A documentary on the Z Channel, one of the first pay cable stations in the US, and its programming chief, Jerry Harvey. Debuting in 1974, the LA-based channel's eclectic slate of movies ... See full summary »
A documentary on the Z Channel, one of the first pay cable stations in the US, and its programming chief, Jerry Harvey. Debuting in 1974, the LA-based channel's eclectic slate of movies became a prime example of the untapped power of cable television. Written by
This film was made only after the financing for another film project, a fiction film, partially collapsed. See more »
The "Decline of Western Civilization" was financed by two businessmen from the Valley who wanted to finance a porn movie. They had no idea I was going in to pitch a punk rock movie.
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It's doesn't take a genius to see why the Independent Film Channel would finance this documentary. Basically the Z Channel was the first movie channel to play independent, little seen, and foreign films. Featuring interviews with directors Quentin Tarantino, Robert Altman, and Alexander Pane, "Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession" focuses on the effect the channel had on the film industry.
The station had among it's subscribers some of the biggest names in Hollywood. What I found fascinating about this film is the power a cable channel can have. For example James Woods credits his Oscar nomination to the Z Channel's constant playing of the little seen movie "Salvador" to the right people.
As a film geek I also enjoyed the generous amount of film clips by director Cassavetes. The film turned me on to movies like "Bad Timing" and "F is for Fake".
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