I mean no disrespect to director Spike Lee, but I watched his 155-minute-long movie
Da Five Bloods
during four consecutive days breaking it out into 40ish-minute bites. I loved it. From the music choices to the astonishing performances from Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters and Chadwick Boseman and its inclusion of historical events and figures. The affair is, I don’t know if I’d like it that much had I done the right affair and watched it from commencement to cease in one sitting.
It’s been most a twelvemonth since we had to commencement seclude ourselves at home. Movie theaters, concerts and alive performances have been out of the question. So have parties and other gatherings with friends and family. Long gone are the days when I eagerly lined up at 9 am for an early press screening of the harrowing
12 Years a Slave
(2013) at the Toronto International Film Festival. In part considering the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) celebrated its 2020 edition virtually. But besides because of the shift I’ve noticed in my patience and endurance as a viewer (and reader).
With the start anniversary of pandemic times effectually the corner, I took inventory of some best practices when it comes to consuming entertainment at home. Correct at present reading and watching films and Tv set shows have become our rare source of escapism. Permit’s go far worth it.
Revisit Some Comfort Shows and Reads
2020 taught usa some lessons regarding viewing and reading habits. We savor the old classics.
Grey’due south Anatomy
topped the list of nigh-streamed content in 2020.
— all of them with several seasons on-air and/or being part of an existing franchise — were amidst the almost-streamed original series. The sequel
was the most-watched at-dwelling house movie in 2020. And the bulk of people decided to read (or reread)
The Hunger Games
To Kill a Mockingbird
during the pandemic.
If y’all know you lot like something — or that information technology brings you joy — don’t shy abroad from it. That doesn’t mean just sticking with condolement or preexisting entertainment — that would have prevented us from discovering new propositions like the supernatural horror show
and Kaley Cuoco’southward foray into the international mystery genre with
The Flight Attendant.
But it as well means this might non be the ideal time to be likewise adventurous when you choose what to spotter or read. Unless it’s past André Aciman or Donna Tartt — or it’due south i of Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley novels— I never commit to a volume blindly. First, I need to cheque that it has more than four stars on Goodreads — significant it’s been out for a little while and people have already read it and liked it. I also like sampling it, using the “Send a free sample” tool on Amazon. Just if I like those outset pages do I decide to actually read it in full. And even then, there’south no police against dropping a volume at a seventy% reading completion charge per unit if you no longer enjoy it.
Historical fiction, mystery and romance are the genres I read for pleasance. In regular years I also enjoy science fiction, memoirs, and exciting scientific books about climate change. I might fifty-fifty dabble in verse. Non lately. I stick to the classics and try to mix things upward simply past discovering new authors in my preferred genres.
I do the same for movies and Idiot box shows. I watched
The Invisible Man
in a cinema right before everything closed back in February 2020 but — even though I actually loved it — I doubt I’d accept watched it at home during the lockdown. I’m terrified of horror movies. Plus, the collective experience of watching a film in a theater with other people reacting to it is very different from the 1 you can accept home alone.
I’m trying to honor films in the best way possible when I consume them at home. I watch them on my medium-to-biggish-sized Television, at nighttime, with the lights off — and I attempt to stay away from other devices. But I no longer force myself to finish something if I’m not enjoying it.
If I’m trying to watch a moving picture and I grab myself aimlessly checking my phone while looking for a party dress or a blazer that I won’t exist able to article of clothing anywhere, it’s probably fourth dimension to call it a night and stop watching. The same goes for a volume. If, instead of reading, I’m looking for excuses to check my Twitter feed, information technology’s time to choose some other novel.
Abide by the Less Is Less Mantra
I know in that location’due south not that much going on in terms of amusement correct now. Only beware of the whole “binge-watching” feel.
Take your time, space out your enjoyment. Make it special, precisely because finding the right fit is tough. Instead of gobbling the adjacent episode of
WandaVision the minute it drops on Disney Plus, brand it a appointment — with yourself or with your cohabitants. Clothes up for the occasion — extra points for decade-appropriate outfits — and savor the feel.
And make your own rules. I really think 90 minutes is the ideal length for a movie only filmmakers don’t ever agree. In a movie theater, I indulge their artistic choices. But at home, I go to decide. And then instead of the
Da 5 Bloods
characteristic motion picture, I decided I was watching
Da 5 Bloods, a four-episode miniseries. It just worked better for me that way. And it allowed me to bask one of 2020’s best movies.