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A #latergram I guess but I forgot about this pic and then my phone crashed. This is from a nice walk I had ten days ago when I lost my Shakespeare pin badge. My life isn’t a complete disaster but this caption sure makes it seem like that. Oh well, send.

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Film diary: 6/20

If you’re on Letterboxd, I’m here.

Films seen: 15
Films directed by women: 3 (up 2)
Strong recommendations: Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, The Raid, Next Goal Wins, Booksmart, O.J.: Made in America

You’d be forgiven for thinking this blog is just a place to syndicatie my film reviews. I’ve had a few notes on Covid and Everything stuck in drafts for the last three-four months, but Covid and Everything has hindered my enthusiasm for most things. I’m also struggling to find things that feel worthwhile doing in the day. The reason I enjoy doing a film in the evening when we can is that it’s a one-off full meal that makes the day feel different than the one before. I’m very ready for days that feel different.

TV that’s been good includes the new season of What We Do In the Shadows, Staged, Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II, The Mandalorian, and Upright.

Full list follows:

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Socially distanced cat.

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My 12/6/20 Jam: “Held Down” by Laura Marling

Haven’t done this since January. We were doing well for a minute there, weren’t we?

A couple of nights ago I revisited Nimrod and Dookie by Green Day. Even pulled out the CDs and portable CD player for the full experience. Nimrod is possibly Green Day’s best album in a straightforward hits-to-misses pop sense. The album suffers by having too many good-to-great songs on there, so the third quarter gets a bit exhausting, which is probably a good problem to have. Dookie is more interesting artistically, since it is written from a more clearly identifiable point of view – pre-success angry layabout, with a growing sense of empathy. However, songs like “Pulling Teeth” and “All By Myself” have become a much more uncomfortable listens 25+ years after release. Nearly all the stuff I listened to as a teenager has long since fallen out of circulation, since I’m on a constant quest for novelty, but it’s good to go back there some days.

Today’s Jam is:

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So many skellingtons. So much glue.

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Film diary: 5/20

If you’re on Letterboxd, I’m here.

Films seen: 12
Films directed by women: 1 (up 0)
Strong recommendations: Grease, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Moonrise Kingdom, Apocalypse Now

Again, the fewest films in a month so far, but I think I may have forgotten about one? Which would make it a steady thirteen as our regular minimum. We’ve been playing a lot more Warhammer, which can prevent a film being watched, and also finished off Gravity Falls, which I do recommend.

I’ve noticed that my quarantine comfort go-to is the musical. When I’ve foregone a film entirely, it’s been for a recording of a stage musical, so it’s more common than represented here. Actually, I did rewatch Swing Time in the last few months, probably April, which I haven’t logged, and that’s a great film. Consider it mentioned.

Full list follows:

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Film diary: 4/20

If you’re on Letterboxd, I’m here.

Films seen: 13
Films directed by women: 1 (up 0)
Strong recommendations: Knives Out, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Moulin Rouge!, Dirty Dancing

The fewest films in a month so far, but still working out as a film every two or three days. However, the first five films were watched in four days, with a further double bill on the 17th, so it felt much more irregular than that. I’ll probably save my chat around the “films directed by women” stat until the year-end wrap-up, which is likely to be January 2021, and looking that far in the future is not how I live my life. I will say that you rarely come across them by accident, certainly not by watching Hollywood fare. I could stand to make much more of an effort in that regard. The last two months it’s been 1, and both of them are co-directions.

The main reason there are fewer films is because this month we were peer-pressured into watching Tiger King. I don’t necessarily co-sign the hype on that show. It’s a fascinating story, and there’s never a dead moment. However, it’s still an episode or two more than I could stand spending that much time with those terrible and sad people. It wasn’t really what I was looking for in quarantine. It was absurd, but I don’t think the show ever read as funny to me. We watched the eps one by one, but I think we’d have done better to binge them, as the Netflix gods decree, which would have possibly evened out the experience for me. As it is, adding that on top of/alongside our usual TV schedule knocked out watching films completely for about two weeks, and I usually prefer watching a full film meal to frittering away every evening on TV shows.

Full list follows:

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Film diary: 3/20

If you’re on Letterboxd, I’m here.

Films seen: 21
Films directed by women: 1 (down 5)
Strong recommendations: Raiders of the Lost Ark, A Scanner Darkly, Fantasia, Cabaret

“I don’t suppose I’ll watch as many next month.” Too right. Also, I’ve really let this log slide. Although, looking through the archives has reminded me how many great movies I’ve watched this year. (Putting things on Letterboxd works out about as well as Goodreads for me. There’s phases where tracking helps me watch or read more, and phases where the practice of doing so puts me off. Clearly we slipped into the latter.)

I’ve done a blog about film habits this week, which you will find here. It was going to be in this post, but it was getting long. March for me was about rewatching Indiana Jones for the first time in years, and the launch of Disney+ expanding my access to loads of 70s kids films I will never watch.

Full list follows:

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Ways to Choose Your Next Film

Watching films may seem like the standard choice of lockdown activity to many, but there are plenty of people that aren’t that interested. I obviously watch enough for it to be worth keeping a film diary. My parents, however, were on a film every week schedule back when DVD rental was a thing, but now they only really watch one a month, if that. And they’re sort of unusual in that they will only ever a film once, usually. Many people watch more films than my parents, but there’s a solid core of rewatching involved, which is great, but there’s a balance to be had.

Films are very much a group activity in the house. I’ve moved an old blu ray player into my bedroom, but it’s unusual that I’ll watch a film at home alone. It’s more fun to show something I like to the housemates, have them show something they like to me, or experience a new film together. And when we are rewatching a film we all like together, it takes on the tone of a celebration: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again with a good amount wine springs to mind. However, it can be difficult to pick a film out of the thousands of options available. It is also very easy for someone (usually me) to dominate the choices. So, here are the ways we decide what to watch.

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Such a happy cat.

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My rats took down one of these tasty-looking Demigryph Knights before their inevitable crushing defeat. #warhammer