Clearing out the old technology

Today, I brought a car-load of old DVDs and VCDs to a friend’s house. He is a movie buff who welcomes all stray and unwanted DVDs and did me (and another friend) a favor by taking them off our hands.

Loading up the DVDs, I was amazed by how many I have. It would be safe to say close to 600. Some I received for free, for example during my work with various film festivals. But the vast majority were purchased – movies I loved and wanted to preserve, now largely unplayable as I have neither a TV nor a DVD player. And, worse, many of them were never played or were played one time at most.

My collection was diverse, spanning many genres and having a good representation of some of the best Hong Kong, Japanese, Thai and Taiwanese films of the past thirty years. And yet, the reality is that I will not watch them again and they could be bringing someone else much more satisfaction.

I did make note of a few titles that I would love to own digitally – but even then, I’m aware that I probably won’t watch them if I buy them. Because I realize that the reason I bought many of these films is more to capture the feeling that I have, of the time I watched the movie. A good example of this is Chungking Express by Wong Kar Wai or The Umbrellas of Cherbourg by Jacques Demy.

These are among my favorite films and are classics. But what I like best about them is how I felt when I watched them. The emotions and the mood. Those will remain, so long as I think of the name of the film. Having the movies themselves will not help unless I truly take the time to watch them.

So I set them free, thanking them Marie Kondo style for the joy they brought, in a fashion, and trying to remember a critical lesson: stop buying things because of the emotions they provoke. Enjoy the emotions but don’t spend the money on something I will just end up giving away.

7 thoughts on “Clearing out the old technology

  1. That’s one thing libraries are for – a depository of books, movies, music that we may only read, watch, or listen to once. Love that I can borrow one or more of these from our library, then return them when finished. If I want to use them another time, they are available for my use. Frees up space in my home.

  2. I have quite a few DVDs, CDs, Blu-Ray and several crates of records (some autographed). I’m trying to decide what to do with some of them. Hmm… maybe I’ll ship them to you (hahaha….).

  3. I do that with books now, too – luckily the library now includes both books and DVDs, saving me money and space. It’s so interesting to experience CDs going out of favour now, too.

  4. What a pity – in a way. Did you consider converting a few at least to a digital format. Some more independent productions are really hard to come by.

  5. i did this just his passed december. a large suitcase worth of cassettes and cds to a friend who i discovered still uses a walkman. i felt a large relieve to be able to let them all go. although, now and then i do think about the many great songs on those cassettes and cds.

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