Inflatable Movie Screen
I spent so much time this past year trying to bring the theatrical experience to my tiny apartment. But no matter how great I made my system within my home, I couldn’t replicate the crowd or the screen size properly. With one of these Holiday Styling inflatable movies screens, I could create my own drive-in movie experience in my backyard or common area. 200 inches for $250. Still fairly pricey, but my mates might be able to chip in. And don’t worry, it comes with an electric blower, so you won’t bust a lung setting up this titan.
The best thing to happen to Christopher Nolan was Apple AirPods. What the hell are they saying in Dunkirk? I have no clue what’s going on in Tenet. Or I didn’t until I synched my Apple AirPods to my Apple TV. Now Robert Pattinson and John David Washington are whispering their lines directly into my brain. The white noise no longer blasts out their dialogue; it actually puts me in the scene with the characters. Watching Tenet with my AirPods was a revelatory experience. It transformed an insufferable painful listen into the blissfully immersive one that I imagine Christopher Nolan intended. Yes, I’d love to graduate to the AirPods Max someday, which I’m sure are infinitely more comfortable, but the regular AirPods do the job perfectly.
Zoetrope: A 19th Century Toy
Not all technology needs to be the latest and greatest. Sometimes, the coolest toys are the ones invented two hundred years ago. For $26, you can nab a slightly modified Zoetrope from the Animation Toys Etsy shop. Made from handcrafted wood, this little beauty is a brilliant and succinct education in the power of animation.
Give it to a kid, give it to a 30-year-old. They’ll have fun with it, and if they’re anything like myself, they’ll also be inspired to whip up their own flipbook-style cartoons. Honestly, the Zoetrope is a marvel. As it spins, get lost in human ingenuity. High-five the long-dead for what they accomplished.
A Masterclass in Storytelling
I’m a MasterClass addict. For $15 a month (billed annually), you are given access to some of the most talented storytellers on the planet. We’re talking Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Neil Gaiman, Issa Rae, etc. The list is nearly endless, and I hope to never run through them. Sure, the benefits vary depending on the filmmaker you select, but I can confirm that each of the ones listed above is absolutely worth your time. Whether you’re trying to hone your craft or simply hone your ability to appreciate the craft, the MasterClass sessions are invaluable. Most importantly, these tutorials feel personable. Even though these artists are basically just talking at you, you never feel apart from the conversation. They can be your teachers if you let them.