The New Reality of Movie(not)going


I’m having a lot of trouble adjusting to this new reality of Coronavirus. It feels both like I just had my first baby and also, like I’m a teenager, stuck in the house and beholden to my parents. Except I have none of the transformative and energy-giving hormones of new motherhood or the teen years. So I’m just like WHAT IS HAPPENING over and over again. My son’s school and extra-curricular clubs keep sending links to “learning platforms,” and every wellness service I have ever subscribed to, whether it’s the Y (which is now closed) or the mushroom coffee I occasionally splurge on, is inviting me to view videos or join informational zoom hang-outs and I’m like, is this for you, or is it for me? Be honest!

Meanwhile, I’ve lost all my free time. I feel like everyone on the internet is talking about the binge-watching they’re doing and the elaborate meals they’re cooking. My life: Where I once had 20-25 hours a week to myself to work on writing projects, read, attend screenings, go to the gym, meet friends for coffee/lunch, I now have two little kids and my husband around 24-7. The things I used to do as “breaks” — like write this blog and tidy up and listen to podcasts while folding laundry — now seem to be unimaginable luxuries. The housekeeping chores have escalated and so has the meal prep. My daughter used to be in daycare part time, which meant they were feeding her four breakfasts and four lunches per week and that was SO NICE. Because it meant I got to each lunch by myself. And read.

Anyway, look: I’m lucky. We’re healthy, we haven’t lost our jobs, I have a book project that’s in a good place, and a husband who likes to cook. I’m good. It’s just taking me a while to figure out how to watch movies again. I’ve been so emotionally overwhelmed that it’s been hard to even take in new movies — though I did manage to catch a screening of the forthcoming documentary Crip Camp right before they closed the schools. I’ll review that next week when it is released on Netflix.

The film industry seems to be reeling, like the rest of us. I just got an email from IFC saying that they are going to put several forthcoming features on paid digital platforms. I have a feeling that’s going to happen across the board for the next few months and maybe even through the summer? Whatever the case, the calendar of 2020 releases that I updated just a few weeks ago is now completely inaccurate. One of these days I’m going to update it, but for now, I’m still trying to get my bearings in these strange times.



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