Why I Still Collect Movies on Physical Media

Due to my job situations, I moved recently. I had a lot of personal property. I had lived in my previous apartment for seven years and even though I had given away books at various times, mostly I had pretty much been hoarding stuff. Not really in the psychological problem sense, but I had a lot of things I had no real use for.

Therefore I gave away a huge chunk of it. I gave away well over a 1000 CDs, I gave away around hundred World of Darkness books, I ditched a lot of books, and about two thirds of my boardgame collection (around 80 games, I believe) and that was only the beginning.

However, I did not give away or get rid of any of my DVDs or BluRays. And here’s why.

Admittedly, part of the reason is that I just enjoy looking at them. They represent countless hours of human toil to bring something unique and interesting into the world. Sometimes they succeed on a budget I could get my hands on in a week, other times they fail with budget of hundreds of millions (although, obviously, I tend to avoid the latter). Still, it’s someone’s vision they attempted to bring to life. And I just enjoy that basic idea of trying to do that. Those 3000 or so movies on my shelves represent that nicely. However, this doesn’t really justify the room they take up.

Secondly, I like movies. I guess that’s obvious, but I like weird little movies. The last movie I had time to watch was The Lure, a Polish film about human-eating mermaids, who end up working in a nightclub, where one of them falls in love, while the other struggles with the need for human flesh. Oh, and it’s a musical.

Now, while Netflix does provide us with some of these, like a small Spanish film, Skins (which you should take a look at, if you are interested in weird movies), they still generally emphasize movies they can sell to mass audiences. At least mostly. Of course, I live in Finland, which is a small market, so my experience might differ from elsewhere (I mean, the 100000 or so titles they had when they first started as a DVD rental service would probably work for even myself, however, based on this article, things aren’t good elsewhere either, if my personal collection might be larger than their offerings in the near future, if it isn’t already), but in general I can’t use it most of the time. Sure, I have a subscription for Netflix and I do watch a lot of their movies, but it’s not nearly as varied and wide a selection as I would like. Other streaming services have the same problem and I it’s quite understandable. They want to make money, so they try to go for the lowest common denominator. I’m not the part of the market they go for.

Then, there’s a problem I learned about recently. Sometimes the rights of movies just fall into a limbo of sorts. The paperwork might be missing, so no-one really know who has the distribution rights. This is especially common with companies, which have gone bankrupt and thus haven’t necessarily had a reason to keep their paperwork in order.

So, that’s why we don’t have access to certain movies on DVD anymore. They are out of print, because no-one is quite sure whether they can publish them. And if you don’t know, you don’t really want to ask around, because you don’t really know what kind of paperwork others will produce in such a situation.

Therefore, there are movies we don’t really have access to. Unless, you bought a copy when they were available (if they ever were).

Yes, having a huge library of DVDs, like myself, isn’t really a good idea for most. It’s costly, takes up a lot of space (which is more costly, again), requires equipment to be of any use and is becoming quickly obsolete. Still, I’m not going to let go of mine. In fact, I will still try to build it up in the future. I don’t know how I’m going to be sure I can still use them in the future, but I guess I’ll have to buy a bunch of BluRay-players and store them somewere.

I’ve already moved into a bigger apartment once, because the collection was taking too much space, so I might have to do that in the future as well, so I guess I’ll have to become rich or something.

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