VIDEO VAULT BY THE VIDEO JUNKIE
The function of Video Vault is to excavate a murky treasure trove of goodies from THE PAST (cue 50s horror music). My nostalgic objective (if you choose to accept it) is to relate my findings to you fine upstanding people from Internet Land. The premise: If you are over a certain age and of a certain disposition, you will recall a time when taping pointless stuff from the television was a given daily activity (how different our lives are now). Imagine a world in which you could see all the crazy shit you recorded when you were younger...
There was also a legitimate reason for this recording frenzy. It was a cheap and simple way to add an obscure film to your collection and magnify your home viewing pleasure beyond your parent’s copy of The Full Monty (1997) and Jerry Maguire (1996). Well, low and behold, The Video Junkie has some important information to impart - I have identified something in my grime-infested attic hidden behind the cobwebs and decomposed corpses: a strongbox filled with gleaming moving picture tapes. The quandary: I never labelled the bastards so I have no idea what the fuck is on them. My intention is to polish off the grit, slide them into the moving picture player and narrate my findings. I might recover a jewel here and there, an arousing advertisement, a freakish film, an ancient news report, an immoral midnight movie or even an impaired episode of an old television show. Anything is possible. Like a hyperactive five-year-old jumping into a discarded sand pit, shovel in hand, I have no idea what I am going to find when I dig beneath the discarded beer cans, dog shit and soggy wee but one thing is guaranteed, we are gonna have a tantalising time finding out. Let us hope that these grotesque tapes will not mess around with the space/time continuum and annihilate the cosmos bro. Welcome to my troubled and irrational VHS recording past! Let the viewing commence! Long live...
THE VIDEO JUNKIE!
Interesting artefact found –an introduction from Mark Kermode for Roger Corman’s The Trip (1967) from a FilmFour ‘Extreme Cinema’ season (this is not available on YouTube). Also included is the film itself – before FilmFour broke up narrative continuity with advertisements (I forgot about that). I remember enjoying The Trip; it was a funky drug-induced 1960s LSD rollercoaster ride with Peter Fonda, Susan Strasberg, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper and Dick Miller. Jack Nicholson also wrote the screenplay. After this wonderment, I found an 18-minute short film called Proctor (2002) about this drab looking bloke going about his daily routine only to find his car on fire in a multi-storey car park with a dead man inside. When he gets home, he finds a video recording and plays it to find the man dousing himself in petrol and getting into the car. After going on the internet, I discovered it was directed by this Norwegian filmmaker called Joachim Trier (a distant relative of Lars Von Trier) who has only made two feature-length films since, Reprise (2006) and Oslo, August 31st (2011). After this, the tape is completely blank.
Mindless Observation: Why do I have to tap my left thigh five times when I check to see if my video player is unplugged before I go bed?
The Video Junkie’s Arbitrary yet Purposeful ‘YouTube’ Video Highlight of the Week thingy: Protect your children from those evil DVDs...
We start with an episode from the TV series Heroes recorded from BBC2. This must be one of the very first episodes (as I did not watch many episodes of this show) or my ex-girlfriend could have recorded it (because she loved it and we used to fight over the remote control). The Personal Planner Reminder thingy comes up at 11:29pm on Thu 01 Nov so I am guessing the year could be 2006 (only speculation at this point). Next, we are midway through The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) from BBC 1 at 00:52am on 22 Dec with a reminder set for Freddie Francis’ Tales from the Crypt (1972) which starts at 01:20am. The only problem with the recording of this excellent movie is the Personal Planner Reminder thingy is stuck at the bottom of the screen for the first 10-minutes. I love the opening credit sequence with Johann Sebastian Bach’s ‘Toccata and Fugue in D minor’ - great way to set the mood for a horror movie with Ralph Richardson as The Crypt Keeper. Pretty cool the BBC showed this a few days before the big beast arrived (considering what happens in the movie). The print is amazingly clear. This is the first time I have played the tape in almost eight years (if it is from 2006). How different my life was. All the positive life-affirming things I have learnt since then. After the movie, we get some happy fuzzy weather report (beware of the mist and fog folks) and an episode from Top Gear with a bloke in the bottom right-hand corner moving his arms around as if he is using them to talk (he is a bit strange). I really do hate the banter between Clarkson, Hammond and May. They are a bunch of innocuous idiots who talk a load of phoney alpha male bullshit. It is a shame the episode did not record in its entirety because I could have gotten the MMX Roman numeral thingy at the end.
Side Note: I rewound the video and found out Eric Roberts and Christopher Eccleston were in the episode of Heroes and did that ‘credited with’ thing on IMDB and the only episode that came up was ‘Chapter Seventeen: Company Man’ which was first broadcast in 2007.
