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.

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looking for Central Texas feedback

I’m one of a group of Austin bloggers and journallers who are planning a one-day workshop (probably in October) that will focus on aspects of Web writing and publishing. Because, y’know, I didn’t get enough of that kind of organizing fun when I worked on JournalCon last year, right? (At least this time I’m a meek follower and not the one in charge.)
We created a survey to find out what kind of programming would appeal to Central Texas online writers.
We’re certainly not trying to compete with JournalCon (in DC this August). But we enjoyed the programming and social aspects of the conference so much last year that we wanted to organize a similar, smaller-scale experience for Central Texans. (Either that or we’re masochists. Possibly both.)
I’ll post more details about the workshop as we finalize them. In the meantime, if you’re in Central Texas and are interested in this workshop, please fill out the survey. (If you don’t live in/near Central Texas, don’t fill it out, although you’re welcome to post comments here that I’ll forward appropriately.)

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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The President’s Analyst (1967)

The President’s Analyst: 1967: dir. Theodore J. Flicker. Seen on DVD (June 12).
I caught part of The President’s Analyst one night on Bravo, during the brief period about 8 years ago when I actually had cable TV, and it was one of the weirdest things I’d ever seen. I was dying to see it again, but it didn’t show up on cable (and then I stopped having cable) and I couldn’t find it at the video store.

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Super Size Me (2004)

Super Size Me: 2004, dir. Morgan Spurlock. Seen at Dobie (May 23).
Super Size Me is a documentary that centers around a stunt: the filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, decides he will eat nothing but food from McDonald’s for 30 days. That’s the gimmick that attracts people to this movie.
And it’s working: the movie is earning a surprising amount of money in its limited run. It’s nowhere near being a summer blockbuster but it’s become surprisingly popular. It’s this year’s Little Movie That Could. I love it when this happens.

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Shattered Glass (2003)

Shattered Glass: 2003, dir. Billy Ray. Seen on DVD (May 22).
I forgot about this movie and when my boyfriend brought home Shattered Glass on DVD, someone mentioned Philip Glass and I was expecting to see some kind of weird musical documentary until I remembered, oh, Stephen Glass. Right.
Shattered Glass is the story of how Stephen Glass, a journalist for The New Republic, faked a bunch of articles for that magazine. More specifically, it’s the story about how he was caught.

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The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996)

The Truth About Cats & Dogs: 1996, dir. Michael Lehmann. Seen on DVD (May 15).
The Truth About Cats & Dogs is a cute little movie. It is such an amiable, cute movie that even my boyfriend likes it, and he dislikes romantic comedy generally. (He hated Amelie but I still like him.)
Remember the days when Janeane Garafalo was hot in her short-round-brunette way? Remember when she shone in those funny-sidekick roles? Then she tried to take the lead in romantic comedies, which didn’t quite work. But we still loved her and we all wanted to be cool like her.
Now she’s a scary skinny blonde who rants about politics on the radio. It’s a sad world.

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Kill Bill, Vol. 1 and 2 (2003/4)

Kill Bill Vol. 1: 2003, dir. Quentin Tarantino. Seen on DVD (May 9).
Kill Bill Vol. 2: 2004, dir. Quentin Tarantino. Seen at Alamo Lake Creek (May 9).
Some people think Quentin Tarantino is a genius. Some think he’s an overrated asshole.
Me, I think he’s a huuuuge damn film geek who has a pleasing knack for slipping tons of entertaining obscure film references into a movie without ruining the movie either for film buffs or people who wouldn’t get the jokes.

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