By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik March 24, 2010 at 8:05AM
"SpeedCine is now closed." That kind of sums it up, doesn't it? The latest victim of the slow economy, SpeedCine, the online movie search engine, is no longer in operation--unless, of course, someone with money comes along to resurrect it.
A simple but brilliant idea, made real by publicist Reid Rosefelt and web-system creator Bob Harris, SpeedCine once provided links to all the legal films available on the web, for free, rental or purchase. As I reported during the site's launch, the site’s primary value for most of us was listing titles for free, immediate viewing, such as Roman Polanksi’s long hard-to-find “Cul-de-Sac” and Orson Welles’ “Mr. Arkadin” (both on Hulu, at the time of the launch, who knew?).
For researchers, journalists and academics on deadline, SpeedCine should have been an invaluable resource. Rosefelt had recently contacted me with links to some of the amazing online movie databases that the website had cataloged, such as http://asiapacificfilms.com (which charges a monthly fee), http://www.europafilmtreasures.eu/ (includes classic early European films, from Melies and Nadar), http://www.archive.org/details/feature_films (you can find Nosferatu, Night of the Living Dead) and the National Film Board of Canada's web archives (http://www.nfb.ca/explore-by/title/).
Rosefelt's blog, formerly at speedcine.com/blog, will continue on at my-life-as-a-blog.com/blog/. Rosefelt, an industry veteran (Errol Morris once said, “If publicity was a religion, and I believe it is, Reid Rosefelt would be the High Priest”), has at least six lives left, and will undoubtedly bounce back.