FILMSTRUCK STREAMING VIDEO SERIES

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Back in the fall of 2016 I was working for Forbes. I was writing, directing, and producing a video series entitled NETFLIX NOW! where I highlighted film picks for what to watch on Netflix when I received a press release about this new streaming service that combined the film libraries of Turner Classic Movies with films from the Criterion Collection, Kino Lorber, Film Movement, First Run Features, Global Lens, Flicker Alley, Icarus Films, Janus Films, MGM, Milestone, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Shout! Factory, and Warner Brothers. I immediately dropped what I was doing and launched "Filmstruck Streaming" to coincide with the inauguration of this amazing streaming service. 

FilmStruck logo

Sadly, two years later FilmStruck would be squashed like a bug by Warner Media. The loss of FilmStruck marked an end to Cinema that coincided with Hollywood's despicable tendency toward children's cinema under the guise of a superhero genre lacking any sense of poetry or soul. 

Cole in SF

So, here are all 11 episodes of FilmStruck Streaming to give you a sense of how great we once were as a culture of cinephiles and movie lovers. Bon appétit.

FILMSTRUCK TAKES A RUNNING START

LOS ANGELES TO FRANCE

UNDER PRESSURE

FEAR THE DECLINE OF VIRGIN EATING

CHRISTMAS STAYCATION

UNDERMINING THE NAZIS

FEMINIST THEORIES

PRESS THE PANIC BUTTON

L.A.F.S. DIRECTOR DEBUTS

ON THE FRINGE

LIVING BY THE SWORD

May 22, 2021

FAVORITE NEW BAND: THE ZEN ARCADE

Introducing The Zen Arcade:

From the ashes of The Strypes comes The Zen Arcade, the best damn band around. And don't they look great and sound even better!

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Wishing all the best for this terrific Punk band! Cheers! Take utopia where you find it; it's right in the songs.

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May 01, 2021

Kino Lorber June 2021 Home Video Releases

Kino Lorber Announces its June 2021
Home Video Releases
The Sweet Requiem
Street Date: 6/1/21
Label: Kino Lorber
DVD SRP: $19.95
DVD Item#: K25435
DVD UPC: 738329254353
Genre: Drama
Year: 2018
Rating: NR
Runtime: 90
Director: Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam
Actors: Tenzin Dolker, Jampa Kalsang, Rabyoung
Thonde, Gyalkhang Shavo, Dorjee Tenzin, Dechen
Tenzin
Language: Tibetan with English subtitles
 
Dolkar, a 26-year-old exile Tibetan, lives in Delhi. 18 years ago, she escaped from Tibet with her father, making a perilous trek across the Himalayas that ended in tragedy. Dolkar has suppressed all recollection of that traumatic incident. But when she unexpectedly encounters Gompo, the guide who abandoned them during their journey, memories of her escape are reignited and she is propelled on an obsessive search for retribution and closure. Flashbacks of her desperate journey with a small group through a harsh and desolate Himalayan terrain punctuate her growing predicament in the present as she follows Gompo through the claustrophobic alleys of the Tibetan refugee colony in Delhi. The two stories moving in tandem, both determined by a series of fateful choices, reach their conclusion as Dolkar and Gompo finally confront each other.
 
The Land of Azaba
Street Date: 6/8/21
Label: Kino Lorber / Jezebel
DVD SRP: $19.95
DVD Item#: K25436
DVD UPC: 738329254360
Genre: Documentary / Environment
Year: 2020
Rating: NR
Runtime: 84
Director: Greta Schiller
Actors: Carlos Sanchez Martinez, Jon Teixeira
Casado, Francisco Jose Iglesias, Patricia Neito,
Gillermo Gil
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
 
Addressing climate change is the existential question of our time, but climate change and bio-diversity loss are two sides to the same coin. The Land of Azaba is the first feature documentary on the subject of ecological restoration, and it is set in one of the world’s first “hot spots” for increasing and maintaining bio-diversity, Campanarios de Azaba Nature Reserve in Western Spain. The Land of Azaba immerses the viewer in a magical world where humans and wildlife work together to restore the largest remaining tract of wild nature in Western Europe. The survival of many rare and endangered species, including ancient oaks, insects, vultures, aurochs and horses, is at stake."
 
