Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (4 stars)

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession

(18) 120min (Metrodome DVD retail/rental)

Simultaneously a dream and a nightmare for film buffs everywhere, Alexandra Cassavetes’s film melds together various different strands into a fascinating portrait of the power of cinema. The Z Channel was an LA-based cable TV station dedicated to the art of film, and a series of industry players, from Robert Altman to Quentin Tarantino turn up to eulogise its influence on their output, accompanied by a series of clips from the esoteric work that the channel highlighted.

But most strikingly, a portrait is also offered of the channel’s programming chief, Jerry Harvey, whose obsession with cinema led him to murder his wife and kill himself. Z Channel is essential viewing for mad cinephiles everywhere. Extras include a limited edition 24 page commemorative reproduction of the original Z Channel magazine. (Eddie Harrison)

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