Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Hollywood Babble On & On #1252: An Open Letter To Quentin Tarantino

Dear Quentin Tarantino.

I respect, and even understand, your love of the look and feel of classic film stock. The hyper-vivid spectrum seen when watching early technicolor epics in high definition is a look and style I really love.

But I don't get this whole "I hate Netflix and still tape everything on VHS" thing you're going on about. VHS was a mixed bag with many pros and cons.

One big pro for VHS was that it made renting and owning a movie that a movie lover can watch whenever they want a possibility. I have a reminder of the golden age of VHS because right next to my desk is a set of shelves where I still keep my old VHS tapes. (Among them Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction)

However, there are many cons to VHS.

#1. The initial picture quality ain't that great. It's like watching a washed out print, and most movies released on VHS were "pan & scanned" and badly at that, damaging even further the viewing experience when compared to a theatre, or even a decent television broadcast.

#2. VHS tape decays over time. I'll bet a diddle-eyed-joe to a damned-if-I-know* that most of my old VHS collection, the youngest being 20 years old, are just plastic bricks with overwrought cover-art.

#3. Recording something onto VHS from a modern hi-def cable-box is just a real pain in the ass when most have the option of a DVR included.

I'm not saying that online streaming services are perfect. They have their pros and cons, and being someone who loves collecting movies, I like being able to physically own a copy that I can keep on a shelf to watch whenever I want and not be dependent on the whims and algorithms of a streaming service. That's why, when I can, I get the DVDs and Blu-Rays of the movies I really love.

Now most are writing this off as "Oh there goes eccentric Quentin again" but I'm not.

I suspect that this is not out of a deep seeded eccentricity, but a very shallow affectation.

Look deep and ask yourself: "Am I doing this because I really feel that I need to, or am I doing this because I think this is the sort of thing I'm expected to do?"

That is the difference between a real eccentricity, and an affectation.

If you're honest with yourself, you might be surprised by the answer.

-Furious D.

*Reservoir Dogs Reference Alert.

1 comment:

  1. Furious D,

    I haven't taped anything to VHS since 1998. I mean that's almost 20 years or so ago. At the time I lived on a farm and didn't have cable. I was in the shrinking area that still relied on the big three channels and PBS. I've kept those tapes mostly out of nostalgia and a reminder of the thrill of recording a movie and cutting out the commercials myself. When anime was largely VHS fan-subs and Pioneer Tenchi I tended to purchase whole series, which again I've kept even though I've long since upgraded it all to DVD or Blu Ray. I still by movies, mostly some combination of the big Summer Block Busters and Anime. I don't think I can go backwards to VHS as my primary medium. The degradation of the signal is the main reason and the other is that I like professional box art on easily stored cases. I like digital but if I want to own a movie nothing beats having a professional non digital only copy.

    Maybe Quint is one of those guys who simple likes to do something a certain way. Nothing wrong with that but Movie Tech for watching a movie has come a long way since 1995.


    P.S. This whole article reminds me of "Be Kind, Rewind" which starred Jack Black from 2003. Who knew that an indy film on the love of VHS was actually lived by a mini-major director.