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Expert Testimony: Reel World

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Blockbuster and its ilk may be sufficient for those who feel the need to cry through Titanic for the eighth time, but if your tastes run more toward the rare or rarefied, Robert Haller, director of collections and special projects at Anthology Film Archives, recommends contacting the Chicago-based Facets Multi-Media (800-532-2387, www.facets.org), which rents and sells videos through the mail. "It's highly specialized," Haller says; he recently purchased Burning Soil by F. W. Murnau, a 1922 film from the Munich Archives. Although Facets' new-releases list includes mainstream hits like Buena Vista Social Club and Topsy-Turvy, its real strength is in numbers: It carries 40,000 titles, 17,000 of which are available for rent. "These are films you couldn't fit in a video store," he says. "Unless you had two floors of Macy's and it was nothing but shelves."


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