It’s been a minute, but we can finally see the light at the end of the isolation tunnel. Time to rediscover clothes with buttons and watch content that will lift your spirits. We've got TikToks to make you laugh, documentaries to deliver nostalgic feels and music videos to get you on your feet.
Baker Boy 'Move' (2020)
Baker Boy’s latest single 'Move' dropped just in time. Rapping in his native Yolngu Matha and English, it is the song we’ve been waiting for to help us get pumped for leaving the house. The music video was directed by Melbourne-based director and cinephile Freya Esders and draws a lot of its aesthetic influences from the 90s music videos of yore. If TikTok is your game, ditch 'Blinding Lights' (more on that later) for 'Move' like these shiny happy people.
Taika Waititi reads James and the Giant Peach
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi has brought together a group of Hollywood heavy hitters to read the Roald Dahl classic James and the Giant Peach, from beginning to end. Guests include Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep and Benedict Cumberbatch. In addition to unbelievable voice acting, there are plenty of laughs and even the odd blooper. This is pure joy on a screen.
The YouTube series is free but watchers are encouraged to donate to Partners In Health. The Roald Dahl Story Company and their partners will be matching donations.
Some Good News (2020)
As its name suggests, this little YouTube experiment from John Krasinski (The US version of The Office) packs all the good news on the internet into short episodes to warm you heart and bring fun into your day. Our favourite episodes include NASA sharing good news from the International Space Station, an interview with Steve Carell (by the way, so happy to have Carrell back on our screens in his new Netflix series Space Force), and student graduations with Oprah, Steven Spielberg and Malala.
Savage X Fenty Show (2019)
This is a made-for-screens fashion show we can get behind. After the annual Victoria's Secret TV event’s fall from grace due to dwindling audiences and criticism of the show’s blatant male gaze, Rihanna has given us something radically different. Part behind the scenes documentary part performance, the Savage X Fenty Show celebrates the power and beauty of women and non-binary folx. The highlight is Parris Goebel’s fierce choreography. Originally from New Zealand, Goebel has turned her talents to short film projects. More than feel good, this Beyoncé-level empowering.
One for the kids. This live-action series features first-time child actors alongside a stellar supporting cast that includes the likes of Elaine Crombie, Trevor Jamieson, Aaron McGrath and Gabe "Bushtucker Bunji" Willie. Written by Nayuka Gorrie (who grown-ups will know from ABC’s Black Comedy), Thalu follows a group of cheeky young Indigenous children who are on a mission to save their community from a mysterious dust cloud and its evil inhabitants. Funny, frank and full of smart observations, it’s worth adding to younger viewers’ watch lists.
The Flemings vs TikTok
Meet the Irish family taking over TikTok. More than a dance routine, this is a journey into the heart of boredom induced ridiculousness. The Fleming’s isolation shenanigans have been documented by son Tadhg on his TikTok account.
While we consider 'Blinding Lights' to be the family’s magnum opus, it’s just the tip of their content iceberg. Other gems include 'Cotton Eye Joe', which appears to be a work in progress, as well as this low-fi bop.
Beyond being fun to watch, TikTok’s 'Blinding Lights' dance challenge has become one of the defining memes of 2020. If you want to dive deeper in meme culture and why they’re important, try this ACMI read.
Our Dancing on Your Own playlist
Have you seen ACMI’s Dancing on your own isolation guide? If not, stop everything and go find out the best movies to help get your groove on. But for bite sized chunks of fun, look no further than the curated playlist we created to go with it. It goes way beyond music videos to include shorts, iconic movie scenes and one of our personal favourites: Fred Astaire cutting loose on stage at the 1970 Academy Awards.
Beastie Boys Story (2020)
One for the nostalgia fans. This is the perfect intersection of film, archival footage, music and live performance. Mike Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) share their story on stage, recounting their beginnings in the New York City punk scene to their rise as one of the greatest rap groups of the 90s. Directed by longtime friend Spike Jonze, this film traverses 40 years of friendship and music-making. You can’t help but laugh, cry and bop. RIP Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch.
Looking for more to watch? Let us guide you through this period of solitude with home-viewing options for every lockdown mood in our ACMI Isolation Guides.