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Tag: Covid-19

Editorials, How Film Changed Me

How Film Changed Me: On Sex Scenes

November 1, 2020

There is nothing that emphasises a dry spell more than your upstairs neighbours having near-pornographic sounding sex at 7am on a Thursday. It’s incredibly tricky when that dry spell is government-enforced. In May, the government in the Netherlands told single men and women they should organise a “sex buddy” if they wanted to enjoy physical contact during lockdown. They asked people to consider their sexual partners based on how many other people they might see and plan the safest way to meet up for a shag. Going through someone’s social calendar and organising which position you’ll be in based on how likely it would be to transmit an airborne virus is not precisely foreplay though, is it? 

As for in the UK, the government offered no such suggestion – although,  having Chris Whitty or Boris Johnson dictating the specifics of my sex life would kill what little libido I have left – and thus, we were told we wouldn’t hug a stranger until 2021. So whether it was organising a sex buddy with the precision of a NASA Space Launch or being forced into celibacy by government restrictions, for most single people, sex has become, well, unsexy. 

This has become increasingly harder to deal with when watching movies with sex scenes. The touching, the kissing, the licking, the panting, the sweat; all of which feel both dangerous and off-limits now. Recently, I watched Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannell’s get it on in Joe Mantello’s The Boys in the Band remake. It’s only for a few seconds, but the two beautiful men kiss, drenched in sweat and passion, and all I could think was they’re definitely not six feet apart. I couldn’t find it hot (which objectively it was) because all I could think of was all the germs that might be passed around in their hot breath. 

The Boys in the band
The Boys in the Band (Credit: Picturehouse Entertainment.)

The pandemic has made sex unsexy and has made even watching sex scenes tough because it requires a physical closeness that most of us fear now. We can’t be near people, but when we see actors on screen, in movies filmed sometime last year, getting too close, it’s hard to un-train the brain to not panic at the sight of their touching. 

As Raven Smith noted in Vogue earlier this week, it’s not only the closeness but also the current climate stopping us from “feelings super-duper horny” these days. News of Trump, Brexit, Boris Johnson, death tolls, tiered lockdown systems, social unrest, racism, violence, and corruption are not exactly subjects that lead to being turned on. It’s hard to spend all day on Zoom taking in news updates, and rumours of impending lockdowns, and still have the mental capacity for sex – if the option is still available to you. Plus, any sex scenes I watch just serve to mock me. Not only because I wince at the touching but because they say to me: Look at all the fun you could have been having if you weren’t in the throes of a major historical event. 

Disobedience (Credit: Curzon Artificial Eye. )

I used to see sex scenes as a marker of boldness, especially in queer cinema. Whether that was Jake Gyllenhaal bottoming on a stomach full of baked beans, or Taron Edgerton, as Elton John, getting into bed with Richard Madden, it often signified a film’s willingness to “go there”. Was the filmmaker unafraid of alienating a straight audience by showing queer sex? Rachel Wiess spitting in Rachel McAdams mouth in Disobedience, Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu rolling round in the mud in God’s Own Country, or the sandy-handy on the beach in Moonlight set them apart from the “straight-friendly” LGBTQ+ movies that tried to toe the line. 

I hope, soon, I can return to that mindset. One in which I’m excited by sex scenes again and take pride in the unabashed sexiness. In fact, I’m just as keen to enjoy sex scenes as I am literal sex. Still, as my neighbours taught me at 7am last Thursday, not everyone is in the same boat.

Also Read: How Film Changed Me: On the Value of Youth


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Editorials

Share the Love in Lockdown

April 11, 2020
Watching Online with Friends during lockdown [Source: The Daily Dot]

Since the COVID-19 lockdown began, many film fans have been missing the communal experience of going to the cinema. There’s just something about watching a story unfold with other people that enhances the experience. Well, many have decided to find other ways of connecting with the outside world in order to enjoy watching the latest digital releases and old favourites. So today we’re going to look at the various ways you can beat the lockdown blues and enjoy the cinema experience while in self-isolation.

Interacting on Social Media and YouTube

Sometimes the best motivation to give something a watch is knowing that others will be watching the same thing. Well over the past few weeks various social media sites and platforms like YouTube have presented opportunities for you to give a film a watch and interact with the wider community.

Several big names have encouraged the world to check out certain titles on Twitter. Jared Leto started his own tweet along cinema club with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And director James Gunn recently joined in with a #QuarantineWatchParty of Guardians of the Galaxy. Meanwhile, on Facebook, groups like Celluloid Screams have used the Watch Party function to host their own movie marathons. Here the festival programmers provided intros for several horror films encouraging people to binge-watch all of them in a single day.

Also, platforms like YouTube have proven a great place for watch parties to be hosted. Actor Riz Ahmed recently hosted a live stream on the platform where he provided commentary on the film Four Lions along with the films other actors Kayvan Novak & Nigel Lindsay.

The appeal of these online events comes from knowing that you are watching these titles along with others. And that you are able to engage and interact with them. So keep an eye open for similar events coming up on these platforms. Or why not host your own?

Watching movies on the laptop
There are plenty of interaction opportunities just waiting for you online [Source Liveabout.com]

3rd Party Applications and Add Ons

There are also several applications and add ons you can use to interact with others while watching films. Video and voice chat applications like Skype, Messenger Video Call and Discord allow you to connect with friends and chat along together while watching something.

