The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

“Digital movie delivery is a deceit,” says Facets Multimedia

Membership in Facets Multi-Media’s DVD rental service has soared by nearly 40% in the past year. Membership affords free rentals from Facets’ library of over 65,000 titles, including art house, classic, foreign, documentary and silent films on DVD, and – for those with the technology to support it – VHS.

“At this moment, the digital delivery of movies is a deceit,” said Milos Stehlik director of Facets. “It’s like 1,000 channels of television, with nothing to watch. For anyone who loves movies, DVD is today still the best option.”

Facets continues to focus on expanding its video library with many import releases and independently produced films on DVD.  These are all available to rent by mail – a service Facets pioneered with VHS in 1983. “The DVD is a fragile and temporal medium, and DVDs go out of print very quickly. Many of the films in the Facets DVD library are rare and now out-of-print,” said Stehlik. Facets also keeps – and continues to collect – films in VHS which never made the transition from VHS to DVD.

“For us, the overriding principle is to make all the great films available and accessible to our members,” said Stehlik. “Our commitment is to preserve the art of film. For now, the DVD format is still the best platform. This may change in the future, but the future isn’t here yet.”

While Facets is committed to collecting and lending films in DVD and VHS formats for as long as the disks or tapes hold out, they are also hard at work on a new and innovative means of online movie delivery. Even then, Facets would continue to preserve those films which are not available for online streaming or download in DVD or VHS – “as long as there are players to play them back.”

The Facets DVD collection includes not only releases from mainstream studios, but from thousands of independent DVD publishers and Facets’ own DVD publishing label. The Facets collection is astonishing and unique for its breadth and depth, with films from the birth of the silent film era to the work of cutting-edge film directors fresh from some of the world’s great film festivals.

Memberships at Facets (which include free shipping of DVDs, no late fees, online rental queue, and recommendations by a knowledgeable staff of film experts) start at $8.99 and range to $23.99 per month. The Chicago-based non-profit organization was founded by Stehlik in 1975.

For further information about Facets movie rental plans and online catalog, visit www.facetsmovies.com or call 1-800-532-2387.

Facets Video | 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. | Chicago, IL 60614 | Facets Multi-Media, founded in 1975, is a non-profit, 501(C)3 organization, and a leading national media arts organization.

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“Yes, good movies sprout up, inevitably, in the cracks and seams between the tectonic plates on which all of these franchises stay balanced, and we are reassured of their hardiness. But we don’t see what we don’t see; we don’t see the effort, or the cost of the effort, or the movies of which we’re deprived because of the cost of the effort. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice may have come from a studio, but it still required a substantial chunk of outside financing, and at $35 million, it’s not even that expensive. No studio could find the $8.5 million it cost Dan Gilroy to make Nightcrawler. Birdman cost a mere $18 million and still had to scrape that together at the last minute. Imagine American movie culture for the last few years without Her or Foxcatcher or American Hustle or The Master or Zero Dark Thirty and it suddenly looks markedly more frail—and those movies exist only because of the fairy godmothership of independent producer Megan Ellison. The grace of billionaires is not a great business model on which to hang the hopes of an art form.”
~ Mark Harris On The State Of The Movies

How do you make a Top Ten list? For tax and organizational purposes, I keep a log of every movie I see (Title, year, director, exhibition format, and location the film was viewed in). Anything with an asterisk to the left of its title means it’s a 2014 release (or something I saw at a festival which is somehow in play for the year). If there’s a performance, or sequence, or line of dialogue, even, that strikes me in a certain way, I’ll make a note of it. So when year end consideration time (that is, the month and change out of the year where I feel valued) rolls around, it’s a little easier to go through and pull some contenders for categories. For 2014, I’m voting in three polls: Indiewire, SEFCA (my critics’ guild), and the Muriels. Since Indiewire was first, it required the most consternation. There were lots of films that I simply never had a chance to see, so I just went with my gut. SEFCA requires a lot of hemming and hawing and trying to be strategic, even though there’s none of the in-person skullduggery that I hear of from folk whose critics’ guild is all in the same city. The Muriels is the most fun to contribute to because it’s after the meat market phase of awards season. Also, because it’s at the beginning of next year, I’ll generally have been able to see everything I wanted to by then. I love making hierarchical lists, partially because they are so subjective and mercurial. Every critical proclamation is based on who you are at that moment and what experiences you’ve had up until that point. So they change, and that’s okay. It’s all a weird game of timing and emotional waveforms, and I’m sure a scientist could do an in-depth dissection of the process that leads to the discovery of shocking trends in collective evaluation. But I love the year end awards crush, because I feel somewhat respected and because I have a wild-and-wooly work schedule that has me bouncing around the city to screenings, or power viewing the screeners I get sent.
Jason Shawhan of Nashville Scene Answers CriticWire 

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies