Every now and then I have to remind myself to cut myself some slack. For the past year and change my motto has been If not writing, read. If not reading, write and I’m burning myself out. I’ve taken this as an opportunity to unwind and enjoy my down time by watching my favorite movies.
I tend to go for films with creative, yet sensitive characters who have a pension for offending people with their snappy, albeit curmudgeonly dispositions. I also love movies for aspects of cinematography, style, and mood even if the cast or plot falls short for me. I want to be invested in the feel of world in which the characters are living and evolving in. Here are some titles which may appeal to your poor writer sensibilities.
The Royal Tenenbaums
One of my top three favorites of all time. Wes Anderson always does an amazing job at assembling strange portraits of interpersonal relationships. The Tenenbaums are a family made up of conflicted artists and intellectuals whose secrets and resentments oftentimes get in the way of mutual understanding. While their ever imploding inner lives complicates how they relate to one another, room for others to get to know them is established as well. Even better, the movie was inspired by J.D. Salinger’s Franny & Zooey.
Starring the late Paul Walker, Joy Ride tells the story of a practical joke gone awry. The film provides just enough tense scenes with an insane trucker to satisfy the best of us. After watching this as a teenager, I went through a I’m not driving alone at night phase for a week or so. Then I realized something, getting stalked on the road can happen to anyone at anytime. Why worry?
It’s not everyday one’s mother takes them on a road trip to score poison, or gets arrested for murder first thing in the morning. White Oleander began as a novel and later became an independent film with an incredible cast of women. The movie follows Astrid who must live in the foster care system after her mother, Ingrid, kills her boyfriend. Even with Ingrid in prison, she finds ways to thwart Astrid’s happiness in foster placements. In Astrid’s attempts to rid herself of her mother’s control, she becomes pliable in the homes of her fosters; taking on their identities to mold one of her own.
School Daze relays the experiences of college students at a historically black college. While debating issues of culture and politics on and off campus, School Daze is a coming of age movie chronicling personal growth in terms of intellect and spirituality. Lawrence Fishburne is the central focus, given to preachy outbursts toward his college community. While he’s aspiring to a high level of social awareness, he’s also figuring a way to get along with society at large.
Lucky for you, some of these movies can be seen in completion on Youtube. Happy movie watching.