CanFilm Five: Rewind This! Director Josh Johnson

“CanFilm Five” is the Canuxploitation blog’s ongoing guest column, which brings together prominent filmmakers, bloggers, critics and programmers to discuss their most loved offbeat Canadian films.

Along with film partners Christopher Palmer and Carolee Mitchell, Josh Johnson is deep in production on  REWIND THIS!, a documentary that will trace the cultural and historical impact of the VHS tape by examining its impact on art and technology and its societal perceptions. The first film of its kind to tackle the subject, REWIND THIS! will document the rise and fall of video cassestte culture via interviews with filmmakers, studios, archivists, rental chain operators, personal collectors and media experts, who each explain the importance of this film format. An expert and devout disciple of the home video revolution, Josh took a break from a packed schedule of interviews to present his five favourite VHS covers from classic Canuxploitation releases.

Josh: In recent years, the VHS boxes of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s have become a fondly remembered and obsessively documented form of pop art. Nostalgia for the video era has seen a resurgence of the VHS cover design aesthetic in a slew of modern design arenas. Because of the uniquely democratic layout of the average Mom ‘n’ Pop video store big studio product and micro-budget SOV scorchers were placed side-by-side with only the video box art to distinguish them from each other. Since most Canadian films lacked the stars or marketing funds of the Hollywood system they were forced to sell a concept rather than a personality.
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