Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession [DVD] (2004) *NEW*

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession [DVD] (2004) *NEW*


The documentary is about Z Channel, which was one of the first pay cable TV stations in the United States. Z Channel became famous for showing an eclectic variety of films, including foreign language, silent, documentary, director’s cut, forgotten, overlooked, under-appreciated, erotic as well as mainstream films, without commercials and uncut and letterboxed when possible. The film also tells the story of Z Channel’s programming director Jerry Harvey who was a true film lover, programming genius, and a man almost single-handedly responsible for getting many great films shown to the public. It gives insights into Harvey’s constant battle with personal demons which resulted in him ending his own life and the life of his wife in a murder-suicide. Throughout the film a variety of footage featuring some of the films shown on the Z Channel is used. This serves to underline the diversity offered on the channel in particular its attempts to expose its American viewers to undubbed foreign language films. The films ends with a montage of scenes of such films with Irving Berlin’s “What’ll I Do?” theme being played over the top of them as performed by the actor William Atherton from the film The Great Gatsby (1974).

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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.

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession
Z channel.jpg
Directed by Xan Cassavetes
Produced by Marshall Persinger
Rick Ross
Starring Jerry Harvey
Robert Altman
Jacqueline Bisset
Theresa Russell
Quentin Tarantino
F. X. Feeney
Music by Steven Hufsteter
Cinematography John Pirozzi
Edited by Iain Kennedy
Distributed by IFC Films
Release date
  • 2004
Running time
122 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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Weight 0.4 lbs
Dimensions 5.3 × 0.5 × 7.3 in


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