sovay: (What the hell ass balls?!)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2018-10-26 02:12 pm

We don't have to break this to know it's real

And today I check my e-mail and find out that FilmStruck is shutting down. No explanation was offered in the e-mail I received, but it seems to be the blinkered result of the acquisition of Warner by AT&T. I am tremendously grieved and disappointed, not least by the corporate reasoning cited in this article and others:

"We're incredibly proud of the creativity and innovations produced by the talented and dedicated teams who worked on FilmStruck over the past two years," Turner and Warner Bros. Digital Networks said in a joint statement provided to Polygon. "While FilmStruck has a very loyal fanbase, it remains largely a niche service. We plan to take key learnings from FilmStruck to help shape future business decisions in the direct-to-consumer space and redirect this investment back into our collective portfolios."

First of all, that last sentence should never be spoken anywhere the ghost of Preston Sturges can hear you. Second, of course it was a niche service. It made classic and arthouse cinema as available and accessible as the latest Netflix Original and while that was a beautiful and a necessary thing, I would not in fact have expected it to rake in the bucks of contemporary mass-market media. (Though, of course, once upon a time these movies were as mass-market as you could get.) But in another sense, its offerings weren't niche at all. FilmStruck was not a hot recent targeted slate of small-screen house product pipelined to the consumers of one streaming monopoly or other. It was a deep-cut, sprawling archive of multiple decades, genres, and studios, reaching from the beginnings of cinema to just last year with a glorious labyrinth of non-American, non-Anglophone highways and byways in between, and that was also the beauty of it. You didn't just watch Warner Bros. on its website. You didn't just watch MGM. You didn't have to watch Hollywood movies at all if you didn't feel like it. It was full of strangeness as well as canon and I loved it. It made my life better. It will not make my life better to have it yanked in favor of shaping some executive's collective portfolio. I understand it was more in the way of a private than a public library, but I still feel you don't close libraries and especially not because they are insufficiently feathering a golden parachute.

The Criterion Channel doesn't know where it's going to go. It offered movies not yet or maybe never available through the DVD/Blu-Ray Criterion Collection, more than one of my actual favorite movies included. I hope they will be able to find a new home, but I liked the one they had.

Remind me again when we actually get to have nice things?
thisbluespirit: (margaret lockwood)

[personal profile] thisbluespirit 2018-10-26 07:48 pm (UTC)(link)
We plan to take key learnings from FilmStruck to help shape future business decisions in the direct-to-consumer space and redirect this investment back into our collective portfolios."


As you say, such a comfort to know it's been added to someone's portfolio! Marvellous! Now, what about all your films???

I'm sorry. It's so rotten when they take away the good things. I hope something else crops up to try and replace it.
moon_custafer: (lurking)

[personal profile] moon_custafer 2018-10-26 08:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm suddenly remembering a bit from Citizen Kane:

“The bulldog's just gone to press.”
"Well, hooray for the bulldog."
gwynnega: (Leslie Howard mswyrr)

[personal profile] gwynnega 2018-10-26 08:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I thought of you when I heard the news. I'm so sorry. I hope the Criterion Channel at least finds another home.
kenjari: (Default)

[personal profile] kenjari 2018-10-26 08:28 pm (UTC)(link)
That sucks. I hope that maybe they can move over to Kanopy, which is available through some MA public libraries. Let me know if you want any help looking for alternative services. I have a little experience with finding and evaluating streaming services.
jesse_the_k: Totally blissed out, on her back, paws folded (BELLA on back)

[personal profile] jesse_the_k 2018-10-26 11:47 pm (UTC)(link)
That is a sad thing generally, and a very sad day for you, and your eager readers of lovely movie reviews.
movingfinger: (Default)

[personal profile] movingfinger 2018-10-27 12:19 am (UTC)(link)
Drat. I just dropped Hulu and I was going to add Filmstruck.
julian: Picture of the sign for Julian Street. (Default)

[personal profile] julian 2018-10-27 01:38 am (UTC)(link)
Heard about this and was sad on your behalf.

I had been going to add it, too, after learning about it because of you.

So, uh, if you find a different service/are eventually aware of where Criterion goes, let us know?
pameladean: (Default)

[personal profile] pameladean 2018-10-27 03:44 am (UTC)(link)
What a stupid evil decision. I sometimes feel that people with a lot of money should be forbidden to have custody of anything. Their values are warped.

kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2018-10-27 07:00 am (UTC)(link)

people with a lot of money should be forbidden to have custody of anything. Their values are warped

Fucking seriously.
skygiants: Lord Yon from Legend of the First King's Four Gods in full regalia; text, 'judging' (judging)

[personal profile] skygiants 2018-10-27 02:43 pm (UTC)(link)
This same thing just happened with DramaFever, a long-running streaming Asian drama service that was acquired by Warner a few years back, and then AT&T; it's the primary way that a number of people I know watched non-US television. I'm not sure what AT&T's strategy is in acquiring niche streaming services and then shuttering them, but it seems a poor one.
sjnt: (Bacall)

[personal profile] sjnt 2018-10-29 04:03 pm (UTC)(link)
I just discovered this service a couple of weeks ago when I got a 30 day free trial in the mail. I was so excited to learn this is where Criterion went after it left Hulu.

Extra motivation to finally check out Kanopy.