I’ve come to realize I tend to do about a dozen things total. You could break up my week into percentages. I work at least 40 a week, I sleep about 49 hours a week. I’m on a computer/writing about 40 hours a week, I watch movies about 30-40 hours a week (there’s overlap with the last two), I eat (let’s say five hours), and I dance for at least five to seven hours a week. You add in toiletries, showering, etc, then there’s reading and other exercises, transit and that is my life in total. Happiness in slavery.
I have 102 hours of Homicide in front of me. I’ve downed 3 hours of it. 99 hours to go.
As I said I went to Amoeba to get the Lubitsch Musicals on Tuesday, but they didn’t get their shipment, neither did my local Frye’s or Best Buy. My brother gave me an Amazon gift certificate for Christmas, and I’m supposed to get him some Wire, but I’ve been delaying cause you can either get the first two seasons for around $30 when it’s on sale, or for $60 retail. He’ll get it soon enough – I get my year end bonus in March (don’t ask), and then the president may send me money a couple weeks later. Yee-haw. And I’ll see if I can’t send him all four seasons over the course. Maybe I’ll get them used, or something. HBO be expensive.
But Wednesday, having had no luck, I ordered the Lubitsch films from Amazon. They said a week, I got them today. Skipping taxes, it was probably cheaper than I would have got it from anywhere in town. I used to order everything on-line, mostly because buy.com would get me everything I ordered the Saturday before street. Having worked in the film business, even though it’s been something I’ve been doing for going on ten years now, I love getting stuff ahead of street, seeing things weeks, days or months ahead of the curve. Priveledge is addicting. Even though I used to work at a video store, and could just as easily borrow stuff from the store as buy it. I have something like 1000 DVDs these days. It tends to stay around that number as I hit the catalog approximately once every blue moon, and just as often sell things I thought I should hold on to but then don’t. There’s always new stuff to watch, stuff I have to review for Collider.com, or things I purchased and will get to… at some point.
So every once in a while I get a bug to throw something old on, and I do that. I guess it’s just comforting to have it around, even if I don’t watch Gremlins 2: The New Batch or Rules of the Game (never mind the Vertigo) as often as I’d like. As I like to say, having too much time on your hands, and not enough is the exact same thing. You never feel like you’re doing what you want to, what you should be doing.
But I bought these Lubitsch films and since I don’t get paid to write about them, I’m going to do it here. Why? Because I want to convince as many people as I can to watch these films. I’ve written at length about Trouble in Paradise (one of the most perfect films ever made), and I know that Lubitsch is one of the greatest directors of all time. In fact, I have all the films contained in the set on video tape. There was a Lubitsch collection put out on laserdisc back about ten years ago, and I taped them all, and watched them. I fell more in love with Trouble in Paradise after the fact, but spending the days with these films made me swoon.
I think there is a sense of staying contemporary, which is a challenge in and of itself. Ultimately, there is the fabric of pop culture, which spins its web and asks us to collect so much. And so seeing There Will Be Blood, or No Country or Juno, or Spider-Man 3 will likely take precedence over seeing Robert Altman’s Images or California Split. That’s why recent releases on a format become an event. It’s an excuse to watch shit again. At the same time, 2008 has a currency, everything that’s happened within the course of the reader’s life has a certain greater currency, while everything after has a level of obscurity that is equal. Being into music from 1870 is similar to being into late 1920’s-early 1930’s musicals. It is beyond us. At the same time, that tends to be the most awesome stuff to be into, because it’s survived the test of time.
And so I will write about Lubitsch, because that shit is awesome, and you should want to watch it. And so I’ll write about these films. Because I love them.
A new home awaits you. — By Travis Newton