CANCELLEDTuesday 22 December
Jack Henry Robbins, USA 2019
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Flashback. The year is 1996. You’re zapping away, watching TV, and are cloaked in a nostalgic blanket of TelSell ads, meditative landscape painting and soporific soft porn. In a talk show, a scientist is warning prophetically of the dangers of video: ‘One day we will all be carrying mini VHS recorders! The world will exist to be recorded!’ Somewhere amidst these fragments we stumble upon 12-year-old Ralph, who is out shooting footage with his new camcorder, making home videos. (Managing to erase his parents’ wedding videos in the process, oops.)
VHYES is a bizarre retro comedy shot entirely on VHS. But if you think VHYES was made just for laughs, you would be wrong. On the contrary: it is a marvellously well-wrought pastiche combining cultural criticism with nostalgia. Thanks to its sketch structure, it sucks you straight into an astounding and fragmented world. And then there’s the cast. In addition to the parents of the director, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, we also are treated to Reno 911! representation, as in Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kenney-Silver!