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Streaming Vanishing Act

I think there have been four instances the past year where I started to watch something on a streaming platform, paused it to finish later, and when I went to resume—it had vanished.

It just happened with Wait Until Dark, which had been available on HBOMax—until it wasn’t! And I had been impressed, too, thinking, wow, that’s a really cool catalog title to make available. I spoke too soon!

I had not seen it since we did the FSM CD of the masterful Henry Mancini score, one of my favorite projects. And I think I only had a VHS tape for reference at the time (2007).

The TCM “hub” on HBOMax is, unless I’m overlooking something, the only reliable place you can find a quality, curated collection of classic films on streaming.

So, of course, when HBOMax is combined with the Discovery service next year, it’s sure to be disemboweled. Bye bye Kubrick, hello garbage. I suggest the new name, “CRAP.”

Yes, I know what you are all going to say—buy physical media! I have a decent collection—but for some reason, I have less and less inclination to walk across the room, find what I want, put it into the blu-ray player, etc. I guess I’m lazy.

Why don’t studios just put their entire libraries on streaming? That’s what I always expected would happen—but it has to do with the bandwidth, royalty administration, and so forth.

Wow, I sound like Angry Grandpa today! I usually do not like to do that.

But it has been super annoying thinking it’s now my responsibility to keep track of when movies appear and disappear from platforms.

And it’s depressing to think how our movie culture, especially from more than 10 years ago, is being thinned out in favor of new things that are ephemeral and lame.

In Soviet Union—studios stream YOU!

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Depending on streaming services, conglomerates for whom movies are just content (Sillicon Valley swallowed Hollywood...), non merci. I'm old fashioned enough to keep wanting for good quality physical media, with good picture, good sound and, hopefully, interesting bonus content. In countries I work in where blu-rays or dvds are non existant, it has even more importance. Still the best way for me to discover or rediscover the classics.


The Criterion Channel is also a great streaming service for curated classic films.


Robert Knaus
Robert Knaus
Dec 11, 2022


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