Author Topic: Memories of video stores  (Read 448 times)

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Offline Iain Fisher

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Memories of video stores
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2020, 08:12:14 PM »
An interesting article reflecting on quirky video stores.  It is by Ben Sachs in The Chicago Reader, 12 Mat 2020 (https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/odd-obsession-farewell/Content?oid=79867115 ).

"I discovered the store by accident... and after that, I began stopping in about once a week. I couldn't resist the lure of movies that, until then, I'd only dreamed of watching: video works by Jean-Luc Godard never released on Region 1 DVD, features by lesser-known directors of the Japanese New Wave, hard-to-find cult classics like Stephanie Rothman's The Velvet Vampire (1971) and John Byrum's Inserts (1975), and experimental films by the likes of Andy Warhol, Pat O'Neill, and Rob Tregenza. And then there were all the movies I hadn't even heard of; I wanted to spend hours in the store just browsing the collection."

The writer and the store owner "found we had similar tastes. Neither of us gravitated towards mainstream cinema, though we both liked lowbrow as well as highbrow films, and we were especially drawn to movies that fused the two. [the owner] also liked figures like Ken Russell, Brian De Palma, and Andrzej ?u?awski, directors who obliterated distinctions between respectful and disrespectful art."

My own memories are of a similar video store in Rotterdam.  Part of the shop was porn, but the interesting part was full of non mainstream films, Jean Luc Goddard and Truffaut, horror classics like George Romero's Martin.  And it was there I found Ken's Whore.  I had gone away from Ken's films for some reason (probably Lisztomania and Altered States which are not my favourites) but Whore brought me back to Ken's films.

Sadly the shop lasted a year or so and disappeared.