Alphabetical Movie – Juno and the Paycock
Around Christmas last year, there was a good deal on a collection of all of Alfred Hitchcock’s British films. I’m a big fan of his work but his British period was pretty much a blank slate for me. Aside from The 39 Steps, I’m pretty ignorant of his developmental period.
I don’t remember the exact price but it was less than $2.00 per movie. As far as I was concerned, it was a great deal if all I’d gotten was The 39 Steps and The Lodger.
Decisions like that are one of the reasons I’m doing the Alphabetical Movie project. I have something like twenty Hitchcock films on four discs. Left to my own devices, I would probably watch one or two in the next five years.
By engaging in the completely ridiculous process of watching movies alphabetical order, I actually ended up watching Juno and the Paycock instead of just owning it.
When I pick up a copy of The Avengers or Cabin in the Woods, I know I’m going to watch them at least once or twice. When I pick up a big collection of Noir films just because I like noir films, I’ve made no such pact.
Much as I love movies, what is the point of owning a film on DVD if I’m never going to actually watch it?
If nothing else, I’m now guaranteed to watch every film I own at least once. Even if that film is a full screen version of Johnny Mnemonic that was a gift from some sadistic friends.
Why not just stop buying movies?
To be fair, I’ve curtailed my movie purchases quite extensively. When I pick up a film, it is either something that comes from the $5.00 bargain bin or it is a new movie I really love and I know will be watched several times (see the aforementioned Avengers).
The Hitchcock set is, unfortunately, my weakness. A great deal on 20 Hitchcock films that I don’t already own? I was powerless to resist.
I was just as powerless to resist the complete set of Kubrick films I picked up earlier this year. Less than thirty bucks for every Kubrick film except The Shining?
Now, of course, I need to find a good deal on The Shining.
No, I don’t own a copy of The Shining. Yet.
S is a long way off. I have time.
I’ll admit that I’m getting much more careful about the big collections, though. As cool as it may seem to pick up 50 classic John Wayne films for $10, you won’t find a Rio Bravo or The Searchers in the lot. You also won’t find decent quality audio or video.
Sure, slogging through 50 Wayne films to find the five or six forgotten gems seems like a lot of fun but when you are trying to watch all of the movies you already have, those extra 50 films start to feel more like an obstacle than a treat.
I’m really enjoying the project so far. I like going back to watch Gosford Park and discovering that I like it a lot more than I did the first time I watched it.
I like watching films like Juno and the Paycock because the odds are I never would have opted to plug the movie in without an arbitrary set of rules dictating that I had to watch that one next.
But I’m really trying to cut down on the number of movies I’m adding to the project. At the very least, I’m trying to watch them faster than I’m adding them.