movies this week: a new hope

Since Omar has stopped writing his “Movies This Week” entries, I am shamelessly stealing the concept. (Sorry, Omar. If you start writing them again, I’ll stop.)
Mine aren’t going to be nearly as funny, though, because I’m not automatically funny the way Omar is. Also, I am including movies that will be shown in Austin—not just new movies, but revival/retrospective stuff that I think is noteworthy.
And I don’t get to see any of these movies in advance like Omar did, so I have to write about stuff I haven’t seen, which is tricky. We’ll see how well this works.

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twenty DVD gaps: part one

We love to videotape and film things because we get the impression that film is forever. We sure do have the advantage over previous centuries, we think, because we can capture moments and performances and great things on film. We think film will last forever—that we can always go back and see such-and-such film that we love.
We forget that film and video are not stable media, that they can degrade and crumble and die. We forget that companies often hold the rights to our favorite movie and those companies can whisk that videotape or DVD out of print in a minute, making it terribly difficult for you to see your favorite movie ever again.
Yes, we have digital media now and that’s wonderful. DVDs can last a lot longer than videotapes (if you don’t scratch or dirty them, that is). But so many movies still aren’t available on DVD, and their VHS versions are out of print, and you have to have a very good arthouse or revival theater in your neighborhood if you want to watch them. (Or you can throw yourself on the tender mercies of cable TV.) The quality of these remaining theater prints, and cable TV prints, is often terrible and you have to suffer through tons of splices and gaps.

Continue reading twenty DVD gaps: part one

those pesky calla lillies

I saw Stage Door for about the ninety-gazillionth time on Wednesday night. However, it was the first time I’d seen it in a theater. The movie isn’t available on DVD (like so many other movies I’d like to watch repeatedly) and the copy I videotaped from cable years and years ago is in such awful shape now that I can’t even watch it, much less inflict it upon others.

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summer film squealing

Y’all just excuse me a minute while I jump up and down and make little squeaky happy noises.
Because the Paramount Theatre summer film schedule is out, and despite a sad lack of Peckinpah movies, this is some of the best film programming they have done in years. I am very pleased at the number of movies they are showing that are currently not available on DVD (and are damn hard to find even on VHS). I am also pleased at the films they are showing that need a big theater screen or a large audience, in order to truly shine.

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theater entropy

So once again SXSW is over and I didn’t see a single movie. Hell, someone offered me free tickets and I still didn’t go to any of the many fine movies offered by the SXSW film festival.
Somehow I couldn’t muster much interest in the film selection that SXSW had this year. I’m sure the films were excellent, and I heard lots of good things about them, but I can only watch so many Quirky Documentaries, or Angry Independent Films, or Films That Question Your Beliefs, or Low-Budget Films with Mediocre Acting. I still have a long, long list of movies I want to see much more than those, movies like I’m No Angel and Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Gunga Din (which isn’t on DVD) and so forth.

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