Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Damn you, Blu-Ray: stuck in video limbo

I find myself in a corner.

Because the only way to get Lynne Ramsay's very interesting, highly visual film, We Need to Talk About Kevin, is as part of a DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack... that's what I got. My review copy of Bertrand Tavernier's Death Watch also came that way. Then when I saw a used Blu-Ray copy of Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer for $2, I picked that up, since I might as well have it - it's a delightful little thriller, which I already own in DVD format, but wouldn't mind seeing in hi-def if I ever find myself in possession of the technology. That's a total of three Blu-Rays that I own, without a Blu-Ray player or any of the other gear required to make use of them.

It's enough. I suddenly no longer want to pick up films on DVD, because I know that, as fewer films find their way onto DVD, EVENTUALLY I'll get a Blu-Ray player, and should hold out on further purchases until that time. I had sworn that DVD was the end of my particular road, but suddenly the expanse beyond is very much in sight. Beyond the Black Rainbow, written about here at some length by me, is on DVD now, and I definitely want to pick it up, but if I'm going to ever own a Blu-Ray player, what point is there in laying $25 for an inferior format, when I'll want to see that very visual film in the best possible resolution available, and may someday be able to? Even where picture quality is so much an issue - as with the latest instalment in the West Memphis 3 story, Paradise Lost 3, also out now, or Elaine May's wicked, delightful comedy A New Leaf, both of which I'm more interested in for their content than their imagery - I don't want to waste money; if I'm eventually going to upgrade, I hardly have the cash to throw away - it's not like DVDs are suddenly dirt cheap. I will probably snag the upcoming Bresson release about suicide, The Devil, Probably, on DVD, because I've wanted to see it for some time.... but otherwise, I think I'm stuck in a sort of format-shift limbo, unwilling to buy Blu-Rays because I don't have the gear to watch them, and unwilling to buy DVDs because eventually I know I'll buckle to the change... 

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