You know very well that at Xataka we are not afraid of expired formats. Here and there we continue to spend cassettes, VHS (and paper) which is more and more of an issue generation) partly to collect, partly because they are formats that speak to us in our own language, which doesn’t need to be advanced, and we’ve always claimed these formats as repositories of the past, To preserve films, music, images and sound that never keep up within new technologies, Because yes, there are movies that are only on VHS, music that is only on vinyl, books that are only on paper.
From that point of view, there isn’t much buzz to justify preserving either format. For example: many films were released in Asia in the eighties and nineties and are today only available on Video-CD, a much cheaper format that was widespread on the continent for decades. If you’re a film archaeologist from that part of the world and you’re interested in its past, there are films that can only be found that way (no rip-offs or anything like that on the internet: you have to dust off the player). will be).
But then what about Blu-ray? This format, invented in 2002 as a successor to DVD, with more capacity, which makes it particularly suitable for recording movies with better image and sound quality, has been associated with that tradition of storing unknown movies. Does not come in the form of . Its appearance when the Internet was already running, its technical characteristics and its high price He kept it out of disparities. Today, because of its place on the timeline of physical formats, the DVD is perfect for unlikely collectors, for archaeologists of weird cinema.
Today, Blu-ray as a format is in decline. Although its use is widespread due to the presence of player units in video game consoles and the low cost of desktop players, streaming He has won the game. Most viewers don’t need to watch movies in 4K, and even if they do, it’s a possibility many platforms make that available to their customers. Blu-ray is not literally meant as a medium.
…but I keep buying
My consumption of Blu-ray, like DVD, has decreased radically in recent years. It is not only an essential question of space, but to watch movies as a testimonial, I have streaming. no longer exists That desire of a few years ago to buy them as soon as they came out to put them in a position to lock them down in the future: Now it’s easier than ever to watch them across platforms and, in worst-case scenarios, access an infinite second-hand market to access those physical versions without the rush afterwards. and the movies that never get made streaming And eighty percent of my movie diet isn’t even on Blu-ray in general, a market carved out of successful novelty.
However, I still buy Blu-rays. I not only have a desktop player, but also a multi-zone one, which allows me to watch imported discs that have country restrictions. They are few and far between, as unreleased discs are becoming more abundant, as happened with DVDs, but there are still a few. A fresh case? ‘Hellboy’ by Neil Marshall in US version and uncensored: this is the only way to watch it through legal means. But if the Blu-ray catalog isn’t brimming with offerings that are only in that format, as is the case with DVD or vinyl (or paper), why should I continue to buy Blu-ray movies?
Well, in my case, for everything. The parallel market that has opened up with the recovery of forgotten classics that have been remastered and relaunched, often with special editions, booklets with studies on the film, and assorted gadgets. I confess I’m not one to buy Funkos or aluminum can versions, but I have been put in front of a box set from a very obsolete director of British exploitation films from the seventies with such an image and sound quality Which he himself did not enjoy in his time. And there I will be like a nail.
Labels like Arrow, 101Films, Indicator, Eureka, AGFA, Classic Criterion or Reel One in Spain are dedicated to unearthing dark classics and giving them a new life with never-before-seen qualities, and that interests me more than anything. looks like. ‘Endgame’ is so high in quality that my television can’t even imagine it. The exclusive and themed artwork on Arrow’s box set, the masterful reproduction of the original Indic posters, the way AGFA celebrates dangerous and risky cinema in its documentaries, the tightrope walker’s lack of distinction between the autistic cuisine and the illusion of exploitation…
It’s all worth paying to have it in special editions. Often it’s not the unreleased or unreleased movies, but the movies that interest me In a format that allows me to forget about the craze and distribution framework of streaming, Looking at the features of the movies I watch (before ‘Drunken Monkey in the Eye of the Tiger’ compared to ‘Top Gun: Maverick’), I’m on Blu-ray not because of supreme technical quality, but because , otherwise, I a cinema that is forbidden in the best possible forms streaming , And for this I am ready to pay money.