LONDON (Reuters) - Fancy checking out the classic 1960s Japanese horror flick "Onibaba," or indulging in a bit of old-fashioned British comedy with "The Lavender Hill Mob?"
The UK Film Council is launching a search engine that will help British movie goers track down their favorite films, from the mainstream to the obscure.
The website (www.FindAnyFilm.com) is free to use and contains records of more than 30,000 films, or roughly seven years' worth of viewing, and they come in 20 genres and over 60 languages.
"Like a Google for films, it is the first time anything like this has been delivered on the Internet that indexes all available films in the UK and is totally free to use," the council said in a statement.
The site tells visitors how they can watch the movie of their choice, whether at the cinema, on television, DVD, Blu-ray, online or by downloading it from legal websites.
One aim of the site is to crack down on illegal downloads, which have been the thorn in the side of the music industry for years.
In the case of Onibaba, about a widow and mother-in-law who survive by murdering passing Samurai and selling their armor for rice, it is available on DVD from several major retailers, and the site can take you to the relevant page to buy it. FindAnyFilm.com also has an "alert me" function which tells the visitor when the movie becomes available on television, at the cinema or on the Internet.
"This new site is going to transform how consumers find the films they want to watch. We will soon wonder how we ever coped without it!" said Peter Buckingham, head of distribution and exhibition at the UK Film Council who pioneered the site. Searches can be refined by inputting a mood, a location or using keywords like "fairytale ending."
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White)
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