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“The Last Blockbuster”: Previewing our May documentary film selection

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In May, we’re hitting the “New Releases” aisle.

The Last Blockbuster” (2020) is a nostalgic look at the rise and fall of Blockbuster Video, erstwhile kingpin of the video rental business. The simplest way to access this movie is through the subscription-based video-streaming service Netflix. We’d just like to say: The irony is not lost on us.

If you can get past that hurdle — or, better yet, if you can track down a copy at your local independent video store — “The Last Blockbuster” offers a few surprising economic lessons that go beyond the rambling reflections of its featured pundits, most of whom come from the world of stand-up comedy. For one, Netflix isn’t solely responsible for Blockbuster’s demise.

You’re also sure to get a kick out of Sandi Harding, general manager of the only Blockbuster store still in operation. When we launched this documentary series, in the midst of a pandemic, we aimed to offer what Sandi and countless video store clerks before her have offered: movie recommendations and a friendly discussion of their merits and demerits. As always, we hope you’ll watch this month’s documentary selection along with us, and we welcome your feedback. Send us an email at extracredit@marketplace.org.

“The Last Blockbuster” is available on Netflix or for a small fee on various other streaming services.

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