01 August 2006

Farewell VHS movies

Today I culled my collection of VHS movies and consigned most of them to the bin to await tomorrow's collection.

I've already replaced many of them with DVD copies, which take up less space and are easier to operate. I particularly like those with extras such as directors' commentaries and English for the hearing impaired subtitles (my hearing's not bad enough to qualify for the DSP but I occasionally miss a muffled comment or two).

I'm always on the lookout for new DVD releases (and rereleases), both local and international, though I'm annoyed by regional coding(what's happening to it under the Aust-US Free Trade Agreement?) which puts barriers in the way of Australians who want to buy DVDs available elsewhere.

I'd also like to see more reviews of DVDs in the media. The SBS Movie Show has IMO been unfairly terminated but its ghost lingers, at least for the moment, on the program's website. ABC TV's otherwise worthy At The Movies doesn't deign to review DVDs, which leaves the local street mag Rip It Up and Lawrie Zion's "Letterbox" column in The Weekend Australian as my principal sources of information on new DVD releases. Unfortunately neither the mag's reviews nor Lawrie's column are online.

Last weekend's, Lawrie asked his readers to nominate movies which aren't available on DVD, either because they've never been released or are no longer available. A brief look at IMDb will reveal many films, eg the Charles Chauvel Australian movies Jedda and Sons of Matthew and world cinema greats such as Satyajit Ray's Charulata , which are not available in that format, even though many of them are or have been available on VHS.

I'll be getting in touch with Lawrie and adding my five cents' (or more) worth. If you have your own suggestions you can contact him at lawrie.zion@bigpond.com

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