Future generations won’t know the joy of driving to a Blockbuster and picking out a rental (or rentals) for the weekend. It was an inconvenient life, but nostalgia erases that. Waxing romantic on it now makes me exhale in deep wistful wonder, my heart full of bliss. Video stores fostered my burgeoning cinephilia in the late nineties, and provided some of the best memories of my life.
But Netflix has changed all that, and I say good riddance. All Netflix really does is add convenience to the already established video store mechanism. Now you don’t even have to leave the house. You can snuggle on the couch with your lover and your Roku box and browse what’s currently streaming (and I suspect, in a decade or so, everything will be).
Continue reading Nights On Netflix: A Journey Through The Aisles Of Our Friendly Neighborhood Internet Video Store
There was a period in film history, after the advent of the VCR and before the Generation Y takeover, where people traded VHS copies of their movies on an underground circuit that spread all over the world. The modern incarnation of this is the ‘viral’ video, or, a video that racks up a lot of views on YouTube. But, if you’re old enough, you can remember a time when this was essentially done by hand (or, if you’re a Y-er, you can Google it).
There’s something romantic about it really. Each video had to be copied with noisy machines that spooled magnetic tape around heads that needed to be cleaned and would break after so many revolutions. Each tape was an artifact adorned with the fingerprints of the previous owner, or in many cases, the filmmaker himself. It was personal and exclusive and you had to be in the know to be blessed with a particular video’s presence.
Continue reading An Interview With Jeff Krulik, Documentarian Extraordinaire