ;)

Regarding side topics...

1) I've been using instantwatcher.com (which also covers Netflix) and found a solid percentage of the above films by just methodically scanning through instantwatcher's catalog listing for Amazon. I did this bit by bit, repeatedly filtering by year(s) until I had finished all the years. Then I found that I needed to search for films with NO year too. The problem: I was just looking for titles I already recognized, so I didn't "stumble upon" too much.

2) Yes, I've found some problems with the versions of movies being offered. Like, I listed "Come Drink with Me" above, but I think it's dubbed so I may skip it. A couple of films were shorter edits -- most notably "Eros + Massacre," which was initially the #1 movie I wanted to stream. It's missing over a half-hour. And I wasted 37 minutes watching the spag-western "Day of Anger" before I saw an abrupt cut, looked up the film's length on IMDb and realized it was viciously edited. And some films were really terrible editions -- I deleted "Stagecoach" because the Amazon version had the image quality of an Indonesian snuff film. "Born to Win" (listed above) looks really awful too.

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#11

Post by 3eyes » July 20th, 2018, 10:56 pm

Ebby, I copied those from my watchlists but haven't checked to see if they were still free. Sorry about the confusion - Numbers are official lists movie is on (or was at the time). I did some editing, really, but was rather lazy about it.

I've used instantwatcher too. Netflix is much easier when it comes to detailed searches. Best way I've found to search for countries etc on Amazon Prime is to go to Prime Movies and TV on site and enter "French films" or whatever.
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#15

Post by maxwelldeux » July 21st, 2018, 5:52 am

sebby wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 12:27 am
Polska!
Poland: https://trakt.tv/search/movies/?watchno ... untries=pl

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#16

Post by Gershwin » July 21st, 2018, 7:58 pm

(...) the image quality of an Indonesian snuff film (...)
Are they really that bad? Now you got me wondering.
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#17

Post by maxwelldeux » July 21st, 2018, 8:43 pm

Gershwin wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 7:58 pm
(...) the image quality of an Indonesian snuff film (...)
Are they really that bad? Now you got me wondering.
They can vary in quality, but take a VHS that's been sitting in a hot garage for 20 years, project it on a wall 10 ft/3 meters wide, film the projection with a digital camera, hard-code any subtitles, down convert it, then stream it over slow internet at 240p. When the quality is so bad you can't read the subs, it's a problem.

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#18

Post by Gershwin » July 21st, 2018, 8:52 pm

maxwelldeux wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 8:43 pm
Gershwin wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 7:58 pm
(...) the image quality of an Indonesian snuff film (...)
Are they really that bad? Now you got me wondering.
They can vary in quality, but take a VHS that's been sitting in a hot garage for 20 years, project it on a wall 10 ft/3 meters wide, film the projection with a digital camera, hard-code any subtitles, down convert it, then stream it over slow internet at 240p. When the quality is so bad you can't read the subs, it's a problem.
I actually meant Indonesian snuff films. :lol:
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#19

Post by maxwelldeux » July 21st, 2018, 8:57 pm

Gershwin wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 8:52 pm
maxwelldeux wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 8:43 pm
Gershwin wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 7:58 pm


Are they really that bad? Now you got me wondering.
They can vary in quality, but take a VHS that's been sitting in a hot garage for 20 years, project it on a wall 10 ft/3 meters wide, film the projection with a digital camera, hard-code any subtitles, down convert it, then stream it over slow internet at 240p. When the quality is so bad you can't read the subs, it's a problem.
I actually meant Indonesian snuff films. :lol:
Can't help you there. But if you search hard enough on the internet, I bet you can find someone who'll make you a custom one for shockingly little money.

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#20

Post by cinewest » July 22nd, 2018, 4:08 am

Good luck
Last edited by cinewest on July 27th, 2018, 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#21

Post by Ebbywebby » July 24th, 2018, 2:36 am

I welcome an Indonesian snuff-film tangent. ;)

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#22

Post by blocho » July 27th, 2018, 4:00 am

I used Just Watch, and it came up huge. Thanks to that site, I've seen Chef, Pride, and The Duellists over the past two days and liked all of them.

