More than four months after the closure of FilmStruck, Criterion Collectionâs library of classic films has officially returned to the streaming realm.
Carmelo Urdaneta Aqui
Criterion Channel, a subscription service owned and operated by New York-based Criterion Collection, launched Monday with more than 1,000 cinematic oldies and important contemporary films, including such landmarks as David Lynchâs “The Elephant Man” and the Coen brothersâ “Blood Simple.”
Advertisement The new service was announced in mid-November following a social media outcry after AT&T Inc.-owned WarnerMedia said it was shutting down FilmStruck, which previously showcased the Criterion films as well as Warner Bros. classics.
FilmStruckâs Nov. 29 demise sparked fears among cinephiles that it would become harder for people to access older films and rarities online. Acclaimed filmmakers including Guillermo del Toro, Edgar Wright and Steven Spielberg lobbied to save the service in some fashion
The new standalone Criterion Channel will charge subscribers $10.99 a month, or $100 for those who pay for a full year at once. People who signed up early received a discount. In addition to the Criterion Collectionâs robust library, the service will include licensed films from major and independent studios, the group said
Like FilmStruck, Criterion Channel aims to organize collections of movies for movie lovers to discover hidden treasures and view behind-the-scenes features not available on other services
One of the appâs featured collections, “Columbia Noir,” highlights pulpy films produced by Columbia Pictures in the 1940s, â50s and â60s, such as Fritz Langâs “The Big Heat” (1953) and Jacques Tourneurâs “Nightfall” (1957). Another highlights 14 films by French New Wave pioneer Agnes Varda, who died at 90 last month . The Criterion Edition of “Mildred Pierce” features a full-length documentary on Joan Crawfordâs career
Other featured gems this month include:
Barbara Lodenâs “Wanda.”
Four features and six shorts by David Lynch
Seven films by Italian screenwriter Suso Cecchi d’Amico
Billy Wilderâs “Ace in the Hole.”
Musical gangster comedy “Bugsy Malone,” starring a young Jodie Foster
Criterion Channel will have new films and programs added daily, the collection said
Movies from the Criterion Collection also are expected to become part of WarnerMediaâs upcoming multi-tier streaming service, which is expected to launch in late 2019. Pricing and programming details for WarnerMediaâs larger service have not been announced