Last week, Box Office Video, Kingsville's movie rental shop, went out of business. I'm sure streaming was responsible, but the owners blamed a drop in the quality of new releases. Turns out I'm not the only one disenchanted with Hollywood. The last movie I saw in theaters was Blade Runner 2049. It's funny how times change: I watched a massive number of films in my teens. Box Office was the second job I ever had. The best part about working there was taking home unrented VHS tapes at the end of each night. I watched over a hundred movies one summer. Later, when I lived in San Francisco, I found a video store that carried a full catalog of cult and foreign films. Apart from reading, most of my early twenties were spent exploring the works of directors like Tarkovsky, Bergman, Melville, and Renoir. French gangster films were my favorite. After years of this, though, I grew bored. I went back to reading. Looking back, my boredom wasn't tied with any particular style of film. It had more to do with the predictability of the form. Some films were longer than a hundred minutes, some were shorter, but their structures were typically similar. I've been reading essays on the death of the novel for most of my adult life. It's interesting to read the same claim made of feature films today. I don't think they're at any real risk of dying (and neither are novels), but I do think they've stopped being a popular medium for storytelling. It might not seem this way to some, given the infrastructure that props up Hollywood - the celebrity gossip, the award shows - but I'd wager that the majority of bright kids under twenty-five are more invested in online content.