Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Presenting - A Long, Sweet Goodbye to My Room's VHS

First off, you're probably asking: what is this V.H.S. you speak of?  Is it animal, mineral or vegetable?  Can you download it and watch it on the screen on your phone, which by the way is smaller than a man's genitals after being in a freezing pool?  Or is it some new fragrance that got rejected by Flavor Flav? 

Nope.  VHS is this bad boy right here:

Yep.  See kids, back in my day we had these er things called V-C-R's.  And here's one of em:
And on these thingamabobs you simply popped in the VHS tape into the slot right in the middle and either pressed play (thast is if it had the little black doo-hickey on that spot on the edge that said 'This is most likely originally a blank tape with other stuff now on it), or played automatically.  You could fast-forward, rewind, or record from your TV or if you were a little devious from another VCR, or later on from DVD (yeah, I did that, waddaya want?) 

Now, where is this history lesson going?  I'm glad you asked (and if you didn't, well, hell with it, I'll go on with this spiel anyway, gotta amuse myself somehow and the re-run of Colbert Report is long over).

I still have VCRs, and a plethora of VHS tapes.  Some of them I've sold, a hand-ful I've just thrown out, but gorram it, I have been super-stubborn when it's come to getting rid of them all.  And it's not out of some super-nostalgic sense like 'Oh, man, like, vinyl is SO much better than CD players or mp3 downloads.  I get it, and I've gotten it for a while - DVDs, more-so blu-rays, and now video-on-demand (which I lump Netflix streaming and other services) and, of course, DVR have become superior.  I believe that progression in technology is good, or at least inevitable.

At the same time, I say, if it ain't totally broke, don't chuck the fucker.  So I've kept my VCRs (the ones that still work anyway) and my VHS tapes, some going back to the 80's, others that I've taped over the years.  You can read more about my escapades in that era HERE.  But this is about something else.

I was in my room reading a book, and took a brief break and looked around my room at the book-cases - one by my desk, the other by my bed - and realized something looking at the various titles: Holy Mother of Dog, there are SO MANY movies and things that I've never gone around to.  And not just the semi-obscure Spanish horror movie or that forgotten biker flick that I set my VCR to record at 3 AM on a Saturday morning.  I mean big, epic pieces of film history, studio films of the 50's and 60's that are regarded as classics, and works by the masters.  When it comes to Film-Buffery (and damn if I didn't almost type 'Film-Buggery' instead), the only thing that is more astonishing to me than how many films I've seen over the years is how many I've yet to. 

But here at the Cinetarium, I plan to correct this, and use once again Kevin Murphy of MST3K and Rifftrax to finally get the ball rolling on a Super-Mega Film Challenge.  And like Murphy and his one-year trek to see a movie a day, I plan to do something not quite the same but similar in stamina.

All counted - and I'll post the list in the next post entry for all to see - I have about 120 films, give or take a couple, that are in my bedroom I have either never seen or started to watch and got about 1/2 hour in and didn't finish, either cause I was too tired or the movie just didn't appeal to me at that time in my life (and that's just there, not counting the living room or basement, and frankly... that's another movie challenge altogether).  My plan, which I've decided to keep loose as to not have a repeat of the Netflix-a-thon debacle last month, is to watch these movies over the course of this year.  I've already lost about six weeks of the year, but that's fine.  Still plenty of time to go.

And here I go on this quest - so many movies (and a couple of TV shows/specials that I have on one cassette btw), so much time.  Hope you enjoy as I give the tapes in my bedroom this long, sweet (or perhaps bittersweet) goodbye, and get some cinema-edumacation along the way, from silents by DW Griffith to the New York documentary series, and beyond. 

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