Mindless Observation: I forgot how cool it was to stop a video and fast-forward it (Rummmmmmm). This video player has a 35x Jet Search thingy and its cool trying to aim for a certain number like 0:33:00 dead on (I managed 0:34:23).
The Video Junkie’s Arbitrary yet Purposeful ‘YouTube’ Video Highlight of the Week thingy: This looks cool. Next time I get my satutory sick pay I am buying this baby on DVD...
A blast from the past – the video starts with an interesting and insightful MMVI documentary from BBC 2 about the disaster novel. I could not find any information about it online (even though I tried). They talk about books by people like M P Shiel who apparently wrote a book called ‘The Purple Cloud’. They also mention somebody called John Wyndham who wrote a book called 'The Day of the Triffids' and 'Deluge'. I like the idea of the lone survivor plot. They interview a bloke I know who wrote a book I once read (I forgot the name of it now though). I think that director dude Steven Spielberg turned one of his books into a film. It had that bloke in it that was Batman but he was much younger than he is now. It also interviews somebody who I am friends with on Facebook. He talks about movies. I like him a lot but he can be a bit funny on Facebook if you say things he does not like. He deletes people like that so I do not say anything to him because he might delete me. I like the lone survivor plot. I will have to read more books. They are cool.
After this, we switch to ITV1 for an episode of Coronation Street (courtesy of my ex-girlfriend). So glad she did not record over the highbrow documentary about the lone survivor plot (she was actually quite thoughtful now I think about it). After watching Coronation Street cleavage for a few seconds (it was gratuitous, honest) the fast-forward button magically span 30-minutes into the future. After a bit of fuzz it found a BBC news piece about Barack Obama, (before he became the first black president of the world) and that white woman with blonde hair who was married to that other white president bloke who was done for having his thingy sucked under that desk by that white woman with black hair. The news continues for the rest of the tape for some strange unknown reason (the recording is from the middle of the night).
Mindless Observation: Why is it so easy to discard all the horrors of the world when it is from the past?
The Video Junkie’s Arbitrary yet Purposeful ‘YouTube’ Video Highlight of the Week thingy: This man reminds me of an autistic friend I used to have who used to count from one to ten really fast before he tried to bite off his fingers. I don't like how my brain feels when he says all those numbers...
After a fuzzy start, the tape settles on BBC 4. Ah! That's the highbrow channel of the year thing with clever people talking about clever things. I know what this is now. It is a documentary about that anthropologist, ethnologist and zoologist bloke Desmond Morris (who is still alive and kicking at the age of 84 according to Wikipedia). I had the insight to record that information button thingy; it says ‘Desmond Morris looks at the non-verbal human language expressed in gesture, posture and movement’. The Personal Planner Reminder thingy comes up at 11:02pm on Sun 21 Jan (this must be 2008 surely). Morris is talking about body contact, embraces, and sexy stuff like touching somebody’s hair and holding hands. It is interesting when you look back into the past and see the stuff you recorded. This documentary is one of those rare gems that I will watch again (along with that disaster novel documentary about the lone survivor plot from Tape #3). Cannot be bothered to watch it now though (I have things to do).
My thoughtful ex-girlfriend once again records an episode of Coronation Street at 7:30pm on Wed 14 Feb (I must email her soon and thank her for not recording over my programmes; it was very kind of her to be so thoughtful, maybe I should post her a thank you card). Next up is a documentary from channel 5 called ‘So You Think You Can Nurse?’ This is from my ex-girlfriend too because she wanted to be a nurse and stuff (I do not think she ever became one though even though she wanted too). It has that woman in it, what is her name, ah I know! It is Gail Porter. This was only on for a few minutes because what came up next was a documentary called ‘Watching Desmond Morris’ about that guy Desmond Morris narrated by Richard Attenborough (the guy who does those funny HD nature programmes about fish and lions, his brother David was in that Miracle on 34th Street film about Santa Claus).
Side Note: I just had one of those light bulb moments when you think about something. If I know the day and month it was recorded could I not find the year on Google if I type in something like, ‘what year was that date’? After doing this I found this website called ‘10,000 Year Calendar!’ and had a look. The 21st Jan and the 14th Feb were in 2007. You find out something facintating new every day if you open yourself up to the world!
Now on BBC 4 the first of a three part series about early Christian art through the catacombs of ancient Rome and beyond in the art of eternity, painting paradise (that is what the clever voice over man said). That white art bloke who presents those insightful vignettes for The Culture Show narrates it (not the movie bloke mentioned in Tape #1). It is about Jesus and stuff and about those monks who make those strange mouth noises at the back of their throats. Unfortunately, the tape ended after this.
