About Me: I’m Harry Swan. I grew up in Maine, studied philosophy at Hamilton College, and now live in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I’ve loved movies for years–watching them, thinking about them, and now writing about them.
About ReWatch List: There’s a prevailing narrative about the state of the film industry these days–namely, that they don’t make good movies like they used to. I don’t disagree with most complaints about modern cinema, but the conclusion has never sat right with me. If film is dead, why do I find so many recent movies as compelling and enjoyable as the old classics, if not more so?
That’s my basic premise: that among the dull retreads and the endless sequels, there are still plenty of fantastic movies being made. If it seems like there are more bad ones coming out than ever before, that’s because there are more movies coming out, period. I think the proportion of good ones is about the same as it’s always been. On this site, I hope I can point you towards some of them, and help to nurture your appreciation for this wonderful, unique art form.
To that end, there are two components to this site:
The List: Just as it sounds, this is a list of movies that I think are excellent and very much worth seeing. As I mentioned, the focus is on recent movies, roughly from 1990 to the present. It’s further divided into various genres to give some structure to your decision-making. Each month, I’ll add to it.*
The Articles: On the third of every month, I’ll post a fairly in-depth article about one of the movies on the List. These articles are very much meant to be read after you’ve seen the movie; they contain all the spoilers, and sometimes include the kind of analysis that will make much more sense if you’ve seen it. At the end of each article, I’ll let you know the movie I’ll be writing about the following month.
*Some of you might reasonably wonder how you’re supposed to watch these movies, especially the more obscure ones. That’s the maddening trade-off with these new streaming services: it’s super easy to watch, but only the movies that they make available. My solution is simple, if imperfect: many public libraries have surprisingly extensive collections of movies on DVD, and through inter-library loans, they can get almost anything (for free!) if you give them a few days. So don’t let Netflix and their ilk dictate what you watch; get a library card and make use of that underrated resource. If all else fails, DVDs aren’t too expensive online nowadays, and I, for one, have always liked owning physical copies of things.