Quarantine can be a particularly difficult time to maintain relationships or a sense of community with others. In adhering to health and safety guidelines, we may feel detached from those we care about. Luckily there are a variety of ways we may seek to occupy ourselves, and maintain that connection at a distance. Watching movies is a great example. Various platforms exist where you may watch movies virtually with others.
- A free real-time video sharing app. You can launch it from your browser (Chrome or Edge) or from the desktop app.
- Disney+ Groupwatch
- This feature syncs your streams so you can watch any title on Disney+ with a group of friends and family through the app.
- Netflix Teleparty
- This is a browser extension for long-distance movie watching with friends. It synchronizes video playback and has a group chat feature for streaming sites. You can watch Hulu, Disney+, Netflix, and HBO.
What movie you watch may depend on your mood. Personally I like watching romantic movies and dramas, some of my favorites are listed below:
Shoplifters – Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda
In the Mood for Love – Dir. Wong Kar-wai
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Dir. Wes Anderson
Metropolis 2001 – Dir. Rintaro
From Up on Poppy Hill – Dir. Goro Miyazaki
Tune in for Love – Dir. Jung Ji-woo
Pride and Prejudice – Dir. Joe Wright
The Shape of Water – Dir. Guillermo del Toro
Pan’s Labyrinth – Dir. Guillermo del Toro
Lost in Translation – Dir. Sofia Coppola
Taxi Driver – Dir. Martin Scorcese
Your Name – Dir. Makoto Shinkai
No Country for Old Men – Dir. Ethan and Joel Coen
Her – Dir. Spike Jonze
Howl’s Moving Castle – Dir. Hayao Miyazaki
(Virtually anything by Hayao Miyazaki is good for group or individual viewing in my opinion)
My Mister (나의 아저씨) – Dir. Kim won-Seok (a KDrama, but a really, really good one. I love it, it’s my favorite one.)
I enjoy many of these works largely because they carry a lot of emotional substance, and leave a deep impression on the viewer. So, if by chance you happen to have trouble coordinating with friends, or perhaps are let down by the shortcomings of the virtual format, these films may help keep you company. For many, quarantine seems to have caused us to stagnate, and perhaps we may regret all the things we should have done, or memories we couldn’t make. We miss our friends and our chance for making new experiences, understandably so. We perhaps may feel chained to our past mistakes, unable to change our current situation. However, now that life seems to have taken a pause, perhaps it would be fruitful to take this as an opportunity to reflect on our experiences. The Chinese philosopher Laozi said, “Men do not mirror themselves in running water – they mirror themselves in still water.” Right now many are forced to be alone, but sometimes you are your own best company. Film, offers a chance to glance at different perspectives of the world. Not only that, but music, books, literature, and other media allow us to enjoy our time with ourselves. They portray the substance of our humanity, and in doing so reveal the poeticism embedded in the world around us. It moves us, both to emotion and reflection, so that we may return to life more able to appreciate that which lies outside of ourselves. Many of these films have done this for me, and I hope they can do it for you as well.