Tess Bowler presents her new column with three haunting drama movies for when you can’t decide what to watch.
In 2007, I was 5 years old and stood in Blockbuster. My dad said I could pick any movie I wanted, so I chose the original Nosferatu and a memorable B-grade horror movie. I can’t sleep when I try to sleep in the amateur double main story. It was the first time I was really scared by a movie and I couldn’t sleep all night. I consider this a watershed moment in my life — the first time a movie has evoked emotions in me.
I was 11 years old at the time and my dad gave me a book about screenwriting for my birthday. I haven’t thought about my life after graduating from junior high school yet, so I’ll leave it on the bookshelf so that it collects dust. But three years later, Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore”,is a one-night-only screening at a local theater. Maybe it was Anderson’s visuals or the quirky, sweet storyline, but that night was the first time I thought about making a movie.
Suddenly I turned 17 and cried over my first SAT results. While I was sitting studying, her mother gave me the sheet music for “The Life of Mishima Chapter 4”. I wonder why I can’t memorize formulas, but I can remember almost every director, writer, cast and composer. all the movies i have seen.
Movies have always influenced my life. But since I entered college, I have had very few of these moments. Neither my interest in nor my love for movies has waned, but my time and financial resources have certainly waned, but I rarely go to the cinema. Of course, streaming is worse than actually going to the movies, but in a town as artistically desolate as Hannover, it’s not a bad option.
One of the many problems with streaming is the overwhelming number of options. Most of us spend an absurd amount of time looking for what we want to see, but we don’t see anything because it takes too long. “Deep Cut” recommends the best hidden gems you’ve probably never heard of. What is this week’s genre? Drama. More specifically, what I would classify as a haunting drama.
1. Paris, Texas (HBO Max)
“Paris, Texas” was originally recommended to me by a boy I met in middle school who no longer speaks. My mother met him at the store recently and he remembered her even though they had only met once a few years ago. The sadness I felt when you told me is the same melancholy that characterizes “Paris, Texas.” Longing for what you once had and never will again. The film is a slow burn that begins with Travis, a man who is found traveling through the desert in a fugue state. He later reunites with his son Hunter, whom he hasn’t seen since moving out with his family four years ago. The duo embark on an expedition to find the hunter’s mother against the backdrop of the seedy southwestern city and fading neon lights. Basically, director Wim Wenders gives us a Western set at a time when open frontiers no longer exist. Instead of allowing people to ride into the sunset, modern civilization forces men (and women) to confront their actions head-on.
2. Mysterious Skin (MUBI)
If you know enough to subscribe to MUBI, you’ve seen “Mysterious Skin” by Greg Araki. Araki is a very hard-selling director, and if he’s never made ‘Mysterious Skin’, he’s probably done another one of his films, namely ‘The Living End’ or ‘Totally F*cked’. I would recommend Up. But “Mysterious Skin” is much more adult than either movie. Both films are focused on style and shocking value, but Mysterious Skin ripens with substance and unflinching honesty. Because the film follows the story of a young hustler and an alien conspiracy theorist who grew up in the same small town and reunited after a decade, it uses bright colors to contrast Araki’s usual trademark serious subject matter. The premise seems silly, but then again, so is life and pain. Araki uses the film’s weirdness to make this very point. It’s as innocent as it is violent, much like the nature of his two boys’ childhoods cut short by the same traumatic event. It’s heartbreakingly difficult to watch. Please view at your own risk.
3. Little Children (HBO Max)
This past awards season, Todd Field and his film Tár. But before that, I knew he was the piano player on “Eyes Wide Shut” and later made “Little Children”. At first glance, the film looks like a suburban garden critique like “American Beauty,” but he’s one of the best films out there. The title “Little Children” best describes the plot. The film centers not only on young children living in the suburbs, but also on parents who are dealing with the idea that they are no longer the center of their lives. Based on Tom Perrotta’s novel of the same name, Field further sheds light on the complex aspects of everyday activity. Why take your child to the playground? Is it for them, or to get the admiration from the ever-present housewives who stare at their neighborhood’s so-called “super dads”? At the center, an extramarital affair, Sarah and Brad lie, cheat, and gossip while ruining their lives. In doing so, Field seems to be asking questions that I have wondered almost every day in college.