Quentin Tarantino & Roger Avary Rewatch Cult-Classic Movies on Their New Video Archives Podcast

Quentin Taran­ti­no has count­less fans all around the world, increas­ing­ly many of whom are too young to ever have rent­ed a tape from a video store. But when those twen­ty-some­thing cinephiles learn his ori­gin sto­ry as a film­mak­er, they must sus­pect they missed out on a valu­able expe­ri­ence in the VHS era, what­ev­er its incon­ve­niences. When Taran­ti­no broke out in the nine­teen-nineties with Reser­voir Dogs and Pulp Fic­tion, he was pub­licly cel­e­brat­ed not just for those films, but for his hav­ing made them as a video-store-clerk-turned-auteur.

Indeed, it real­ly does seem true that Taran­ti­no’s cin­e­mat­ic sen­si­bil­i­ty owes some­thing to the years he’d spent exer­cis­ing his movie exper­tise behind the counter at Video Archives in Man­hat­tan Beach. When the store closed in 1995, the fresh­ly ascen­dant Taran­ti­no seized the oppor­tu­ni­ty to buy up its thou­sands of VHS tapes. Roger Avary, his fel­low Archives alum­nus and col­lab­o­ra­tor on the screen­play for Pulp Fic­tion, bought the Laserdiscs. Though much of Avary’s col­lec­tion has suc­cumbed to the “disc rot” that noto­ri­ous­ly afflicts that for­mat, Taran­ti­no’s col­lec­tion has held up for more than a quar­ter-cen­tu­ry.

Now Taran­ti­no’s pri­vate tape stash pro­vides the mate­r­i­al for his and Avary’s lat­est col­lab­o­ra­tion: The Video Archives Pod­cast, to which you can lis­ten on plat­forms like Apple Pod­casts and Stitch­er. On it, the two of them aim to re-cre­ate the vehe­ment­ly cinephile envi­ron­ment of Video Archives by dis­cussing the movies from its stock — after watch­ing them on the actu­al VHS tapes the store once rent­ed out. As Taran­ti­no explains it, each episode of The Video Archives Pod­cast will fea­ture three titles. But the con­ver­sa­tions will go well beyond the films them­selves, involv­ing details of the par­tic­u­lar home-video releas­es popped into the VCR as well as the his­to­ry of the dis­trib­u­tors that put them out.

Nat­u­ral­ly, the hosts also get into their per­son­al his­to­ries with these movies — which in some cas­es go back near­ly 50 years — as film-lovers and film­mak­ers. Owing to the need to intro­duce the show itself, in the first episode they dis­cuss only two pic­tures, both from the nine­teen-sev­en­ties: John Car­pen­ter and Dan O’Ban­non’s anti-estab­lish­ment sci-fi com­e­dy Dark Star, fol­lowed by Ulli Lom­mel’s rock-Mafia dra­ma Cocaine Cow­boys, which fea­tures a cameo from Andy Warhol. Rep­re­sent­ing a younger gen­er­a­tion is Avary’s daugh­ter Gala, pro­duc­er of the pod­cast, who in a mid-show seg­ment (and her own after-show) offers anoth­er per­spec­tive on the movies of the week. She clear­ly knows how to appre­ci­ate a cult clas­sic, even if she’s nev­er paid a late fee in her life.

via IndieWire

Relat­ed con­tent:

Quentin Taran­ti­no Gives a Tour of Video Archives, the Store Where He Worked Before Becom­ing a Film­mak­er

Quentin Taran­ti­no Reviews Movies: From Dunkirk and King of New York, to Soul Broth­ers of Kung Fu & More

Quentin Taran­ti­no Explains How to Write & Direct Movies

An Analy­sis of Quentin Tarantino’s Films Nar­rat­ed (Most­ly) by Quentin Taran­ti­no

The Last Video Store: A Short Doc­u­men­tary on How the World’s Old­est Video Store Still Sur­vives Today

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

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  • Steve Smith says:

    My favorite part of this arti­cle is that movie exper­tise pro­vides a role in hav­ing great reviews. Yes­ter­day, my broth­er told me he was look­ing for a cin­e­ma com­men­tary pod­cast that tack­les past and present movies. He asked if I had any sug­ges­tions. Thanks to this instruc­tive arti­cle, I’ll tell him he can try the movie com­men­tary pod­cast that I know as they have good reviews.

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