by Ariston Anderson
Like a cheese-of-the-month club, Beastie Boy turned indie film mogul Adam Yauch's new subscription service delivers 10 new releases from his own Oscilloscope Laboratories to your doorstep over the course of a year. Calling it the "Circe of Trust," either you're in it or you're out when it comes to trusting the slightly off-center film distributor's lineup of films.
"There's a real void in the marketplace since Columbia Record club is no longer active," Yauch joked of his motivation to create the subscription service. "So we're hoping to hire a staff of tens of thousands to call our valuable membership over and over again and harass them until they cry."
While increasing bandwidths mean DVDs might soon meet the same fate as CDs, Oscilloscope provides an attractive counterpoint with collectible editions that have the same appeal as rare vinyl. Each numbered DVD, part of the series, features original art or design on a pullout case, all in eco-friendly packaging. And, of course, they pack every film with loads of rare extras.
Recent Oscilloscope releases include 2009 Academy Award-nominated documentary "The Garden," which tells the story of a South Central Los Angeles neighborhood fighting to save a community garden that arose out of the 1992 L.A. riots. Scott Walker's "30 Century Man," a film executive produced by David Bowie, documents a rare musical genius who changed his song and style with every decade of production.
And upcoming release "Beautiful Losers" (out 8 December 2009), brings Aaron Rose's epic art book and exhibition to life, peaking into the beginnings of game-changing street artists like Stephen Powers, Barry McGee, and Shepard Fairey, as well as innovative directors Mike Mills and Harmony Korine. The DVD interior brings us into a panorama view of the original gallery that brought this singular group of artists together.
In addition to receiving 10 DVDs a year (approximately one monthly), subscribers receive them a week before their official street date and can purchase previous DVD releases at half price. Yauch explains, "inside the circle there are no secrets." Go on, subscribe now ($150) and trust a Beastie Boy to curate your DVD Collection.