FilmStruck Gets Ready to Strike

FilmStruck, the new subscription streaming service for “film aficionados” from Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and the Criterion Collection, has revealed three of the movie “themes” it will offer at its launch next month:

  • “The Masters: Akira Kurosawa,” with 24 titles from the legendary Japanese director, including Seven Samurai (1954), the original version of America’s The Magnificent Seven;
  • “Directed by Mike Leigh,” with four titles from the “genre-bending” British director – Meantime (1984), High Hopes (1988), Life is Sweet (1990) and Naked (1993);
  • “Political Documentaries,” including Primary (1960), Adventures on the New Frontier (1961), Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963), Faces of November (1964), Hearts and Minds (1974), The Times of Harvey Milk (1984), The War Room (1993), A Perfect Candidate (1996) and Anytown, USA (2005).

imgresFilmStruck, which says it will have hundreds of other titles “from the world’s greatest film libraries,” promises that subscribers will get more than just the films themselves. As on TCM, there will be hosted intros to “guide you with valuable information about the title, aspects of the production, directorial styles, and elements to look for as you watch.” As on Criterion DVDs, there will be commentary tracks, theatrical trailers, commissioned pieces and short documentaries.

For an extra fee, subscribers can add a separate Criterion Channel “to enjoy the largest collection of Criterion films available for streaming anywhere.”

Pricing for FilmStruck and the Criterion Channel, as well as exact launch dates, have not been announced.

A rival service, Tribeca Shortlist “for discerning movie lovers,” costs $4.99 a month and has a library of some 150 titles. Run by Lionsgate and Tribeca Enterprises, the folks behind New York’s annual Tribeca Film Festival, it has a year’s head start of FilmStruck, having launched in October, 2015.

Here’s FilmStruck’s trailer:

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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