Those of you who follow this blog are familiar with the fact that I am pretty obsessive in my collection of movie data. Before I’ll even consider watching a movie its data must suggest that there is a fairly high probability that I will “really like” it. I have a rolling list of around 360 movies that meet this high probability threshold and from these 360 movies I select 5 movies each week for my Watch List. And, finally, from these 5 movies comes the 3 or 4 movies I actually watch each week. Crazy, right?
One of the things I’ve been noticing is that, when you watch over a hundred movies each year, you end up watching most of the “really like” contemporary movies because that’s what is most available on the movie channels and the popular streaming services. That doesn’t mean that those services ignore the classics. It’s just that their inventory tends to be limited to the most popular classics. The end result is that my list of 360 “really like” movie candidates is becoming top heavy with Hollywood classics, not because there are more “really like” movies from that era, but because there are fewer of those movies being shown on the traditional sources of movie streaming.
At last, I’ve found a streaming service to fill in the gap. Filmstruck combines movies from the Turner Classic Movie library and the Criterion Collection. These movies range from Hollywood classics to independent and art house films. If you click on the link above it will take you to the home page. At the bottom of that page is a link to their library of available content. One of the things you will notice is that the library of movies is pretty extensive and eclectic.
For me, FilmStruck provides 30 movies available to watch right now of the 360 movie candidates on my list. If you go to my Watch List for this week, you’ll see 5 of those 30 movies. All 5 movies are Oscar nominated with 5 wins and 24 nominations within the group. The Year of Living Dangerously boosted the early careers of Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver. In Splendor in the Grass, Warren Beatty made the successful jump from the TV show The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis to the Silver Screen. His co-star Natalie Wood was nominated for Best Actress for Splendor in the Grass, following up on her previous Best Supporting Actress nomination for another movie on the list, Rebel Without a Cause. The remaining two movies on my Watch List, Separate Tables and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, were each nominated for Best Picture among their, combined, 12 Oscar nominations.
If these five highly-credentialed movies were contemporary movies, they would be on everybody’s “must see” list. Now they are rarely seen because of limited availability. With FilmStruck on my Roku these five movies and other classics like them are “really like” opportunities with the same availability as their contemporaries.