A new book entitled 'I Lost It At The Video Store' relives the almost forgotten pre-streaming era, a time when folk could wander into an actual building to peruse the curated selection of video tapes on offer. Now deemed nostalgic, the video store provided a mecca for film buffs and novices alike, those hunting for a way to get their mitts on a cinematic experience, at a fraction of the cost, in their own home, before the vast expansion of the Internet.
The book opens up a conversation with a number of now infamous filmmakers, including Quentin Tarantino, who once worked as a clerk in video stores. The piece provides an intimate perspective into how the curation of these stores provided inspiration and narratives which continue to shape their work today.
During his interview, Tarantino paints himself as quite the advocator of an old-school style, claiming that he doesn't do streaming and the idea of Netflix doesn't float his boat in the slightest...
“I am not excited about streaming at all. I like something hard and tangible in my hand. And I can’t watch a movie on a laptop. I don’t use Netflix at all. I don’t have any sort of delivery system. I have the videos from Video Archives. They went out of business, and I bought their inventory. Probably close to eight thousand tapes and DVDs. I have a bunch of DVDs and a bunch of videos, and I still tape movies off of television on video so I can keep my collection going.”
Within the book, author Tom Roston also talks with Kevin Smith (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle), Allison Anders (Sex in the City, Orange Is the New Black) and Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan). Aronofsky, it would seem, takes an entirely different approach to the Pulp Fiction director, Tarantino, hinting that although he still pines for the bygone era of rentals, he can't shun the current age of consumption.
“Most people are going to watch my films on an iPhone. ‘Look,’ I said, ‘there’s a real audience there, and you have to be conscious of that. You can’t control it.’ I am a storyteller, and I want my story to be watched and listened to in any possible form. I can’t be snobbish about it. I would like people to see it in the theater, but I recognize that people see them in all sorts of ways and I try to make that experience as good as I can.”
To which Tarantino simply responded:
“That’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”
As someone who spent every Friday night for countless years wandering the aisles of my local video rental store, picking out treats for weekend, I can totally understand Tarantino's standpoint. That said, if someone were to take my Netflix away from me now...God help them.
Find out more about the book here.