So let me start off by saying that if you have any interest in the history of cinema in America and Hollywood, Karina Longworth’s amazing podcast You Must Remember This is undescribably essential. It might be the best single podcast in any format I’ve ever listened to. She’s enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and an incredible film historian, critic and researcher. She also tells a great story, with the perfect eye for detail. (As an example, in an episode on Liz Taylor she talks about how the young Ms. Taylor was perhaps the most beautiful actress of the 20th century, impossibly glamorous, supremely unattainable. Then, she tells how it was Elizabeth who held her best friend Montgomery Clift, gushing blood, in her arms after his horrific car wreck demolished his face. She tells how it was Taylor who reached down his throat to pull out his broken teeth to clear his airway while they waited for the ambulance. It’s an amazing juxtaposition that helps to humanize someone who seems so ephemeral these days).
The thing about listening to her podcast though is that it makes you (or at least me!) desperately eager to watch some of the films she talks about, even if they are Grandpa Movies in black and white (sorry Tom! ;)) And what sucks is that these are tough to find. Most aren’t on streaming services and are only available on VOD at various prices in that sometimes unsatisfactory business model.
So along comes Filmstruck! Recently announced, it’ll combine the film assets of Criterion with Turner Classic Movies (which has the MGM catalogue to 1986 and all Warner Brothers stuff now that they’re owned by Time Warner). That’s an amazing collection of films. The channel is also apparently going to feature specials that include interviews, commentary tracks and other stuff that Criterion and TCM have used to present their movies in the past as extras and whatnot.
No word on pricing yet, but it’s due to launch in the fall. I honestly can’t wait for this!