Fine. I give in:
As much as I prefer to deter readers from using critical writing as a source of qualitative recommendations (who’s to say you’ll like what I like!), keeping running lists of the work currently in theaters — of both the movie and live variety — that’s worth watching will hopefully raise awareness for what I perceive as deserving.
Words like “worth” and “deserving” are, of course, so subjective as to be almost meaningless.
When dealing with personal requests for what to watch (put a pin in that phrase for a few sentences), I focus on what I feel like the asker will like, which can be a far-cry from what I myself enjoy. Since this sort of intimate relationship is impossible to forge between writers (that’s me!) and readers (hey, that’s you!), offering up such suggestions is a fool’s errand.
So remember that when scrolling through my brand spanking new — return to the pin! — What²Watch Lists.
That’s probably all you NEED to know, but here’s a bit more information about my methodology:
–No movie released in the first half of 2019 qualifies to be on the list, because I wasn’t tracking back then. Only releases from July onwards!
–Similarly, the Theatre List is only comprised of shows that opened in the 2019-2020 season (AKA from June 1, 2019 onwards) AND are still running today (July 22, 2019).
–Speaking of which, I’ll continually add new entries to the tops of the lists as I watch, but I’m not going to prune them. As in, it’s up to you to look up if the movie/show is still playing.
–I catch most movies within their first week of release; if a title doesn’t pop up on the list after seven days in theaters, chances are it didn’t make the cut. For theatre, I try to attend around opening nights, but it’s inevitable to be late to the party on occasion.
–The Theatre List will be New York-centric (…because that’s where I live), with the exception of my periodic jaunts outside of the five boroughs.
–THE LIST WILL VARY WILDLY IN QUALITY! MY FAVORITE MOVIE OF THE YEAR MAY APPEAR ALONGSIDE A TEPID THUMBS-UP!! Since I’ll be adding new recommendations to the tops of the lists so y’all can follow along easily, THE LIST WILL NOT BE RANKED QUALITATIVELY!!! I REPEAT: THE LIST WILL BE STRUCTURED IN TERMS OF RECENCY, NOT IN ORDER OF PERSONAL PREFERENCE!!!!
–Again, there’s absolutely no guarantee — perhaps the opposite of one — that you’ll even appreciate what I consider time well spent in a dark room with strangers. Would it help to understand what I value in art? A piece tends to engage me if it’s (a reductive, ranked list):
- Does it explore any ideas? Does it make me think? Is there something to think about?? Is there anything on its mind???
- Substantive, creative, challenging art entertains me the most…but not exclusively. In the words of Michael R. Jackson’s musical A Strange Loop: “I’m into entertainment that’s undercover art.”
Oh, and if you want to find out why the art on my What²Watch List is indeed worth watching, WELL THEN READ MY ACTUAL WRITING, GOSH DARNIT!!!!!!!!!!!