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#23

Post by peeptoad » July 27th, 2018, 9:29 am

The Third Eye 1966

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#24

Post by peeptoad » July 27th, 2018, 9:16 pm

Plus, if you happen to be a Bukowski or Burroughs there is a hella lot of stuff on there right now (Barfly, Comish of Sewers, etc)

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#25

Post by Ebbywebby » August 13th, 2018, 10:46 pm

Wow, am I pissed. I mentioned using the site instantwatcher.com above? Well, I was using it today and decided to skim through all the available Netflix films. Since there are only about 4,000 of them and so few of them are unseen/interesting to me, I didn't think it would take too long to skim through the titles and jot down the rare notable films.

I was partially through the "N" films (I had written down about 40 titles so far, woo) and suddenly the list stopped loading. Then when I reloaded the page, I just got this message on a blank white page:

Automated scraping of instantwatcher.com is only permitted for recognized search engines. If you agree to stop scraping our website and would like your IP unblocked, please contact us at info@kajasoftware.com

I've never even heard the term "scraping" before. And how do they conclude that I'm "automated"? Grrrr.
Last edited by Ebbywebby on August 14th, 2018, 4:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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#26

Post by maxwelldeux » August 14th, 2018, 12:52 am

@ebby: That sucks, but I can help with Netflix, if you want. Name your ideal search parameters, and I'll get you a link. (You're US, right?) Ratings, year, country, language, etc.

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#27

Post by Ebbywebby » August 14th, 2018, 4:15 am

Well, I wrote to the supplied address and someone wrote back and said he'd unblock me. Hasn't happened yet, though.

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#28

Post by Ebbywebby » September 4th, 2018, 10:04 am

Well, seemingly coincident with the beginning of the month, about 10% of my queue films either became altogether unavailable or only viewable with an extra charge. Eek! I did not anticipate this coming. Now I wonder if I should prioritize viewings as much based on rarity as on personal interest.

The one that I most hated to lose was Steppenwolf (1974). I saw this way back around 1985 and was really looking forward to seeing it again. Some other losses: Mad Dog Morgan, The Crazies, The Return of Ringo, A Pistol for Ringo, Captain Fantastic, Where to Invade Next, September, Tetro, Diary of a Chambermaid (Renoir version).

I streamed Aaltra today...I think someone recommended this? And the night before I streamed The Last Days of Emma Blank. I find myself watching a lot of black comedies lately. Alex Van Warmerdam is my favorite director discovery in quite awhile.

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#29

Post by Ivan0716 » September 4th, 2018, 10:14 am

Jia nian hua aka Angels Wear White (2017) is on Amazon Prime, at least for those of you lucky enough to reside in the US. Probably my favourite Chinese film in recent years (better than Black Coal, Thin Ice IMO) and in my top 20 of 2017.

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#30

Post by Gershwin » September 4th, 2018, 2:47 pm

Ebbywebby wrote:
September 4th, 2018, 10:04 am
I streamed Aaltra today...I think someone recommended this? And the night before I streamed The Last Days of Emma Blank. I find myself watching a lot of black comedies lately. Alex Van Warmerdam is my favorite director discovery in quite awhile.
Good to see Van Warmerdam getting some more exposure. He's my favourite Dutch director, by far.
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#31

Post by maxwelldeux » September 4th, 2018, 7:23 pm

Ebbywebby wrote:
September 4th, 2018, 10:04 am
Well, seemingly coincident with the beginning of the month, about 10% of my queue films either became altogether unavailable or only viewable with an extra charge. Eek! I did not anticipate this coming. Now I wonder if I should prioritize viewings as much based on rarity as on personal interest.
I haven't checked this out much, but here's a site that might be helpful: http://expiringtitlesonamazonprime.blogspot.com/

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#32

Post by Ebbywebby » September 4th, 2018, 8:52 pm

I've seen Borgman, The Northerners, The Waiter, The Dress, Little Tony and The Last Days of Emma Blank all via Amazon, Gershwin. And I still have Schneider vs. Bax left. Amazon has Ariel too, but I saw this long ago. (I'm tempted to rewatch it, now that I'm more familiar with the director's tone.)

