Kino Lorber has been a big player in the indie, classic, foreign and art house movies markets for a few decades. Back in the VHS era they always felt like the lower rent sibling of outfits like Criterion. Good and sometimes just strange titles but often worth paying attention to but typically bare bones releases that felt like they were put together on a shoestring budget.
Since I don’t collect physical media any more, I’ve grown complacent about outfits like them.
I was recently seeking out some older Agatha Christie adaptations and they weren’t available anywhere to buy or rent…..itunes, Amazon, etc didn’t have them. Streamers like Netflix, hbo, criterion, Hulu, Disney, Kanopy, etc didn’t have them.
But then I stumbled across a discussion of this streaming service called KinoNow run by the Kino Lorber folks. It’s as strange as their physical media selection in terms of what they carry. And they don’t seem to get aggregated in any online search system like Just Watch (which has tons of services in their database that none of us use, so that omission is saying something).
Strangely, KinoNow is not a subscription service. It’s more like iTunes where you can rent or buy digital streaming rights. I’m not sure how much I’ll be buying since it feels like it could close at any moment and it is a walled garden. Hopefully they will get associated with something like Movies Anywhere at some point. It is a wild library of things not available anywhere else. So I am sure I’ll be renting more stuff in the future.
Anyway for fans of non mainstream cinema it’s a useful service to be aware of, so I thought I’d share it in case it helps other folks find stuff that is way off the beaten path.
Quality on the one title I rented so far seems fine, essentially like their HD blu ray releases, often working from imperfect masters.
Discover contemporary, classic and documentary films that will entertain, inspire and amaze you, as only great cinema can. Kino Now gives you a front-row seat for the classics of today and tomorrow.