Not to brag, but Josh Johnson’s nostalgic documentary about the death of the VHS era and many films along with it, is chock full of people I know. This not-so-strange phenomenon is helped by the fact that a large percentage of the film was shot in Austin, Texas and that many of the experts questioned are instantly recognisable pillars of the film blogging community, many of whom I have the pleasure of calling friends. They know their stuff and are incredibly passionate about the plight of the video age. The best part of all this is that Johnson has made an incredibly entertaining film out of it all too – even if we must endure close-ups of Brian Kelley’s bare feet and Todd Brown’s incessant soapboxing about the death of ALL physical media.
The most interesting element of the film is not merely that it highlights the death of a medium, one that has never been held in particularly high regard by those who care for quality, and is perhaps beloved merely out of some vague form of ironic hispter affection. Rather that many films will die along with VHS. Literally thousands of films produced during the video boom only exist on that format, and look set to disappear along with it. As one particularly astute film historian questions, why is nothing being done by the film community to restore – or at least archive – VHS before it is gone forever?