If you're going to binge, watch these 9 things
Updated: May 7
It’s been 44 days. I live on a busy street. It took me all morning to motivate myself to run and when I finally did, a woman in an oversized pickup truck yelled at me to “PUT ON A MASK”. She’s right. I shouldn’t run anymore. I have decided I am best inside, doing what I hoped I would when this pandemic started, watching everything.
Now I thought - I have to watch what I put in my mind at this moment. What I choose to watch could drastically shape my mood, so I have to be intentional about my media diet.
Films, when watched correctly, can change your life.
It’s eight pm and my neighbors are shouting for all the heroes going out into the world. Have you seen the Facebook commercial about that? I tear up every time, no matter what. Even if I gather myself, and it replays instantly, I lose it all over again. Not because of the neighbors in the commercial but because of my own neighbors and how rad they are. How in this moment, we are all connected by these scary times.
It’s simple. When you watch something and it shows some aspect of you, a moment you experienced or even a feeling you’ve felt, you are immediately justified. You know someone out there is as weird, different, or insert your desired adjective here, as you.
I started programming films a little over five years ago, although I have felt this was my secret weapon my whole life. I am socially awkward, even if those who know me would say otherwise. Take my word for it. I started watching films and discussing them with anyone who might have an interest. Turns out most people have seen a film in their lifetime. I learned cinema was the great equalizer in any awkward situation.
We are in a more than awkward situation. I invite you to ask yourself, what you are watching? How’s it making you feel?
El Cine is an organization I founded three years ago. I wanted to share films that I knew represented me and other minorities. The goal was to educate through film. Anyone will sit through a movie if someone makes a big hype around it, whether they love it or hate it, they sit there taking in what that director has to say; that way I don’t have to say it.
Next time you want to say something gently: show someone a movie.
Here’s my suggested quarantine watchlist:
Daria: Dove back into this gem and it is getting me through. All seasons (Streaming on Hulu.)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Dir. Céline Sciamma: The world is on fire, and so why not lose yourself in a very french forbidden romance? A masterpiece. (Streaming on Hulu.)
Volver, Dir. Pedro Almodóvar: You could do an entire Almodóvar binge this quarantine and your time will have been spent well. (Streaming on Amazon.)
Married at First Sight - Season 10: Don’t judge me. This is a guilty pleasure and provides good tools for communicating with your partner. Like Cesar Milan, but for married adults who just met each other. (Streaming on Netﬂix)
Amelie, Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet: Human kindness is cool. (Streaming on Netﬂix.)
Los Espookys, Created by Ana Fabrega, Julio Torres, and Fred Armisen: This show is so funny and only six eps. (Streaming on HBO.)
Victoria, Dir. Sebastian Schipper: You’ll probably never want to go clubbing again or talk to strangers. Perfect watch. (Streaming on Amazon )
What We Do in The Shadows The Series, Created by Jemaine Clement: They are Vampires, who can’t be in the sunlight. You’ll relate. (Streaming on Hulu.)
Big Fish, Dir. Tim Burton: This ﬁlm has beautiful symbolism. The ﬁlm is about a life well lived and loving those around you. Very important in these uncertain times. (Available via Showtime)
My most recommended films, however, are those that make you feel good.
Be gentle with yourself.
Meet The Family
Mariana Da Silva is a Brazilian Mexican writer/actress who lives in Los Angeles. She is the founder of El Cine, a Latin Film Organization that promotes film education and charitable giving. Mariana has appeared on Telenovelas and TV series, her credits include El Rostro De Analia, Las Dos Caras de Ana and NCIS. Mariana's short films have appeared at festivals world wide.
Mariana is right handed.