Collectors who go to great lengths to seek out rare items also want to make sure those pieces are not only protected from damage, but also displayed in such a way to show off that specialness. One man has taken that collector’s sensibility to a neat, albeit expensive, extreme, building an actual hobbit home for his J.R.R. Tolkien treasures.
Possessed, a short film by Martin Hampton, explores the lives of four people who obsessively collect consumer detritus of one variety or another. (You can view the full film below. It’s 21 min.)
Last year, I visited my parents to help clear out the house we had lived in since 1984. One of my more cuddly tasks was to sort the three garbage bags full of Beanie Babies hanging out in the closet of my childhood bedroom. Most of them found new homes in the garage sale, or were donated to charity.
Although I do not exhibit the same obsessive-compulsive qualities, my family is comprised of notorious pack rats. Every drawer overfloweth with random bobs and crusty old bits that may, in the delusional corners of my parents’ minds, yet be the solution to some future need. Jars of keys sit as sad testaments to decades of left-behind suitcases, cars, lockers and apartments. Pee-Wee-Herman-like, an enormous boulder of tin foil bulges the closet door forward pregnantly. The basement is full of thousands of unlabeled VHS tapes; the stairs are stacked with hundreds of romance novels that my mother always commanded me never to tell anyone she actually read.
Tim Arnold is the ultimate pinball fanatic. A foul-talking, chain-smoking cranky collector of nearly every machine that ever graced the corner of your local pizza parlor, Arnold runs Las Vegas’ Pinball Hall of Fame. He loves saying things like “Today’s yuppie fucks are too self-centered and full of their own shit and their own selves to bother doing community service. I like a civilized society, and civilized society is based not on only the greed of me and more stuff for me.”