We’ve officially entered the final weeks of the year, crossing the threshold into a world of holiday cheer from which there is no escape. And through all our superficial insistence that we’re merely celebrating humanity’s core goodwill and a deep thankfulness for the people in our lives whom we could never live without, there’s one thought pulsating at the heart of it all: GIMME DEM PRESENTS!
Of course, presents in the mind of any cinephile inevitably means a gigantic stack of DVDs (or Blu-rays if you're feeling particularly nifty); a stack to be carefully added to already overflowing shelves or carelessly piled high in teetering towers of cinematic joy. Perhaps they'll be instantaneously ripped out of their packaging and watched with eager eyes, or perhaps they’ll be left to join the lingering party of pristinely wrapped discs quietly gathering dust until one Sunday afternoon grants them their primary destiny.
Surely I'm not the only one whose eyes instantly float towards the DVD collection of every household I set foot in. It’s within those lines of plastic boxes that we hold secret belief that we can uncover the true understanding of any individual, that core belief that the movies we hold dearest to our hearts somehow define our personal identities to the outside world in a way we may have no direct control of. Which makes DVD collections perfect fodder for amateur psychoanalysis, then.
So, rest yourself against this digital chaise longue as I grab my notebook and stroke my non-existent beard in deep contemplation, because we’re about to get all Freudian up in here by asking the question: what does your DVD collection say about you?
YOU OWN AN OVERWHELMING AMOUNT OF STEELBOOKS
No, I’m not obsessive at all, why would you say that? But also I need to collect every single one of these otherwise my children will be ashamed of me and I will have nothing of interest to inscribe on my tombstone.
YOU OWN PRETTY MUCH EVERY CRITERION COLLECTION RELEASE
Partially it’s a chance to get my hands on stuff that wouldn’t otherwise be readily available, partially I need someone to tell me what to like because decisions are harddddddddd.
ALL YOUR DVDS ARE IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
I tell myself that I’m being ruthlessly efficient, but conveniently this great organisational task was undertaken right at the point a particularly burdensome essay or work project was due. That or my DVD collection is so huge it requires its own mahogany-clad library and I am in fact an eccentric recluse living in a Bavarian castle.
NONE OF YOUR DVDS ARE IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Why would I need to organise my DVD collection when I only ever watch Groundhog Day on loop and that’s already sitting in my DVD player? Priorities, people!
NONE OF YOUR DVDS ARE IN THE RIGHT BOXES
I am a heartless monster and I’ve killed every fish I’ve ever owned.
MOST OF YOUR DVDS ARE STILL IN THEIR CELLOPHANE PACKAGING
I’ve evolved past the point of needing your human “foods”, subsisting solely now on the second-hand electricity which can be absorbed from licking railway tracks. So, yeah, that really frees up the budget to buy more DVDs! Yay!
ALL YOUR DVDS ARE IN A PORTABLE WALLET
I entirely plan on coming to your house and making you watch every single Star Wars movie in one sitting, including the prequels. If you fall asleep, I will unsubtly and cruelly cough loud enough to wake you up again. After they’re all over, I will not leave your house until you tell me, in depth, exactly which scenes were your favourites.
YOU ONLY OWN THREE DVDS. THOSE DVDS ARE GLADIATOR, FIGHT CLUB, AND THE DARK KNIGHT
I’m a bro who bros while they bro. Bro? Also, I may or may not be deeply insecure about my own masculinity.
YOU ONLY OWN THREE DVDS. THOSE DVDS ARE SEX AND THE CITY 2, THE NOTEBOOK, AND MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING
I’ve been dumped. A lot. These were all highly necessary purchases. Please don’t ask me about it.
YOUR COLLECTION MAINLY CONSISTS OF FOREIGN-LANGUAGE ARTHOUSE CINEMA
Whatever you do, do not check my Netflix recently watched list, please. Because it’s definitely not filled with Hilary Duff flicks.
YOUR COLLECTION MAINLY CONSISTS OF THE ACTION GENRE
I gave myself a catchphrase and I like to shout it from across the office at people whenever I’ve made a sale. It’s probably something along the lines of “BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!”
YOUR COLLECTION MAINLY CONSISTS OF THE COMEDY GENRE
I watched My Girl once and cried so hard I burst a blood vessel in my eye and so now I push all the sad feelings deep down inside of me! Yes, I’m basically Princess Unikitty from The Lego Movie and, yes, one day I will probably snap and burn a church down.
YOUR COLLECTION MAINLY CONSISTS OF WWII DRAMAS
I am someone’s father. My Sundays consist of long walks in the countryside and consistently using the reference term “youths”.
YOU HAVE THE ENTIRE FILMOGRAPHY OF A CERTAIN ACTOR/ACTRESS
I went through a phase, OK? And it definitely only happened when I was a teenager and I’m totally over it and, no, don’t go into that cupboard because that’s definitely not a Leonardo DiCaprio shrine. Oh, Goddamn it.
ALL THE MOVIES YOU OWN PREDATE 1975
I always write that I was born in the wrong era. The ironic part is that I write it in a Tumblr post from my iPhone 6. Still, BOGIE & BACALL 4 LYFE.
ALL THE MOVIES YOU OWN DATE FROM AFTER 1975
It’s not that I’ve actually watched any of the old classics and judged them on my own terms to be dull and uninteresting, it’s more that my own grandparents are both dull and uninteresting so I kind of assumed it was a generational thing. Jaws is freakin’ awesome though, right?
YOU OWN A COPY OF MRS. BROWN’S BOYS
A relative gave this to me. It’s likely they’re going to come visit at some point soon, so I’m too scared to take it out back and burn it.
YOU JUST OWN AMERICAN PSYCHO, NOTHING ELSE
No, I don’t wear this hazmat suit for work. Why do you ask?
YOU OWN A PERFECT BLEND OF EVERY TYPE OF MOVIE UNDER THE SUN
Well, good for you. A+. Here’s a sticker. Great job. You’re the perfect cinephile and we all bow down to your greatness. Just have mercy on us mere mortals with our cluttered, shamefully stocked collections now, OK?
Follow Clarisse on Twitter: @clarisselou