FilmBuff, a video-on-demand channel for connoisseurs of high-quality, indie-level cinema as well as classics from all studios and realms, began to appear today on a couple of dozen cable systems, including Verizon’s FiOS and Charter. Cinetic Rights Management’s John Sloss and Matt Dentler, who told me about their new operation earlier today, said FilmBuff would be available on all the cable systems within two months time (i.e., by mid September).
Half of the films shown will be brand-new, unseen features or newish features that haven’t received the theatrical exposure their backers or fans felt was appropriate or deserved. The other half will be unseen gems from the not-too-distant past that have either been unreleased or hard to find on DVD. The films would be available for limited periods of three months or thereabouts.
“We’re excited about bringing more films to audiences around the country, both on broadband VOD and now cable VOD,” said Dentler, Cinetic’s head of programming “There’s a disconnect between movie audiences and quality films, both new and old. We’re trying to end that today.”
As one of the biggest sales-agent players in the indiewood scene, Cinetic is obviously in a good position to snag a wide array of films in both categories from various distributors and rights holders. Sloss and Dentler have relationships with everyone. And there isn’t a lot of competition right now in the VOD indie field except for IFilm and Magnolia, and they’re pushing their own product as opposed to Film Buff’s across-the-board offerings.
At present each download would cost the FilmBuff subscriber roughly $3.99 to $6.99, depending on the particulars of each title and deal. No flat monthly subscriber fees or discounted fees for subscribers are being contemplated for now.
My ears naturally perked up when I heard about FilmBuff making oldies-but-goldies available. This would mean possible deals to show all the older films I’d like to see but can’t due to various titles being unloved or unwanted by their rights holders.
Like Ken Russell‘s The Devils, for example, or James Bridges‘ Mike’s Murder. Or Mike Nichols‘ The Fortune, Jack Webb‘s -30-, David Jones‘ Betrayal, Frank Perry‘s Play It As It Lays, John Flynn‘s The Outfit, Paul Mazursky‘s Alex in Wonderland, Robert Aldrich‘s The Legend of Lylah Clare, Robert Altman‘s That Cold Day in the Park, Mark Rydell ‘s The Fox and Carol Reed‘s Outcast of the Islands. And that’s just for starters.
Current titles in the launch package are Richard Linklater‘s classic Slacker and Rob Epstein‘s The Times of Harvey Milk, as well as new films like Michael Almereyda‘s New Orleans Mon Amour (starring Christopher Eccleston and Elisabeth) and the Tribeca 2008 hit comedy The Auteur.
FilmBuff is part of Cinetic Rights Management (CRM), which is an arm of Cinetic Media. Whereas Cinetic Media is a sales agent for traditional media, CRM is a VOD distributor, and a separate company with different staffing.
I’ll have more information about FilmBuff as the days and weeks progress, but this seems like something I’d definitely want to have as a viewing option.
An HE reader wrote this morning that he’s just “finished the script for Jason Reitman‘s Up In The Air, the George Clooney vehicle. It’s a hell of a piece. Clooney should kill in the role. The style is very reminiscent of Thank You For Smoking.”
I’ve just realized I’ve had a copy of this script in my script folder for months and I haven’t even skimmed it. Lazy ass. I’m presuming DreamWorks will open it sometime this fall and that it may show up at the Toronto Film Festival. But there’s no specific projected release date that I can find.
The IMDB plot summary: “Ryan Bingham (Clooney) is a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and just after he’s met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams.”
Carey Mulligan‘s “this is what I really think and feel and want” scene with Emma Thompson (starting at 3:22) will, trust me, be used again and again in video pieces about Mulligan’s work in An Education, starting in September. For obvious reasons. Update: The YouTube clip I found and posted earlier this morning had to be taken down. But I’m keeping the item up for the comments.
The greatest sensual pleasure to be had from coffee beans is putting your nose into a bag of freshly ground beans and having an aroma orgasm meltdown. Nothing else in the coffee world approaches that. Because every time you get high from that great aroma you think “Aahh, what a great cup of coffee will come from this!” And of course, the coffee never tastes as good as the aroma promises. No matter how well prepared, the sip always falls short.
Ground coffee-bean aroma is right up there in the top-ten pantheon, which also includes (a) the smell of burning leaves on an early October evening on a suburban street in New Jersey, (b) the aroma of the seats and carpeting in a brand-new BMW or Mercedes or Range Rover while the car sits inside a dealership, (c) the scent of White Musk oil (i.e., purchasable at the Body Shop) that’s been recently applied to the neck of a freshly showered lady in her mid 30s, (d) the smell of downtown Manhattan streets after a heavy evening rainshower in mid July, (e) the scent of damp agricultural soil near crops in California’s Imperial Valley after another nighttime rainshower, and (f) the smell of soaked beach sand in the early evening after a rainshower.
I’m basically saying that people everywhere buy coffee because of the sizzle rather than the steak.
One of David Carradine‘s final performances was in a just-released piece of exploitation crap called Break. Look at the idiots standing around in the scene shown below. Where do they find people with such neutered expressions? I can feel Carradine’s pain as I watch it. A strong and steadfast actor dies but once, but actors who perform in films like Break suffer repeated smotherings of the soul.