What would help you watch more silent films in 2019?

I ran a poll on Twitter recently about what changes would help you, silent film fans, watch more silent movies next year. I thought I would offer the same choices to readers of the site with the added flexibility of the poll system I use. (Twitter polls are notoriously limiting.)

As you can see, more options for streaming handily won. This is significant as two of the major sources for silent film streaming in the USA market, FilmStruck and Fandor, both threw in the sponge in 2018. Fandor’s assets were bought up and we do not yet know who bought them. FilmStruck’s classic films will allegedly show up on Warner Bros’s new streaming service but I won’t hold my breath for any kind of deep selection.

(I was around when streaming launched and there used to be tons of great classic films available on major services like Netflix and Hulu, which is what lured me into signing on in the first place. They quickly dried up. Fool me once…)

You can hear me discuss these matters on Criterion Cast.

(And remember, Kanopy is not available to everyone and YouTube has zero quality control.)

But I want to hear from you. Which of these options do you think would increase your diet of silent films next year? You can pick up to two choices. Thanks for participating!


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  1. Overseas Visitor

    The best answer would be removing region codes. There are several US releases I would like to see. Alternatively, I anyway have to update TV system next year, and a region free player is in serious consideration.

    Soon I’m also going to experience a large live silent orchestra for the first time. As a part of celebrating Armas Järnefelt’s 150th birthday, they are playing his score for Mauritz Stiller’s A Song of a Scarlet Flower accompanied with the film.

  2. moviepas

    Re Netflix etc I understood AMC Classic Movies lost lots of subscribers in USA when they closed down on classic movies. In Australia Turner had Turner Classic Movies thru their base in Hong Kong, I think, and that got withdrawn eventually and people moved away from TCM. I have never subscribed to any, nit even trial offers. I remember well all the mailouts to the mail boxes of streaming service(Murdoch’s Foxtel here in conjunction with my isp Telstra) offers and isp cd discs to start using the internet. All in the distant past. I have unlimited downloads now and a fairly fast download speed by virtue of competition but I don’t want to do streaming. No real time to watch anyway.

  3. Lisa Cross

    Back in the day, a series called, “The Book of Lists” was all the rage.

    Given the price of some dvds, a list of a star’s “should see” films would be great. It may also be a project that everyone could participate in, or not. lol

    A recommended viewing type “what to see by whom and why” list.

    For example… I an not familiar with Gloria Swanson and would love some recommendations of what to see and what to perhaps view under advisement.

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