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Felicity Warner / HCM

5 Genres, 5 Film Recommendations

Edited by: Sanjana Hira

If it is Wednesday and you are already at your will’s end, or it is Friday and it looks like another at-home weekend, this article is for you. These are four films from four different genres that will fit the sorrows of your changing face because doing the reading for one class really does feel like girlbossing too close to the sun. These films will keep you company in your sad hours and in this post-materialist-sylvia-plath-late-capitalist existential crisis. 

  1. All Together Now

Shoujo tropes meet Netflix; this 2020 film explores the tensions of high school and homelessness in the backdrop of a tense mother-daughter relationship. It delves into the topics of grief and the soul-crushing economy of healthcare in the US. But it is also a reminder of Cinderella stories being true only on the screen, not on this real life stage where all of us are actors in productivity and sanity. *cue doom scrolling through the affirmations page*

This movie also explores how optimism is hit hard by tragedy and that relying on others is sometimes the only way to make it through.

2. Ponyo

This 2008 Ghibli film is about a goldfish who finds solace in a human companion after turning herself into a girl. A visual treat, the seemingly straightforward plot ensures capturing the viewer, age no bar. This film will make you want to move to the sea, or shed the flesh prison that is the human body or even enjoy your next cup of tea more deeply, considering how moved the fish was by tasting that sweet nectar.

3. Who Are You?

If you’re a guest user on Netflix and the besties haven’t paid the bill, fill the void with this free short film on YouTube exploring artistic plateau. Sporting over 10 million views, it acts like a paracetamol for the headaches caused by clenching your jaw; the problem remains but it doesn’t hurt to put a band-aid on top. At least you don’t have to face the depths of your own nihilism for however long the effect of the film stays. It follows a writer and his travails with fame, concluding with a strange turn of events that inspire him all over again. That rhymed. Can you tell it is your average MCR listening English major writing this?

4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

A period drama for anyone who loves light academia or has missed seeing an all white cast on TV; this 2018 film is an English major’s wildest dream. High stakes romance, mopey Bri-ish weather and a book club. This is a film that checks off all the other boxes as well: exploration of friendship, found family and the love of literature as meaning-making in a world that is going to pieces.

5. Meshes of the Afternoon

If the uncanny was one film, it would be this 1943 experimental film directed by Maya Deren. Haunting and unsettling, this film will leave you t̶r̶i̶c̶k̶e̶d̶,̶ ̶b̶a̶c̶k̶s̶t̶a̶b̶b̶e̶d̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶q̶u̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶s̶i̶b̶l̶y̶,̶ ̶b̶a̶m̶b̶o̶o̶z̶l̶e̶d̶ in a dazed state. Who knows, maybe it would finally end the dissociative zen you’ve entered because of having a dozen deadlines. Reminiscent of nightmares and childhood fears, this film delves into the unconscious so aptly that it marked a new development in American cinema. 

Armed with these recommendations, maybe this weekend won’t be so bad,, jk . . . unless? As we complete two years of the virus we imagined would last two weeks, finals season hits the doorstep too. So much for us fiddling away at our silly little tasks as the event horizon of implosion stares us in the face. Maybe we could celebrate going from the numbness of three screens to just one screen? 

See, pessimism is optimism if you surprise yourself. And having Stockholm syndrome for life isn’t all that bad

 … unless?

Third year English undergraduate at Ashoka
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