The dystopian future just got a lot closer today — the future as predicted in SF classics as disparate as “Blade Runner,” “Alien,” “RoboCop” and the “Terminator” films, and as predicted by such media gurus as Herbert Schiller (“Culture, Inc.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Expression”) and Ben H. Bagdikian (“The New Media Monopoly”), in which a handful of evil super-global corporations will take over the world. Today’s lesson: with the approved takeover of WarnerMedia (Time Warner, Warner Bros. pictures, HBO, Turner Classic Movies, etc etc) by AT&T (remember them, the gigantic conglomerate Ma Bell of the mid-20th century, lampooned as a super-spy organization in 1967’s “The President’s Analyst” and broken up in 1984?), the indie streaming service FilmStruck, which championed rare, classic, foreign and arthouse films, and was home to The Criterion Collection, will be shuttered Nov. 29.
According to a statement from the conglomerate: ““We’re incredibly proud of the creativity and innovations produced by the talented and dedicated teams who worked on FilmStruck over the past two years. While FilmStruck has a very loyal fanbase, it remains largely a niche service. We plan to take key learnings from FilmStruck to help shape future business decisions in the direct-to-consumer space and redirect this investment back into our collective portfolios.”
In other words, they want to build out their HBO and Warner Bros. streaming services and don’t want to waste their time on small potatoes like FilmStruck and Criterion..
Big brother is still thinking of you.
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