Features Philly Film — 06 September 2011 » Written by
TLA Video sale extended + BONUS MEMORY

The Locust Street TLA Video inventory sale has been extended to include the next two weekends.  Their cavernous adult room surely has something left to offer.

And a final TLA memoir from 14-year clerk Carol Oflaherty who is currently manning the counter at the above-mentioned sale.

Carol Oflaherty (1997-present)
Hello!  I definitely think VID 2 rules!  I’ve been here 14 years, mostly at night!  I was hired by Cher, interviewed with Claire and named all the Bergman and Kurasawa movies to get hired, but little did I know that what I really needed to know in our store was Italian horror, and soon made fast work of learning that.  I saw my first Godard, Vivre Sa Vie, because of John Smith (who trained me to close RIGHT!), and it opened a whole new world to me.  I already knew Hollywood classics from the silent era through the seventies since I was an avid reader of old Hollywood biographies and watcher of movies on TV since I was a small child.  But Dean did recommend two movies, Powell and Pressburger’s I Know Where I’m Going and the Val Lewton production The Seventh Victim, and those were totally my cup of tea and also opened vistas.  Some other major directors that became my personal obsessions were Ozu, Minnelli, and Aldrich.

I don’t feel like telling the whole world about personal stories that happened to us because I believe in “Keeping It In the Unit”, but I can talk about the store and what it means to me and others.  To me it means everything!  We are the gatekeepers of all of this fabulous art, hard work , brilliance, toil, genius, tragedy, miracles and sheer accident, encompassing decades of American and world history, group efforts and lifes’ work of hundreds of thousands; not to mention the science behind film, cameras, recording, animation and EVEN CGI and computers.  The amazement of taking science that’s put together by hundreds of skilled workers and turning it into art that touches each heart in such an intense and personal manner that it’s often stronger than life.  Or crazy trash that we ridicule and laugh at.  And we help to purvey it, and foster appreciation out into the world.

I feel like Mr. Chips (it’s a movie [two!] and a book) because seemingly countless classes from the three nearby art schools and four colleges, not to mention one of the best music conservatories in the world, have passed through my hands every fall, each eager to hear recommendations of any and all good movies, sometimes starting with a particular genre like horror and expanding, until they had learned so much after four years.  Many people told me they got their film education at TLA!  I learned so much as well, from my coworkers, the customers, and just paying attention to the boxes and credits.  Of course we also pleased and thrilled grown people and even very old people by being familiar and helping them remember movies they’ve seen, sometimes first run (I’m talking thirties classics, seen in movie palaces!!) and sometimes even being able to suggest new (old) things that they didn’t even know about!!  We’ve bred a whole generation of movie fanatics in this neighborhood, what will they do, what will I do?  People have told me they were
reluctant to move, or anxious to move back to this city, because they miss the film culture we’ve created here!

Of course I’ve worked with some of the most brilliant, intelligent, crazy, wonderful, awesome, beautiful, hilarious, nicest, most talented people in the entire world here!  A lot of our customers are also remarkably accomplished, distinguished, fascinating, caring, and sweet!!  The others, I will learn them until they know!!  BTW, I ONLY see life in terms of movies or movie references!!!  That may be a SLIGHT exaggeration, just like the rumor that I like EVERY movie.  But life on the outside is going to be hard and misunderstood!!!


About Author

Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of Cinedelphia.com whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He's served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.

(1) Reader Comment

  1. As a former Vid 2’er, all I can say is Carol has put it best.
    There are so many memories from TLA, especially Vid 2, that it is hard to fully describe. When I was there everyone I worked with felt like family. We celebrated holidays together. We hung out at bars together. We saw movies together. Had tea parties together. We helped the a community of often weird, intelligent, stubborn, porn starved, artistic, boring, dog crazy, drunk, high and drunk, smelly, witty, just plain nice, and everything else under the sun simply find a movie that they needed that night. It was a nutty times, but it was also some of the best times. . .

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