Outside of the classroom, our professors consume media as much as we do, from binging television shows to catching the latest movie in theaters. Two Binghamton University professors, Hilary Izatt, an adjunct lecturer of political science, and Anthony Reeves, an associate professor of philosophy and director of the philosophy, politics and law program, sat down with Pipe Dream to talk about their favorite flicks.
After a taxing workday, Izatt often prefers TV shows that she can lounge back and casually watch without much thought. Reality TV shows and cartoons are her forte, but she also watches movies that pertain to her field for the sake of seeing them.
“I’ll see every politically themed movie, but I do politics all day, so I like to tune out and I just want to watch dumb stuff,” Izatt said.
Because of the easy availability of shows through streaming services, Izatt tends to binge her favorite reality television shows, including Bravo’s “Top Chef.” The show pits chefs against each other as they vie for a $125,000 prize.
“Cooking is something I’ve never been good at and these people are maniacs, and I get really into it,” Izatt said.
With the recent release of Disney+, Izatt is also feeling the nostalgia of the older cartoons the service has to offer. Additionally she watches “The Real Housewives” series, and said the drama makes her life seem far more enjoyable.
“It’s dumb TV, but you can turn it on and say this is horrible and my life is so much better,” she said.
When it comes to movies, Izatt looks for an action-packed flick that can keep her attention. Otherwise, boredom sets in.
“I watch movies the most when I’m on [the] treadmill, and it has to be a scary, fast-paced movie or I get super bored,” she said. “We watched ‘Instant Family’ the other night, which was really funny. It’s with Mark Wahlberg and it looks stupid.”
Reeves is on the opposite end of the spectrum, often exploring the themes and motifs of a TV show or movie, whether it be a gritty film or a dramatic TV show.
Recently, Reeves’ top shows include “Watchmen,” “Succession” and “Unbelievable.” In all the shows, the underlying tones of the content play a huge factor for him. “Watchmen,” an HBO series based on the eponymous Alan Moore comic series, takes place 34 years after the events of the original series. Reeves said he especially enjoyed the show’s homage to the comic series as it tackled American violence.
“The counterfactual history, and the action-driven but modestly weird [and] supernatural plot oriented around very real issues of race and violence in America, is intriguing,” Reeves said. “The setting — not too distant from reality, but still distant — prompts you to look at the social world with fresh eyes and wonder about the actual. The fact that the social story is, in a sense, believable is both disturbing and interesting.”
For Reeves, Terrence Malick’s films are timeless in their dreamy and surreal aesthetics. His favorites include “The Thin Red Line” and “The Tree of Life.”
Besides Malick’s collection, “Parasite” stood out to the associate professor for its wit. The 2019 black comedy, directed by Bong Joon-ho, explores class differences in South Korea. He also praised director Scott Burns’ 2019 film “The Report.”
“’The Report’ was also an overall good movie, but mostly because it succeeds in exhibiting vividly the reality of the CIA torture program,” Reeves said.