Aw, April. After March was possibly the craziest and oddest month of our collective lives, April was a learning curve for everyone, as we tried to get used to our new surroundings.
Although it originated from truly terrible surroundings, this actually seemed like quite a uniting time as everyone in the whole world was sharing one big similar circumstance. Everyone was stuck in their respective homes – no one could see friends, see family, go to the cinema, go to a restaurant or really do anything. And, actually it was nice to see everyone – no matter what race, gender, age, class or nationality – deal with the same issues for once.
And, it was actually quite a calming time for me. I loved it, and I watched a lot of films. These include:
- Lots of new films, that I watched on streaming services, instead of at the cinema. Streaming services including the subscription-based ones (including Netflix, Amazon Prime and DisneyPlus, along with Shudder, which I got for a while during lock-down (it wasn’t worth it)), free streaming services (including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and of course, YouTube) and streaming services were you buy rentals (including Google Play, Amazon or Curzon Home Cinema). The new films I watched on streaming services include Bacurau, Swallow, Love Wedding Repeat, Tigertail, Blow the Man Down and Sea Fever. I also re-watched The Invisible Man and the National Theatre Live taping of the stage play, Fleabag (which was very lovingly put onto streaming for charity). The best of these films was Bacurau (with a big honourable mention for Swallow), and the worst was definitely Love Wedding Repeat.
- During lock-down, me and my dad started a film club, in which he would show me a film I’ve never seen before, while I would show him a film he’s never seen before. The classics I watched for the first time include the Orson Welles classic, Touch of Evil; the iconic war film, Apocalypse Now; the other iconic John Travolta dance film (that isn’t Grease), Saturday Night Fever; the 60s Paul Newman film, The Hustler; the Stephen King-David Cronenberg adaptation of The Dead Zone; Apocalypse Now documentary, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse; the classic Humphrey Bogart classic, The Maltese Falcon and the 80s Best Picture winner, Platoon.
- Films I showed my dad that I re-watched include the Coen brothers films, Inside Llewyn Davis (which I love), Barton Fink, The Man Who Wasn’t There and A Serious Man. Others include the forgotten gems, Begin Again, Searching and Leave No Trace, and the terrific recent gems, One Cut of the Dead and The Peanut Butter Falcon.
- Otherwise, I watched Knives Out twice this month. Yes, that means that I’ve seen it six times now. The first time, I watched it with a commentary track from director, Rian Johnson, while the second time I watched it normally.
- Speaking of Knives Out, I watched a lot of films that Johnson says influenced his work. Before this month, I watched 80s twisty-turny thriller, Deathtrap and the whodunnit parody movie, Murder by Death. In this month, however, I watched some Agatha Christie adaptations, including Evil Under the Sun, Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express (the 1970s one) and The Mirror Crack’d, as well as the 70s mystery thrillers, Sleuth and The Last of Sheila. I also watched the 2015 miniseries of Christie’s And Then There Were None, which was great by the way, if you haven’t seen it.
- Other random films include: Mr. Right, a mediocre Sam Rockwell black comedy; Tigers Are Not Afraid, a terrific and underrated fantasy horror in the vein of Pan’s Labyrinth (which was pretty much the only other film I watched on Shudder), and QT8: The First Eight, a documentary about Quentin Tarantino. I sort of let go of watching Studio Ghibli films in April (don’t worry, I start again in June), however I did watch the underrated Ghibli gem, Whisper of the Heart.
- I did also re-watch a lot of films with my family during this month. This includes a favourite from my childhood (and one of my mum’s favourites), the Pixar movie, Finding Nemo, and The Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, which I undoubtedly think it better than the original. I also re-watched the 2016 comedy, The Nice Guys, another go-to comfort movie for me.
- I also continued to watch The Simpsons during this harsh and difficult time. I carried on watching random episodes, finishing the sixth and fifth seasons. This re-watch really established to me that The Simpsons is so good – the writing on this show is better than most shows on nowadays.
- Other random TV seasons I’ve seen include: the first season of Ozark; the first season of Pure; the second season of Mark Kermode’s Secrets of Cinema, and the fifth season of Better Call Saul. They were all good, but the fifth season of Better Call Saul was near perfection (bring on season 6).
- Outside And Then There Were None, I also watched some miniseries, including Tiger King (like everyone else on the planet – remember when that was the biggest thing ever) and Quiz, a dramatisation of the Who Wants to be A Millionaire scandal (which was fantastic, by the way).
- I also read this month (that’s right, sometimes I read) – I started to read some comics. I read Volumes 7 (consisting of issues 31 to 36) and 8 (Issues 37 to 42) of Brian K. Vaughn’s Saga, one of my favourite comic book series. I also read the second volume (Issues 6 to 10) of the underrated series, Skyward.
Bring on the Month 3, where caution: I was A LOT of films.