Just after Thanksgiving every year we receive our first thin FEDEX envelope marking the beginning of the Directors Guild Oscar movie screeners arriving on our doorstep to review and vote on. The first few, it is fair to say, are very obscure and probably will not make the list. Then comes “the one” that you have been eager to watch, and the fun begins!
By Christmas we will have at least 20 or so – some we watch straight away and some we stack in a pile to watch later. Some we never actually watch at all.
For many years we have traveled during the holiday season and we bought a pocket-size projector, thus becoming the “entertainment party” on all our trips with friends and family. We have screened on sheets, walls, and sails all over the world. One year we entertained a whole harbor of boats in the Caribbean who, when seeing our screening of The Revenant, pulled up anchors and edged towards us as we sat on our deck trying to fathom why we had chosen to watch in the middle of paradise 156 minutes of endless misery – misery that went on to garner 12 Academy Award nominations, just saying.
In these uncertain times, locked down in self-isolation from the COVID–19 outbreak I have all the time in the world, it seems, to consider what my meaningful media is. I have realized very early on that the news, radio, or TV, just makes me more anxious, so I am avoiding that as much as possible. I have not ventured into reading; I still feel I have an unsettled mind. Music has been my calming influence, that and the noise of a power drill in the basement as my husband “knocks up” another useful household item!
After dinner by routine, I have tuned into Netflix, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime – scouring content for an hour or so of light relief, but nothing is quite as exciting, or meaningful, as the pile of DVDs left over from years and years of Oscar screeners that we have never actually watched.