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Adjust Your Tracking (2013)
A worthy look into an alternative culture.
Adjust your tracking is, overall, a strong film. In the film we are reminded of the early days of video. VHS was absolutely a game-changer and some people forget that. Adjust Your Tracking begins with the VHS story as a starting point for a glimpse into a culture many are not aware of. The film follows the exploits of those still devoted to VHS, who feel the need to collect it, particularly obscure films that will, sadly, never be released on DVD (or blu-ray).
These people are fascinating. Some of them are, admittedly, socially awkward, but all of them are endearing, and many of them are well-spoken and strikingly intelligent. The devotion VHS collectors feel for tapes is explored at length--we come to understand what it is that fuels this obsession, and I think, in the end, we understand it.
A strong point of Adjust Your Tracking is that it has a great sense of humor. A lot of these VHS collectors have been through hell and back to find gems in a stack of tapes. Many of them have journeyed to questionable places and encountered questionable people. It helps that a lot of the film clips are funny, as well (check out the ultra rare Tales from the Quadead Zone).
Another strong point is the aesthetic--Adjust Your Tracking looks and feels like you're watching an old VHS. The effect is utterly convincing and really sets the mood.
So, next time you see that stack of old, obscure VHS at a yard sale or flea market, remember, there could be some treasure there.
Kudos to Dan Kinem and Levi Peretic for bringing this alternative culture the attention it deserves.
Recommended for fans of documentaries.