Ever since it was announced that FilmStruck would be shutting down at the end of November, cinephiles everywhere (and even some well-known filmmakers) have been petitioning Warner Brothers to reconsider their decision. Although that mostly seems to have fallen on deaf ears, the good news is that Criterion has announced that they will be picking up the mantle and continuing on with their own streaming service. Last week they announced that they will be launching something called The Criterion Channel in spring 2019. Here is more info from the official blog post on their site:
“Well, if you loved the curated programming we’ve been doing with our friends at FilmStruck, we have good news for you. The Criterion Collection team is going to be carrying on with that mission, launching the Criterion Channel as a freestanding service in spring 2019.
We’ve been trying to make something a little different for the past two years—a movie lover’s dream streaming service, with smart thematic programming, where the history of cinema can live and breathe, where a new generation of filmmakers and film lovers can explore the classics or revel in rarities, where adventurous cinephiles can champion films that have never gotten their due, and newcomers can easily find guidance from major filmmakers, top scholars, curators, and other experts from all walks of life.
The Criterion Channel will be picking up where the old service left off, programming director spotlights and actor retrospectives featuring major Hollywood and international classics and hard-to-find discoveries from around the world, complete with special features like commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, and original documentaries. We will continue with our guest programmer series, Adventures in Moviegoing. Our regular series like Art-House America, Split Screen, and Meet the Filmmakers, and our Ten Minutes or Less section will all live on, along with Tuesday’s Short + Feature and the Friday Night Double Feature, and of course our monthly fifteen-minute film school, Observations on Film Art.
The new service will be wholly owned and controlled by the Criterion Collection. We hope to be available in U.S. and Canada at launch, rolling out additional territories over time.”
Launching in Canada! Hey that’s exciting. It sounds like the partnership with TCM has ended but they do mention that the Criterion Collection will also be available through Warner’s new platform when it launches late next year. The Criterion Channel is expected to cost $10 a month or $100 a year, but if you sign up now you can become a “Charter Subscriber” which gives you special benefits and a $10 discount on the yearly rate. Head over to the Criterion website for more info. Do you plan on subscribing to The Criterion Channel?