3 p.m., May 24
Latin America will soon have access to Sundance Channel
American cable subscribers suffer, why shouldn't our friends South of the border?
The Sundance Channel hit the airwaves in 2006 with a schedule that represented the finest in independent films, world cinema, and documentaries. This September, the Sundance Channel makes its debut in seven Latin American countries.
In a recent interview, station founder Robert Redford told Screen Daily, "It has long been my hope to see Sundance Channel expand globally to share the compelling stories of independent filmmakers and artists as widely as possible. Bringing Sundance Channel to Latin America builds on this vision.”
For the first time cable subscribers in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezula will finally have an opportunity to pay for commercially interrupted indie classics like Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, the Academy Award-winning Rain Man, Stephen King's Misery, and my all-time favorite movie, Freaks and Geeks.
Sundance is owned by Rainbow Media, the same reprobates responsible for savaging the equally worthless AMC and IFC. The pigs at AMC have the gall to interrupt an 18 minute Three Stooges two-reeler with a slew of commercial messages.
Nobody is to be trusted. HBO, the company that eagerly letterboxes all of it's homegrown series, refuses to show anamorphic films in their proper aspect ratio; flat or scope, everything offered in HD is projected in 16x9.
Even Turner Classic Movies has been known to dishonor films by trimming their edges. Last month they showed a pan-and-scan print of Frank Borzage's impossible to see, The Big Fisherman. By my count, no more than five of The Seven Little Foys ever appear onscreen together in TCM's 4x3 pressing of the VistaVision musical.
I have three words for cable subscribers: Netflix. I'm not sure whether or not they're pulling the same pan-and-scan trickery with their on-demand service, but at least its commercial free. On second thought, why not give your money to a good cause? Put down your remote and head over to Kensington Video. When it comes to proper format, DVDs never lie. Well, with the exception of Sharky's Machine..oh, yeah, the original version of The Hitcher, too...and Polanski's Frantic...