There are plenty of film and TV streaming services out there but IndieFlix is a bit different. Eschewing the mainstream Hollywood fair, IndieFlix describes itself as:
a community of independent filmmakers and fans. Through its membership-based streaming service, IndieFlix helps filmmakers translate artistic vision into commercial success, and gives film lovers access to high quality independent films not otherwise available. IndieFlix’s mission is to champion filmmakers, rethink traditional approaches to distribution, and celebrate the artistry and impact of independent film.
We’re fans of things outside the mainstream here, we even went to a Finnish film season a few years ago- there’s nothing like a subtitled black comedy set in a shipyard believe me-so when IndieFlix offered us a 3 month free trial to try out the service, we jumped at the opportunity.
Signing up for IndieFlix is pretty straightforward and you can do it via your web browser. Once you’ve signed up, it’s really easy to watch the content on your PC but if you’ve got an Xbox it’s a simple case of entering a unique code from the web browser into the Xbox app and your account is linked to the Xbox.
Pretty easy huh?
To test it out we went on a road trip with Lauren and Molly in their documentary about bullying amongst girls called Finding Kind. Molly and Lauren are a couple of camera friendly high school graduates who decided to set up a not for profit organisation to deal with girl on girl bullying in American schools. Finding Kind is their 10,000 mile road trip across American, talking to school girls and exploring their issue of mean girls. In many ways it comes across as one sided as a Michael Moore epic; the girls have decided the agenda and outcome of the film and whereas a Louis Theroux documentary is an exploration of the subject, where the characters almost allow you to decide your interpretation, Finding Kind has a definite agenda. Blokes might fight but they’ll crack a beer open and get on the next day, girls will be vicious spiteful and mean.
Lauren and Molly set out to try and change this perception. Complete with plinky piano music over the really sad moments. There are lots of tears, lots of hugging. And oddly, lots of hair tossing. It’s not that Finding Kind is a bad film because it isn’t, it’s heart is definitely in the right place. It’s just that at times it seems to be an overlong commercial for the organisation it depicts. Lauren and Molly are a nice pair of girls and their intent is good but I spent a good part of the 77 minute run time wondering how different it would have been if Louis Theroux had been a fly on the wall observing it from the outside. It’s the lack of outside objectivity that ultimately is the flaw in Finding Kind that stops it being completely engaging.
The IndieFlix service on the other hand was completely faultless. The quality of the streaming was very good, certainly better on the Xbox than we have experienced from Lovefilm, we had no buffering issues, no picture break up on anything. It’s simple to use and works well.