Physical media

My DVDs and Blu-rays.

Continuing my interest in how fiction and films work together, I picked up Cornish Horrors: Tales from the Land’s End, part of the British Library’s Tales of the Weird series, a collection I’ve owned for a few years and never read, and when the intro to the first story, Ligeia, by Edgar Allan Poe, mentioned there was a 1964 film with Vincent Price, I saw a project in the making.

Corman’s version, The Tomb of Ligeia, was written by Robert Towne and Paul Mayersberg. It has an Arrow Blu-ray with lots of extras for the curious, but it’s not available on the Arrow Video streaming service, and it’s not online anywhere else either. Amazon helpfully pointed out a well-reviewed six-disc collection of Corman/Poe films, all starring Vincent Price, and all films that I didn’t know, for £30.

Now, over the years I’ve built an extensive collection of digital films, but when I was keen to watch something specific and it wasn’t available online, I bought discs instead. This was when I had an old PS3, which died died about five years ago. I’ve been meaning to get a replacement player for a while, but I go in circles over the point of buying physical media. Underneath my TV I have a DVD of Heart of Midnight (with a young Jennifer Jason Leigh), and Blu-rays of Eraserhead and Daughters of Darkness. None of these are available online.

I committed. I bought a 4K Blu-ray player — a Panasonic DP-UB450EB, not a PS5, as tempting as that was. I don’t want to play video games, and the disc player is pretty basic compared to the standalone machines. I don’t want to become a physical media obsessive (take note, uc); I do want to watch the more obscure films I’m curious about.

It all arrives tomorrow. I’m going to read the short story this afternoon (I haven’t even read the story, and I’ve bought a Blu-ray player!), then watch the film this week and see what shakes out. I’m thinking about gothic stories on coastlines for my work-in-progress. That’s where all this started.