JUMP CUT
A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

The Ring

“Before you die, you see The Ring”: notes on the immanent obsolescence of VHS

Caetlin Benson-Allott

Caetlin Benson-Allott, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at Cornell University, is currently writing a dissertation on the challenges video spectatorship poses to previous assumptions about the cinematic apparatus as well as generic and formal traditions in U.S. filmmaking.  Her research interests include new media, horror films, and depictions of queer genders and sexualities on screen.  She teaches courses in film analysis, representations of AIDS and fictional virus in U.S. cinema, and consumer culture and contemporary fiction.  Her recent article “The Mechanical Truth Behind Cruel Intentions: Desire, AIDS, and the MTV Movie Awards’ ‘Best Kiss’” unpacks the pornographic symbolism behind the safe/same-sex appeal of Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle’s Gellar’s award-winning embrace.  Caetlin welcomes any questions or comments at cab85@cornell.edu.

The following websites may be of interest in relation to this article:

Helmer Aslaksen’s page on Holbein’s The Ambassadors (with links to other academic articles):
http://www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/teaching/holbein.html

Edward Jay Epstein’s breakdown of recent VCR and DVD rental and sell-through revenues:
http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/Xrayarchive.htm

The University of Pennsylvania’s “Introductory Consumer Electronics Technology Series”:
http://repairfaq.cis.upenn.edu/sam/icets/

Charles Tashiro’s Digital Filmmaking Collaborative (with links to other sites and podcasts):
http://www.tashpix.com/