Watching Guillermo del Toro talk about his early addiction to cinema on the extra's on the Cronos DVD, which I've reviewed over on my UK DVD Review Blog today, brought back some memories of my late teens.
It seems that, like me, del Toro fuelled his addiction to movies by buying Super 8 copies of films to project at home. Alas, the Eumig projector I had was silent (although I purchased a sound projector later on) so I had to make do with silent flickering images of such classics as Planet of the Apes or Star-Trek out-takes (Captain Kirk getting the giggles at lines like 'Have no fear. Gorgon's here'). I didn't have enough pocket money to buy more than a handful of titles in total, but looked forward each month to browsing through the pages of the now defunct Movie Maker magazine, dreaming of the day I could afford to buy more such treasures (along with the frequently dreamt of Bolex 16mm camera!)
The beauty of those early Super 8 films was their length, cutting the main feature down to 8-12 minute highlights. They were significantly more expensive than DVDs are today, but no less addictive, and in those days if I'd had the money it would have been possible to watch and review several in a day. Having sat through a rom-com that lasted more than two hours yesterday (The Holiday - if you think eating too much chocolate tomorrow will make you feel sick, let me just say that things would be much worse if you watched this film!), I sometimes think that maybe the Super-8 format was superior to today's DVDs, at least in terms of running time!