Monday, May 26, 2008

Le Video Marches On

Chris Cagle has started a site called the Film of the Month. The idea is to get bloggers and cinephiles from around the globe together to talk about one movie available on Region 1 DVD each month. Girish Shambu selected the first object of discussion: Kazuo Hara's 1987 documentary the Emperor's Naked Army Marches On. I just posted a brief reflection this evening, and the discussion in this film remains open for the rest of the month.

Since I missed it when it played the Pacific Film Archive over a year ago, I borrowed the Emperor's Naked Army Marches On from what is still the very best Frisco video rental store: Le Video. Places like Leather Tongue and Naked Eye have sadly folded up their tents but Le Video keeps plugging at 9th Avenue between Irving and Lincoln. In addition to their ever-growing selection of DVDs, they still have a huge VHS collection that puts Netflix to shame in certain categories (silent films, avant-garde films, and French films, for example). And they've just installed a new catalog search terminal that customers can use to find their videos without having to bother the staff during those busy rental times.

With so many convenient but somehow impersonal ways to get an obscure home video fix, it's comforting to know that there are still places to browse walls after walls of niche titles. Also recommended: Lost Weekend Video on Valencia Street (which actually carries a few titles that have somehow escaped Le Video's grasp, and sells T-Shirts on top of it.)


  1. So film is masculine and video feminine? Someone should let the store know, I suppose...

  2. Oui.
    The only way it could work is if we consider "Video" a short for "video store", but it's a solecism. La vidéocassette. La vidéothèque. Le magazin video.
    Not that it matters much...

  3. Certainly not in the land of freedom fries.