VHS and Vinyl: Why People Love Retro Media

More

From the graininess of Super 8 film to the glitchiness of magnetic tape, the flaws of old media formats have become their greatest strength. In the latest episode of the PBS Off Book series, creators and collectors wax poetic about their favorite analog items.

Photographer Eilon Paz, whose Dust & Grooves project documents all things vinyl, explains that records shape not just how music sounds but how you experience it: "You have to take it out, you have to put it on the turntable, you have to put the needle on -- these are all actions that demand attention from you." He theorizes that while CDs threatened to make records obsolete, the shift to MP3s has spawned nostalgia for physical objects. This short documentary, produced by Kornhaber Brown for PBS, includes interviews with film professor Al Nigrin, Ryan Martin of Dias Records, Rebecca Cleman of Electronic Arts Intermix, and David Bias of the Impossible Project, which rescued the last Polaroid production facility in order to keep producing instant film. 

While the digital-physical dichotomy feels a bit forced in some of the interviews -- digital offers its own imperfections and creative opportunities -- the documentary makes a compelling case that old media will never die.

For more episodes from PBS Off Book, visit http://pbsarts.tumblr.com/.

Jump to comments

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In