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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 »

Director:

Xan Cassavetes

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Robert Altman ... Himself
Vera Carlisle Anderson Vera Carlisle Anderson ... Herself (as Vera Anderson)
C.L. Batten C.L. Batten ... Himself
Jacqueline Bisset ... Herself
Ernest Borgnine ... Himself (archive footage)
Charles Champlin ... Himself
David Chasman David Chasman ... Himself
Stuart Cooper ... Himself
F.X. Feeney F.X. Feeney ... Himself
James B. Harris ... Himself
Jerry Harvey ... Himself (archive footage)
William Holden ... Himself (archive footage)
Don Hyde Don Hyde ... Himself
Henry Jaglom ... Himself
Jim Jarmusch ... Himself
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Storyline

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 2007 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Kanazi Z: Mia yperohi emmoni See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Jerry Harvey: [when asked in the 1980s about the secret of Z Channel's success] I don't know. If I told you, it wouldn't be a secret.
See more »

Connections

References American Graffiti (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Angel of The Morning
Performed by Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts
Written by Chip Taylor
Courtesy of BMG Records and EMI Music Publishing
Fingers (1978)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Documentary about one man's passion for film
28 August 2004 | by Chris_DockerSee 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.


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