Resources for Film Buffs

The following resources are of invaluable help to anyone seriously interested in film. Some are free. Some charge fees. Your critic has used each of them at one time or another.

Here they are, in no particular order:

The Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com). This is perhaps the best resource for credits, production information, budgets, release dates, and MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) ratings. IMDB is free. IMDB Pro charges a small annual subscription, and has far more business information than is available on the free part of the site. For example, if you want to contact a star’s agent or manager, you’ll find the name, address, and phone number on IMDB Pro.
Daily Variety (www.variety.com). The journal of showbusiness has reviewed every significant release for nearly 100 years. The Variety archive is a treasure trove of contemporary film reviews written about as honestly as one can ask. It is also the first draft of film history. Go back to the 1980s and find “Notes from Film Markets at Home and Abroad.” It’s all three-line items culled from press releases, but was it ever comprehensive.
The Hollywood Reporter (www.hollywoodreporter.com) is the definitive interpretive voice of the entertainment industry. Informing, engaging and empowering content is delivered across a multimedia platform that includes: a weekly magazine, bi-monthly special reports, quarterly glossies, a Website, a daily news PDF, iPad app and events.
IndieWIRE (www.indiewire.com) is the leading news, information, and networking site for independent-minded filmmakers, the industry and moviegoers alike, indieWIRE launched on July 15, 1996. Winner of the Webby Award for best film website, indieWIRE was lauded as a “must read” by Variety, branded the “online heartbeat of the world’s independent film community” by Forbes, and dubbed “best indie crossroads” by film critic Roger Ebert.
Netflix (www.netflix.com) is a fabulous resource for film rental. A small monthly subscription gets access to thousands of titles without late fees. In addition to the traditional DVD in the mail way of renting films, Netflix also offers broadband internet downloads by subscription.
Amazon (www.amazon.com) is fabulous when it comes to tracking down anything that has ever been released on video, be it tape or DVD. It’s not that Amazon stocks every film ever made. It’s that Amazon has relationships with third party sellers, many of whom have obscure titles listed on the site. It’s worth a look if one cannot find a title any other way.
VUDU (www.vudu.com) has struck unprecedented deals with every major studio and more than twenty independent and international distributors to offer approximately five thousand movies, HD films, and TV shows. Via their broadband Internet connection, VUDU users have the ability, on a studio-specific basis, to rent or buy titles and begin viewing them instantly.
Crackle(crackle.com) offers full-length movies, TV shows, and original series — all uncut, uncensored, and unbelievably free. Crackle is one of the fastest growing entertainment destinations today. Crackle’s vast distribution network ensures that you have access to Crackle everywhere: on your favorite video site, your television and your mobile device. Crackle was created in the summer of 2007, basing their operations out of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s studio lot in Los Angeles, CA
Blockbuster (www.blockbuster.com). You can watch Blockbuster On Demand movies on a wide range of electronic devices. Whether you’re streaming to your home entertainment system or downloading to your laptop or cell phone to watch on the go, Blockbuster On Demand lets you watch where you want, when you want.
CinemaNow (www.cinemanow.com) is a digital entertainment service that offers instant access to an extensive library of premium video content for rental or purchase, including new release movies and TV shows, with no subscription required. Through the service, customers can seamlessly access content on a wide range of Internet-connected devices, including TVs, Blu-Ray Disc players and PCs from multiple manufacturers.

Tribeca Enterprises (www.tribcafilm.com) is a diversified global media company based in New York City. Established in 2003 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, the company currently operates a network of branded entertainment businesses including the Tribeca Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival International, Tribeca Cinemas and Tribeca Film, a distribution initiative
The Sundance Institute (www.sundance.org) Since 1981, Sundance Institute has evolved to become an internationally-recognized nonprofit organization that actively advances the work of risk-taking storytellers worldwide. Originally founded by Robert Redford in the mountains of Sundance, Utah, Sundance Institute has always provided a space for independent artists to explore their stories free from commercial and political pressures
American Film Institute AFI – (www.afi.com) is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media. As a non-profit educational and cultural organization open to the public, AFI provides excellent resources to preserve and celebrate film including their famous top 100 lists.
Film Society of Lincoln Center (www.filmlinc.com) is America’s pre-eminent film presentation organization, The Film Society of Lincoln Center was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, to recognize and support new filmmakers, and to enhance awareness, accessibility and understanding of the art among a broad and diverse film going audience.
IFP (www.ifp.org). After debuting with a program in the 1979 New York Film Festival, the nonprofit IFP has evolved into the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, and also the premier advocate for them. Since its start, IFP has supported the production of 7,000 films and provided resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers’ voices that otherwise might not have been heard.
The New York Public Library (www.nypl.org) has about 2,000 titles on disc or tape as well as thousands of books about film. An excellent resources is the Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in Manhattan (212-870-1630). Through October 10, 2009, the Library of the Performing Arts features the exhibit, “Katharine Hepburn: In Her Own Files.”

We’ll add to this list of resources as our own resources permit. If you have suggestions, please write to ted.faraone@gmail.com and put Tedflicks Film Resources in the subject line.

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