Calling all cinephiles: the Criterion Channel has a launch date. The streaming service, which provided online access to Criterion’s titles, was previously a part of the much-loved, but tragically under-used FilmStruck. When FilmStruck was shuttered, Criterion soon announced they would be launching their own standalone streaming service. And now we know when we’ll get to see it: April 2019. The channel will feature a constantly refreshed library selection, as well as Criterion’s streaming content and original programs.
I’m still not over the loss of FilmStruck, but at the very least, I can take solace in the Criterion Channel. Criterion just announced the official launch date for their service: April 8, 2019, in the U.S. and Canada (sorry, overseas users). And if you’re too impatient to wait until April, here’s an added incentive: users who visit CriterionChannel.com and sign up before launch will enjoy “an extended 30-day free trial (starting April 8), reduced pricing for the life of their subscriptions ($9.99 per month or $89.99 annually for as long as you stay active, instead of $10.99 per month or $99.99 annually for subscribers who sign up after April 8), and other benefits including free access to a Charter Subscribers-only movie of the week between sign-up and launch.” The current Movie of the Week is the recent Criterion release Mikey and Nicky, from director Elaine May.
In addition to featuring all that sweet, sweet Criterion content nerds like me love, there will also be original programming:
The service will include a new Sunday Spotlight, a movie marathon focusing on a different director, star, genre, or theme each week. Criterion Channel exclusive programming will return, including Adventures in Moviegoing, the guest programmer series that has featured Bill Hader, Barry Jenkins, Guillermo del Toro, and Mira Nair; Tuesday’s Short + Feature; the Friday Double Feature; Meet the Filmmakers; Art-House America; and Observations on Film Art, the Channel’s 15-minute-a-month film school. The Criterion Collection’s library of supplemental features, archival interviews, and original documentaries will give viewers a chance to go deep into the films and filmmakers they love, offering context that no existing service can match.
When the channel was first announced back in November, in the wake of the death of FilmStruck, Criterion said: “We’ve been trying to make something a little different for the past two years—a movie lover’s dream streaming service, with smart thematic programming, where the history of cinema can live and breathe, where a new generation of filmmakers and film lovers can explore the classics or revel in rarities, where adventurous cinephiles can champion films that have never gotten their due, and newcomers can easily find guidance from major filmmakers, top scholars, curators, and other experts from all walks of life.”
I’m so excited about all of this. Now…if only someone would also get around to bringing back FilmStruck…
The Criterion Channel will be available on desktop, iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, Roku, and Android devices.
The Criterion Channel
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