Boxwalla Film Subscription Box Review – April 2016
Boxwalla is a really unique subscription box service that offers four different types of subscriptions: food, beauty, books, and film. Subscribers can subscribe to multiple boxes, or can hop around among the four boxes from shipment to shipment. Fun! I received the April Film Box recently to review. I love movies! Boxwalla’s website states, “‘Art Cinema is Boring.’ The Film Box challenges this notion by demystifying the work of the best filmmakers, by creating a context within which to view them.”
Boxwalla kindly sent us this box for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Boxwalla Film Box
The Cost: $49.95 per shipment (every two months)
The Products: Two films from The Criterion Collection plus an insert are mailed to you. Additional material is emailed to you before and after you have watched the films.
Ships to: US for free, Canada for $11.95, Internationally for $18.95
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Boxwalla’s packaging is beautiful! The box is really high quality and very sturdy. It could easily be used for storage or gifts. This letter was included with information about the films that I was sent. Honestly, I didn’t read it before I watched the movies because I hate any kind of spoiler! I really feel that when you are watching film as an art form, you should watch it without preconceptions, take what you take from it, and then seek out context afterwards if you want. I did read it afterwards, though, and it was helpful.
April’s theme was “An Exercise in Minimalism.” I was supposed to get a post-film discussion emailed to me, but as of 5/13 I haven’t received it yet. I’m sure it was just an oversight.
Film #1: Mouchette – Value $29.99 on Amazon
Both of the movies Boxwalla sent this month were challenging, and this one was particularly difficult to watch. My husband and I watched it together, and he really disliked it. He is really sensitive and has a hard time getting past the human condition. Both movies this month are about young women in very difficult circumstances. It had a big effect on me as well, but I tend to be a bit more able to step back and observe other attributes of films. Filmmaker Robert Bresson’s objective in his films was to strip down film to its essence to discover what makes film an art form independent of others. I was an avid follower of the Dogme ’95 movement in film, and this movie embraces similar ethics, such as a lack of music, sound effects, and other artificial constructs. It definitely has a profound effect on the sense of austerity throughout the film.
Film #2: Rosetta – Value $21.50 on Amazon
Although Rosetta is a modern film (from 1999), it seems to draw heavily upon the work of Bresson as both films are very similar. This film also relies on a lack of artificial constructs, and even some of the fundamental imagery is similar. The underlying marginalization of both main characters is striking in both films. I can’t get too specific without spoiling the movies, but if you watch them you will definitely see what I mean.
Both movies are part of The Criterion Collection, which is an organization that works to preserve and restore classic and modern films that are considered important. The films are published in editions that offer the highest technical quality as well as fantastic supplemental material. As a note, the Criterion Collection will be removed from Hulu after November. At that point they are planning on launching their own streaming service in collaboration with TCM.
Verdict: I am loving my Boxwalla Film subscription so far! Even though these movies were pretty depressing, and my husband won’t watch them with me any more, ha! This is definitely a great subscription for true cinephiles. Be forewarned that it’s pretty cerebral, but if you are the type of person who loves classic, independent, and foreign films, you’ll love this box. This month the value of the movies just cleared the cost of the box, but that’s not always the case. This subscription is more about the curation and truly indulging your inner film nerd. It’s a little pricey, but one reader has suggested sharing with a friend or two, and I think that’s a really fun idea!
What do you think of Boxwalla Film Box?