Monday, September 3, 2012

Prolific vs. good

“Hitchcock is the most overrated director of all time,” the boss said one day.

At the bookstore I work at aside from selling lottery tickets, cigarettes, pop, and chips, we also buy and sell used DVDs. What prompted the boss’s comment was a box set he had just bought of Alfred Hitchcock’s early works, the crappy public domain stuff that gets sold on double-sided discs in dollar stores. I love Hitchcock but these bargain-bin collections are pretty shitty. Sure there will be a few diamonds in the rough (The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes) but most of it isn’t worth watching.

But I couldn’t let a comment like that stand. Up until that point I’d been having a bad day. I don’t remember why. Maybe I had received another story rejection. Maybe two. Maybe I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. Whatever the reason, I had resigned myself to the fact that it was just going to be a bad day and there was nothing I could do about it. The boss’s comment made me stop and re-examine that. I could take anything the world cared to throw at me, but I wasn’t going to keep quiet when one of my favourite directors was being disparaged.