Anyone who’s watched Documentary Now! knows Bill Hader is not only a comic genius. He’s also a major cinephile. (He’s also a major bibliophile, as this charming New York Times piece revealed.) When word hit last week that the streaming service FilmStruck — which caters to fans of classic, foreign, and alternative cinema — was suddenly closing at the even of November, the actor, writer, director, SNL alum, and recent Emmy winner was among the most famous people crushed by the news.
The creator of Barry was at the IndieWire Honors ceremony Friday night, where he was honored alongside Natalie Portman, Constance Wu, and Amandla Stenberg. He decided to celebrate by shilling for the service, which is to be shuttered at the end of November after two years. Hader called it “my favorite thing on Earth,” and he asked people to sign the petition that hit Change.org soon after the announcement came last Friday.
“I know there’s a lot bigger fish to fry right now in the world,” Hader said. “But in my little kingdom, if we could save FilmStruck, that would be awesome.”
FilmStruck, which launched in November 2016, was initially the streaming home for alternative cinema labels. The most prominent among those was the Criterion Collection, whose vast and rich wares of “world cinema” classics had previously lived on Hulu. Earlier this year, they began running films from TCM as well as the deep Warner Bros. archive, which boasts plentiful classics, including Citizen Kane, Singin’ in the Rain, and North by Northwest, as well as untold deep cut rarities awaiting rediscovery.
The news of FilmStruck’s impending shuttering came from leftfield, and it served as a reminder of how pitiful the classics section on Netflix remains — and how the death of FilmStruck will make streaming that less diverse and fun. Other famous fans of the service who’ve called for action are Guillermo del Toro, Rian Johnson, and Edgar Wright.
As of this writing, the petition, called “Keep FilmStruck Alive,” has acquired nearly 25,000 signatures. We’ll helpfully include that link again.
(Via The A.V. Club)