MIFF 2013 – Rewind This! (2013)


Director: Josh Johnson
Featuring: Mamoru Oshii, Frank Henenlotter, Roy Frumkes, Shôko Nakahara, Charles Band, Cassandra Peterson

The golden age of VHS is revisited in this nostalgic journey through the medium exploring the origins of early VHS releases through to the explosion of VHS rentals and then the decline of the medium with new formats and digital options.

I find the title quite strange since when I was hiring VHS tapes from a film archive they had a specific notice not to rewind the tapes as the tension on the tape helps preserve it better.

While most of the documentary is made up by talking heads, there are some magical clips of some of the more interesting releases and even some of the more obscure “shot on video” movies that are not well known.

Video remixing was represented by Dimitri from Everything Is Terrible saying that he doesn’t hate the movies he remixes and the programmers from the Cinefamily said sometimes the only materials available for screening are the VHS copy.

I did buy a new VHS quite recently as what happens when a technology is near the end of its life the price goes up again. I still have a few films on VHS that will never be released in another media or they have sentimental value like the copy of Heroic Trio signed by Maggie Cheung.

Quite an enjoyable documentary and well worth watching for fans of 1980s genre cinema and the weird.

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