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DVDs and Memories

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I have, as I think all people should, a semi-extensive DVD collection. I’d actually argue that it’s not terribly extensive – it doesn’t come anywhere near equaling what is available – but others would say that once you get somewhere in the mid-hundreds it’s a pretty solid affair. I love the collection — I won’t say that I wouldn’t trade it for anything (life seems more important than some DVDs), but I do love it.

What always distresses me with the DVDs however is that I simply don’t have enough time to sit down and watch as many as I’d like. I have watched all of them at some point or another, but I just don’t get the chance to revisit them on anything resembling a regular basis. I dream of one day, when I’m in my mid-60s, setting aside a few months (or a year) just to kick back, relax, and watch some great movies (and TV shows). Of course, by then DVDs (and Blu-rays, which I’m including as part of the collection) will have gone the way of the dodo. It’s a distressing thing to think about, and yet I’m quite convinced that before I retire I won’t have the chance to fulfill this dream of watching them all again (either chronologically or alphabetically).

Why do I mention this? Well, my DVDs are currently packed away with the rest of my stuff at a moving company’s warehouse and I miss them. Out of all the things the movers currently have, they’re what I miss the most. I don’t think it’s actually me being overly materialistic; almost all of those movies hold some great memory.

When I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in the theater I had to go to the bathroom in the middle. Whenever I watch the movie now, I pay just a little bit more attention than I otherwise might and it still vexes me that I’ve seen that minute and a half fewer times than the rest of the film. I know exactly where I was the first time I heard of James Bond, where I was when I watched my first Bond film, and what film it was. I can tell you all about my going to see Back to the Future, Tron, Bull Durham, Pulp Fiction, and a myriad of other movies.

When I see my film collection, when my eyes run over the titles in it, those thoughts and so many more come rushing back. They are a hook on which I hang so many memories, so many small details about my life – like when The Little Mermaid got re-released and we went to see it the night before my Spanish final and couldn’t get a cab back from the theater which was in the middle of nowhere (I still did pretty well on the test).

Now that my daughter is starting to watch some of my DVDs it is as though I’m experiencing so many favorites again for the first time. Seeing Disney’s Robin Hood (which we used to see on rainy days at summer camp) now, I can’t help but get caught up in the excitement of the archery tournament; watching old episodes of The Muppet Show I remember how terrified I was of the Alice Cooper one and look for any hint in my daughter’s eyes that she might be a tad scared of it.

I do wish I had more photographs around to flip through and think about, but for me, looking at my DVDs sitting up there on a shelf works just as well.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.