In another example of corporate avarice ruining something truly great, WarnerMedia announced on Friday that it was closing down FilmStruck, and several filmmakers took to social media to express their displeasure at the decision. An unfortunate casualty of the merger between Time Warner and AT&T, the amazingly curated service and repository for classic, foreign, indie, and the Criterion film collection will come to an end in late November, and in an effort to vent their frustrations and express disappointment at the decision, several acclaimed filmmakers took to social media.
Rian Johnson, Guillermo del Toro, and Barry Jenkins were some of the biggest names in film to share their thoughts on the closing of FilmStruck on Friday. The messages ran the gamut from rage (Jenkins’ first tweet simply said “F***”) to wistful remembrance to a more positive determination that FilmStruck will return in some form or another. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but with WarnerMedia attempting to consolidate its digital offerings under a planned streaming service of its own, there’s at least a small chance the company’s massive film library will be made available in some form or another.
Regardless of whether or not Warners’ catalog remains in the digital streaming space, it’s unlikely those films will be presented in such a thoughtful and elegant way as they were on FilmStruck. The service was more than a way to watch movies; it was a unique experience unto itself, something Jenkins, Johnson, and del Toro seem all too aware of in their tweets. Check them out below:
We will find a way to bring it back- We will! https://t.co/IiU243Kolb— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) October 26, 2018
Like... I went into @FilmStruck a little under the weather and before taping anything received a homemade fennel and pea shoot soup, like... these were flesh and blood people who really, truly cared about the work they were doing and the people who made and appreciated film 😢💔— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) October 26, 2018
FilmStruck was too good to last. I see it sadly floating away from the charred wasteland that is 2018, Lorax style. https://t.co/RCXoj1zhvs— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) October 26, 2018
Jenkins and del Toro both collaborated with FilmStruck for their ‘Adventures in Moviegoing’ segments, in which filmmakers discussed certain films that inspired them or they felt strongly about in some way or another. In his second tweet, the Moonlight director shared an anecdote of his time with the FilmStruck team, which makes it even harder to accept that the service will be shuttered in about a month.
It’s interesting that in the statement regarding the service’s closure, Warner Digital Media described FilmStruck as being “largely a niche service” less than a month after launching DC Universe, the DC-branded digital service aimed at a single audience. Whether or not that means AT&T will be keeping an eye on that fledgling service remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see if the superhero streamer can live on its own or if it too will fall victim to portfolio consolidation. Nevertheless, as Johnson said, FilmStruck was “too good to last.” Those words have unfortunately been proven true.
FilmStruck will cease operation on November 29, 2018.