But there are also apps that allow simultaneous viewing of films with your friends. For example the Netflix Party application for Google Chrome. This app allows you and several friends to watch and text chat over the same show/movie on Netflix at the same time. However, it’s currently only available on Chrome. Other resources like Metastream also offer similar services. Finally, there are services like Kast. This application works on Windows and Mac; it allows you to connect with several other people and stream your computer screen to them. Allowing you all to sit back and watch a movie on your platform of choice.

These apps and add ons provide a great way to Netflix and chill with your friends while in lockdown.

Watch Netflix with friends by using some of the apps mentioned above [Source: Tech Viral]

Festivals

Finally, because many film festivals have had to cancel physical screenings, several festivals including the upcoming SXSW festival in America and Visions du Réel 2020 in Switzerland have opted to showcase their films and other content on the internet. Releasing films through subscription services or websites, hosting interviews and performing masterclasses online. Which when coupled with the social media and connective opportunities mentioned above will allow the public to remain in touch with film culture. So be sure to keep an eye out for more opportunities like this in the future.

Conclusion

With all these options provided by 3rd party companies and online platforms, we have ample opportunity to connect together and still enjoy a social media experience during the lockdown.

With many filmmakers and stars providing opportunities for socialization the community has a great opportunity to interact with each other as well as creatives in the industry. Allowing us to gain extra insight into films and perhaps giving us some inspiration to make something for ourselves. And while it may not be the same as the cinematic experience, these apps and events will help us stay in touch. As well as allowing us to continue experiencing great movie moments with others.

Also Read: The Most Important Cinema In The World (To Me)

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Editorials

COVID-19 In Movies: Five Films About The Virus That Shook The Earth

April 8, 2020
Breaking Social Distancing - COVID-19 Film

Re-watching our favourites via Amazon Prime, discovering new movies via Disney+ and organizing Netflix watching parties seem to be our everyday life now. While we’re in the grip of the Coronavirus, it seems that we’re looking for comfort in movies. However, people also look at it the other way around. Filmmakers use the current social climate as an inspiration for the next movie. Here are five movies about the virus that’s making the world coming to a temporary standstill.

Breaking Social Distancing

These days wanting to spend time with friends and family means that you have to come up with an enormous creative way of communicating. Whether it’s setting up a Zoom meet up with ten friends, a Whatsapp video call with your parents or a Messenger call with brothers and sisters, technology has never come handier then now. Friends Michelle (Lauren Compton) and Jason (Joe Daru) decided to go old school and to make a regular phone call. One that doesn’t only end with them reconnecting over the phone but also in real-life. What follows is an evening that can hopefully only happen during a lockdown.

Axia wasn’t only the director of this movie but also the cameraman, director of photography, editor, etc. He did a marvellous job as this short film oozes that typical Hollywood vibe: Colourful, witty, funny and over-the-top. The colours might seem a little bit too fabricated but for some reason, they fit perfectly with the storyline. A story that’s becoming more fun thanks to the entertaining performance of Daru and the uplifting acting of Compton.

Breaking Social Distancing

Left Behind

Saying goodbye is never easy but when you’re surrounded by the people you love, it might be a little bit easier. Sadly, that latest isn’t possible due to the virus. However, that didn’t stop Diogo Caramujo to speak his boy and his wife one more time. In the short sci-fi film Left Behind, we hear his final goodbye. After sacrificing himself so that his loved ones could go to a non-contagious place, he’s speaking to his family and the public. He hopes that his sacrifices will be for nothing. The most important lesson we can get from this short film is without a doubt that we can’t take this planet for granted. Surely that’s something we all realize by now.

If not, then director Diogo Caramujo (yep, that name sounds familiar, right?) will make you aware of it with this captivating and intriguing “Left Behind”. For some of us, our lives feel like a sci-fi story right now but let’s hope we will never become as estranged and isolated as the man in this movie.

Left Behind (Short Film)

Corona Movie

Being stuck in a crowded elevator is never pleasant. There’s always the fear, uncertainty, and anger. If you add Coronavirus to that, you don’t only get an even more agitated situation but also the latest film from writer/director/producer Mostafa Keshvari. His Corona Movie tells the story of six people stepping into the same elevator, that gets stuck. At first, there’s the disbelief and slight panic and when coughing comes in and the word ‘Corona’ is mentioned, things are getting worse. What started as a normal elevator ride will turn into something else. In what? Well, that’s for you to discover in this gripping and extraordinary film. The fact that this film was shot in one take brings that tense and heated element to life.

Corona Movie (Short Film)

End of the world?

It was announced that air pollution declined massively because of the Coronavirus. It seems that the virus is the cure to the sickness of the Earth, right? Well, according to Dushyant Kapoor and his latest short film, that’s the case. In End of the World?, he shows us two extremely eye-opening instances in which it’s clear that humans might be indeed the reasons why nature suffers and how that (indirect) affects future generations. Whether it’s not having access to basic needs or monumental buildings being torn apart by the force of nature, the people aren’t entirely as innocent as we seem.

Corona: End Of The World? (Short Films)

Coronavirus: The Movie

Last but not least, there’s Coronavirus: The Movie, a short film by director Blake Ridder. We follow the story of Steven Ping, a man living in the UK who travelled to Wuhan to celebrate Chinese New Year. Sadly, for him, there wasn’t a cause for celebration when he got back. What started with him having a fever ended in getting the confirmation that no one wanted to hear: He tested positive for COVID-19. Will he be able to beat the disease or will he become one of the terrible statistics? If there’s one film that might make you even more paranoid, anxious or panicky about the virus, then it’s this one, especially because of all the coughing.

Coronavirus: The Movie (Short Film)

Also Read: Coronavirus: How It Has Affected The Film Industry

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