this is the pandemic of our discontent...

everything that happened at Flick Filosopher from Monday, June 21st, to Sunday, June 27th

Last Tuesday, I enjoyed a day almost like a regular one in the Before Times. I went to a press screening in the morning, after which I had a coffee and a long catch-up chat with a fellow critic I had not seen in 15 months. Then I went to a pub for lunch and to work for a while, and then I went to another cafe to work for another few hours. It all felt so refreshingly normal.

Three days later, on Friday last week, I got pinged by the NHS track-and-trace app, the one everyone here uses to check in to public places like pubs and cafes. The app keeps track — anonymously, we’re told — of what other users you’re in the vicinity of, and for how long… and if one of those people reports a positive test for COVID-19, the app informs you that you’ve been in close contact with them, and that you need to self-isolate for 10 days from that contact.

That means: No going outside, at all (except to get a test). Not even to exercise by yourself. No visitors, either, obviously. The app counts down to when you’re sprung (assuming you don’t develop symptoms, in which case the clock starts over again).

So I’m in COVID jail. This is what I woke up to this morning:

It could be worse. I’m not sick — I was able to get an appointment for a PCR test (the more sensitive, lab-evaluated one) on Friday, that same day the ping came through, and the test came back negative the next day. I’ll do a rapid, at-home test at the end of my self-isolation, just to be sure I’m not infected. (I’m fully vaccinated, so I’m not too worried.) I’m set for groceries and the like, and I have people who can get me stuff if I need anything.

But it’s all been incredibly disheartening. A little taste of freedom — still being careful, still wearing my mask — and then it all shuts down again for me. Sure, my self-isolate will end in a few days, and I’ll at least be able to go out for a walk again. But I’m not gonna feel comfortable being indoors anywhere in public again for a while… just as I was starting to let my guard down again.

What does this mean for going to the movies, or to press screenings? I don’t know. I guess I’ll see how I feel when the next opportunity comes up. There’s still plenty of stuff on streaming…

*sigh* I’m so ready for this slow-burning nightmare to be over.


new at flick filosopher, Jun 21–27

new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Jun 25

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Jun 24–25

new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Jun 22–25

  • Scientists talk to whales in doc Fathom (on AppleTV+); Liam Neeson hits The Ice Road (on Netflix); more… [get the full rundown]

new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Jun 21–25

  • Scientists talk to whales in doc Fathom (on AppleTV+); Liam Neeson hits The Ice Road (on Amazon Prime); more… [get the full rundown]

In the Heights movie review: hot in the city (#HBOMax) [pictured]

  • Pure joy. It is singing and dancing, life and love, food and family, heritage and community in all its complexity. Harnesses Golden Age Hollywood verve and style in breathtaking, enrapturing ways. [read the review | cinemas US/UK; HBO Max US]

Tweet of the week…

coming up at Flick Filosopher…

  • Fast & Furious 9

  • Zola, based on a Twitter thread (really)

  • Luca, the new Pixar animated feature

  • The Tomorrow War, starring Chris Pratt

  • Oscar’s Best Animated Feature Soul and Best International Feature Another Round

  • Disney origin story Cruella

  • Peter Rabbit 2, for my sins

  • Riders of Justice, starring Mads Mikkelsen

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