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You can read about Xan Cassavetes’ doc on L.A.’s art-film cable pioneer The Z Channel (linked her via Nerve.com), but you should really watch it while it plays this month on IFC. The story of Z Prez Jerry Harvey’s murderous and suicidal demise is a captivating one, but what makes the doc really great viewing is its conveyance of a very specific brand of cinephilia that almost doesn’t exist anymore. Pre-internet, pre-DVD, the Z Channel’s generous scrambling of Euro greats, American auteurs and Euro-softcore — a mix that included everything from Berlin Alexanderplatz to Laura Antonelli festivals — undoubtedly shaped the styles of filmmakers like Alexander Payne and Quentin Tarantino, whose enthusiastic interviews, along with the fantastic and esoteric film clips, are real treats.

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