It’s great to watch big popular blockbusters on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, but what if you’re a film fan of the snobbish variety? Cinephiles can rejoice: they’re finally getting their very own film-on-demand streaming service. Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection, two massive names in the arthouse film industry, have joined forces to launch Filmstruck, a U.S.-based, ad-free streaming service that will launch sometime this fall.
The new service will focus on arthouse, indie, foreign, and cult films, while highlighting the catalogues of other great home video and film distribution labels like Janus Films, Flicker Alley, Icarus, Kino, Milestone, and Zeitgeist.
Limited titles will be available in the basic service, but the premium option will also include a Criterion Channel, a curated approach to the thousands of the films from the vaunted company, which has licensed and restored classic and contemporary movies for decades. This means their previous exclusive streaming rights on Hulu will come to an end.
There’s no word on the cost, but film fans will no doubt recognize the breadth of the catalogues available — based on Criterion and TCM alone. A Turner spokesperson told CNN pricing would be “competitive to other streaming movie services in the marketplace.”
“It’s tailor-made for the die-hard movie enthusiast that crave a deep, intimate experience with independent, foreign, and art house films,” John Martin, chief executive of Turner, said in a press release. “And it takes advantage of TCM’s powerful curation capabilities as well as its proven track record of building a long-term relationship with passionate film fans.”
Peter Becker, president of the Criterion Collection, called Filmstruck “an arthouse film lovers’ dream streaming service,” and echoed Martin’s sentiments, saying: “The addition of the premium Criterion Channel will offer subscribers the most comprehensive Criterion experience ever available anywhere, including a steady stream of exclusive original content and archival discoveries, plus continual access to more than 1,000 films from the Janus Films library, many unavailable on disc or anywhere else.”
So what should cinephiles or budding film fanatics check out when Filmstruck launches this fall? Martin and Becker’s promises that thousands upon thousands of curated films will be made available, which means there will be something for everybody, but maybe put these at the top of your list.
- You can’t call yourself a cinephile without having seen Jean-Luc Godard’s touchstone film that basically defined the French New Wave. Come for the throwback look at ‘60s Paris, stay for the groundbreaking filmmaking, including Godard’s signature jump cuts.
4. Seven Samurai
- Another cinephile standard, Kurosawa’s epic classic has spawned a ton of remakes and knockoffs like this fall’s Magnificent Seven movie starring Denzel Washington. Before you go see Denzel’s western, see where it all began in feudal Japan.
3. A Hard Day’s Night
- Quite possibly the best meeting between pop stardom, music, and film, Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night captures the Beatles as they were. Four lads from Liverpool get caught up in a funny and heartfelt tour around a studio gig in a movie that doesn’t really have a plot but is big on laughs.
2. Blood Simple
- The Coen Brothers made it into the Criterion Collection earlier this year with a new edition of Inside Llewyn Davis, and it looks like they’ll be getting another title with Blood Simple. This tale of a private investigator hired to kill a man’s cheating wife and her lover is their first film, but their signature bleakly comedic style was evident from the beginning.
1. Mad Max
- You loved Fury Road, now go watch the original. Director George Miller’s scrappy first entry in his Mad Max saga is the perfect mix between highbrow and low, arthouse and cineplex. It’s these kinds of iconic, early gems that will get people to sign up for Filmstruck and keep them wanting more.