Lust For Gold: A Race Against Time
Street Date: 6/15/21
Label: Kino Lorber/SenArt
DVD SRP: $19.95
DVD Item#: K25439
DVD UPC: 738329254391
BD SRP: 29.95
BD Item #: K25440
BD UPC: 738329254407
Genre: Documentary
Year: 2020
Rating: NR
Runtime: 83
Director: Robert May
Actors: William Blackwell, Robert Kesselring, Wayne Tuttle, Marshall Trimble, Jason Kesselring, James Sybesma, David Smith, Ron Feldman, Bob Schoose, Rick Gwynne
Language: English
 
Lust for Gold: A Race Against Time is a true story is about obsession, greed, and the hunt for gold. Boyhood dreams of treasure lead to a lifelong search when a retired missile scientist makes a monumental discovery and tempts fate for fortune as he hatches a secret plan to prove his claim. With his estranged son at his side, he secures an entertainment and personal injury lawyer who assembles a team — a retired blackjack dealer, a veterinary assistant, and a dog. The plan? To covertly remove gold bullion from within the most restricted area of Federal land deep within Superstition Mountain, Arizona. But the one risk greater than facing the unforgiving terrain and Federal prosecution is time.
 
Lust for Gold is preceded by a featurette, The Tomb, which follows the same team in their efforts to unearth a Jesuit Tomb said to contain millions of dollars of gold bars, jewels, coins and paintings.
 
Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts
Street Date: 6/22/21
Label: Kino Lorber
DVD SRP: $19.95
DVD Item#: K25444
DVD UPC: 738329254445
Genre: Documentary
Year: 2018
Rating: NR
Runtime: 76
Director: Jeffrey Wolf
Actors: Russell G. Jones, Sharon Washington, Jason Samuels Smith
 
Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts is an eye opening documentary that explores the life of a unique American artist, a man with a remarkable and unlikely biography. Bill Traylor was born into slavery in 1853 on a cotton plantation in rural Alabama. After the Civil War, Traylor continued to farm the land until the late 1920s. Aging and alone, he moved to Montgomery and worked odd jobs in the thriving segregated black neighborhood. A decade later, in his late 80s, Traylor became homeless and started to draw and paint, devising his own visual language to depict his memories of slavery and scenes of a radically changing urban culture. He made well over a thousand drawings and paintings between 1939-1942, which reflect the profound social and political change he experienced during his life spanning slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws, and the Great Migration. Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts is a revelatory examination of one of America’s most essential artists.
 
The War Tapes
Street Date: 6/22/21
Label: Kino Lorber/SenArt
DVD SRP: $19.95
DVD Item#: K25445
DVD UPC: 738329254452
Genre: Documentary
Year: 2006
Rating: NR
Runtime: 97
Director: Deborah Scranton
Actors: Zack Bazzi, Michael Moriarty, Stephen Pink, Duncan Domey, Brandon Wilkins
 
Straight from the front lines in Iraq, The War Tapes is the first war movie filmed by the soldiers themselves. Directed by Deborah Scranton, and produced by Robert May (The Fog of War) and Steve James (Hoop Dreams), The War Tapes is Operation Iraqi Freedom as filmed by Sergeant Steve Pink, Sergeant Zack Bazzi, and Specialist Mike Moriarty. Steve is a wisecracking carpenter who aspires to be a writer. Zack is a Lebanese-American university student who loves to travel and is fluent in Arabic. Mike is a father and resolute patriot who rejoined the Army after 9/11. These soldiers captured over 800 hours of footage, providing a glimpse of their lives in the midst of war. The result is a raw portrait of three men—and their families—as they face, and struggle to understand, their duty.
 
Bonneville
Street Date: 6/29/21
Label: Kino Lorber/SenArt
BD SRP: $29.95
BD Item#: K25448
BD UPC: 738329254483 
Genre: Drama
Year: 2007
Rating: PG
Runtime: 93
Director: Christopher N. Rowley
Actors: Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Joan Allen, Christine Baranski, Victor Rasuk, Tom Skerritt
 
Jessica Lange (Tootsie), Joan Allen (Nixon) and Kathy Bates (Misery) hit the road in Bonneville, a story about three friends who “come of age” for a second time on a trip across the great American West. Faced with the decision of a lifetime, Arvilla Holden (Lange) loads up her 1966 Bonneville convertible and, with her friends (Allen, Bates) in tow, sets out from Pocatello, Idaho en route to Santa Barbara. As they detour to spots like Bryce Canyon and Las Vegas, it doesn’t take long for the women to realize Arvilla has something unexpected in store. But what none of them realize is that what began as a simple trip will end up becoming a chance to rediscover themselves, their friendship, the importance of promises – and of letting go. Also starring Tom Skerritt and Christine Baranski, Bonneville unites three of the most acclaimed actresses of our time in a story that celebrates fun, adventure and living life to the fullest.
 
