Succumbing to Netflix-iation

Once I moved here, and once the dread of actually finding a new video store to attend and battle over other customers for the lone copy of this or that piece of crap overtook me, I took it upon myself to finally became a customer of Netflix. I had been wanting to do this for awhile, and the fact that there was a relatively close Netflix center nearby in Santa Ana, which cut down considerably on the turnaround and transport time (as opposed to postal delivery to and from Alaska, which isn't bad, but nothing like living down the road a short piece from something) was definitely a boon to the positive resolution of such a decision.

Now, I have had nothing but a positive experience thus far with Netflix. No, the problem that I ran into had nothing to do with Netflix directly. The fault lies with myself, and with my rather lax attitude toward my queue on their website. I tend to do things like this in rather large batches, so I will click on a samurai movie, and a thousand recommendations for other samurai or Japanese flicks will pop up, and I will click on all of them, whether I have seen them before or not. The films pile up in the order that I click them, but before I can arrange them in some order of preference, I am distracted by some other genre that I simply
add to my list.

Normally, this is not a problem. Since I am so resolutely lax in my queue maintenance, I have come to accept whatever DVD shows up in the mail, and watch it without regretting the appearance of one of the other films on my list. However, I then ran into the "Great Halloween Problem". That is, while I have a good many horror and sci-fi flicks in my queue, I didn't have any of them at the top to coincide with late October. As a result, I hit the mother lode of French New Wave films in the last couple of weeks, clicked on when I went off on one of my "I need to see that again!" tangents, and which were then received in a period where I really had no inclination at all to watch them. Truffaut and Godard are fine in the waning weeks of March, but not in the ghoul-haunted woodland of 'Tober.

I did watch the first batch (and rated and posted their scores, appropriately). It seems that it would be a bit strange hopping from Breathless to Cat People, but it was actually not that weird, and you can almost make the case that Val Lewton shook things up just as much with his films in the early '40s as the French boys did in their time. So there are parallels to be made if you wanted to make a study of it... which I don't.

For now, I am stuck with another fistful of French films for this weekend, two which I have seen before and one that I have never seen (Shoot the Piano Player). And I did go on Netflix in the middle of writing this and gave that queue of mine a good, solid shaking and cleaning up, as there were many films that I have seen already elsewhere in the interim since I set the damned thing up.

Of course, I then ran into a film on Netflix that I hadn't seen yet, and ended up clicking indiscriminately on about thirty more films, and I will probably end up with the same situation again in a couple months. 

And so it goes...


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