Monday, September 29, 2008

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession

I can see you are saying to yourself, "Why is that Chuck doing another movie review? This a bikeshop column, dang it"
Well, this is the kind of stuff we talk about at work. When you are around bikes all day long, as great as they are, you sometimes need to find other topics.
Today's selection, Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession, is ostensibly about Z Channel (go figure) the first pay cable channel that was started in Los Angeles in the early 70s. What this documentary is really about is Jerry Harvey, who came to be their lead programmer. He was a movie fanatic, loving all genres, and wanting every one to share the bounty hidden by limited release and shoddy, post director, editing. It starts with his work at a local Cinema and runs right up to his death by suicide.
The story is told thru vintage LA footage, stills, old taped interview clips, interviews with actors, directors, and Friends, and clips from movies shown on Z.
The interviews include Robert Altman, Quentin Tarrantino, James Woods, and Penelope Spheeris(accompanied by the only footage I have seen of "The Decline of Western Civilization" in years. (But it looks like The Decline might be available finally. A must watch for any punk fan)
But the big deal, the best part, is the clips. Oh all those little, to short clips. I like movies a lot but for every movie i had heard of or seen, there were ten I had not. I found my self thinking, " I am going to have to watch this again with a note pad to scribble them all down. Fortunately, they were all listed in the credits. Even better than that, I found them listed on IMDB: Z Channel movie list.
*** All around. Give it a watch, then add all those movies to your NetFlix que.


Devin said...

Why is that Chuck doing another movie review? This a bikeshop column, dang it.

Chuck said...

It had to be done.