Home » He made a mess of CNN. Now he’s ruining Turner Classic Movies too.

He made a mess of CNN. Now he’s ruining Turner Classic Movies too.

by Stewart Cole

The outcry was fast and furious. Spielberg and Scorsese they cooperated with Paul Thomas Anderson trying to save the network. “Turner Classic Movies has always been more than just a channel,” they wrote in a statement. “It really is a valuable cinema resource, open 24 hours a day seven days a week. And although it has never been a financial one, it has always been a profitable endeavor since its inception.”

Since that beginning in 1994, Turner Classic Movies has played a vital role in preserving film history and bringing it to new audiences. It’s not a place that produces the shiny new intellectual property that Zaslav and his fellow streaming CEOs desire. But it’s a curatorial space dedicated to preserving films from Hollywood history—films that might otherwise be lost to history. “Turner Classics is an important and fundamental part of people’s understanding of film.” Slate Slate said founder and editor-in-chief Jon Dieringer The New Republic. “It’s too good to be true – it should be nationalized. It’s amazing that we have this ad-free cable channel that has shown incredible movies, many of which weren’t available on disc or streaming.”

“It’s really the only consistent place where an entire art form exists,” said Film Foundation archivist Gina Tellaroli. The New Republic. Although there are some limited archives, such as the Library of Congress, the studios themselves were largely responsible for preserving their films, a process that resulted in the loss of countless films, particularly from early Hollywood. “The first piece of cinema is a very different art form than what is made today,” Telaroli continued. “To abolish this is just a huge atrocity. No other art form can match this. You would never say, “Here are the three pieces of classical music.” It doesn’t exist like that! Or, “Here are the three paintings, enjoy them!” That’s the feeling with the film — we have Casablanca and two other films. That is all there can be.”

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