Monday, March 12, 2018

5 Questions with Ben Mankiewicz on FilmStruck's new TCM Select


https://www.filmstruck.com


If you haven't already signed up for TCM's streaming service FilmStruck now is the best time. FilmStruck, in collaboration with Warner Bros. Digital, will be adding hundreds of classic movies to the service. And to celebrate beloved movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, TCM Select will offer streaming classics with bonus content.

Since FilmStruck first launched it's been the go-to service for arthouse, foreign and independent cinema and now that they are boosting their service with classic movies will make this a one stop shop for the ultimate movie fan. This will mean that Warner Bros.'s Warner Archive Instant streaming service will be sunsetting in April. Many of those titles will be transferring over to FilmStruck. And I hope some of the quirkier and more obscure titles available on Warner Archive Instant will make it over to FilmStruck too.

Want to know more about what FilmStruck and TCM Select have to offer? I had the pleasure of asking TCM host Ben Mankiewicz some questions about the newly expanded service.






Raquel Stecher: What makes FilmStruck stand out as a streaming service? 

Ben Mankiewicz: FilmStruck is the only streaming service for serious movie fans. From the Criterion Collection to foreign films to arthouse films to cult films, and now to the best movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age, there is no comparable service. Netflix, Amazon and Hulu all have a role to play as we go forward and reinvent how we watch something, but if you are a true movie lover there’s only one service you need and it’s FilmStruck. It’s not close.

Stecher: What role will you be playing with FilmStruck’s TCM Select and what kind of bonus content can we expect? 

Mankiewicz: I’ll be shooting introductions for the TCM Select movies that appear on FilmStruck and we’ll have a rotating library of roughly 600 movies. We’ll be curating them similarly to the job we do here on Turner Classic Movies, by putting them in their proper cinematic and Hollywood context.

Stecher:  If you curated a new FilmStruck collection, what would be the theme and what would some of the movies include? 

Mankiewicz: I’d do a noir collection and then I’d call Eddie Muller and tell him to curate it. Otherwise I’d curate a collection of movies about journalism and the media, from The Front Page through Spotlight and The Post, which we have no chance of getting on FilmStruck right now since I think one is still in theaters. I’d include The Front Page, His Girl Friday, Citizen Kane, Ace in the Hole, A Face in the Crowd, Sweet Smell of Success, All the President’s Men, Absence of Malice, and the movies of today as soon as we can get them.

Stecher: What are some of the TCM Select films that you personally recommend subscribers watch? 

Mankiewicz: What are some of the TCM Select films that you personally recommend subscribers watch? Night in the City, Jules Dassin’s last movie before he was blacklisted. Sweet Smell of Success, as good of a movie as there is about the ugly side of publicists and the media. Really, there’s not a movie on TCM Select that I wouldn’t put the full force of a recommendation behind.

Stecher: Why do you think TCM has such devoted fans and what do you hope they will get out of FilmStruck? 

Mankiewicz: Every actor, every host, every athlete has said that they have the best fans in the world, but here’s the truth, and I mean this, TCM has the most dedicated and attentive fans in the history of this business. Since we took on the mantle to protect and present classic Hollywood films, our fans have said, ‘Okay fine, but in that case you best do it right.’ So they don’t just watch us, they watch over us to make sure we don’t make a mistake. We’ve been true to our core mission at TCM and we will continue with that core mission as we expand into FilmStruck with TCM Select, and if we make a mistake, we’re certain our fans will let us know and that’s a blessing.


Many thanks to Ben Mankiewicz of TCM for taking the time to answer my questions.




For those of you interested in subscribing to FilmStruck and getting the TCM Select titles, here is the pricing breakdown and available devices. They offer a 14 day free trial so you can test it out before you commit.

FilmStruck – $6.99/month - arthouse, foreign and cult films, plus TCM Select, an exclusive rotating collection of the most iconic movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, supplemented with hosted introductions, rare archival TCM content and bonus materials.

FilmStruck + The Criterion Channel – $10.99/month - offering everything in the FilmStruck subscription plus unlimited access to Criterion’s entire streaming library of films and special features, along with channel-exclusive original programming such as filmmaker profiles, master classes, and curated series by celebrated guests from the film world and beyond.

Annual Subscription - $99/year for FilmStruck + The Criterion Channel (a $30 annual savings) . (I have this one!)

Devices -  Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV 4th generation devices, Amazon Fire TV, web, iOS and Android devices. FilmStruck can be accessed via the Apple App store, as well as online and via Google Play for Android users.


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