Monday, 15 July 2019

Housekeeping...

I had a few hours to spare yesterday and took on the task of liquidating my duplicate DVDs. Well, nothing that drastic sounding, I took the discs from their cases and put them in micron sleeves, while the covers and inserts were flat-packed and filed away for safe-keeping. I should have done this job ages ago considering I had to re-pack well over a hundred discs - the recycle bin is heaving now with alpha cases, and there's still more to go. Upgrading DVDs has always been a necessary evil of collecting. When a DVD of Last House on the Left first appeared in France in 2000, I snapped it up rather than patiently waiting for a US edition, which duly followed 2 years later, making the French DVD instantly obsolete. And that MGM DVD was in turn replaced by the 2008 Metrodome edition, which was then replaced by Arrow’s 2018 BR. Fortunately, these barnacles are mostly restricted to DVD, with just two Blu-Rays in the collection awarded upgrades - the original Universal BR of The Thing which was supplanted by the Arrow edition, and Arrow's 2010 City of the Living Dead which Arrow revisited with a fresh scan for their 2018 BR.

But this got me thinking that perhaps it might be best to forgo 4K, and not get into that headspace where I feel compelled, even required to upgrade my BRs of say 2001 and Alien to 4K editions. I’m watching fewer and fewer contemporary films these days anyhow, and while the likes of Suspiria will look glorious on a 4K disc, the Synapse Blu-Ray simply looks fabulous enough. A few things were granted a stay of execution however - the 1999 3-disc Criterion edition of Brazil, and the 2004 4-disc Anchor Bay edition of Dawn of the Dead - both of which have been bested by their BR equivalents, but I remember well the excitement when I first picked up these two editions, each loaded with a bounty of supplements, and both beautifully packaged, Brazil, in a lovely transparent slipcase, while Dawn of the Dead came housed in a huge fold out digipak. My Swedish DVD copy of The Sacrifice also escaped the culling, the essential companion film Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky is regrettably absent from the Artificial Eye BR, so the 2004 Swedish Film Institute DVD will remain in service…


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