Videoland : movie culture at the American video store /

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Main Author: Herbert, Daniel, 1974-
Format: Book Electronic
Published:Berkeley, California : University of California Press, 2014.
Online Access:  Electronic book; Access restricted to NIU Libraries
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Review by Choice Review

In this utterly compelling book, Herbert (screen arts and cultures, Univ. of Michigan) outlines the rise and fall of the numerous video stores that encouraged videocassette and DVD culture, making films accessible to millions of viewers who otherwise would never have had the chance to see them. More than that, Herbert mourns the passing of the video store as a shared community space where renters could shop at their leisure, make decisions without consulting a computer database, and interact with one another by offering personal suggestions, thus creating a cinephilic culture. All of that is gone now, replaced by the relentless assault of Amazon and Netflix, whose computer-created "suggestions" actually narrow the public's access to films. And print movie guides, such as Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide (first published in 1969), have been replaced by Col Needham's online Internet Movie Database (launched in 1990). Herbert's impassioned, sad, angry, superbly researched, deeply thoughtful book demonstrates conclusively that when viewers lost video rental stores, they lost a large measure of freedom of choice in film viewing. Written in a clear, clean, accessible style, this is a masterful study of a cultural moment whose time has come and gone. Summing Up: Essential. All readers. --Wheeler Winston Dixon, University of Nebraska--Lincoln

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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