Read & watch
Dr Richard Swain hangs out in an attic with screen stars.
In the rarefied atmosphere of his DVD rental store, Auteur
House, reside the ghosts of Errol Flynn, John Wayne and
Ingrid Bergman. Richard believes he has 4000 to 5000
DVDs in stock. His passion for film came from his mother.
The 1935 US swashbuckling film, Captain Blood, was her favourite. By age 14 he was spending his lawn-mowing money on movies and developing a substantial library of film books. No surprises that he did his PhD on Vietnam war combat films. These days he watches about 400 films a year, more than one a day, some more than once. His favourite film of all time: Citizen Kane, closely followed by
Vertigo. But westerns are his favourite genre. He has seen
110 John Wayne films. “I still have about 50 to go – mostly the B-grades.” His customers are few in number but loyal in their passion.
“My favourite customer was a guy who signed up when he was 85. He climbed the stairs for seven years. His last rental was two days before he died.” Richard doesn’t believe DVDs will still be around when he is 92. “It’s a bit of a lost cause, I’m afraid.” But while he’s still here, he should be visited. 555 Victoria Street (upstairs), auteurhouse.com