KIno CLassics Logo
The Woman One Longs For
Street Date: 6/8/21
Label: Kino Classics
BD SRP: $29.95
BD Item#: K25437
BD UPC: 738329254377
Genre: Drama
Year: 1929
Rating: NR
Runtime: 78
Director: Kurt Bernhardt
Actors: Marlene Dietrich, Uno Henning, Fritz Kortner, Frida Richard, Oskar Sima
Language: Silent
Black & White
 
Marlene Dietrich for years insisted that The Blue Angel (1930) was her screen debut, when in fact she was catapulted to fame by this silent drama of 1929, which fits neatly among the visually dynamic and emotionally dark melodramas of Joseph von Sternberg and G.W. Pabst. Uno Henning stars as a young businessman whose plans of marriage are interrupted when he becomes entranced by a haunting young woman (Dietrich) who seems to be the victim of a monocled sadist (Fritz Kortner). Like Dietrich, director Kurt Bernhardt would emigrate to the United States and enjoy a long career making films based around strong female characters, including Possessed (Joan Crawford), A Stolen Life (Bette Davis), and Miss Sadie Thompson (Rita Hayworth). Restored in 2012 by the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung, this edition is accompanied by a spectacular original orchestral score by Pascal Schumacher.
 
Under the Sand
Street Date: 6/8/21
Label: Kino Classics
DVD SRP: 19.95
DVD Item #: K25452
DVD UPC: 738329254520
BD SRP: 29.95
BD Item #: K25438
BD UPC: 738329254384
Genre: Drama
Year: 2000
Rating: NR
Runtime: 105
Director: Francois Ozon
Actors: Charlotte Rampling, Bruno Cremer, Jaccques Nolot, Alexandra Stewart, Pierre Vernier, Andree Tainsy
Language: French with English subtitles
 
The incomparable Charlotte Rampling (45 Years, The Night Porter) gives one of her most acclaimed performances in Francois Ozon's mesmerizing tale of loss and grief. For many years, Marie (Rampling) and Jean (Bruno Cremer) have happily spent their vacations together at their country house. One day at the beach, Marie naps in the sand while Jean goes for a swim. When she awakens, he is gone. Did he drown? Did he run off? Distraught, Marie notifies the authorities. But after an extensive search, no body is found, and Marie is left in a painful limbo, unable to properly grieve for her lost love.
 
Tous les Matins du Monde
Street Date: 6/15/21
Label: Kino Classics
DVD SRP: 19.95
DVD Item #: K25451
DVD UPC: 738329254513
BD SRP: 29.95
BD Item #: K25442
BD UPC: 738329254421
Genre: Drama
Year: 1991
Rating: NR
Runtime: 113
Director: Alain Corneau
Actors: Gerard Depardieu, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Anne Brochet
Language: French with English subtitles
 
In the dazzling tradition of Amadeus, Tous les Matins du Monde (All the Mornings in the World) is a seductive tale of music and passion set in 17th century France. The phenomenal Gérard Depardieu (Cyrano de Bergerac) stars in a fascinating story filled with romance, lust, desire, devotion, revenge and intrigue. Monsieur de Sainte Colombe (Jean-Pierre Marielle, The Da Vinci Code) is reclusive composer who lives with his two beautiful daughters (Anne Brochet and Carole Richert). Their lives are forever changed by the flamboyant young student Marin Marais (Depardieu) who fascinates Colombe and entrances his daughters. See for yourself why critics and audiences alike applauded this magnificent film and celebrated winner of seven César Awards including Best Picture.
 
BloodSisters: Leather, Dykes & Sadomasochism
Street Date: 6/29/21
Label: Kino Classics
DVD SRP: $19.95
DVD Item#: K25446
DVD UPC: 738329254469
Genre: Documentary / LGBTQ
Year: 1995
Rating: NR
Runtime: 70
Director: Michelle Handelman
Actors: Tara Brandeis, Pat Califia, Queen Cougar, Skeeter
 
During the early 1990s, San Francisco was the epicenter of body modification and gender nonconformity, with transgender pioneers like Patrick Califia and Tala Brandeis fighting for visibility, alongside the voice of a bold S/M community. Michelle Handelman’s provocative and pioneering documentary BloodSisters captures these queer outlaws in their zeitgeist moment, shot on digital video with an unfiltered rawness that mirrors the activism of the era. From pushy bottoms to macho femmes, BloodSisters immerses the viewer in the San Francisco leather dyke scene, shattering assumptions about gender and lesbian sexuality, while broadening the discussion about personal expressions of eroticism and their political implications. In the 1990s, BloodSisters was attacked in congress by the American Family Association for its depictions of radical lesbian sexuality. Twenty-five years later, the film has become recognized as a treasured historical document of a movement that tore down barriers of sex, gender, and activism.
 
