‘Lane Cove Library to the rescue’
When I conceived the idea of watching 100 of the Greatest Films Ever in one year, as I investigated which were the most important films, which films I had in my collection and which films friends had in their collections, it became clear very quickly that it was a hopeless task. To attempt it over a period of three to five years was a more reasonable proposition. And even then, as I looked at the cost of buying many of these hard-to-find films, via Amazon or other retailers, it looked more and more futile. The average cost per film is around US$30 (AUD$45-$50 by the time they land in Australia). Maybe I could do it over five years by buying one of these films per month, sixty films in total, but even that was unrealistic. I started to lose heart.
I did an online search in Quickflix and was buoyed immediately to find that 25 were available for hire. Disappointment followed when only thirteen turned out to be actually available to hire. Another dozen or so were listed by Quickflix but they didn’t have copies anymore, so it went into a strange list of Reserved movies, which would be “automatically moved into your main Queue as soon as they become available.” It’s reasonable to assume they once were available but over the years they were lost or broken, so I didn’t count on getting any of those soon. And some of the ones I was most keen to see, went onto this Reserved list.
Seven years ago when I lived in Lane Cove, I signed up my firstborn with Lane Cove Library, and I had a vague memory that they had a collection of DVDs. Certainly, I knew a small library, local to where I live now, had a few hundred DVDs, but nothing too esoteric. So I went to online to Lane Cove Library and, to my surprise, discovered title after title of what I wanted to see was available. 3 out of 4 of the titles I couldn’t access anywhere else, were in Lane Cove Library’s collection.
L’Avventura, Smiles of a Summer Night, The Virgin Spring, Fanny and Alexander, La Notte, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Persona, Rashomon… The list went on and on. Suddenly this was something I could actually attempt. I created a spreadsheet of all the films I wanted to see, and where I could get a copy of each of the films from. Three friends had fifteen films between them, I already had about one hundred of the films in my own collection, I hire thirteen through Quickflix, buy six from JB Hi-Fi, borrow thirty from Lane Cove Library and buy about twenty from Amazon in the U. S.
Lane Cove Library to the rescue. Suddenly I was in business.