August 18, 2003

DVD Killed The Video Star

This weekend the Times ran a special section examining the wonderful world of DVD and its influence on current moviemaking. In the front piece, Elvis Mitchell discusses some of Cinecultist's own favorite features of the medium -- letterboxing, commentary tracks and the Criterion Collection.

But the question remains, are there really more film geeks (or cinecultists) just because the products to consume film culture are available in brightly packaged rows at your local Virgin megastore? As someone who came by film culture through academia, CC is still skeptical of the pretension which springs up from these self-educated video store clerk cineastes. Certainly we do know some amazing self-educated filmmakers, like our new friend John Walter who uses extracted stills from movies by Antonioni or Godard to get ideas for shot composition and editing. But for every John there's a Quentin-wanabee or Kevin Smith-has been and those guys bug, plain and simple.

More DVDs does mean it's easier to rent all of the Scorsese filmography over and over again from Netflix but perhaps we could just excise all unnecessary pretention from cinema consumption? Although perhaps that dream is like hoping that Michael Bay would stop calling himself an auteur -- completely wishful thinking.

Posted by karen at August 18, 2003 12:01 PM