Mindless Observation: why is Gail Platt from Coronation Street so annoying? I don't 'hate' her but she is a pain in the arse.
Mindless Observation 2: I think I like Jesus artwork. Maybe I could impress my ex-girlfriend by talking about the perspective of naturalism and renaissance art. Perhaps I could talk about the lone survivor plot too. That would be cool.
The Video Junkie’s Arbitrary yet Purposeful ‘YouTube’ Video Highlight of the Week thingy: YouTube Porn!
Hello Kiddies! The Video Junkie is BACK. What do I have for you today? Well, let us see…
We start on familiar ground courtesy of my thoughtful ex-girlfriend (can you guess what it is?). The Personal Planner Reminder thingy comes up at 7:34pm on Tues 07 Aug. With my ’10,000 Year Calendar’ it tells me that this date happened in the year 2007. As usual, an episode of Coronation Street subjects us to the realities of normalised working-class life. Norris (the old bald bloke who works with Rita in the corner shop) is talking about his ex-wife with an old woman (who seems horny from the look she gives him). Sometimes I do not like soaps. It is all about human emotions and stuff, people dealing with down-to-earth and relevant issues like arguments and love and people blowing stuff up. I hear enough moaning in my day-to-day life thank you very much. I switch on the idiot box to get away from that kind of stuff. I want somebody to transport me to new places and show me new things, like the time I went to KFC in Cwmbran and overheard these Welsh yobbos arguing about girls and stuff. They used many words I did not understand like ‘no worries’ and ‘cunt’ and something about the pitfalls of health and social care in England (they were from Wales don't you know) but I turned off at that point because my ex-girlfriend wanted me to order a Zinger Burger because she was hungry and had no money. They did not have Krushems back then; it would be been nice to buy her one if we ever got back together again. I'm sure she would like the Strawberry Shortcake one.
Anyway, not to detract from my purposeful viewing experience we move onto some boring advertisements about dishwashers, safari parks and something about tampons (making you feel healthy and not sluggish and angry). Next, we are in Sun Hill for an episode of The Bill (that show they cancelled back in 2010 because not many people watched it). I cannot be bothered to talk about it (it makes me want to smack my head against a brick wall).
Now we move onto the affects of parallel world writing (this is a great parallel to my ex-girlfriend and me, we had different viewing habits and stuff). This is another show from that highbrow channel of the year thing (which I mentioned on Tape #4). They seem to be talking about living on different worlds and people having to wear spacesuits and stuff. They are showing stuff about Nazi robots now and people running away from these monsters. I know what they are talking about now. They are showing clips from Doctor Who (the new one but before that Matt Smith bloke, it had Christopher Eccleston in it, who I mentioned on Tape #2). Now they are talking about mirror worlds and doppelgangers (‘just because your double looks like you doesn’t mean it is you’). I think about this quite a bit. Someone said to me once that we all have a double in the world somewhere but I am finding it hard to find him or her. Has anybody met his or her double? What was it like? Did they talk like you? What was their favourite food? Did you like them? Did they like you?
Now they are showing scenes from that show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I preferred the movie with Luke Perry, Rutger Hauer, Donald Sutherland and Kristy Swanson, that was silly and lots of fun). They are interviewing a man who looks like a woman (or a woman that looks like a man) now. I like this part; they are talking about that book ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ by H.G. Wells and the original Star Trek show (with Spock and Sulu). I like this documentary; they are talking about multiple realities now. I find it extremely interesting (even though it does make my head hurt).
Next is cool. They are showing scenes from that British film This is England (2006) directed by that down-to-earth bloke from Uttoxeter in Staffordshire (where Dave, Tom, Stuart and Curtis are from). I think this is a documentary talking about kitchen-sink filmmaking. They are showing clips from films and interviewing people like Mike Leigh who directed a great film with Gary Oldman and Tim Roth called Meantime (1983). Mike Leigh looks like somebody’s grumpy granddad. Now they are interviewing that funny bloke Johnny Vegas and showing scenes from Trainspotting (1996) by that bloke who did that opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics thingy. The tape ends before the documentary finishes (story of my life). I like listening to interviews with clever people. They are interesting. I wish people I knew talked about interesting things all they seem to talk about is stuff like how they did not get much sleep last night.
Mindless Observation: why have we stopped tapping stuff from the telly? You cannot record stuff on that BBC iPlayer thingy (it is so crap). I guess it does not matter though because in a parallel universe, we all still use video tapes and video players and I am still with my ex-girlfriend (fighting over the remote control, which makes me feel happy and sad at the same time because she never used to let me watch what I wanted).The Video Junkie’s Arbitrary yet Purposeful ‘YouTube’ Video Highlight of the Week thingy: