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COVID-19 Boredom Survival Kit

March 28, 2020

I was recently threatened with transfer to a homeless shelter for the mentally ill. Their criteria for that conclusion was that I’ve been out of work for so long and that I’ve had “outbursts” when my rights under the Callahan law posted right on the office door were denied. The Urban Justice Center successfully fought for me against these amateur diagnosticians at DHS, but to prepare, the friend who drove me from the Manhattan storage unit to my larger storage unit in New Jersey did so again to signifcantly lighten the load in my locker, which meant removing most of the books, CDs, and paperwork, and a few DVDs. I still retained most of the DVDs, which is a good thing, because the public library wants everyone to keep everything out and not put them in the drop box until they reopen. They won’t even allow you to put in hold requests.

Here are the DVDs I have from the public library (an asterisk means I have not yet viewed or completed viewing (usually televsion series) the feature):

NYPL:

九层妖塔/Jiu ceng yao ta/Nine-Story Demon Tower/Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe (Lu Chuan, 2015)*
Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes, 2011)
Dark Shadows: The Beginning Collection I (Lela Swift, John Sedwick, 1966)*–three more episodes
Doctor Who: The Ark (Michael Imison, 1966) [interlibrary loan]
Flower Drum Song (Henry Koster, 1961)*
The Jungle Book (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1967)
Poliziotto superpiù/Super Snooper/Super Fuzz (Sergio Corbucci, 1980) [English, Spanish, or French-dubbed; no Italian version]
Thor: The Dark World (Alan Taylor, 2013)*
Wreck-It Ralph (Rich Moore, 2012)*

Bklyn:

Ecologia del delitto [Ecology of the Crime]/Reazione a catena [Chain Reaction]/A Bay of Blood/Twitch of the Death Nerve/Carnage (Mario Bava, 1971)
Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)*
Tout en haut du monde/Long Way North (Rémi Chayé, 2015)*
Man of a Thousand Faces (Joseph Pevney, 1957)*
This Sporting Life (Lindsay Anderson, 1963)
War… छोड़ ना यार/War… Chhod Na Yaar/Quit the War, Dude/War… (Faraz Haider, 2013)*

Most of what I have in my locker was purchased during the 2018 bankruptcy of Toys “R” Us (50% off) (hence why so many family films), occasional Barnes & Noble sales on the Criterion Collection (50% off), and thrift shop purchases typically $1-5 each). In many cases I have not viewed my copy (I’ve been keeping them sealed until I do, when applicable), but those I have not seen at all (or incompletely, with TV series) are marked here with an asterisk. While I think Trump’s Easter plan is crazy, I sure hope we’re not shut in for for a year. Even if I had the money for streaming, the WiFi here is so bad that I keep going in and out of the Zoom conferences I’ve been on such that they were hard to follow.

2 ou 3 choses que je sai d’elle/2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (Jack Sher, 1960)
Across the Universe (Julie Taymor, 2007)
Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton, 2010) [drive giving me trouble with this]
Alice Through the Looking Glass (James Bodin, 2016)
The Angry Red Planet (Ib Melchior, 1960)*
L’argent (Robert Bresson, 1983)
Il Ballo delle Ingrate/The Ballad of the Ungrateful Women (Walker Lewis, 2012)*
Bande à Part/Band of Outsiders (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964)
Beauty and the Beast (Timothy Forder, 1992)*
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (Robert Stevenson, 1971)
Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze, 1999)
The Black Cauldron (Richard Rich, Ted Berman, 1985)
Brand Upon the Brain! (Guy Maddin, 2006)
À bout de souffle/Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
Burden of Dreams (Les Blank, 1982)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Andrew Adamson. 2005)*
Chronique d’un été/Chronicle of a Summer (Jean Rouch, Edgar Morin, 1961)
The Dark Crystal (Jim Henson, 1982)
Dino Dan Trek’s Adventures: The Wonderful Wizard of DinOz (J.J. Johnson, 2014)*
Disney Descendants (Kenny Ortega, 2015)
Disney Descendants 2 (Kenny Ortega, 2017)
Disney Descendants 3 (Kenny Ortega, 2019)
夢/Yume/Dreams (Akira Kurosawa, 1990)
Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton, 1990)
Les enfants terribles (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1950)
Evanescence: From Fallen to Broken (2004)*
El ángel exterminador/The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, 1962)
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (Errol Morris, 2003)
Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, 2013)
Glee: The Complete Second Season (2010-11)*
House (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977)
Inequality for All (Jacob Kornbluth, 2013)*
Justice League Unlimited Volume 1 (2004)*
Keith Moon: His Final Hours (Peter St. Laurent, 2003)”
Kundun (Martin Scorsese, 1997)*
The Lion in Winter (Anthony Harvey, 1967)
Made in U.S.A (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966)
The Marrying Kind (George Cukor, 1952)
Master Qi and the Monkey King (Alan Govenar, 2012)*
My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007)
Niagara Motel (Gary Yates, 2006)*
The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
Watch the Shadows Dance/Nightmaster (Mark Joffe, 1987) *
Once Upon a Time: The Complete First and Second Seasons (2011-2013)*
OrfReo (Ludi Askins, 2004) *
Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick, 1957)
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (Tim Burton, 1985)
Pépé le Moko (Julien Duvivier, 1937)
Planet of the Apes (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1968)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen, 1985)
지구를 지켜라!/Jigureul jikyeora!/Save the Green Planet! (Jun-hwan Jeong, 2003)*
SiCKO (Michael Moore, 2007)
Sleeping Beauty (Clyde Geronimi, 1959)
The Snowman (Diane Jackson, Jimmy T. Murakami, 1982)/The Snowman and the Snowdog (Hilary Audus, 2012)*
El espiritu de la colomena/The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973)
Stage and Spectacle: Three Films by Jean Renoir (The Golden Coach (1953), French Cancan (1955)*, Elena and Her Men (1956)*)
Star Wars/Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (George Lucas, 1977 theatrical cut/1998 Special Edition revised 2002)
Time Bandits (Terry Gilliam, 1981)
Tin Man (Nick Willing, 2007)
Valerie a týden divů/Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Jaromil Jireš, 1970)
Vivre sa vie (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962)
Week End (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)
The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939) (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition also includes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Otis Turner, 1910), The Wizard of Oz (Ted Eshbaugh, 1933), and The Dreamer of Oz (Jack Bender, 1990))
Wonder Woman: The Complete Series (1976-1979)*
The Work of Director Michel Gondry (2003 compilation)*
“X” The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (Roger Corman, 1963)*

