Monday, January 14, 2008

Catching up

Backlogs are a pain. You'll need one to stay out of boredom, and the lack of one means that the track for the toy-train that's your life is too short.

But when it grows too big it stops the train altogether. Overwhelms you, ceases to be a backlog and becomes a mountain of guilt.

I'm making this up, I'm not sure if I believe any of this.

But there's this feeling you get... well, have you ever changed video rental stores? At least the ones I've frequented (the one in Cambridge, on Victoria street, and the one here in Jyväskylä, on Kauppakatu) are relatively small. So after a while you start to get a feeling of what's in there. And sometimes, when you go in there, in an open-minded mood, you find lots of films you might want to watch. This is good, because there are other times when you feel like you want something but you don't know what it is that you want. Something. A film, probably. That's why you're in the shop. But you get the feeling you've already seen it all, although you obviously haven't. So you dig into your reserve, the one that you built last time, when you had to just choose one from a number of films you'd like to see. And if you for some reason lack in open-mindedness, changing shops is the best way to build up your reserve. Just by seeing films in a different place, in different order you see them in a different light. You find films you never thought about. Give them another look, quite literally.

Then there are the suggestions. They build your backlog. Oh, you really should see this and read that (yes, this goes for books too, and probably music, although I rarely do this with music. Music means differently.) And then there are the freaks who are (or claim to be) up to date and see and read everything as soon as it gets out. Or not all, but everything they decide is worth seeing/reading, and that's why everyone else believes them, and take their suggestions. The early effing adopters with their perky smiles and cardigans... What do they do in a bookshop or a video rental? "Oh, I really want to see this one again." "Look, they have it in paperback, now. I don't like the sleeve." I'm years if not decades behind, and proud of it. It just means I'm not following trends (or I am, but with such a long delay that no one notices).

The backlog. Reserve, if you think positively. Let's call it reserve, as there are no deadlines., unless you are one of those freaks. Layer Cake, Coffee and Cigarettes, and Walk the Line. This was what I got from my reserve, the one that by changing shops has recently grown quite a lot. They used to have a 2 DVD offer, but the new year brought new offers, so I had to take three films instead of just two. I don't remember which one of these was the third, the one I would still have in my backlog had they kept their pricing at place. But I'm rather glad the offer had changed, just as I'm rather glad that I had changed shops, because these were all jolly good films.

(Pic: poster for Coffee and Cigarettes by the great Jim Jarmusch)

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