Cinema Revolution Society is an organization dedicated to the creation and promotion of a new kind of cinema that is built from the ground up as a means of expression, rather than from the top down as amusement, or diversion. It is dedicated to the memory of the filmmaker, journalist, and film critic Alexandre Astruc (1923-2016) who said in his 1948 essay, The Birth of a New Avant Garde: La caméra-stylo:
...the cinema is quite simply becoming a means of expression, just as all the other arts have been before it, and in particular painting and the novel....The most philosophical meditations on human production, psychology, metaphysics, ideas, and passions lie well within its province. I will even go so far as to say that contemporary ideas and philosophies of life are such that only the cinema can do justice to them.
We are an ongoing online exhibition of cinematic art and a specialized programming resource that researches and provides links to films to stream online from legitimate distributors. We organize what we believe are programs of the world's best films, celebrating diverse cultures through relevant prevailing threads of meaning. We eschew the more traditional programming methods that organize series of films by genre, period, and people groups, which do nothing more than ghettoize both audiences and filmmakers in the same way that society so often does. When a certain expression of truth in cinema reveals itself again and again across time, geography, and culture, it is worth collecting those works together and viewing them in a new context—one rooted in the "inner connections" as filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky expressed it. Cinema, with over a dozen decades of collective captured experiences across cultures, gives us a significant means of understanding life on Earth.
We firmly believe that filmmakers and the companies who distribute their films reserve the right to be duly compensated for their work, therefore every streaming video posted on this site is, except in rare cases, a link to a site where it can be purchased or rented for a fee or through subscription services. We will occasionally provide free links to films on sites like YouTube or Vimeo, but only in the case of rare or out of print titles that are otherwise unavailable. However, we only link to websites that respect and actively enforce copyright, and we never link to torrent or bootleg video sites. We do not host any content, and we trust the individual hosts of the videos we feature to police the copyright laws for the content they provide. Therefore, any inquiry by a copyright holder should be directed to the site upon which the video is hosted.
Cinema Revolution Society grew out of the Cinema Revolution video store that was in operation at various locations in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota from 2003-2009. Winning several City Pages "Best of the Twin Cities" awards for "Best DVD Rental" and "Best Place to Rent Foreign Films" the store was recognized as a valued resource in the community. CR Society was initiated as a way to engage the community in fostering film production and promoting film literacy. Several initiatives were undertaken, including Wednesday Night Film School, a weekly discussion featuring a special expert lecturer, the LGBT Film Series, a weekly viewing and discussion group held at the store, and Cinéma des artistes, a monthly screening series held at the Varsity Theater featuring auteur cinema with a global focus.
CR Society also produced four projects that engaged the community to make their own films. The Fortune Cookie Film Project, Dance Film Project 2008-2009, and the Minneapolis Project were all collaborative film festivals run by the Society. Each project began with a simple premise and instructions, and filmmakers were set in motion to complete their projects with a guaranteed screening and party at the end. The Minneapolis Project, the last in the series in September 2010, featured 25 filmmakers and a screening with approx. 500 in attendance at the Riverview Theater.
Since leaving Minneapolis in 2010, the organization reaches a global audience with this website, and has been based in New York City, Ankara, and most recently, Montana.
The 1915 Lyndale Ave S location circa 2004.