There’d be basic answers to this question: The Lord of the Rings, Everything is Illuminated, Wall-E, Three Idiots, Pocahontas… I’ll go with my second set of answers though, movies that I can’t really discuss with most friends because these are a bit under the radar. Honestly, only three?–This whole challenge is a mere test of restraint. I want to drop in Modigliani somewhere in this post, too.
1. Where the Wild Things Are
How am I supposed to deny a hug from the guy?
This movie, based on a children’s picture book, unravels in grim fairy tale fashion and plays with sublime imagery. Lines from the film continue to call out the full-grown kid in all of us. It doesn’t call you back to innocence, but is a bittersweet reminder of how fulfilling life can be when stripped down to the most important essentials.
“I have nothing now but praise for my life. I’m not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more…What I dread is the isolation. … There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.” ― Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are
At least, that’s how it hit me. Take out the dialogue though, and I’d still watch it, for plain visual chill.
2. Nasaan Si Francis? (Where is Francis?)
Hide a dead body. Simple.
The whole film revolves around that one predicament. Cementing my hope in local film, just like Muro Ami, Nasaan Si Francis? tells me that the problem with Filipino art and design lies in our lack of restraint.
3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Still preferring a book over any film, I think, the best movies are those unfolding its pages before you, an incantation.
“We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled that 60’s. That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary‘s trip. He crashed around America selling “consciousness expansion” without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him seriously… All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create… a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody… or at least some force – is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Not a film that leaves you happy, it engulfs you in a deluge of Hunter S. Thompson’s narratives. Pair his paragraphs with trippy scenes and you fall headfirst into another universe. Take out the mind-blowing visuals, I’d still listen to it, letting the words create pools in my head. I enjoy listening to it as much as I did The Royal Tenenbaums, though the latter film isn’t nearly as steeped in adrenaline.