Monday, November 06, 2006

Would You Like to Buy an O?

Two vital DVD releases of late...

Available at finer bookstores everywhere is the latest issue of a quarterly DVD compendium called Wholphin, Dave Eggers' new baby, with Oscar-nominated shorts and such. I'll get around to it. The reason I had to grab it on sight is because it comes bundled with a very compelling bonus disc - the first part of Adam Curtis' three hour BBC series The Power of Nightmares, a dense, brilliant documentary chronicling the rise of both American neo-conservatism and radical Islamic fundamentalism in the face of the end of the Cold War, and how they both work to manufacture the threat of terror in their respective kingdoms to maintain power. It aired on CBC Newsworld last year but it would never in a million years be shown on American public television; the critique is just too intense. It's also unlikely to be officially released on DVD, not so much for its content as for the rights clearance and licensing headaches; the visuals are densely assembled from sources as far-flung as newsreels, international propaganda and period tv commercials, and the soundtrack is all source material including John Barry, Ennio Morricone and even some John Carpenter synthery! This stealth release in Wholphin (hopefully to be done in all three installments) may likely be the way to go to have a copy of your own.

Also quietly released recently - the answer to my prayers. Sesame Street Old School, Volume 1, 1969-1974 is seven hours of retro Sesame Street - 5 complete episodes as they aired more than thirty years ago (starting back to when PBS was NET) and dozens of extra skits and cartoons. Great idea. Now when is someone going to put a box set of retro television commercials out?


Poptique said...

That Old School set is a stroke of genius currently situated somewhere near the top of my Christmas list.

is a pretty decent collection of vintage commercials stretched over two discs. The quality is pretty bad throughout, but it's fully packed. Worth picking up for $6.00 (or less).

Something Weird Video also stock some DVDR collections, but again, they're not the discs to purchase if you're looking for anything other than red, faded prints...

Jesse said...

I was tempted by that commercial compilation, in terms of sheer quantity, not quality. I'll be looking out for a cheap copy.

I think a box set of retro commercials (perhaps divided by decade) would be cool, in terms of a quotidian commercial compilation, but what of all the Golden Lions given out at Cannes over the years? Or collections released by legendary ad agencies of their catalogue? Again, it's most likely a question of clearance rights nightmares.