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Time Machine: Interstitial Moment, VHS vs. Communism
The return of Daylight Saving Time means that we have all just experienced a temporal displacement. Let’s set Time Machine back by a small increment and briefly revisit the VHS format. I want to point out a remarkable Op Doc that was published in February by The New York Times, "VHS vs. Communism." The video, made by Ilinca Călugăreanu, sheds a different light on content. As we collect materials and categorize them we are often unaware of the message they hold for others. Sometimes the small things that comprise a film collectively give a sense of what it is to be free. It is easy to underestimate the value of small things, and to overlook them as banal, but in the Orwellian world of the former Soviet Union the banal was often unobtainable.
This sweet doc illuminates the small things we often cannot see and also how the repressed human character exalts in conspiracy and humor. We see our films and we see a reflection of ourselves. We view this mirror innocently or gratuitously unaware that to some it is a window.