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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Netflix Codes

Transform Your Living Room into an Art House Cinema

I’m the kind of media consumer who churns between streaming services like I was making butter.

I keep a calendar with cancellation reminders; I scour the Just Watch app for the best deal on my desired film; and lately, I’ve loaded more library cards into free services like Hoopla or Kanopy than I have credit cards into studio streamers.

As a filmmaker myself, I’m all for streamers, paying for content, and supporting the talent who makes it. But I’m also an ultra-low-budget indie type, which means that the streamers haven’t supported me nearly as much as I have them which strains my entertainment dollar. Also, my taste has gone decidedly “art house” in recent months. So, what’s a cineaste to do? Here’s a hack:

Art House Movie Codes on Netflix

So, you’re camera shy about taking on yet another membership (someday, Criterion Channel, someday) and the specialty streamers are too niché-y or have inscrutable programmatic policies (looking at you MUBI). Plus, probably already have Netflix. Everyone does. It’s the TV dinner in your media freezer — the Salisbury steak — broadly appealing, ready in minutes, and very likely meat. But like In-N-Out Burger, Netflix has a secret menu, hidden with its obscure genre codes. With these in hand, you can inexpensively curate your own gourmet, art-house-style experience.

Start here:


This will take you to a page aptly titled Art House Movies. Topping the bill at present writing is Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s epic black comedy-drama about a journo in the midst of an existential crisis (a man after my own heart).

This is only the beginning, there are hundreds of arty films, from foreign and cult flicks to independent and experimental films. To visit each genre’s page, simply input the numeric codes below into your web browser after the following address: http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/

…And save them to your watchlist to later screen on your smart TV.

The list:

  • Art House Movies 29764
  • Cult Movies 7627
  • Independent Movies 7077
  • Experimental Movies 11079

For a crazy, super-granular Netflix code list, go here. Of course, if you’re more of an Amazon Prime type, you can always watch this little art house gem:

Daedalus Howell
Daedalus Howellhttps://dhowell.com
Welcome to one man's search for meaning through media making. Whether you're an active "creative," or an artist-adjacent culture serf, perhaps you will find my (mis)adventures in the screentrade, publishing, journalism and other arts edifying and inspiring — or at least mordantly humorous. More about me here.

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