Lately I’ve been buying physically copies of movies again. There are a number of reasons why, none of which are worth going into in this moment.
The point of this blog is to discuss openly the challenge of reorganizing my movie collection. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a penchant for reorganizing things. It is almost as if I live to reconfigure things. (You know that now, too, which means now that anyone who reads this blog knows it.) I rearrange my posters, my furniture, my collectibles, my books…you name it, I’ll rearrange it.
I can’t fully explain why I do it. It brings me a certain sense of peace. I like to experiment with the way things look. Some stuff remains at rest, but most things should be regarded as changeable.
The Question of Movies
And so we come to my movie collection. It’s not nearly as voluminous as some might presume. I still live under the self-imposed directive that, if I die, all of my personal possessions should be able to be cataloged and removed within 48 hours.
My personal possessions like movies or books, or records, or toys, aren’t family heirlooms. I also don’t have many of them (anymore) and I’ll always keep myself in check with regards to purchasing things. They’re going to end up in a junk heap someday no matter what I do do.
Trust me, I am completely comfortable with that.
Back to the Movies
But how to rearrange my now-increased physical copies was the question at hand. I’ve arranged them alphabetically in the past, which is boring. I’ve arranged them by series and collection within the alphabetical heirarchy, which is fine but also a little lackluster.
I think that I’ve settled on arranging them by date that I watched them. So, for example, Star Wars would be first. It’s chronologically first and so it goes to the front of the line. But what comes after wouldn’t be The Empire Strikes Back necessarily. It would be whatever I best recall as having seen in the gap between, if I possess the film in question.
It’s for this reason that Masters of the Universe would come before It’s a Wonderful Life, though Capra’s classic was released decades before Courtney Cox teamed up with Dolph Lundgren to defeat Frank Langella in heavy makeup.
It’s also a fun challenge in memory as I try to recall whether I saw The Game before or after I saw Cool Hand Luke for the first time.
Where Then Does a Boxed Set Go?
The challenge becomes if I have something that exists only in a box set. I have Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy (his Batman movies) as a boxed set only, since I’m still not the type of psychotic fan who needs every edition of a release if it’s just the same film.
But it creates the problem that I can’t exactly split those up to place them into individual spots. I saw plenty of movies between each of Nolan’s Batman films, including some of his own.
There are also challenges of working different types of packaging into the flow of things. Certain editions of individual films are boxed sets unto themselves, with elaborate packaging that does not fit easily between the typical individual sizes of single-release features. The terrific packaging on the version of Solo: A Star Wars Story that I own accounts for an actual booklet about the production that they included.
For a visual compulsive like myself, can I live with that sort of random irregularity? Heck, there are editions of films I own that are still on DVD, that alone doesn’t blend with later packaging for BluRays.
And That’s How It Goes
Now you can see, hopefully, not just what a challenge it is to reorganize in such a way that it satisfies me, but why I’m constantly shifting things around.
It’s an inconsequential and silly thing to go on about, but I felt like being silly and inconsequential today. I didn’t even go on about my Bookshelf of the Banned. That features a collection of items that I started buying over time, in the anticipation they would inevitably be banned once the voices on one side or the other got loud enough.
We seem to be approaching the point that even pompous old acquaintances I knew who, in the past, were known to cheaply use that Voltaire quote about defending anyone’s right to speak, are on board with wholesale bans and cancelations. It’s weird, and what I started as a lark makes me feel prophetic now.
It could be cute to arrange it by what I think is most likely to get me thrown out of social circles for possessing it. Maybe I should arrange that by known date of the first call for banning, which puts some items naturally at the head of the pack. The real fun is that calls for bans can transcend time and sensibility in question. Just ask Kurt Vonnegut!
That’s a thought for another time, I guess. One where I’m in a less silly and inconsequential mood.