Some of us will remember the days when watching films online was either impossibly slow, or not even conceivably possible. But it didn’t mean that we were about to abandon our beloved home-bound pastime, it just meant that we had to go through a few necessary stages to get exactly what we wanted.
Here’s what renting a film used to feel like before the internet was like – guys, seriously?
Your friend calls you and you agree it’s too cold to do anything but watch a film. “My house or yours?” – a loaded question if ever there was one. Whoever submits their home for the event will fall victim to the inevitable film rental routine.
2. Popping down to your local
Everyone had one, and unless you were a cold-hearted robot, you were also on first-name basis with your video/DVD-rental guy (Martin, I miss you). Usually less than a five minute walk from home, entering your local felt a bit like a home-away-from-home.
3. Obviously running into someone
And after the standard pleasantries, you waste 15 minutes pretending to browse so that you won’t be judged on your actual film choice.
Should I get one Yellow-Sticker new release film, or two Blue-Sticker old films? Which option would give me more bang-for-my-one-lira-coin?
5. The wild card
You suddenly remember that last week Martin said he would have Jurassic Park III – The Lost World back in store. You abandon everything and rush to the desk. After 15 minutes’ loading time the shop’s new computer catalogue system (only available in exclusive Maltese villages) reveals that someone else has beaten you to it.
6. The decision
You cut your losses and measure up between the crowd-pleasing rom com or the risk-taking arty flick. You only have once chance (you’ve chosen Yellow Sticker option) to create a perfect film night and it’s entirely dependent on this decision.
7. Watching the film
Three hours into this poncy art shit and your friends would rather be watching their own apartment burning to the ground. You watch it all the way through anyway – you think I’m going to walk all the way back and not get my lira’s worth? Mela mhux hekk!
8. The return
Two weeks and three phone calls from Martin later you begrudgingly walk back to your local to return the film you borrowed. You’ve had to take a small loan from your parents for the overdue fee that you’re going to have to pay.
As you approach Martin sheepishly you remember that you didn’t rewind the damn thing after you finally got through it (video version). Ready yourself for looks of disapproval from Martin’s kid who is ‘in charge’ of rewinding all the videos that get returned by irresponsible renters.