The Holy Week holidays are finally upon us. For practicing Catholics, this is a time for serious reflection and joy. For the rest of us, we could also do that…or take this as an opportunity for a getaway or to catch up on some reading and watching. No judgment here. It’s all valid.
Don’t have any Holy Week plans yet? Here’s our Preen Picks for your consideration. Oddly enough, we all decided on consuming East Asian media. If that’s your thing, this list is for you.
Jelou, associate editor, Scoutmag: “I grew up in a Catholic household with my lola reminding the family to ‘keep it quiet’ every Holy Week season, so I’ve chosen to peacefully revisit my TBR pile (and maybe do some reflecting while I’m at it.) First in the lineup is ‘Tokyo Ueno Station’ by Yū Miri, which explores the afterlife through the eyes of a homeless ghost who ends up in a busy train station.”
Zofiya, associate editor: “I’ve been watching ‘The Untamed,’ a Chinese fantasy drama about two magical soulmates. It’s very, very gay. Though the show itself isn’t explicitly gay due to China’s ban on LGBTQIA+ depictions, it’s adapted from a literal BL novel and the show skirts the ban with heavy use of homoerotic subtext. I am a shipper at heart and WangXian, the central ship, has it all: enemies to lovers, a frigid, cold, and straightlaced guy who’s warmed over by someone endlessly charming and mischievous, soulmates that even death cannot separate (not a spoiler, FYI, this is the very basis of the show). Can’t wait to finish watching two men love and do magic during Holy Week!”
“Nobody Knows” and “Still Walking”
Amrie, content creator: “The vibe for Holy Week is contemplative. I plan on watching two films by director Hirokazu Kore-eda on family and what ties us together. ‘Nobody Knows’ is based on a true story about a 12-year-old who has to take care of his younger siblings after their mother abandons them. ‘Still Walking’ is a portrait of a family still reeling from losing a loved one. Their premises sound bleak but they’re not meant to be hopeless—just like most devotional practices and real life, tbh.”
Christian, associate editor, Nolisoli.ph: “There will be no reception where I will be (but you know I will be posting Insta Stories), so I plan to finish Hanya Yanagihara’s ‘To Paradise.’
It’s not all queer trauma this time, you guys! I have been on it since February, but thanks to the gays who paved the way to normalize reading Yanagihara for extended periods of time, it is now totally acceptable to finish her books anywhere between three months to a year.”
“Forecasting Love and Weather”
Pammy, designer: “I’m (definitely) late to the party on this. I’ve been saving countless K-dramas for the past few days—waiting for them to have all their episodes up—and one of them is ‘Forecasting Love and Weather.’ As much as I’d like to focus on resting during this time, I really can’t say no to another K-drama, especially when I see Song Kang (but he better be different from his ‘Nevertheless’ character or I’m flippin’ out).”
“Drive My Car”
Neal, videographer: “Who would have known that I could still finish a three-hour film in 2022? Certainly not me. But I’m doing it again by rewatching ‘Drive My Car’ by Ryusuke Hamaguchi. It lassoed me in during its first five minutes alone and it was a ride from there. A huge triumph at the last awards season, the film masterfully blends the complexities of sorrow, relationships, language, and silence into a moving journey through Japan. The cinematography is majestic in the depiction of the ordinary, and the actors propel the film into emotional heights. ‘Drive My Car’ understands the art of loss and letting go, and I am once again reminded of the power of cinema.”