Thanks to the nice people at Vox.com (and especially the great Todd VanDerWerff who hooked me up) for giving me the last chance I imagine I’ll get to whine about how the video rental industry (and Videoport, the store where I worked for an unconscionably long time) is dying. I got a lot of very kind words (and about 200 Twitter followers) from this, so thanks, Vox. And thanks, Videoport.
From the thing:
Over the years, we’d come to know our customers’ tastes, their pet peeves, and their soft spots. Our experience and movie expertise helped us make informed, intuitive leaps to find and fulfill entertainment needs they didn’t even always know they had. I’ve had parents hug me for introducing their kids to Miyazaki and The Iron Giant. Nice old ladies have baked me cookies for starting them off on The Wire. People knew they could come in with the vaguest description — “This guy has an eye patch, and I think there’s a mariachi band” — and we’d figure out they were looking for Cutter’s Way. Other times, they’d take a recommendation for Walking and Talking and come back saying, “Just give me everything Nicole Holofcener’s ever done.” If someone asked me for a great comedy, my first question was invariably, “What’s one comedy you’ve seen that you think is hilarious?” I’ve spent 20 minutes refining exactly how scary was too scary when picking out a horror movie. It’s a skill set you develop, a sensitivity to just the right vibrations of interest and aversion.
If you still have a video store near you, rent a damned movie. They’ll appreciate it, and you, more than you can know.