The screen media, as all readers will know, are useful chiefly for two things: they pass time and rot the brain. Very well. If, let us say, one is in the position of contending with hazardous circumstances, such as, let us say —
- one’s abject poverty
- the late hours one keeps
- one’s iBook being on the fritz, perhaps permanently
- one’s mother’s gratifying yet somehow anticlimactic probable triumph over a rare cancer, on a technicality
- one’s practically only sister living in London and not able to come back quite when planned
- 120 roll film costing the earth and leaving one’s Holga to lie fallow
- one’s substandard ankles, now structurally unsound due to two accidents
- the bus system
— and so on, the screen media occasionally do provide one with a welcome diversion. There are different kinds of media into which one can sink oneself: sometimes, for example, plonking down in front of Firefly on DVD is just the thing, and other times few things are more appealing than an afternoon curled up with cups of tea and a dozen or so YouTube clips of Draco and the Malfoys.
The trouble is, DVDs must either be picked up on sale at JB Hi-Fi, or rented from a frankly useless chain video store in the central city. This is no good. Auckland may be a bustling, forward-thinking metropolis (though this is doubtful), but what it needs is to take a lesson or two from Hamilton, at least in the matter of the Hydro-Majestic, cafes that open after six PM, and Auteur House. Shortly before I moved away, I had nearly finished watching a series of Truman Capote films (I think I still had one version of In Cold Blood to go) and a bunch of Hitchcocks, and Dr Richard was handing over Danny Kaye films as soon as I walked up the stairs.
I miss Auteur House.