A new streaming service called FilmStruck promises film lovers a chance to deep dive into a catalog of classic and independent films, and will include the exclusive “online home” of the Criterion Collection.
Criterion, for those who do not know, is a video distribution company with a focus on cinephiles. According to Wikipedia
, the company “pioneered the correct aspect ratio letterboxing presentation of movies, as well as commentary soundtracks, multi-disc sets, special editions, and definitive versions.” In other words, everything home theater buffs take for granted.
One of the main complaints I often read about streaming services is that they lack the bonus features offered by Blu-ray. The niche FilmStruck seeks to fill is providing a deeper experience by making all that extra content available through streaming.
Various independent studios are represented by the service including Janus Films, Flicker Alley, Icarus, Kino, Milestone and Zeitgeist. John Martin, the chairman and CEO of Turner, said "FilmStruck is... tailor-made for the diehard movie enthusiast who craves a deep, intimate experience with independent, foreign, and art house films."
The Criterion sub-section of FilmStruck holds particular promise for dedicated lovers of cinema. Peter Becker, president of the Criterion Collection, said the streaming service "will offer subscribers the most comprehensive Criterion experience ever available anywhere."
Hopefully FilmStruck lives up to this initial hype in terms of allowing viewers to dive deep into the content. However, in my view the streaming quality itself has to be top-notch for this service to be truly appealing. What's the point of the Criterion Collection if not to get the best overall experience? It'll be interesting to see how these movies look on a high quality display—I'd love to be able to use the service with a projector.