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Hundreds of classic, cult and priceless movies are impossible to find these days. You can’t get them on DVD or VHS. You can’t stream them on Amazon or iTunes. And if you find them elsewhere online, they might be bootlegged or only available in short chunks.
One place to go for these hard-to-reach films?
FilmStruck. Since 2016, the movie streaming service has offered an expansive collection of films and bonus features for $10 a month.
But WarnerMedia — the offspring of AT&T’s merger with Time Warner — announced last month it will shut down FilmStruck and a handful of other “niche services.” And film buffs around the world are reeling.
From The New York Times:
Since its debut two years ago, FilmStruck has offered its subscribers a wealth of cinephile delights: carefully curated retrospectives and themed collections; bonus features, including movie introductions from TCM hosts; and guest programming from the likes of Barry Jenkins and Rebecca Miller. To say that it will be missed by its “loyal” but “niche” fan base — as Turner and Warner Bros. Digital described subscribers when announcing their decision — is an understatement.
More than 50,000 people have signed a petition to bring back FilmStruck. Dozens of actors and directors spoke out and sent a letter directly to the chairman of Warner Brothers. Actor Bill Hader even made saving FilmStruck the crux of his acceptance speech at the IndieWire Honors this month.
And beyond FilmStruck, there are many movies that just aren’t online, even though they were hits in the last few decades. ‘True Lies,’ for instance, is among several movies on a list of movies that can’t be found online, compiled by screenwriter John August.
How do we save the movies we love? And once we save them, how do we actually watch them?
Show produced by Paige Osburn.
- Mike Mashon Head of the Moving Image Section, The Library of Congress, Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Preservation
- Karina Longworth Creator and host, “You Must Remember This"; author, “Seduction: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood"; @KarinaLongworth
- Barry Jenkins Oscar-winning director, "Moonlight," "If Beale Street Could Talk"; @BarryJenkins
- John August Screenwriter, works include “Big Fish,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Corpse Bride,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the upcoming live action remake of “Aladdin"; co-host, “ScriptNotes” podcast on screenwriting; @johnaugust
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