 
Poison
Street Date: 6/29/21
Label: Zeitgeist
BD SRP: 29.95
BD Item #: K25447
BD UPC: 738329254476
Genre: Drama / LGBTQ
Year: 1991
Rating: NR
Runtime: 85
Director: Todd Haynes
Actors: Edith Meeks, Millie White, Buck Smith, Anne Giotta, Rob LaBelle, Susan Norman
 
Poison is the second feature directed by Todd Haynes, the
Oscar®-nominated filmmaker of Far from Heaven and Carol. It is a groundbreaking American Indie and a trailblazing landmark of queer cinema. A work of immense visual invention, Haynes’ spectacular follow-up to his legendary Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is audacious, disturbing and thrillingly cinematic. Inspired by the writings of Jean Genet, Poison deftly interweaves a trio of transgressive tales—“Hero,” “Horror” and “Homo”—that build toward a devastating climax. “Hero,” shot in mock TV-documentary style, tells a bizarre story of suburban patricide and a miraculous flight from justice; “Horror,” filmed like a delirious ’50s B-movie melodrama, s a gothic tale of a mad sex experiment which unleashes a disfiguring plague; while “Homo” explores the obsessive sexual relationship between two prison inmates.
 
Scare Us
Street Date: 6/29/20
Label: Virgil Films
DVD SRP: 19.95
DVD Item #: 671365
DVD UPC: 829567136928
Genre: Horror Anthology
Year: 2021
Rating: R
Runtime: 97
Director: Ryan Henry Johnston, Charlotte Lilt, Tom J McCoy, Carl Jensen IV, Jordan Pillar, Ryan Kjolberg
Actors:  Tom Sandoval
 
A chilling horror anthology comprised of short stories, penned by an unlikely group of aspiring writers, in Sugarton - a small town plagued by the apparent return of an infamous serial killer, dubbed "Cutthroat."
 
Us Kids
Street Date: 6/15/21
Label: Greenwich Entertainment
DVD SRP: 19.95
DVD Item #: K25380
DVD UPC: 738329253806
Genre: Documentary
Year: 2020
Rating: NR
Runtime: 98
Director: Kim A. Snyder
Actors:  Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Samantha Fuentes
Language: English
 
US KIDS is an insightful, rousing coming-of-age story of youth leaders determined to fight for justice at a critical time in U.S. history. Sparked by the plague of gun violence ravaging their schools, Us Kids chronicles the March For Our Lives movement over several years. The documentary follows Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Samantha Fuentes, gun violence survivors, and teenage activists as they pull together the largest youth protest in American history. Their movement went global with rallies on 6 continents and in over 700 cities in every state across the nation, expanding to address racial injustice, a growingpublic health crisis, and shocking a political system into change.The March For Our Lives movement was instrumental in the record youth voter turnout in 2018 and 2020.
 
Moby Doc
Street Date: 6/29/21
Label: Greenwich Entertainment
DVD SRP: 19.95
DVD Item #: K25457
DVD UPC: 738329254575
Genre: Documentary / Music
Year: 2021
Rating: NR
Runtime: 92
Director: Rob Gordon Braiver
Actors:  Moby, David Lynch, Gary Baseman, Julie Mintz, Shepard Fairey, David Bowie
Language: English
 
MOBY DOC is a surrealist biographical documentary narrated by Moby as he reflects on his turbulent personal life and iconic music from underground punk bands to chart-topping solo artist, and from struggling addict to vegan activist. Featuring interviews with David Lynch, David Bowie, and Shepard Fairey along with extraordinary concert footage, utilizing a unique
blend of re-enactments, interviews, and archival
footage, audiences will be treated to an insightful,
unvarnished look at an artist who has sold more
than 20 million albums, an activist who has long
championed animal rights, and a man whose traumatic childhood shaped him in profound ways. This introspective journey sets out to answer existential questions of purpose and meaning by examining a life of extreme highs and lows, joy, tragedy, success and failure.
 
ABOUT KINO LORBER:
 
With a library of over 4,000 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for 35 years, releasing 30 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Repertory and Alive Mind Cinema banners, garnering seven Academy Award® nominations in nine years. In addition, the company brings over 350 titles yearly to the home entertainment and educational markets through physical and digital media releases. With an expanding family of distributed labels, Kino Lorber handles releases in ancillary media for Zeitgeist Films, Cohen Media Group, Greenwich Entertainment, Artsploitation, Palisades Tartan, Menemsha Films, Raro Video, and others, placing physical titles through all wholesale, retail, and direct to consumer channels, as well as direct digital distribution through over 40 OTT services including all major TVOD and SVOD platforms. In 2019, the company launched its new art house digital channel Kino Now which features over 1000 titles from the acclaimed Kino Lorber library. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kino Marquee initiative was launched in 2020 pioneering "virtual theatrical" releases of art house films with revenue shares that allows audiences to support almost 400 local independent theaters.

February 28, 2021

AGNÈS VARDA: VOYAGER OF LIGHT

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COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK

COLE SMITHEY’S CLASSIC CINEMA

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