Classic film streaming service FilmStruck rises from the dead...sort of


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/17/classic-film-streaming-service.html


#2

be sure to enter the promocode boingboing at checkout


#3

This. . .this actually might be better than FilmStruck anyway!


#4

Not sure how it would be better. FilmStruck had the criterion collection plus other curated collections of films.


#5

Not all of the Criterion Collection… Criterion might need to step up to the plate and offer even more of their treasure chest now that they’re the sole resource.

(If, in fact, that’s what they are.)


#6

Kanopy is a great “art” film channel available on your device or Roku. You may be able to pick-up a free subscription though your library and library card or perhaps your college or university. Has a great selection of tons of art-house films, Criterion, foreign, classics. May be a good substitute?

https://www.kanopy.com


#7

A big chunk of the Criterion Collection was available at Hulu before it was pulled in anticipation of the Filmstruck deal. For le$$/month than either Filmstruck or this new service.

I can’t speak for all media subscribers, but I have trouble getting excited by yet another narrow subscription channel opening like this. I’d rather pay for just one service and get all the shows and movies I want to watch. This Balkanization of services is simply greed on the part of the copyright holders.


#8

Thanks for pointer! Signed up 'cuz my county library system allows its members 10 movies per month. Cool beans!


#9

Yes, it would be cool if there were a service with every movie ever for $10 a month, but it doesn’t seem likely.


#10

I only get 4… but still hard to complain as it is free (well tax dollars I guess but thats a good thing)


#11

The bright side: watching the same movie over and over during a three day period counts as one play, so you can become an expert on four movies every month! :wink:


#12

That’s not the choice.

I used to get the Criterion movies and many other movies and pretty much every contemporary TV show I was interested in for $7/month from Hulu. I understand that that was a good deal, but the alternative doesn’t have to be that everything you want to watch is on a different service. I currently subscribe to 3 services and still don’t get much of the content I might otherwise to see, and while I’m a natural customer for Criterion (I own a bunch of their films on disk) I’m not ready to subscribe to yet another service. I think there might be other customers like me, and one reason I think this is that Filmstruck was not a commercial success.


#13

Filmstruck was not a commercial success in part because it wasn’t well-promoted, but I agree that subscribing to yet another narrowcasting service is a high bar to clear these days.

Content owners still haven’t figured out how to capture maximum value from their libraries. Frankly, I think there needs to be more of a set-rate licensing fee for anything in a studio’s catalog that is more than, say, 15 years old. Netflix suffers because of the way their licensing agreements work, and the studios would likely make a great deal more if they just licensed stuff to everyone for a uniform, reasonable price rather than go through all the gyrations of negotiating new package deals. This licensing mess is part of what killed video games like Rock Band, every song featured in the games was licensed through individual negotiations, which wasn’t sustainable over time.

Note that Filmstruck didn’t have this problem per se, they already owned most of the content they were showing, so I have to think the problem was more one of marketing failure. I’d never heard of it before the shutdown announcement, and as a longtime fan of the Z Channel, directors’ cuts, and Criterion, this was right up my alley.

Perhaps this kind of feature could be part of Netflix as a small upsell, call it ‘Netflix Festival’, and populate it with plenty of docs, indie films, art house films, etc.


#14

The app stores have proven that consumers are willing to pay a few bucks for what they want. These days the vast majority of films I want to see are available by paying a few bucks after a search in justwatch. The all you can stream model breaks down with this Balkanization into niche monthly fees. If Netflix could offer all the pay to watch films on vudu, it would increase its market and revenues tremendously.

Anyway my point is that you can have access to a half dozen niche channels with no monthly fee. Just pay a few bucks for the films you want to see.


#15

Videogames LIKE Rock Band, but not Rock Band itself! We’re still getting new weekly songs through to the end of 2019 at least.

(Though that really just illustrates that the method of negotiating new songs isn’t ideal in that that’s as far ahead as they can still assure us at a time.)


#16

Filmstruck’s most geeked out custom chromolly add-ons were its meticulously & lovingly curated collections with special mini-documentaries, lectures sort of, and lead-ins sometimes for each film if you watched them thru that collection. These were classes.

For example, I did the one on How To Watch Intro Scenes, curated by a reknowned film scholar/professor (I’m a poor student, don’t remember name). She gave a 10 or 12 minute lecture/tour, and before each film of the 4 or 5 films in that collection you could click an optional brief deconstruction on that films opening scene. I watched…

Well SHIT – here’s the scholar’s “lecture”-- Annette Innsdorf’s “Cinematic Overtures: How To Read Opening Scenes”

It changed the way I watch movies, added great pleasure for me and (I hope) made my post-movie conversations more interesting.

Her collection also pointed me to films I’d never have picked on my own, id only seen Herzog’s Aguirre. My fav among that grouping was the Spanish masterpiece Spirit of the Beehive, a new favorite.

Another group.was Guillermo del Toro’ s favorite or most influential films and an extra bauble (aside from his lead-in gem for ea film) was his tour of his man-cave house, where del Toro keeps his museum size curiocabinet of memorobilia and weird treasures, separate fr his family home. (Spirot of Beehive was also in his collection!)

Edits: geeeez, I woulda got an F. I got the name of Beehive wrong, professors name, couldn’t remember other film names blah blah blah. F-)


#17

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and THANK YOU!!!


#18

I hearby join the Thank You Chorus! Kanopy should be more well known. I just watched a good film from India on it.


#19

8 movies a month for me via Kanopy. And much easier to manage than MoviePass. Hopefully more solvent/less Ponzi.


#20

LOL. Kanopy’s browsing system is just as annoying as Netflix’s, but the content is such a joy in comparison.

And don’t get me started on Amazon Prime video, which seems to have few movies left anymore (and I have no idea how to find them other than searching one by one).

I hope movies don’t disappear from Kanopy the way they do from the other services. Given the content, I assume there will be a lot less turnover?