Sunday 15 October 2017

My Collection - A major new series that goes to the heart of cinephilia - David Hare kicks off

This is how shelving plays out, three across, nine up, barely 6000 discs (a Lilliputian collection compared to some). As you may discern more than half my library is on burnt discs kept in best quality pvc archival sleeves. The quality ranges from 1080p backup to frail low rez bootleg. We’re all in that boat I think.

Someone asked if the discs are chronological as well as by director. Not quite, if I try to add chronological to the alpha director I would go mad with anality. I threw out almost all of the old DVD covers over the years to save space, some remain like the lovely MK2 Keaton cardboard book covers from France, titles which I am now about to triple dip on as new Bologna 4K restos come out next month from MoC. Anyway I've kept Blu-ray covers with the discs, but some clumsy boxsets (like the Universal 22 disc Hitchcock box) was thrown out because it was shit and the spindle nipples damaged the discs and broke them in half so they like a couple of thousand other Blu-rays in PVC sleeves.

Everyone has their system it seems. I could never adopt the "by country" method because it is too ambiguous too often, and the alpha by title method because there are so many content problems and cross referencing. Whenever multiple titles by different directors turned up on a single DVD (The Warner Lewton collections for instance) I ripped and burnt to DVD-R the "second" title and had second physical disc for that under the correct director. On it goes. Madness was passed years ago. Yet I hate collecting and I loathe clutter!!!!

I believe I am the only one who has discarded covers for what is now about a third of the current total (the DVDs by and large). I frankly welcome the reduced space, but I know others like Noel B are loath to discard cover art and packaging. Life gets too crowded for me...I think amongst the faithful there are more than enough people to make a Collectors' Corner.

The way people arrange them is a clue to their personality and philosophy I suppose, What sort of auteurist? If auteurist at all? My inspirations for arrangement go back to the old Kim’s Video stores in Manhattan in the 80s (now long gone). The biggest one in East Village (or was it West 4th St, cant remember?) where the staff would become bored and occasionally changed everything around , for instance from director alpha during one year to actor, and another year to classics by Director of Photography. Confusion always reigned and it was a kind of snobby game by the staff (which I loved). I was there when a woman threw her hands in the air and yelled out,. Oh for Chrissake where is Blade Runner?" I quietly said to her across the room in a stage whisper, "Under C for "Cronenweth, dear."

Finally, in the interests of sanity and domestic peace I got rid of all my VHS and laserdiscs many moons ago. The lasers had absolutely no value in Australia and they ended up being largely binned. I burnt them all to DVD-Rs first of course. This is where I can truly say I am not a collector. I knew hoarders early in my life and it was like aversion therapy. I cannot abide clutter at all.

Editor’s Note: I’ll be inviting people to send in some thoughts on this fascinating sub-element of the world of cinephilia. However, unsolicited contributions short or long are welcome. A picture accompanying would be nice as well.


  1. Mine are all in boxes in storage, I have no idea how many but hope to have them shelved and sorted when my backyard office is completed early next year. Will document with some photos then.

  2. Excellent. Keep it in mind Denys!


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