Film scholars tend to wax nostalgic about the picture quality of classic films and they’ll often debate the pros and cons of the high-definition images of today’s cameras. However, film buffs rarely mention the medium that dominated the latter part of the 20th century–VHS.
VHS cassettes weren’t just a new format with a more enhanced image like Blu Ray, but rather a revolutionary idea which flipped the movie industry upside down. VHS allowed for the average family to own and watch movies in the comfort of their own homes, which, of course, benefited the industry by creating a completely new market of home viewers.
Director Josh Johnson is exploring this revolution in film with his new documentary “Rewind This!,” set to premier at SXSW this March. Johnson delves into the subject by interviewing directors, producers, fans, and even video store clerks who were all impacted by the revolution.
The most important aspect of the phenomenon that Johnson addresses is nostalgia. From examples like Palace’s recent skate videos and Joey Bada$$’s video for “Fromdatomb$,” it’s apparent that there is a resurgence in the retro, VHS aesthetic.
The renewed interest in VHS as well as the fact that many movies are only available in that format, leads us to believe that VHS could very well be the “next” collectible sensation like vinyl records–so start diggin’ in the tapes now.