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Fandor Free: Everything you need to know (Updated 2022)

Fandor.com has received a wave of negative press over the past few years for its internal struggles, but it may still have a promising future. A subscription to the service is cheap, and its impressive library will be of interest to cinephiles and film enthusiasts of all stripes. Whether or not Fandor will ever replace Filmstruck is uncertain, but even in its current state, it's nothing to scoff at.

Fandor

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Nicole Sommer - Soccer expert Last updated: Saturday, 02.July 2022 — 3min read

fandor.com

If you have not heard of Fandor before, then you are not alone. Up until recently, I had not heard of the service either. After doing a deep dive into the service's ins and outs, I have come out fairly impressed and here to talk about why. As a weary, desensitized-by-the-media American, I expected Fandor to be just another streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, and all the rest. But I was surprised to learn that it is a totally different type of streaming service focused on independent, classic, and foreign films of the arthouse variety. Filmstruck's closure has prompted a round of lamentation from cinephiles everywhere, who have realized just how valuable the service was. Filmstruck provided an immense collection of some of the best films ever made, not just Hollywood blockbusters. High-brow artistically-pointed cinema was among the offerings on offer.

Since then, a few niche streaming services have emerged, each vying for their chance to take Filmstruck's place. Fandor, a new streaming service, has recently come onto the scene. Upon discovering it, I decided to prod around and see what I liked most and what stunk about Fandor's platform. Is it worth subscribing to? Who?s it for? Let's find out.

How it Started

Many doubted that Fandor would make it. Unlike other players on the scene, Fandor is a young company. Based out of San Francisco, the service was launched in the spring of 2011 at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Things were pretty shaky in the years that followed. Leadership changed hands multiple times during this period. A big-name hotshot would take the helm as CEO for about a year or two, and then jump ship for something more lucrative. Many doubted that Fandor would make it. When the leader of a company leaves after a very short time, it is not always indicative of trouble. However, when this departure becomes a pattern, it usually signals major problems. And those problems were indeed present in December of 2018 when the company suddenly laid off its entire staff and transferred its assets to a new management group. In an official statement, CEO Christopher Kelly said, "We have completed a transaction that allows a new entity to seek to continue the service under different management . . . This is, of course, a disappointing outcome for all who have contributed to and embraced our mission to date."

Since then, the company has been enveloped in a shroud of uncertainty. This has confused potential customers, and nobody seems to understand whether Fandor is still operating. For the time being, Fandor is still operational. However, it's unclear whether it will continue to operate in the future. If you're considering using their service, you should be reassured that for now, it's still active. Kelly's statement clarifies the matter: "The Fandor.com site will continue streaming movies without interruptions. It is not out of business or going out of business."

How it Works

Now that you know that Fandor is still operational and will continue to do so, it would be helpful to talk about how the service works. Basically, it functions like most other premium streaming networks. You sign up for a monthly membership, and this grants you access to the entire catalog. You can sign up directly through Fandor's website for $5.99/month. But if you have an Amazon Prime account, you can save a few bucks by paying for Fandor as an add-on channel through the Prime Video portal for just $3.99/month. Once you have an account with Fandor, you will be able to access the library through the web client and mobile app. We will discuss each of these separately in a little while. For now, though, let's take a look at Fandor's catalog.

What?s Included

Since we are discussing a streaming service specifically designed for cinephiles, it is not possible to point to certain platform-defining films or series like we can with mainstream services. For example, HBO has Game of Thrones. Disney Plus has The Mandalorian. However, Fandor's titles are eclectic by the very nature of the platform. After all, the website itself states: "The Fandor community is full of movie freaks, genre geeks and tastemakers." So finding common ground to begin with can be difficult. Still, if Fandor has piqued your interest, it's probably because you're interested in foreign, indie, and arthouse cinema. If that's the case, chances are that you're at least familiar with some of the classics of film history. Fandor, as it stands today, hosts some of those relics, including the following: Nosferatu - The Exorcist - The General - The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - The Phantom of the Opera

Then there is Fandor's contemporary catalog. Titles here are strong and diverse. Here are some of the better-known ones: Oldboy, Moon, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Requiem for a Dream

The library offers an array of genres that appeal to everyone, including avant-garde, film noir, LGBTQ, horror, cult, silent film, and an array of others. This wide variety is not just meant for established cinephiles, but also encourages those interested in expanding their cultural vocabulary to explore some of the world's most creative motion pictures. When I say the world's most creative motion pictures, I do not only mean films from within the United States - Fandor's international catalog has flicks from Mexico, France, Egypt, India, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Japan and many more.

Design of the Website

Once you have logged in, navigating to fandor.com will take you to the homepage's landing portal. Here, you will see Fandor's Spotlight banner. What is Spotlight? Well, by clicking on the banner you will learn that it showcases "thematically grouped, must-see films," which were selected by Fandor's curators. At the moment, the Spotlight shines on family-related films in preparation for the holiday season. Below the homepage's Spotlight banner, you'll find that the rest of the page is occupied by "Selected Films." At the top of the website, a minimalist banner offers just two drop-down menus: Movies and Editorial. The former is pretty self-explanatory - hover over Movies and you'll see further sub-menus, like New Arrivals and Genres. But the latter, Editorial, is a nifty part of Fandor's website that warrants discussion. Specifically, Editorial features articles about upcoming films (including trailers and reviews), as well as essays on film history and criticism. It's a great way to explore different perspectives on movies, and it's also helpful if you're looking for recommendations specific to your interests or movie tastes.

As a platform dedicated to art, it makes sense for Fandor to have a team of editors who write op-eds and discuss film. This type of content offers customers a chance to see what the staff thinks of the movies hosted on the platform, as well as learn more about film history and culture. This type of content is always entertaining and always educational, making it an essential part of Fandor's offerings.

Mobile Experience

To be frank, the Fandor mobile app is a major disappointment. As of this morning, it had a 2.4-star rating on the Google Play Store, and users agree that it has poor navigation, an unintuitive UI, and many strange failings. Most importantly, the in-app video quality is very poor and that's inexcusable for a paid streaming service in 2018.

Prime Video?s Strengths

With all that taken into account, let us reflect on Fandor. If you are interested in indie, foreign, and arthouse film, Fandor is quite attractive in most regards. It boasts a robust selection of classics, a good amount of high-quality contemporary films, and an eclectic collection of international films. Editorial articles are well-written and thought-provoking. And, to the relief of everyone, the service is very cheap - especially if you tack it to your Prime Video membership as an add-on channel for only $3.99/month.

Prime Video?s Weaknesses

Despite its problems, Fandor still has some reasons why it hasn't gained as much traction as Filmstruck. First of all, the company has been through many ownership changes and has had a difficult time delivering an outstanding service under unstable leadership. This makes it difficult for staff to deliver an A+ grade when leaders and managers are constantly changing. Despite the apparent calm, things appear to be in disarray. The stability of the moment might be helpful for the team to focus on fixing the Mobile App as it is a pretty big deal. Aside from this, I noticed that many people were having trouble unsubscribing from the service which is not only irritating but also a little seedy. If you do not like it, unsubscribing should be quite simple rather than feeling like this obstruction was designed intentionally.

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Fandor Free: Everything you need to know (Updated 2022).

Fandor.com has received a wave of negative press over the past few years for its internal struggles, but it may still have a promising future. A subscription to the service is cheap, and its impressive library will be of interest to cinephiles and film enthusiasts of all stripes. Whether or not Fandor will ever replace Filmstruck is uncertain, but even in its current state, it's nothing to scoff at.

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