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Archive for March 9th, 2013

By Bob Clark

It’s depressing at times to think of how many films by my favorite directors I’ve been exposed to primarily on television. There are obvious cases like films by Lucas & Spielberg, or any other mainstream releases that came out well before I was born, but those are easy to shrug off. Likewise there are films like Blade Runner or Pulp Fiction which may have seen prominent theatrical releases or rereleases during my lifetime, but early enough in my childhood that being introduced to them on the big screen would’ve been out of the question. Even some of the more niche works I’m fond of like Heaven’s Gate or any given anime feature I’m able to accept seeing for the first time on television, due to the fact that there just weren’t any other options at the time to check them out– yes, Cimino’s magnum opus may be enjoying a big-screen revival nowadays, and it’s become more and more common for classic films of the Ghibli canon to find art-house exhibitions, but one can’t always be patient enough to wait for a classic, sometimes forgotten masterpiece to play in the proverbial theaters near you. This is one of the great advantages of the home-video generation of film consumption, the option of curate one’s own cinematic vocabulary through VHS and DVD, instead of relying upon the personal whims of local theater programmers. It’s an empowering way to digest a heavier volume of content, but what one loses in the context of the reductive home television experience as opposed to the expansive theatrical one can’t be underestimated, especially with one of the great widescreen gambits of that premier experimenter of the cinema, Jean-Luc Godard.

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