Archive of films Z Channel - A Magnificent Obsession / Z Channel - A Magnificent Obsession

2004, 120 min

Section: Special Events
Year: 2004

The rise and fall of California’s Z Channel (1974-1989), one of the first cable TV stations. A portrait of the controversial Jerry Harvey, programme director, whose tragic death meant the end of this famous source of alternative culture. 


Z Channel, which started broadcasting in 1974 in Los Angeles, was one of the first pay cable TV stations. It entered history six years later when a new programme concept under the leadership of Jerry Harvey began to be profiled, founded on combinations of classic films with independent, and international with Hollywood. Although limited to California, Z Channel’s reputation quickly became known throughout the US, thanks also to the novelty of including directors’ cuts and retrospectives. Xan Cassavetes’ first full-length documentary deals with not only the rise and fame of Z Channel, but also with its collapse under tragic circumstances in 1989. Using the testimony of famous filmmakers (Robert Altman, Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch and Paul Verhoeven), it shows the enormous influence that Z had on their work. With the help of almost forty interviews and more than fifty film excerpts, the director has put together a portrait not only of the revolutionary Z Channel and the spiritual father of its most famous period, but also of two decades of (not only) American film history.

About the director

Xan Cassavetes (b. 1965) has made two short films, Salmon for Three and Dust. In cooperation with her producer husband Rick Ross and producer Marshall Persinger, she is completing the feature film The Sky Is Green. She is the daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands. 


Maja Films
417 N. Orange Dr., 90036, Los Angeles
United States of America
Tel: +1 323 934 5500
Fax: +1 323 962 7481

Fresh Produce Films
417 N. Orange Drive, 90036, Los Angeles
United States of America
Tel: +1 323 934 5500
Fax: +1 323 933 6463

About the film

Color, BETA SP

Section: Special Events
Director: Xan Cassavetes
Dir. of Photography: John Pirozzi
Music: Steven Hufsteter
Editor: Iain Kennedy
Producer: Rick Ross, Marshall Persinger
Production: Maja Films, koprodukce / in coproduction with: Fresh Produce Films
Cast: Robert Altman, Paul Verhoeven, Quentin Tarantino, James Woods, Jim Jarmusch a další
Contact: Maja Films, Fresh Produce Films


Xan Cassavetes

Rick Ross

Marshall Persinger


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