As someone who loves adding personal commentary to films, I miss screening movies with friends. A lot. If I had to make a list of things I longed for, it would be near the top of the my personal Miss List. What good is a perfect scene, or a witty piece of dialogue, if you can't immediately turn to your friend, or partner, or full stranger, and act it out back to them?
But the world is changing, and so are our viewing habits. That's why we started R29 Movie Club, in an attempt to bring levity and fullness to the world of film lovers, and movie quoters, and meme-makers in these dark times.
In the weeks after our inaugural kickoff on March 19 with a rewatch of Charlie's Angels, I began to notice more and more movie clubs pop up online. Now, as we near our second month in quarantine, there are more than enough online film clubs to fill up your weekly calendar. Vanity Fair, Vulture, and non-profits like the American Film Institute, are all taking "home theater" to the next level with virtual movie clubs, combining the at-home screening with an engaging discussion online. Finally, talking and texting during movies is being encouraged.
Of course, the idea of a movie club is not brand new, but it feels more special than ever before. They're an easy and effective way to bring people together who are staying home, doing their part to end a worldwide pandemic.
We need movies that distract, comfort, and relax us. We crave a laugh! We deserve a soothing cry that is unrelated to the news cycle!
Here's a quick guide to the online movie clubs. Join one (ahem, R29 Movie Club, Thursdays at 5 p.m. EST), or join them all — and share with your friends.
R29 Movie Club, Refinery29
What is it? Focused on movies about women, by women, R29 Movie Club revisits women-led or women-directed cult classics that you still haven't gotten out of your head. The conversation is going down on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
What's the vibe? Nostalgic. Think of it as a sleepover with your best friends, but online.
What are they watching? Cadillac Records, The Bling Ring, Center Stage
Friday Night Movie Club, Vulture
What is it? Make your Friday nights feel alive again! Vulture's critics are leading a rewatch of an array of movies, from new releases to black-and-white dramas.
What's the vibe? Funny meets cerebral. You'll want to RT.
What are they watching? Parasite, Death Becomes Her
Corona Film Club, Vice UK
What is it? There's a lot happening here — Vice UK is hosting a Netflix Party plug-in to rewatch movies with readers, and later publishing the ensuing conversation. The movies cover a wide range, with the common thread being dark humor.
What's the vibe? Quirky, and collaborative. Vice UK wants readers to submit their own works of writing after rewatching movies with their film club. They'll publish the best reactions on their site.
What are they watching? Shrek, Miss America, Blades of Glory
AFI Movie Club, AFI
What is it? AFI is bringing their movie club picks to you daily. Each pick is introduced by a familiar face, from Brad Pitt to Steven Spielberg to Lucy Liu.
What's the vibe? Family-friendly, with most movies appealing to those of all ages.
What are they watching? Everything from E.T. to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to Moulin Rogue.
When is it? Nightly on various streaming apps
Shut-In Movie Club, Vanity Fair
What is it? Every week, VF's film critic K. Austin Collins shares what movie he's streaming and offers a detailed explanation of why each pick feels more relevant mid-pandemic.
What's the vibe? High brow, and contemplative. Are you brave enough to consider the duality between movies about loneliness and tragedy while facing your own feelings of WTF is going on?
When is it? Weekly on Vanity Fair