Jeff Smith 3 p.m., March 27
Ingmar Bergman's Video Collection: The Obvious Question
My oldest son has been pushing for me to replace the family's VHS copy (bought used) of Little Nemo in Slumberland with a DVD of same. That's right, at 14, he's already nostalgic for the films of his youth. But not, it seems, the format; the sound is shot, and the picture gets pretty fuzzy in places. Time and rewind have not been kind.
Ah, VHS - the cassette tape of the film industry (which makes, I guess, laser discs the vinyl?) How the cineastes of old must have loathed those magnetic abominations - their life's work yanked off the screen and off the film stock, then schlepped onto videotape and played back on square TV screens that demanded the reformatting and cropping of their lovingly framed tableaus.
Or not. Turns out no less a personage than Ingmar Bergman had a collection of over 1500 movies on VHS. Jurassic Park? Of course. Ghostbusters? Sure. But this old news bit wisely holds back from answering the obvious question: did the director of The Virgin Spring own a copy of The Last House on the Left, the graphic remake that launched the career of horrormeister Wes Craven?
Oh, and here's a little snippet of a doc about making the movie. Yes, there is disemboweling, and yes, Craven talks about getting to the guts of the matter.
And good gravy, how the hell does YouTube have a Grindhouse cut of the film? (You can search that one out yourself if you're so inclined.) Hey, Ebert liked it. Me, I'll stick with The Virgin Spring.