Friday, June 5, 2015

Jason goes to Docfest--Opening Night

Two weeks of crazy real-life action kicked off last night, starting with Colin Hanks' documentary on Tower Records, ALL THINGS MUST PASS.

Confession, I was never that emotionally invested in Tower Records (certainly less so then most of the passionate crowd that was there.) I always knew it existed, and was a good place to buy music (or more often in my case, DVDs) but I never placed it far above any other outlet. But the movie presents an interesting story of a kid named Russ Solomon who sold records out of his pop's drugstore and built it into a media empire that spanned the globe and topped $1 billion in 1999. Then it went bankrupt in 2006 (which was barely a blip on my personal radar, but apparently was huge for everyone else.) It makes a case that there was more at work here than just the Internet (particularly Napster)--over-expansion into territories they didn't understand, price competition from other big retailers like Best Buy, a foolish strategy of no longer offering singles instead of full albums (leaving a giant opening for iTunes to sell individual songs at $0.99 a pop,) etc. But more than that it was an engaging personal story of rebels and music lovers who created their paradise, were on top of the world for a few decades, and then saw it go bust. At least...mostly. It still exists in Japan!

Running Time: 99 minutes
My Total Minutes: 398,726

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