I’ve taken the plunge.
I’m now a Netflix man. And if my first experience browsing through their selection is any indication, those of you who know me are likely to be seeing a whole lot less of me from now on.
In just a breezy hour or so, I had no trouble lining up about 40 selections for my queue. The Netflix way is to allow you to build up a list of up to 500 titles you’d like to see and rank them from 1 to 500, 1 being “next on my list to rent,” and 500 being “I wanna see it, but it’s my lowest priority.” You get three at a time, and as soon as you send one (or two, or three) back, Netflix ships the next three from your queue, keeping you constantly engorged on a plentiful DVD smorgasbord. All for $17.99 a month, whether you rent three or 30. No late fees. No shipping. My God, says most everyone I know who has the service, it’s like a dream come true. And now I can be counted among the dreamers.
My first three movies ship out tomorrow. I should have them in my sweaty, pudgy hands by Wednesday. And there are so many movies to choose from-- I feel like I barely skimmed the surface of the Netflix catalog while browsing last night. And each click on something reminded me of another title, or linked me to a page that had three or four other great ideas listed on it. I feel like I’m rediscovering the feeling of moving from Lakeview, Oregon, a many-horse but just a one-cinema town, to the relatively bustling college environment of Eugene, where a whole new world of campus screenings and revival theaters and bookings of foreign language films on some of the city’s many movie screens were a regular occurrence. Only now I’ve got a major percentage of what’s available on DVD at my fingertips, an incredible opportunity to fill in the glaring holes in my cinematic education and experience. It may not be the same as being a too-young college freshman (freshly 17) getting in to have my eyes opened by In The Realm of the Senses or Seven Beauties at the old Waco Theater behind the Williams Bakery (and my dorm hall) on Franklin Boulevard, just off the University of Oregon campus. But at age 44 it is close, and I’ll take close at age 44.
There are some lurking out there who may make me live to regret ever positing this idea, but what I’d like to do is now is take advantage of the cinematic experiences of anyone out there reading Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule and solicit suggestions for titles to put on my queue. I’m open to any genre, any language or subject. If there are films you’d like me to see, I probably wanna see ‘em, and I’d really appreciate either the reminder that they exist at all or the heads-up about a title or director with which I’m not familiar. So please feel free to either drop off suggestions in the Comments section below, or fire off an e-mail.
And now, because I know you’re just dying to know, may I present the first 40 position holders on my Netflix queue. I will go so far as to admit that of the 40 titles listed I have seen only three. Embarrassment about the holes in my tattered and incomplete history of film-watching prevents me from revealing which three films on the following list I have seen, but I will not discourage guesses, as long as they are submitted in a good-natured way not intended to further expose me as a sniveling cinematic philistine. I cop to a certain degree of sniveling philistinism, but I’m hoping that liberal application of Netflix two to three times a week will help clear up that unpleasant condition. Here’s my current queue:
DEAD MAN Jim Jarmusch
SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW Kerry Conran
THE MISFITS John Huston
THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE John Huston
ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 John Carpenter
ICHI THE KILLER Takashi Miike
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE Wong Kar-Wai
COMPANEROS! Sergio Corbucci
MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE Yu Wang
ROAD HOUSE Rowdy Herrington
BRANDED TO KILL Seijun Suzuki
THE CRIMSON PIRATE Robert Siodmak
THE FAR COUNTRY Anthony Mann
THE BIG COUNTRY William Wyler
BEND OF THE RIVER Anthony Mann
FLESH + BLOOD Paul Verhoeven
TIME AND TIDE Tsui Hark
DEAD OR ALIVE Takashi Miike
RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE Irwin Kershner
FASTPITCH Jeremy Spear & Juliet Weber
24 (Season One)
DEADWOOD (Season One)
TANNER ON TANNER Robert Altman
KANSAS CITY Robert Altman
OUTFOXED—MURDOCH’S WAR ON JOURNALISM Robert Greenwald
TO BE AND TO HAVE Nicolas Philibert
THE SON Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne
FAT GIRL Catherine Breillat
I’M NOT SCARED Gabriele Salvatores
MALENA Guiseppe Tornatore
ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU Shunji Iwai
DR. AKAGI Shohei Imamura
THE PORNOGRAPHERS Shohei Imamura
FLOATING WEEDS Yasujiro Ozu
THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE Luis Bunuel
SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS Preston Sturges
LA GRAND BOUFFE Marco Ferreri
MABOROSI Hirokazu Kore-eda
Z CHANNEL: A MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION Alexandra Cassavetes
Let the overstimulation begin!
Monday, March 07, 2005
I’ve taken the plunge.