Confession time: When it came to my media consumption last year, I got a little bit…well…lazy. What I mean by that is, I feel like I didn’t try very hard to watch a wide array of content. I tended to stick to genres I knew well (superhero flicks, cheesy Netflix holiday films, etc.) and I didn’t really challenge myself or try a lot that was new.
There’s nothing wrong with genre films or comfort fare; however, as a podcaster and blogger, I feel like it’s time to stretch myself. So, I’ve come up with a list of challenges for myself as a consumer of pop culture this year. I may or may not get to all of them, depending on what’s going on in my personal life. But I think these are good goals to have, and if I hit at least half, I’ll be proud of myself.
- A documentary
- Sometimes there’s an unfair perception that “documentary” = boring, and that just isn’t true. Over the past couple years I’ve heard about a number of well-reviewed documentaries and thought, “Wow, I should watch that!” And then I forgot about them and moved on. This year, I want to actually pick one and sit down and watch it.
- A film from a genre I historically haven’t enjoyed
- Last year as part of the ESO podcast, I watched the anime film Spirited Away. It’s a well-respected classic, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I really didn’t like it. It’s an excellent film, the style just wasn’t for me. However, after recording that podcast, I was encouraged to try a different Studio Ghibli film, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and one of my goals for 2022 is to follow up on that recommendation.
- A movie in the theater that isn’t a franchise film
- I feel like if I can make time to see favorite films like Dune or Shang-Chi multiple times on the big screen, I can go to the theater and see something a little further outside my cinematic comfort zone.
- A short film
- Every year when I hear about Oscar-nominated short films, I find myself intrigued by the category and wanting to learn a little more. This year, I hope to actually watch and analyze a short film I’ve never seen before, either animated or live action.
- A lesser-known movie from the filmography of one of my favorite actors
- I adore Daniel Craig as James Bond, but I actually haven’t delved into much of his filmography outside that franchise. Layer Cake has been on my list for waaay too long.
- A movie from 2021 I wanted to see but just never got around to watching
- Edgar Wright is one of my favorite directors, but I never got around to seeing Last Night in Soho in 2021. I know there are others like it. It’s not too late to cross one of these off my “to be watched” list!
- An Oscar-nominated film
- And no, a film I’ve already seen doesn’t count, just in case Dune or West Side Story pick up some nominations this year.
- A film released the year I was born (1987)
- I thought this might be a fun challenge; only rule is that it must be a film I’ve never seen before, and I’d prefer to pick one that was released during my birth month (August)
- A film in a language other than English
- I haven’t seen very many subtitled films, and I’d like to change that this year.