Boxwalla Film Subscription Box Review – April 2017
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 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.)
This review is of the Boxwalla Film, $49.95 every other month, box.
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: U.S. 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 never read it before I watch the movies because I hate any kind of spoiler! I always read it afterward, though, and it is always helpful.
I received a post-film discussion, as promised, which I also read after watching the films. It, too, was very helpful. I have to mention here, that Boxwalla sends their film box at the very end of the month, and the post-film discussion follows 3-4 weeks later.
April’s theme was “Ingrid & Roberto.” I couldn’t be more thrilled! I have been a huge fan of both Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini since I was a teenager! I have always been fascinated with their work and their partnership in real life as a married couple, also. In addition to many beautiful films, they produced a daughter, Isabella, who for much of her life was considered among the most beautiful women in the world. It’s all so romantic!
3 Films by Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman – Value $79.96
This month, instead of sending two related films, Boxwalla sent a boxed set of three films directed by Rossellini and starring Bergman. I absolutely love that concept! The thing I did not love, though, is that it’s a blu-ray set, and I do not have a blu-ray player. BUT, this is a good opportunity to let you know of a new service that streams movies from the Criterion Collection called Filmstruck. This is the only place you can stream movies from the Criterion Collection, and they have a two week free trial period. The ongoing monthly cost is also quite reasonable if you are a cinephile like myself.
Film #1: Stromboli
The first film is about a young woman who marries a man in a very spur-of-the-moment fashion to escape a difficult situation and finds herself in an at least equally difficult situation. I don’t like to give away too much of the film in my reviews, but I will say that this one was somewhat difficult to watch. It was very compelling and had a powerful ending!
Film #2: Europe ’51
Europe ’51 was probably the most complex of the three films. It is the story of a married woman who struggles to find meaning after the death of her child. There is a recurrent theme of maintaining appropriate relationships while balancing an overarching need to love one’s fellow man. It’s a timeless question, and one that speaks to me on a personal level, so I find this movie thoroughly interesting. Additionally, there is a lot going on in this film from a social and cultural perspective that says a great deal about the era.
Film #3: Journey to Italy
Journey to Italy is perhaps the most famous of the three films, and it is an easy one to love! It lacks some of the complexity of the previous films, and at its core is simply a love story. Every love story is unique, and this one has some beautiful twists and turns. It is also set in some of the most beautiful scenes throughout Italy, which adds so much to the work itself. The couple in the film is struggling with their marriage, and I read in the post-film discussion that Rossellini would only give them their lines right before shooting the scene to add depth to the awkwardness and disconnection that their characters were feeling. Brilliant!
This is a peek at the post-film discussion that was sent following the movies via email.
All the 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.
UPDATE: Boxwalla let us know subscribers had the option to choose between Blu-ray and DVD, and were not automatically sent Blu-ray discs.
Verdict: This was another awesome box from Boxwalla Film, but I am sure I was not the only subscriber that was disappointed by the selection of blu-ray as the format. Otherwise, this was an excellent collection of films for the month and a wonderful education in the work of Bergman and Rossellini. I loved all three movies, but in very different ways and for very different reasons. They were very different films! Which is maybe a bit surprising considering they all starred the same actress and had the same director, but nonetheless, I was very pleased. The value this month ($79.96) was outstanding, as the value usually comes in just under the cost of the subscription ($49.95). I can’t wait for my next box at the end of this month!
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