R.I.P. VHS Tapes
VHS is dead, according to the LA Times. The last remaining VHS tapes rolled out of a Florida warehouse at the end of October. I still have a VCR, but it's unplugged and gathering dust in my entertainment center.
Over the last few years, I've systematically replaced all my favorite films with DVDs. However, I still have a handful of movies that have yet to make their appearance on DVD. The most criminal of these (Rebecca Loudon will surely agree) is 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould, which came out on DVD in Canada, but was quickly pulled. Copies are selling for well over $200 on eBay. It's time for a reissue! Are you listening, Criterion Collection? I also have a number of music video collections on VHS including Talk Talk, Marianne Faithfull's incredible concert film Blazing Away (my second most-wanted DVD), Berlin and Kate Bush. Luckily, most of these are available on YouTube and I have quite a number of bootleg DVDs.
But what to do about all those tapes recorded from television? I have hours and hours of old MTV (when they used to play music videos) with shows like 120 Minutes and AMP. I also have about six tapes worth of Princess Diana's funeral and related coverage. And then there's the videos from my first couple of trips to Europe. Those are the most precious. I'm actually taking them over to CVS (drug stores are so helpful these days) to have them converted to DVD this weekend. I've thought about buying one of those VHS/DVD recorder combos and transferring all my tapes, but once that's done the machine is useless. So, I'm going to start a "keep pile" of VHS tapes and throw the rest out. It's the end of era.
My review of Carrie Fisher's memoir for "Read This" is delayed, but coming soon. Tonight...maybe.