I don’t want to speak for all collectors, but some of us who collect physical and digital media often choose to purchase ‘blind buys’ – films we’ve never seen before but are perfectly willing to invest in and add to our collections. Maybe we’ve heard of these movies through word-of-mouth or were recommended them by a trusted friend. Or perhaps we just really liked the jacket artwork and couldn’t say no to something so awesomely eye-catching.
Regardless of the reasons why, I myself am guilty of purchasing blind buy items often and here’s why …
Blind buys can introduce you to things you’d never considered exploring before
For me, this is the best reason to continue adding blind buys to my media collection. I’m always up for exploring new film genres and foreign cinema I’ve never been exposed to before, as well as new-to-me film directors, producers, art directors and onscreen personalities. I purchase the majority of my blind buys based on word-of-mouth and recommendations that come from the online film enthusiast community.
I think the best blind buy I’ve added to my collection so far this year has been the Criterion Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits blu-ray box set. Prior to me getting this set in July, I had never seen a Bruce Lee film before (and I had never ever explored the world of Hong Kong cinema either). I’ve had such an amazing time watching Lee’s films and it’s as if a whole new world has opened up to me now! Having said that, though, not every blind buy ends up being a winner. There have been a small handful of films that I haven’t ended up enjoying, but I’m still thankful for the viewing experience.
Blind buys can kick off brand new obsessions
I remember back in high school watching My Man Godfrey (1936) for the very first time. It was a blind buy VHS tape that my Mom had brought home for me when she had gone to our local shopping mall earlier that day. Not only did that blind buy become an immediate favourite of mine, it also kicked off a lifelong obsession with classic screwball comedy.
A more recent blind buy that’s kick-started a healthy obsession with German cinema is Madchen In Uniform (1931). Since I watched that classic a couple weeks ago, I’ve been busy exploring even more classic German cinema and non-fiction books about the Weimar era and German filmmaking. The learning never stops as far as blind buys are concerned and that’s one of the things I love most about them; you never stop learning, do you? You’re always eager to keep on exploring and branching out until you’ve covered virtually all bases.
Blind buys can teach you things about yourself you never knew before
Prior to purchasing the aforementioned Bruce Lee box set from Criterion, never did I imagine myself getting into martial arts cinema. I just never imagined it being something I would have been interested in. I couldn’t have been more wrong, guys. As soon as I completed The Big Boss (1971), the first film in the set, I was well and truly hooked.
Being a massive fan of ballet and musicals, I was instantly drawn into the movement and dynamism of these films. To me, Bruce Lee’s gestures and movements resembled complex dance routines and I found it extremely difficult looking away from the screen. Quite honestly, at times I felt like I was under some type of spell! I never knew there was something inside me that would find martial arts so … beautiful.
Blind buys aren’t always worth it, but at least you took a chance on something
Like I said before, not every single blind buy I’ve added to my collection has been a winner. There are a few films that come to mind that I just didn’t enjoy and that’s due entirely to personal preference. The films I didn’t enjoy watching could be someone else’s absolute favourite, y’know? We each know what we like and what we don’t and, unfortunately, some of our blind buys end up being a disappointment.
I like to think that I’m an open-minded person and I’m always up for exploring new things. My rule of thumb is I’ll watch anything at least once. I like to give film a fair chance because you just never know, right? Your favourite film of all time could very well still be waiting for you somewhere out there! It’s down to you to open up and discover it in that great big pile of blind buys you’ve recently accumulated *wink* So what are you waiting for? Get started!
Do you regularly purchase blind buys? What are some of the best ones that most impressed you?