Boxwalla Film Subscription Box Review – June 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 June 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 our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Boxwalla Film
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.
June’s theme was “Roma.” I received a post-film discussion, as promised, which I also read after watching the films. It, too, was very helpful.
Film #1: 8 1/2 – Value $29.99 on Amazon
As a film nerd, I am very embarrassed to say that I have never seen this movie until now! On the other hand, I tend to believe that art, in all its forms, tends to present itself when it’s best able to nourish me. That is definitely the case with this film. What an amazing film! Have you ever watched a film and found yourself laughing and crying at the same time? I love that feeling. That’s what happened at the end of this movie for me. It’s a known classic masterpiece about a film director struggling to make a move that’s kind of about nothing and everything all at once. The movie he is trying to make is the one you are watching, so it’s a little confusing, but I caught that pretty early on. It’s told from the perspective of the director’s mind, so it slips seamlessly from reality to fantasy many times, and that takes a little getting used to as well, but it’s well worth it. I can now join the ranks of millions of people who love this film.
Film #2: The Great Beauty – Value $17.99 on Amazon
This film was a lot more difficult for me to understand. Usually, when I watch an art film, I start off with a little anxiety, then I get absorbed, then a lightbulb (or two or three) goes off in my head, then I get a deep feeling of satisfaction. With this film, I don’t feel like the lights are all fully on yet. This movie is about a writer who is struggling with creative blocks in a similar way to the film director in the Fellini movie. In fact, these movies are hugely similar, and this one is said to be a tribute to 8 1/2, but I find that there’s a slightly different message here. Both films are set in Rome, both films deal with themes of love, religion, beauty, excess, and art, and both have absolutely stunning visual imagery throughout. This film, however, is from 2013, and seems to have more of the confusion of the modern world built into it. I need to let this one sit with me a while longer.
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 love Boxwalla Film. When you have children, it’s sometimes hard to find time to get a good brain massage, but these films totally feed that part of myself. It’s hugely satisfying in that sense. I think this box would be wonderful for any true cinephile who enjoys really deep cerebral dives on occasion. I am also really loving building my film collection with smart, classic films! In terms of value, the purchase price of these two films does not quite meet the cost of the box, but that’s not really what this box is about. It’s about curation, and I do find that the selection of two films to compare really adds to the experience. Plus, there is a lot of good information in the pre- and post-film discussions. I think a few months ago someone suggested using this subscription to start a movie club and pitching in as a small group. I think that’s a wonderful idea to keep costs down! And it would give you friends to discuss the many ideas and questions that these films will surely fill your head with.
What do you think of Boxwalla Film box?