"the onslaught of content"

Film Evening. I've talked before about the onslaught of content and not having time for any of it. In the streaming world that's become especially acute especially in television terms with, across the BBC, Netflix, Now tv and Amazon about half a dozen excellent looking series I know I'd love premiering every week. The backlog is mounting up with both Iron Fist and Daredevil unwatched, countless series of Homeland, that new Julia Roberts thing, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel et al, etcetera, etc.

Of course I'd have plenty of time to binge those if I didn't watch as many films but again, there are so many films around now and since that is my primary form of entertainment/worship/education something has to give. I want to watch everything, but I can't watch everything, but ... oh my ... if I do that I won't touch the piles of unwatched books and magazines and how do I choose?

In a panic this week, I created an arbitrary list of rules to bounce any or all new film releases off, the kinds of stories I tend to like anyway as a way of limiting things, streamlining. Not necessarily a rule of thumb, just a way trying to sort between the films I want to watch and those I feel like should be watching. Writing it down or rather typing it into Word was a cathartic act even if I immediately felt a bit guilty.

Reviewed in Sight and Sound and so confirmed a theatrical release in the UK.

Sci-fi / Fantasy / Horror?


Female lead?

Auteur director?


Set in Paris?

Set in Tokyo?

Set in London?

Set in Liverpool?

Set in the United States, especially New York?

Actor I like?

Costume drama?

Courtroom drama?

Detective drama?

Oscar nominated?

Documentary about the visual arts?

Documentary about journalism?

Chinese/Korean/Japanese actioner?


Any Netflix films which are reviewed well in the streaming section of Empire Magazine, mentioned as one of Mark Kermode's Cream of the Streams or everyone seems to be watching.

God, looking at that again seems limited and limiting and bound to mean I'll miss something good. Not to mention that if I keep to this the cinemas of a large chunk of the world will go unwatched.  Clearly if there's a cinematic earthquake, I'll make room for it.  It's also true that I'm trying to return to my old rule of avoiding anything which has "harrowing portrayal" in the synopsis and that seems to describe much of the content released in the UK from some countries.

Perhaps it's the times in which we live but the motivating incident in a lot of films currently seems to be the death of a parent or wife or child, usually somewhere in the grip of great poverty and/or great social or religious oppression.  I'm already basically depressed with myself and the world.  I don't need to be watching films which will make me feel even worse, at least at the moment, at least not without an element of hope amid the wretched nihilism.

How do you choose the films you watch with so much available?  How conscious are you of your likes and dislikes and could you make a similar list?  How important do you feel it is to be across at least some new cinema versus "back catalogue"?  Are there some genres you simply can't stand?  I think the comments should be open, failing that use your social media channel to send me words?  I'm genuinely interested.

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