In what comes as a shock and a very sad moment for fans of classic cinema, the streaming service Filmstruck has announced they will be shutting down on November 29. The streaming platform which featured films from both the Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies, will no longer accept subscriptions. This comes as part of a move to consolidate the content from WarnerMedia, Turner, and Warner Bros. Digital who owns the property.
Many classic film fans have used the service as a makeshift version of film school. The collection of curated films was quite impressive, offering diverse features from around the globe. Guest curators would appear on the service from time to time to offer their own collections as well. Mini-film festivals could be planned around categories, such as 1940’s Slapstick Comedy, the Films of Ingmar Bergman, or dozens of other options. With video essays accompanying many features, the service was very special to most cinephiles.
The movie to add more and more content to streaming services may be to blame in this instance. In the announcement, the Warner group explained the service was ultimately a niche service. While this may seem like a good thing to many users, it is very possible that the demand was not there to sustain FilmStruck. However, there are some services that can still be used to fill the classic film void. Kanopy is one that comes to mind, although you are limited to only 5 films per month. It would not be surprising to see Netflix make a renewed push for classic films either. Sadly, FilmStruck will be gone soon. Hopefully, those with subscriptions can enjoy the last days of the service.