Monday, August 30, 2004

"There is a big, knappy hair in my sundae."

I present the obligatory, "here's what I've been doing lately" part of the program.  Just so no one, like my Mom, concludes that all I ever do is watch/transfer/talk about movies/music, I DO indeed have other things going on, but I'm still going to focus mainly on the media part of my time.  Oh joy. 

The other night, I watched The Awful Truth (1937).  As is pointed out in the review, this film is a stereotypical screwball comedy and may even be (the genre, that is) the ancestor of the modern sitcom.  This one is quite good if not one of the best I've seen.  Still, it's hard to go far wrong with Cary Grant and this one is really fun.  The DVD is passable, image-wise and the DVD is bare-bones.  Very well worth a rent and perhaps a buy if you like it well enough.

Lately I've been transferring a number of analog videos to DVD using my trusty Canopus ADVC100 converter box to get the VHS/Beta/LD material onto my Mac where I can edit and author DVDs.  I have a huge pile of stuff, which seems to grow larger every week,  to transfer including a big bag 'o Beta tapes from my Dad containing old films that have never been released on VHS, let alone DVD before.  It's time (and hard disk!) consuming, but worthwhile as these obsolete machines won't run forever and let's face it; once I went over to DVD, I almost never feel like firing up ye olde Betamax to watch something I recorded off-air 10 years back.  Of course the thing I really need to get to soon is the unadulterated Star Wars films I have on LD.  Another cool thing about this is that I am able to transfer old Knowles family home movies onto a more convenient and (hopefully) more durable format; there is some question about how long burned optical media will actually last, but it's pretty easy to burn new copies once it's been digitized, so I'm probably still ahead of the game.

What have I worked on recently?  Here's a bit:  Greed (1925), the four hour reconstructed version that was done a few years back.  This may well come out on DVD, but there's nothing soon and TCM ran it so I had a clean shot.  Dr. Strangelove:  I had a VHS of the Criterion LD which has a lot of supplements.  Why would I bother doing this with, as of November of this year, no less than three versions of this film on DVD?  Because with few exceptions, Criterion never licences its original content so I'm trying to keep some of it.  This particular one includes the infamous, Duck and Cover film plus My Teenage Fallout Queen, an example of the Scopitone film (a 1960s "video jukebox" that had self-contained 16mm projectors and screens). 

I also transferred the VHS tape I recieved from the McDonald's Band (high school).  This tape had all of the TV appearances the band made that season; Today Show, Rose Bowl Parade, etc.

Next, David Halberstam's The Fifties, which may never make it to DVD...but as these things go, it'll be announced the day after I finish transferring all 6 hours of it!  Maybe I'll do some Star Wars soon as well.

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