Friday, April 16, 2010

The Collection Project

Ooooh, the Collection Project! How grand! What's that gonna cure??

Okay, okay, shut up. It's just a name. Let me explain what this new project is going to be, and how it's going to work, and we'll see if, by the end, it makes any sense.

Last night, I was lying, as is my custom, on the couch, and I happened to begin an idle scan of my DVD collection. Bragging about the size of one's DVD collection is a pretty stupid, not to mention bizarre, thing to do, so please understand that's not what I'm doing when I say that I own a fair number of them. This is not unusual, or noteworthy in any way. But for whatever reason I started thinking about writing about all of them -- not writing about them en masse, but individually. And not writing about them as DVDs, but as films. Writing about each film I owned, one (or so) at a time, on this here blog, and stopping only when I'd run out of films to write about. That is what I now propose to do. I mean, not tonight, but starting now. Well, Sunday, but I think you get me.

But do you? Do you really? Once the basic idea for this project occurred to me, I began to wonder about the practicality of it, how I could do this without burning out on it after a week, and how to do it without letting it completely overwhelm what I like to think is a certain level of diversity on this blog. So this project is going to take several different shapes. The first thing you should know is that there will be no order to this -- I'll write about whatever movie or movies I happen to feel like writing about. So on Sunday, it is my intention to write about a couple of movies that jumped out at me from my shelves as possibly being an interesting little double-bill. That's one form this project will take: interesting pairings. Self-explanatory, I should think, and if not you'll get the idea on Sunday. Another, more standard-issue form will be simple, long-form reviews of a single film, not at all unlike the many others I've already written here.

Okay, so, how's this any different from what I already do? Well, I'll tell you: every blog post you see here until the project reaches its end (at which time, Ragnarok will be upon us, so I wouldn't even worry about it) will be about a film in my DVD collection. But not every post I write from here on out will be about films in my DVD collection. Right now, if I had to guess, I'd say you're probably thinking one of two things: "Hah?" or "The fuck??" Please, to explain: let's say that tomorrow I go see Kick-Ass (I'm not going to, but let's just say), and then I come home and decide to write about it. At the end of that review, after I've signed off with a righteous "Time to move off the field, gramps!" -- signalling to those who dislike Kick-Ass that they are aged -- I would then tack on an addendum, a little capsule review of a film in my DVD collection like, say, Spider-Man. Because, you know: comic books. That's the kind of left-field connection I hope to make on a regular basis.

So, every post will be about The Collection Project, even when it's not. That includes lazy-bones picture posts, where I just put up a picture of an actor or writer or director -- with this project, I will be forced to go one step further, every time (of course, if I've already written up the movie at some length elsewhere on the blog, then I'll just provide a link, and you can cry all you want on those days -- I'll be at home chomping on a big old cigar, wishing only that I could smell your misery). Of course, there is the possibility that I'll have to break off from this on occasion. For instance, if this October I decide to go another round with The Kind of Face You SLASH!!!, then The Collection Project will have to take a hiatus. That would simply be too much -- I wouldn't be able to do it. Barring that sort of special occasion, however, every day, in every way, The Collection Project shall grow. Also, not every day. I'm going to post as often, or as rarely, as I ever have. Forget what I said about "every day". That was just me lying. But if you understand anything about what I've just laid out, let it be this: the only way in which this blog will change by having The Collection Project added to it is that each post will be at least just a little bit longer. Every post will at least have a post-script. In some cases, I won't write a full capsule review, but rather some general thoughts, or I'll write about a particular scene, or performance, but I'll always write something.

The only other question I can anticipate from you, My Readers, is: "Why? Are you just dumb?" Not at all! There are a couple of reasons for this. One, essentially ancillary, reason is to lay my cards on the table. What I mean is, have you ever been in a store that sells used DVDs, and they're having a sale where you buy three and get one free, and you find three DVDs you really want, and then find yourself scraping for that free fourth title, and for reasons known only to you and your God, you eventually find yourself leaving the store with a copy of Dragonheart? You were not a person who owned Dragonheart twenty minutes ago, and now look at you. That's what I mean about laying my cards on the table: I do this all the time. I own some movies that I'm quite frankly embarrassed to admit I own, and you're going to hear about them all. Not that I think this is somehow necessary, but for some reason I do think it will be interesting and/or fun. Time will probably prove me wrong. Incidentally, I also own a lot of movies that I'm not embarrassed to own, but that I don't really like all that much. But they interest me anyway. Those should be good to dive into.

The other two reasons are more important to me (in the important-by-blogging-standards sense). This project will force me to revisit old movies that I haven't watched in years, or even at all, because I own them, and have begun to take them for granted. Movies mean a lot to me, but I own a fair number of DVDs that are just collecting dust. This is my way of dusting them off and connecting to them again (or for the first time, or not at all, as the case may be). The other reason is that, simply, I think a person's book collection, or DVD collection, is interesting. I think all biblio- and cinephiles would agree with me on that. I'm not so stupid or shallow as to think a person's DVD collection in any way measures their worth, but it does say a hell of a lot about their taste, and what the hell is a movie/book blog like this but an expression of my tastes?

So, there you go. That's my big idea. I know, it sounds stupid. But I'm doing it anyway, and we begin on Sunday. See you then.


Adam Zanzie said...

Well, godspeed then, Bill. I wish you luck that The Collection Project will be more successful than my Presidential series, which fizzled out rather quickly- mostly because I lost interest. If you, however are brave enough to commit to this project and make us all look idiotic for not believing you, then THAT will be quite an accomplishment!

Looking forward to your Dragonheart review. That movie is mostly a silly boy's adventure, but the musical score by Randy Edelman is so powerful, and that final scene with Connery's Dragon spirit talking about "the stars" is so incredibly moving that I can't help but have some affection for the film.

bill r. said... don't believe me?? Eat a bag of shit, you dick!

Ha ha, just kidding. Also, I don't actually own DRAGONHEART. I picked a movie I don't own because I didn't want to tip my hand, but there will be some DRAGONHEART-esque entries down the line.

kassy said...

When you write about the DVDs will you let us know if you bought it because really liked it and you wanted it, because you thought it was so-so, or because you needed a 4th dvd? I ask because I try not to buy dvd's unless I really, really like something, if I'm so-so about it I'll just Netflix it, so I'm always interested in knowing what someone's motivation is when buying dvds.

bill r. said...

Probably, if I think there's some good reason to mention that, and if I can remember the circumstances. I do know that sometimes I'll feel the need to explain my actions.

Neil Sarver said...

I have to confess I'm most interested in the "DRAGONHEART-type" posts. Frankly, I think it would almost be an interesting series in itself.

Lee Russell said...

A very cool idea. I eventually intend to go through all of my collection as well. Right now old archived reviews and new rentals/buys take precedence over my DVD shelf. I've probably already gone through 20% of my collection at this point. But I haven't done anything cool with the reviews of my collection, like you are intending. Looking forward to seeing the reviews!

Tony Dayoub said...

I commend you for showing such courage. It once occurred to me to do the same with the true intent being to finally see all of the crappy DVDs I bought on impulse. But I fear if I subjected you to some of these I'd lose all credibility with you... as I have with Adam for favoring the new CLASH OF THE TITANS over the old.

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