When It Was Kind to Rewind

The home video revolution in the late '70s and early '80s signaled a change in the consumer's relationship to media, one that only the Internet has come close to equaling. And yet, downloads and streaming media still feels like more a natural evolution, and less of a game-changer, than the presence of VCRs and video stores did in the Reagan Era. Playing tonight only at the Roxie, Josh Johnson's documentary Rewind This! examines several aspects of this now-historical phenomenon, with a particular emphasis on the collectors today who are not so much keeping the VHS format alive as hanging onto them for reasons both practical (many titles were only ever released on VHS) and nostalgic (many of us grew up watching those titles on VHS), as well as ruminations on the non-physical, non-ownership-based future of media. The oft-ignored issue of video preservation is also raised, and there's even a surprising defense of the near-universally abhorred practice of pan-and-scan. But in additional to being thoughtful, Rewind This! is also a lot of fun for both Gen-X VHS veterans and DVD-raised Millennials alike, with plenty of crowd-pleasing clips from such classic made-for-video schlock as Crime Hunter, Football Widow, and Black Devil Doll From Hell. And be sure to keep your tracking knobs properly adjusted.

Tue., Sept. 3, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m., 2013
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