Film Activism

The term arcmchair activism has recently come into being and while it may sound like it has a negative connotation, it can get things done. Online petitions and chatter have brought about small changes in reaction to public relations disasters. The only downside I’ve seen of this activism is that for the most part it seems to be extremely reactionary. What I’ll propose in this post, or these posts as the case may be, is more of a proactive approach.

There are good causes in the film world where your support is easy to show and it could make a difference. So here are the three that came to mind for this first post.

Greed on DVD

Greed (1924, Metro-Goldwyn Pictures)

I’ll readily admit that what prompts me to think of this right now is my heinous mismanagement of my DVR, wherein I lost my unwatched copy of Greed from when it aired on TCM last year.

Any film, not on DVD, has a vote prompt on TCM. The votes tally up and a rank is presented. It’s concrete data, though a small sampling, that shows an interest in the film exists. Film, like most everything, is a demand economy. Go here and vote for a Greed DVD release. Or better yet, search your favorite currently undistributed or under-distributed older film and vote for it in its stead.

“Save” films on Netflix

In the Family (2011, In the Family)

Even before Netflix was facing stiff competition from other streaming sources, its policies about acquiring and distributing indie films shifted. They have been more inclined to stream them but in general terms it does take into account how often you save to your queue before deciding whether it’ll pick a film up. I save many films to my queue just to get it out there at times.

One of my favorite films from last year, In the Family, which has been traveling North America for the better part of two years will finally hit home video in May, so it needs this support. If the story appeals to you please do save it and help this great story be seen by a wider audience. As with above, if this title doesn’t work for you consider this method with another film.

Bakshi Kickstarter

Last Days of Coney Island (2013, Ralph Bakshi)

Ralph Bakshi is a renowned and respected animator. I’ll admit not knowing him by name until recently. I haven’t seen many of his films, but I think many saw his animated Lord of the Rings. The character design of the Hobbits irrationally freaked me out when I was very young. I know some of his other titles and have had them on my nearly-infinite watchlist for some time. I’ve always known, even if not knowing him by name, that he was on the forefront with regards to rounding out animation proving it to be a medium rather than a genre; meaning it’s not just for kids.

He is also one of the more renowned artists I know of who is using Kickstarter to fund a project. It becoming a more popular avenue. It’s not a free option, but if you know a deserving artist this is a good way to go.

So there are the first three concrete and easy ways I found to be a film activist. There will likely be others, seek them out, find something you’re passionate about and support it. The interwebs is great for that too!

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