30 user 44 critic

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004)

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 »


On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An inside look at the hectic production of Heaven's Gate, the media circus that turned it into a synonym for movie flop and how it added to the tectonic change that occurred in Hollywood film studios after it infamously flopped.

Director: Michael Epstein
Stars: Steven Bach, Hal Ashby, Sandy Berke Jordan
Rewind This! (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Home video changed the world. The cultural and historical impact of the VHS tape was enormous. This film traces the ripples of that impact by examining the myriad aspects of society that were altered by the creation of videotape.

Director: Josh Johnson
Stars: Ben Jousan, David Gregory, Micah Matthews
Girl 27 (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The reclusive Patricia Douglas comes out of hiding to discuss the 1937 MGM scandal, in which the powerful film studio tricked her and over 100 other underage girls into attending a stag party, where she was raped.

Director: David Stenn
Stars: Baby Peggy, Richard Bann, Kelly Brown
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary about the history of exploitation movies, from the silent movie era to the 1970s.

Director: Elijah Drenner
Stars: Robert Forster, Eric Schaefer, Eddie Muller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of the Australian exploitation genre cinema of 1970s and 80s.

Director: Mark Hartley
Stars: Phillip Adams, Glory Annen, Christine Amor
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary on DIY producer/director Roger Corman and his alternative approach to making movies in Hollywood.

Director: Alex Stapleton
Stars: Roger Corman, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Dubbed "The Cannibal Cop," Gilberto Valle was convicted in March 2013 of conspiring to kidnap and eat young women. Valle argued it was all a fantasy; the prosecution's narrative convinced ... See full summary »

Director: Erin Lee Carr
Stars: Gary Allen, Violet Blue, James A. Cohen
Crazy Love I (2007)
Documentary | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The bizarre true story of Linda Riss and Burt Pugach.

Directors: Dan Klores, Fisher Stevens
Stars: Burt Pugach, Linda Pugach, Bob Janoff
Marwencol (2010)
Documentary | Biography | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After a vicious attacks leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in "Marwencol", a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard.

Director: Jeff Malmberg
Stars: Mark Hogancamp, Emmanuel Nneji, Edda Hogancamp
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction is a mesmerizing, impressionistic portrait of the iconic actor comprised of intimate moments, film clips from some of his 250 films and his own ... See full summary »

Director: Sophie Huber
Stars: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Sam Shepard
Overnight (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary on the rise and stumble of Troy Duffy, the bartender-cum-filmmaker who was swept up by Miramax's Harvey Weinstein to turn his script for The Boondock Saints into a feature film.

Directors: Tony Montana, Mark Brian Smith
Stars: Troy Duffy, Jeffrey Baxter, Chris Brinker
Documentary | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

About a series of unsolved disappearances on the Galapagos Island of Floreana in the 1930s.

Directors: Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Kretschmann


Credited cast:
Vera Carlisle Anderson ...
Herself (as Vera Anderson)
C.L. Batten ...
Himself (archive footage)
David Chasman ...
F.X. Feeney ...
James B. Harris ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Don Hyde ...


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, violent images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 August 2007 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Kanazi Z: Mia yperohi emmoni  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was made only after the financing for another film project, a fiction film, partially collapsed. See more »


F.X. Feeney: Z Channel had what they call a "zero churn rate" which means that nobody would cancel the service.
See more »


References Ikiru (1952) See more »


Italo - Western Theme
Written and Performed by Steven Hufsteter
Courtesy of Meinemusic
Administered by Bug Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Documentary about one man's passion for film
28 August 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Z Channel was a Los Angeles pay-tv channel run by one Jerry Harvey. His devotion to cinema as art, broadcasting uncut (directors' versions) of films or other worthy efforts sidelined by the studios or TV channels that interspersed them with advertising, earned him the enduring respect of a multitude of Hollywood greats, many of whom are interviewed in this touching movie. One wonders if he had lived in France or even Latin America perhaps their might have been a public outcry to defend an institution he created, rather than lawsuits. In USA and Britain there is a lethargy, an apathy for cinema as art – art is viewed as almost a luxury item, something that is nice but hardly necessary. What do we need to do to ignite a fire in the hearts of students and film aficionados? What do we need to do to bring about a cultural revolution where the people who appreciate art can nurture and control it, rather than those that make money from it, or government ministers of ‘culture' who, lacking sufficient conviction themselves, are also unable to effectively encourage art. During the French New Wave, students took to the streets to defend a cinema. In Rio de Janeiro, the main arthouse cinema bookshop sells two kinds of books – those on cinema and those on philosophy. These examples show a different kind of cinema-going public: a thinking, educated viewer who probably sees cinema firstly as art, as a source of ideas and inspiration. This film shows that such people exist even in the USA. It is a valuable document and perhaps shows the way forward in consumer-orientated cultures where the jaded palates of the citizens have little collective desire for good cinema.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
complete listing of Z channel programming??? jeffkiss
Who is the Jerry Harvey of our time? stewardia
Just saw it emperorpasta
Links/Connections darthcanuck
I want to go back in time and relive my teenage years in LA.... verisimilitude_mirror
Where can we see this movie duliocr

Contribute to This Page