How to watch movies online (for free)

MoviesBefore the Internet there were only a few ways to watch movies. I could go to  the cinema, watch television, or hire the videotape. Now that our world has gone digital and movies are encoded as streams of bits, there are many more options available for watching films.  I can find a film online and watch it almost immediately.

I enjoy watching feature films at the cinema but in recent years I only see one or two films at the cinema, usually those best suited to the big screen – for example, Star Wars and Interstellar.

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Interstellar – the search for new worlds

InterstellarIn late December 2014 I saw the movie Interstellar on the big screen in the Event Cinema, George Street, Sydney.   I sat in the third row so I could get the maximum effect of the big picture and sound.

I enjoyed the film very much and there were so many aspects that gave me deep satisfaction –  sending my imagination into outer space, exploring the universe, thinking about  human survival and what it means to be human.

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2001: A Space Odyssey – how it affected my life

Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey released in 1968 had a profound effect on my life. I didn’t understand the film when I first saw it on my 11th birthday, but after reading the book, seeing the film again and enjoying the soundtrack album, I realised this film has had a profound effect on my life.

In this article I will show you the trailer for the movie, give you a brief summary of the story then  explain how this film changed my life.

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Bengawan Solo – sung by Rebecca Pan 潘迪华

One of the many pleasures of watching films from other countries is discovering new music. Recently I watched the Wong Kar Wai film In the Mood for Love (花样年华).

One of the treasures from the soundtrack album is  Rebecca Pan singing the Indonesian song Bengawan Solo with English lyrics. The song was written in 1940 and follows a popular folk style. I love this song and can’t stop playing it!

Rebecca Pan was born in Shanghai in 1931, moved to Hong Kong in 1949 and began her singing career in 1957. She played the role of the land-lady Mrs Suen in the movie, and had played a recording of her song to the director who chose it to use in the film. She was only 18 years old when she recorded Bengawan Solo.

Continue reading to listen to the song and follow the lyrics.

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Chinese Box (1997 film)

Chinese Box is a  1997 movie directed by Wayne Wang (director of Joy Luck Club released in 1993) starring Jeremy Irons, Gong Li, Maggie Cheung and Michael Hui. I have seen this film three times and loved the soundtrack so much I bought a CD from the USA – more about the music later.

The movie is set in the time of the handover of Hong Kong by the British to the Chinese Government on June 30th 1997. The story follows the lives of several characters during these turbulent times.

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Ten Minute Film School by Robert Rodriguez

In 1983 a friend of mine and I embarked on a project of making a short film. The final product ran for 10 minutes and took 3 years of intermittent activity to complete. Our film was a narration of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land with scenes filmed in Sydney. We used a borrowed wind-up Bolex 16mm camera and only spent a few hundred dollars on the project thanks to the generosity of contacts in the film industry.

Since making this film, I have been fascinated with the process of film-making and long to make another using a digital camera.

In the early 1990s, Robert Rodriguez wanted to make a film. He saved some money and borrowed an Arri 16mm camera. The result was El Mariachi, a “Mescian-American action film” originally intended for release for the Mexican home video market.

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