Here we have a site which lists and frequently comments on more than twenty-six thousand movies, supported by more than forty thousand members. New movies are being listed and reviewed at a rate of maybe fifty a day with the unfaltering enthusiasm of many contributors, so you might find yourself asking why you haven't come across this one before. And there's a likely reason for that.
SurrealMoviez is no mainstream site, you see, it's non-profit, has no advertising and keeps itself to itself; so much so, that you have to sign up as a member before you can see the content at all. And it's run by the members, for the members, with no obvious administrative interference. It offers a range of content so eclectic that it's probably unique, but it's also skating on the edge of the law because it's listing files that have, in almost all cases, been illegally uploaded to the web. They are mainly commercial, copyright material, and although it's entirely legal to provide links to their locations on other sites, often in other countries, in most cases it's not legal for you to download and watch them or redistribute them to your friends or other web sites.
So the site is not breaking any laws, yet, though that may one day change if the entertainment industry's professional associations and other establishment organizations can influence international law sufficiently. Meanwhile, it's left entirely up to you, the visitor, to choose whether you want to download anything from anywhere and do anything with it. Nobody wants to know about that, it's your business.
Enough said. I'm not here to argue a case for or against file sharing, I just needed to get the subject out of the way before someone else brought it up.
As for the content of the site, it's a movie student's dream. While most of the listed material is not, strictly speaking, surreal, you are going to find movies here which are so rare that the chances of you accidentally discovering an online copy yourself are remote. You will find material from many countries, and in many languages, too, and there's a fair share of independent and experimental material alongside the commercial offerings. I don't know of another single venue where you can find substantial material dating back to the turn of the twentieth century alongside the most avant-garde contemporary experimentation, or where censorship, be it political or moral, plays no part in the choice of material offered for review and comment.
I would suggest that if you have any interest in learning about movies, beyond going to watch Avatar or the latest teen vampire flick, you'll find a lot to interest you here even if you aren't tempted to download and watch any movies yourself. By all means, if a movie reviewed here looks interesting, go buy it if you can find it. But you don't have to, and just reading about some of the more obscure movies is fascinating in itself. If you've never really explored the world of cinema beyond Hollywood or your own nation's commercial output, there's a good chance you'll be amazed at the sheer volume and range of material that never gets that kind of publicity. If you have a particular field of interest already, you'll almost certainly find something new here whether you're interested in silent movies, Chinese tragedies, German politics or Polish romances, lewd movies of the '60s or cartoons of the '80s.
It's not IMDb, and I'd be disingenuous if I suggested that most people didn't come here to download movies and watch them, as well as researching and reading about them. It would be nice not to have to be distracted by the file sharing debate, and simply recommend a site such as this for the sheer range and usefulness of its content, but that debate isn't going to go away; I suspect that however punitive future internet laws may become, file sharing is and will remain an intrinsic part of the fabric of the web and it will always have its supporters and opponents. And that makes it challenging to review a site like this without causing some readers to feel that by the act of review some illegal activity is being promoted or encouraged, but you'll have to make up your own mind on that one.
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