As we move into a time when your movie collection is a series of bits and bytes on a cloud server somewhere, a hardy few continue to appreciate and love the media of the damned: VHS. It's very plausible that some of you reading this are so young that you have never seen a video tape in action, possibly never even held one of those big, clunky plastic things in your hands. Never adjusted tracking, never felt the clicking when you manually wound the tape.
For people like Evan Husney - the director of our own distribution arm, Drafthouse Films - that's unfathomable. Evan is a hardcore supporter of VHS, especially of films shot on VHS. Ie, the lowest-rent movies imaginable. The New York Times talked to Evan and some other aficionados of the technically dead medium in a pretty cool article this weekend.
From the Times:
“The best way to watch is to know nothing about how it was created, like it was a tape that was found buried in a ditch or was found unmarked at a Goodwill,” Mr. Husney advised. “You don’t want to know it was a bunch of drunk friends making a movie.”
And Evan had this to say about the allure of VHS:
“VHS is cumbersome... You have to maintain it. It has to fit on a shelf. You may have to dust it off. But you also get to interact with a piece of art on a personal level.”
The Times also ran a sidebar on the most crucial VHS movies, written by Evan, Zack Carlson and Hadrian Belove of the Cinefamily. You can read that here.