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Rewind This! (2013)

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Home video changed the world. The cultural and historical impact of the VHS tape was enormous. This film traces the ripples of that impact by examining the myriad aspects of society that were altered by the creation of videotape.

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Storyline

In the 1980s, few pieces of home electronics did more to redefine popular culture than the videocassette recorder. With it, the film and television media were never the same as the former gained a valuable new revenue stream and popular penetration while the latter's business model was forever disrupted. This film covers the history of the device with its popular acceptance opening a new venue for independent filmmakers and entrepreneurs. In addition, various collectors of the now obsolete medium and its nostalgically esoteric fringe content are profiled as well. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Release Date:

27 August 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Parakalo gyriste tin tainia stin arhi  »

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References Cannibal Holocaust (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quirky reminder of a lost art.
26 October 2013 | by (Suffolk, England) – See all my reviews

Oh the good ol' days of VHS. Yes, I wore my Disney videos down til they were just a fuzzy haze of grainy musical colours like everyone else, but my real relationship with cassettes comes from recorded movies from the TV guides. When I was first getting into film, I began my catchup with a big list of modern essentials such as Fight Club, Goodfellas, Full Metal Jacket, American Beauty, Pulp Fiction, all of which I watched and rewatched on video tape until I knew exactly where the advert breaks would come. That's essentially why I do what I do today. I never collected VHS like the subjects of this documentary, but ever since I got into DVD collecting, I've been manic. Blu-rays, books, vinyls, I collect 'em all. Although VHS is more or less useless these days (I remember the moment my player just decided to stop working, it was very irritating), I can definitely relate to the people in the film who scourer car boot sales obsessively for rarities.

Rewind This! is a nostalgic reminder of why VHS deserved to be the best of their kind at the time. It's the same reason I like vinyl. They have a 'lived-in' quality we can't get from the polish of blu-ray. Little imperfections that are part of its unique identity where they've been over- paused and subsequently scarred with snowy lines of distortion. Although there's an almost Not Quite Hollywood focus on horror and porn as far as the 'hidden gems' go, it's a very interesting documentary. The film itself is well done, but admittedly, the industry professionals are far more interesting than the caricature hipsters who just really like videos. Definitely some colourful characters there on both sides. It does lack structure and its 8-bit music gives it an unwarranted sense of urgency that can be distracting, but it makes great use of cutaway footage from the video footage the subjects talk about. There's a great charm about its flaws and that kind of reflects its points about the authenticity and naivety on VHS. Worth watching.

7/10


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