What movie titles do you think are essential for viewing by future generations? Chungking Express? Lesser known works by Jean-Luc Goddard or François Truffaut? Canadian auteurs like Atom Egoyan or Guy Maddin? Or how about Alice in Wonderland: An Adult Musical Comedy?
Fans of Videomatica, who are bracing themselves for the impending closure of the beloved Kitsilano venue, can somewhat alleviate their sorrow by helping to preserve their treasure trove of a movie collection.
After all, the store boasts more than 35,000 DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and VHS tapes collected from over the past 28 years. Wow. That includes numerous rarities and obscurities, including silent films, documentaries (the largest amount in Western Canada), selections from the past 29 years of the Vancouver International Film Festival, experimental works, erotica, queer cinema, TV series, and titles by Vancouver and B.C. filmmakers that are out of print. If these titles are lost, snapshots of history may be lost with them.
The store, which is still open but set to shutter soon, is in talks with post-secondary institutions to get the collection acquired, preserved, and enhanced (with public access).
Interested parties can either donate by dollar amount or select titles to sponsor with a donation. Minimum donations of $25 will receive a "I saved a Videomatica movie and sent it to university!" certificate and up to five free rentals.
However, the sands of time are slipping away and it's important for cinephiles to act as soon as possible. For more details, visit the Videomatica Collection website.
Need some suggestions of which titles to pick? Local directors Nimisha Mukerji (65_RedRoses) and Mark Ratzlaff ("Voodoo") created a blog called Dear Videomatica to write about one film per day from Videomatica that you'd have trouble finding anywhere else.
You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at twitter.com/cinecraig.