Oh, thanks for that link, Maxwell. Interesting to see "Men & Chicken" on the list, because that one gets pushed on me in the recommendation rows all the time. And if Successive Slidings of Pleasure really got pulled on 8/31, I am SO pleased that I watched it on August 12th! One of my very favorite obscurities I've seen via Amazon, so far, and one of just a few films that were explicitly on my watchlist.

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#33

Post by Gershwin » September 4th, 2018, 8:57 pm

Nice!
Ariel is a Kaurismäki film, afaik, though it could make sense to compare both directors. I guess you mean Abel? You're also missing Grimm, a nice film as well. I'm yet to see Schneider vs. Bax. My favourites are Emma Blank and The Waiter, followed by Little Tony.
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#34

Post by Ebbywebby » September 4th, 2018, 9:28 pm

Right...I meant to write Abel, not Ariel. Not the first time my brain had that glitch. :)

Some of the top films left in my queue, at this point: The Dark Backward, Wool 100%, Avida, Coup d'Etat, Idaho Transfer, Not the Messiah He's a Naughty Boy, The Cat o' Nine Tails, Olympia Part 1, Track 29, A Quiet Passion, Dreamchild, The Salesman, One More Time with Feeling, The Rainbow, X: The Unheard Music, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Noroit, Mother (1926), The Jodorowsky Constellation, The Wrong Arm of the Law, 20th Century Women, The Blockhouse, Martin Scorsese: History of American Cinema, Love Meetings, Ecstasy, Vigo: Passion for Life, Agantuk, The Time to Live the Time to Die, The Story of the Yardbirds, The Terrorizers, L7: Pretend We're Dead, Oasis: Supersonic, Ink, Chi-Raq, The Punk Rock Movie, Rockers, Schneider vs. Bax. There are about 90 titles in all.

Wondering about all those "Battles Without Honor and Humanity" films...not too familiar with that series.

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#35

Post by Minkin » September 5th, 2018, 12:28 am

Movies always leave streaming services at the end of the month. Then the first of the month adds in a large bunch of films (like Amazon added more than 250 films for September). Its best to just check over your watchlist/queue near the end of the month so you can focus on what's leaving soon.

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#36

Post by matthewscott8 » October 8th, 2018, 8:43 am

FYI one of the reasons I like IMDb lists is that you can delimit them to show you ones that are available to watch on Amazon Prime. This would probably be your best bet for finding stuff.

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#37

Post by Ebbywebby » October 8th, 2018, 9:35 am

This weekend, I streamed "Avida," "Adelheid" and "Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy)."

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#38

Post by Ebbywebby » October 12th, 2018, 6:19 am

Wow..."Idaho Transfer" (1973) is STRANGE. Check out this one if you're a bit twisted. Peter Fonda directs a tale of a secret experimental project to send college-age kids into the future to repopulate the world after an upcoming apocalypse of some kind. And stuff happens, sometimes violent. The film has very little budget, and the total locations basically amount to one lab room, a corridor outside its door and outdoor footage shot at Idaho's unusual Craters of the Moon park. The acting is amateurish, but Keith Carradine has a small role for some reason. I was impatient with the film while it was on, but it's sort of growing on me in the time since.

I'm only user #45 to check this one, so I'm guessing you -- yes, YOU -- haven't seen it. ;)

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#39

Post by Gershwin » October 12th, 2018, 11:51 am

And it was made exactly 45 years ago ... :think:
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#40

Post by Ebbywebby » November 12th, 2018, 8:43 pm

This weekend, I stumbled upon the discovery that there is a SLEW of rare, Les Blank-related documentaries on Amazon Prime. Not just films Blank directed, but also a lot of these films (https://lesblank.com/films-by-others/). Just search for "Les Blank Films."

I watched about 15 of the shorter ones over the weekend. I was the first person to check five of them! Some were trivial, but Thailand Moment, Marc & Ann, My Old Fiddle: A Visit with Tommy Jarrell in the Blue Ridge and Stoney Knows Who were quite enjoyable. Too bad they don't have Chulas Fronteras, though -- the only Blank check (blank check, har har) I haven't seen besides "A Poem Is a Naked Person."

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