I won’t be updating the asterisks. Go to “Films I Viewed in 2020” (above) if you’re that interested.

My complete collection (apart from The Fog of War and Kundun, my newest acquisitions, because a bug is keeping everyone off the site at the moment) can be viewed at http://cinemopera.filmaf.com/owned

8 Comments
  1. Added Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985) on 3/30/2020.

  2. added Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (Daniel St. Pierre, Will Finn, 2014) on 4/5/2020.

  3. Update: Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe, Inside Out, and Wreck-It Ralph are damaged. Par for the course for library DVDs.

    More disturbingly, among my own discs, Frozen has four or five places where it freezes and skips (I complained to the company, but they don’t do exchanges anymore, and of course, all sales were final at Toys “R” Us at the time.) They recommended washing and a scratch repair kit, both of which failed to improve it. The Black Cauldron, Sleeping Beauty, and Alice in Wonderland (and maybe Alice Through the Looking Glass, but I leave them sealed until I’m ready to watch because of dust) all have the same issue: when the feature starts, the screen goes black, but the audio plays, and only advancing forward brings back the picture. Sleeping Beauty I was able to watch from the moment of the title but lost the Buena Vista and Walt Disney Presents screens. The Black Cauldron took over an hour to load for the first time, and I could get it to start in the middle of the prologue explaining the history of the Cauldron, but I didn’t want to start watching from that point. Worst of all, Alice in Wonderland wouldn’t let me see the visuals before 1:15, where it began in mid-sentence and froze when I tried to get it back to the beginning. The Disney Descendants discs have displayed no problems thus far, though I haven’t re-watched (1 and 2) or watched (3) all the special features on them.

  4. Added Bill (Richard Bracewell, 2015)* and Juste la Fin du Monde (Xavier Dolan, 2016)* on 5/6/2020.

  5. Added Learning to Drive (Isabel Coixet, 2014) , Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014), and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Season Two (2017)* on 5/9/2020. I’ve never seen the first season, but having read the book, I didn’t want to pass it up at Dollar Tree’s price.

  6. As of now, Brooklyn items are due June 1, New York items are due June 30, Queens items (Arden Shakespeare Third Series King Henry V edited by T.W. Craik is all I have out from them currently) are due June 1, and the interlibrary loan is due June 14.

  7. Added Va Savoir (Jacques Rivette, 2001)* and The Stream (Estlin Feigley, 2013)* on 5/13/20. More Dollar Tree shopping.

  8. Ordered Metropolis (Complete 174-minute 2-disc edition) (Fritz Lang, 1927) [seen many times but never the complete version–I’ve seen the Giorgio Morder version, the Video Yesteryear version, and Kino’s previous release theatrically], Burying the Ex (Joe Dante, 2015)*, and Trapped Ashes (Joe Dante, Ken Russell, Sean S. Cunningham, Monte Hellman,, John Gaeta, 2006)* on May 25, 2020. I have almost everything available by Joe Dante on DVD except Twlight Zone: The Movie (discontinued), The Hole (can’t find), and TV episodes.

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