Wednesday, November 15, 2006

DVD killed the Video Star, and other stories

Hollywood has called a time of death for VHS. The home-entertainment format has perished after 30 years, claimed by a fatal case of DVD infestation. The task of pulling the plug on VHS in the US fell to retailers, who decided they no longer want to give it shelf space in their stores.

The format hit its peak with Disney's film The Lion King, selling 30 million cassettes. But the writing has been on the wall since DVD overtook VHS in popularity three years ago. Now, like characters in Logan's Run, VHS has turned thirty and gone to Carousel. Press the eject and give me the tape, Gracie.


In other news, work has begun on staging all 365 plays American scribe Suzan-Lori Parks wrote over 365 days between November 2002 and November 2003. The plays vary in length from a paragraph to several, and were written in disparate places over the course of a year. Apparently the last one is a dialogue free work of meta-theatre in which lights shine on a manuscript containing all 365 days.

Of course, deciding to write a new play every day for a year doesn't mean you can always guarantee inspiration will arrive in time. Titles for some of the plays include Going Through the Motions, Empty and - my personal favourite - This Is Shit. Interviewed by the Guardian newspaper, Parks says some days were tougher than others. 'I'd question my motives, but I'd still do it anyway. Writing is a spiritual practice. It's only by sticking with it that you get to the good stuff.'

Amen to that.


MGM and New Line are talking about making not one, but two films out of JRR tolkein's book The Hobbit. MGM holds the distribution rights while New Line has the rights to produce film adaptations. According to Variety, MGM wants Peter Jackson to make a movie of The Hobbit, with a second film drawing on footntoes and source material linking The Hobbit to Lord of the Rings.

But Jackson is busy suing New Line at present, so don't hold your breath for either film to go into production any time soon. MGM is also prepping a new Thomas Crown feature starring Pierce Brosnan as the suave thief, while Daniel Craig is lined up for the 22nd Bond movie. Best of all, Casino Royale opens on Friday - back to basics and no cringe-inducing invisible cars. Bring it on!

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