So Why These Movies?

Posted: August 8, 2014 in Article

So Why These Movies?

I was depressed the last two weeks or so, and I watched some movies. We’re not talking basic depression, we’re talking Allie Brosh depression. Stupid, pointless, meaningless, reasonless depression. You just sit there, fighting the urge to cry with every fiber of your being because that seems important somehow. I can’t say that everyone else has my reactions, but I can say that there were a few movies I watched and that helped. Not solved the issue, not cheered me up, but helped ease the stupid, pointless, random pain. I want to share with you the movies I watched, and the reasons I picked them…

Interview With The Vampire
A movie that is full of depression themes. Louis is clinically depressed, that cannot be denied with any truth. However, there is more to it than that. Louis is beautiful, and people want to have him be with them. The problem is, they want him to be as they want him, with little regard for how he feels about anything. He’s basically expected to just follow along passively and not get people down with all his complicated feelings and longings and being depressed and stuff.

I can identify with Louis, so I like the story a little more than some of the other people I know. Lestat is not a villain because he’s evil, he’s the villain because he’s selfish and stupid. He selfishly complains about Louis’s depression, and stupidly does stupid things to try and “fix” the unfixable. He tries grand gestures and then can’t understand why that doesn’t make everything all better.

This isn’t about “feeling better” or “cheering up” or even “not curling up under my desk and sobbing” at all. It’s about being able to have a moment where I can say “Yes, someone else has felt the way I do and they put it on screen.”

Speaking of which…

The Crow
Say what you like about Detroit not being as vast, as tall or as swank as the city depicted in the movie, it gets something right. If you are a man, living with issues, the patriarchal system has left you with only a few options. You are allowed to suck it up and be stoic, or you are allowed to be angry and take your rage out on deserving targets. I’m not sure there is another movie where those two sides are as well represented as The Crow.

The movie does manage to get to the heart of something else though. The stoicism falls away in a few scenes (Particularly the apartment scene with the ever underappreciated Ernie Hudson) and you can just see the utter and complete sadness. You watch the pain on Brandon Lee’s face, you can see him reaching down to something and bringing it to the surface in a very honest and personal way. It’s a movie that manages to say something, and be something, that I’m not sure everyone who was making the movie was aware of. They snuck it past the guards and gave us something we can hold onto. Here is a movie that understands that you feel trapped, that you haven’t really been given the equipment or the training to deal with this thing that has been laid on you. It also says it’s okay to explode and let all that rage out, which isn’t healthy, but I wouldn’t have been able to hear an alternate message at the time anyway.

Guardians of the Galaxy
An understanding of a different kind. Misfits have feelings, it’s okay to have feelings, even Rocket can have feelings. I’ve seen this movie twice this week, and I’m still processing some of it, but I haven’t been to see a movie a second time in the theater since Sin City and the last one before that was Schindler’s List. Everything wrong with so many comic book movies is addressed here, and Rocket says something that has been sticking with me.

Drax: All the anger, all the rage, it was just to cover up my loss.
Rocket: Oh boo-hoo. Everyone has dead people, that’s no excuse to make everyone else dead though.
I feel like that’s a one-line argument against Grimdark right there.

The movie surprised me by being a story that had some depth and a lot of feeling. I was expecting a fun, silly movie, what I got were characters I genuinely cared about developing in ways that made me feel better. Consider for a moment, that this is a movie where a raccoon cradles a stick and sobs. Now, consider that instead of being absurd, I’m sitting there going “Yeah. *sniff* You let it out Rocket. *sob* You cry if you gotta cry. *weeps* It’s okay.” Again, I find something I can identify with in this movie.

Also, I’m going to be hard pressed to find something that fills me with as much joy as watching little mini-Groot dancing to The Jackson 5.

I feel like this list needs more on it, but these are really the only three movies I watched. I mean, I’ve had trouble sleeping lately and letting MST3K run in the background helps, but I can’t call that watching. I could end this by saying something like “What I can say is that a big part of the reason I think we like the movies we like is being able to identify with someone in the story. Or at least know that someone behind the scenes understands us.” but it feels silly to say something so obvious. Problem is, I don’t know how obvious that is and as depression makes you think everything you say is stupid anyway… it becomes kind of a problem.

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