🎬 #50 Tis The Season: Seven Films For The Week Ahead.
The time of year where time and space seem to lack all meaning is almost upon us. There is a pressure in our collective imagination, a feeling that it’s a time to reflect back on the year just gone - but can we ever really reflect? It’s a very hard thing to do because it means confronting things that might sit outside the narrative we’ve told ourselves about who we are and what we’ve done. It’s too grand to look back over a whole year and be objectively analytical. These colder, darker days [depending on geography] are more suited to looking at how we feel - right now - and being comfortable with it. What does it matter what we’ve done or haven’t done over the past year if we can’t just take time and feel how we feel right now and let it be?
Unfortunately, we don’t have the narrative structure of a film to rely on to guide our lives, we just have this inner state to help us. It’s reassuring to know that no matter what else happens we have this sanctuary inside that we can return to, a sanctuary that can be our anchor to secure us against almost anything that comes its way - and its from this place of feeling that we can set out to live and do what we’ve always wanted to.
Neat narrative structures may not apply to our day to day lives but what film can do is feed and stoke our feelings. They can fertilise our inner state as we give up on our lives for 2 hours or so. And in doing so we can sure ourselves up, we can experience feeling outside ourselves. We can modulate our emotions differently dependent on the film, we can take a moment to feel, outside of reflection, outside of regret, outside distraction, outside of accomplishments achieved or not, we can sit back, relax and and know that all that really matters is what we’re feeling right now.
Here are seven films for feeling your way through the week ahead - I wish you all a lovely holiday.
FILM ONE: IKIRU
1952 Dir Akira Kurosawa
Speilberg’s favourite is the perfect film for when you want to feel reassured that it’s never too late to make a change, or do something you thought you could never do again.
*Available on BFI Player.
Fact: Kurosawa considers this his greatest work.
FILM TWO: FREE SOLO
2018 Dir Jimmy Chin & Elizabeth Chai Vaserhelyi
This Oscar winner is a perfect film for feeling a breath of fresh air, sweaty palms and for helping us understand that the seemingly impossible can be achieved with a vision and a plan.
*Available for free on Disney Plus and for a small rental fee on Apple, Amazon, YouTube and Google Play.
Fact: The filmmakers almost decided not to film the attempt for fear of being a distraction or adding more pressure to the situation. Many of the camera operators, experienced climbers in their own right, couldn’t watch for longer than a few seconds to frame the shot for fear they’d witness Alex plunge to his death.
FILM THREE: ÊTRE ET AVOIR
2002 Dir Nicholas Philibert
Philiberts’ documentary about a small school in a village in France is great for feeling melancholic joy and for tears caused by something other than family arguments.
*Available for a small rental fee on Apple, Amazon and Curzon.
Fact: [more a viewing related fact] I’ve never seen a class full of film students so sheepishly slink out of a screening room, avoiding eye contact at all costs.
FILM FOUR: THE STRANGER
2022 Dir Thomas M. Wright
Press play on this one when things are feeling a bit too jolly and you need some sombre, brooding darkness in your life.
*Available on Netflix.
Fact: This is the third film that Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris have appeared in together.
FILM FIVE: THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY
1983 Dir Peter Weir
Peter Weir’s love story set against a revolution in Indonesia makes you feel grateful for what you have.
*Available for a small rental fee on Apple, Amazon, YouTube, Chili and Google Play.
Fact: Linda Hunt won the Oscar for her performance as Billy Kwan.
FILM SIX: DECISION TO LEAVE
2022 Dir Park Chan Wook
The film I’ve thought most about since seeing it at the London Film Festival - a tale of a detective’s obsession will leave you feeling strangely satisfied during the deepest most confusing days of the holiday break.
*Available on MUBI.
Fact: Park Chan Wook came up with idea while feeling homesick in London.
FILM SEVEN: BARDO, FALSE CHRONICLE OF A HANDFUL OF TRUTHS.
2022 Dir Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Iñárritu’s film should be pulled out when you truly need to escape your environment during the holiday - a film that comes as close to the feeling of being in a dream that I’ve ever experienced. You’ll feel like everything - good, bad, indifferent, is precious.
*Available on Netflix.
Fact: Despite the main character’s similarity to Iñárritu himself, he stresses that this is not a biopic.
Thanks for reading Video Shop ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.