Issue 4, Volume 18
With Stage 4 lockdown in Victorian well underway and case numbers continuing much the same, many of us cynics are contemplating the bleak possibility of many more, possibly indefinite, weeks of holing up at home.
Most of us have probably spent disgusting amounts of time in front of a screen recently, making the most of every cent of our monthly streaming subscriptions. So, in keeping with this time-honoured isolation tradition, here are even more movies to watch whilst locked away from the rest of this plague-begotten world.
1: Kiki’s Delivery Service
Everyone and their grandmother’s hairdresser seems to be baking a bloody sourdough loaf, or buying the Beatrix Bakes cookbook to lovingly stare at (and post about on Instagram) until they can next sample a sweet, soft, slice of pistachio lemon curd cake. Kiki’s Delivery Service is the ultimate feel-good flick with a bread theme. A wholesome, inoffensive story about a little witch finding her purpose in life, Hayao Miyazaki’s beautiful and evocative animation style draws out all the cosiness one might need when feeling sad and cold and lonely as one might during a state of disaster.
A global pandemic and parallel economic crisis have forced many of us into a state of existential interrogation. What does it mean to be a part of society? Was society functioning satisfactorily before COVID? Will it ever function again, and if so, what should that society look like? That shit’s deep. To complement these feelings of moral confusion and angst, why not try Koyaaniqatsi? An immersive, meta experience, this documentary (which draws its title from the Hopi word meaning ‘life out of balance’) features footage of majestic natural landscapes, contrasted with scenes of modern civilisation and technology. With an ambient score by Philip Glass and no narration, speech or dialogue, this film is either a stroke of artistic and philosophical genius, designed to question the very core of what it is to be civilised, or… very boring.
3: Shark Tale
I have nothing to important say about this movie except that this is an underrated animated flick and should be given a second chance by everyone. Get up and have a boogie by yourself in your room when the bit with the Christina Aguilera x Missy Elliott song comes on.
4: Sorry We Missed You
After the brief, happy, intermission above (much like that weird period between the two lockdowns), we’re back on the depresso-bandwagon. British director Ken Loach’s latest film is about Ricky, a family man whose life is a struggle against debt. He gets a job as a contractor / “self-employed” delivery driver and is promised a chance at financial freedom, but faces setback after setback as the dream of being debt-free drifts further away. With COVID shining a spotlight on the problems of an increasingly casualised workforce and the precariousness of many contemporary ‘gig economy’ work arrangements, this film is a moving, difficult to watch, but necessary critique of capitalism, modern labour and austerity measures.
5: Grey Gardens
We’ll finish off on a quirky note, keeping with the theme of isolation and seclusion. Grey Gardens is one of my favourite films ever. It’s a 1975 documentary by the Maysles brothers that gives us a brief insight into the everyday lives of two reclusive, aristocratic women; a mother and daughter, both named Edith Beale (distant cousins of Jackie Kennedy), who live in a derelict old mansion in upstate New York. “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” are like something out of a Dickens novel; both women are eccentric yet charismatic, and throughout the film they share little snippets of their fascinating worldview. It’s a compelling glimpse at two people who socially distance from the rest of the world by choice.
Ying is a third year JD student.