ARTS MINISTER JIMMY Deenihan tonight officially launched an Irish website which allows users to purchase or rent movies online – some on the same day as they open in cinemas.
Volta.ie is owned by Element Pictures – the same company which last week re-opened the independent Light House cinema in Smithfield. The video-on-demand platform allows users to to pay for a download or to stream a movie from their catalogue of Irish and independent features. Volta told TheJournal.ie that the pay-per-view service means that the site can offer films much earlier than a subscription-type service. A spokesperson said:
We can get the films up on the site on the day they are in the cinema in some cases, or on the day they would be released on DVD. These can be films that might only run for a week in one or two arthouse venues in Ireland and if you don’t live near one, you miss them. The new Werner Herzog film is an example of one we got on its theatrical release. Subscription-based services have films only after all the other release windows – theatrical, DVD – are open.
Film and TV streaming website Netflix, which launched earlier this month, is a subscription service.
While Volta has been up and running for the best part of nine months, the spokesperson said the company wanted to finesse the technical aspect of the site and make sure they had “really good content” up there before officially launching it.
Some of the most recent Irish films featured on the site this evening include Juanita Wilson’s As If I Am Not There, which was Ireland’s nomination this year for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars, and The Guard, which stars Brendan Gleeson.
The self-professed film buffs in TheJournal.ie’s offices this evening recommend these gems which they spotted on the site and which you may, or may not, have caught. (Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments section…)
Mike Leigh’s wonderful drama starring Jim Broadbent looks at a content and caring elderly couple whose warmth affects the unhappy lives of the people that surround them. Another Year is a fine example of Leigh’s deft hand at understated tragedy that earned him an Oscar nomination for this screenplay.
A brilliant Irish made documentary that looks at the declining bee population in the U.S. and the knock-on effect this may have on a local and international scale. Beautifully shot and full of quirky characters and insights into a vital industry that most people know nothing about.
Jacques Mesrine’s story was so epic in scale that director Jean-Francois Richet had to split it into two films. At almost 5 hours long, the films explore the enigmatic criminal mastermind (played brilliantly by Vincent Cassell) in great detail and his many adventures are thoroughly covered. Clever, stylish but criminally underseen, these films are some of the best examples of the crime genre we’ve seen in years.
Bareknuckle boxing is a hugely lucrative underground sport with fights being worth up to ten of thousands of euros for the fighters involved. Ian Palmer’s no holds barred documentary is not always a pleasant watch but is a certainly an eye-opening, unbiased and honest look at the people involved and their motivations.
This tense German Oscar-nominee stars Bruno Ganz at Hitler during his final hours in a bunker as his empire falls down around him. Realistic and well-observed, this is more well-known as an internet meme right now but all the more reason to watch the entire film.