Saturday, February 11, 2017

My VHS Purge: The Superliners: Twilight of an Era

As part of a downsizing project eight years ago I purged most of my pre-recorded VHS tape collection. I've never been a big collector of movies -- my DVD library is fairly small -- but the fact is I had accumulated around 70 tapes: 

The Superliners: Twilight of an Era (1980) What a morsel of sweet goodness this is to an ocean liner fanatic. Narrated by Alexander Scourby, the best of the National Geographic voices, Superliners tells the tale of the great liners that plied the North Atlantic between the Old and New worlds. The Queen Elizabeth 2 is filmed during a voyage between Southampton and New York City in 1979. This footage functions as a framing, and contrasting, device as it's intercut with archival film, photographs, and interviews with experts and seafarers of all sorts.

Lyn Murray's musical score sets a tone of nostalgia and longing. "Longing" in that the business of moving people across thousands of miles of water was all but superseded years before by jetliners.

I watched The Superliners: Twilight of an Era when it first aired on PBS in 1980. Years later, seeing the VHS tape for sale made for a quick sail.

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