Technology has moved so rapidly over the past decade… We take much for granted that we once waited for patiently (or not so patiently). Case in point: movies. I just noticed an announcement for the Blu-ray release of Midnight Special next month. I saw the film in the theater just last month. Not so long ago, we used to have to wait at least six months for a film to make the journey from the theater to home video. Of course there are now services that will allow you to watch current theatrical releases at home for a fairly hefty fee.
Back in the pre-dawn days when I was young (before VCRs), if you wanted to see a movie, you had to go to a theater or try to find films on cable or late night TV. Fewer films were available, but there was something special about seeing a film that you’d been anticipating for a long time.
I think we can still have that feeling of delayed gratification, of anticipation fulfilled. I also recently saw that one of my favorite lesser-known movies from the 70s is getting an August Blu-ray release, Laslo Benedek’s The Night Visitor (1971) starring Max von Sydow. (I’m sure this is not the final art, since the cover is clearly from an older DVD.) I first saw this film on TBS over 30 years ago and have been waiting ever since to see it again. (30 years – That’s some delayed gratification.)
Our access to films is – for the most part – so immediate these days, especially if you’re willing to shell out a few bucks in order to make that access happen. I certainly like the fact that many of the films I want to see are just a click or two away (whether streaming or purchasing). But there’s something about those days, weeks, months and years of anticipation that I miss…