There are good films and there are bad films. Sometimes it’s not totally a lame idea to show a bad movie to your friends, for at least you guys will have something in common to spit on. Vice versa, a good movie does not guarantee a comfortable night. Oh no. In some cases it would leave you speechless. Literally. Well, film makers could be too daring for our nerves; some of their crazy works never cease to surprise us mundane viewers. Following the last part of this post, here’s a list of four more movies that may bring the giant elephant into your room.
(A film by Darren Aronofsky, starring Jared Leto)
Before his award winning role in Dallas Buyer Club (in which he was phenomenal), to me Jared Leto had always been the lead vocal of 30 seconds to Mars. Hence it came as quite a surprise that he did star in remarkable movies before (remember American Psycho, and that dude Paul Allen that Christian Bale’s character Patrick Bateman killed with an axe?), and some of the roles are insanely challenging. Well, Requiem for a dream deserves to be listed in one of his finest performances so far.
Personally I like the movie. It’s a heart-wrenching and provoking portrayal of the rough and naked face of drug addiction, yet it manages to deliver some good dark humors. The story starts simple: four people, closely related, hold some dream of their own, but somehow end up pursuing dreams through drugs, and finally pay the price neither of them, nor the viewers, could see coming. While I strongly recommend the film (if you also have a taste in audacious and intense works like I do), I suggest avoiding it at your slumber party at all cost. The dark quality would bring your mood down, not to mention some dreadfully disturbing scenes that not anyone can easily digest.
Well, unless your group may enjoy some glimpses of girl on girl sex party. (in which case, what a cool gang you have buddy!)
(A film by Stephen Daldry, starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes)
Have you seen Titanic? Yes? Well, then Kate Winslet’s superb performance in The Reader is the kind of thing that would make you forget about Rose Bukater. Start off as a bizarre romance between a teenage boy and a grown-up woman, The Reader takes unexpected turns and develops into a depressing anthem of human sins, shame and sorrows, relating to one of the most tragic incident in the history: The World War II. Beautifully framed with the astonishing charm of Germany, along with the actors’ outstanding performances, The Reader is a must-see for any movie bug. But again, not suitable for group watching. If you want romance, come to chick flicks. If you want war, come to superheroes. If you want hot sex, well, there’s a plenty of other Hollywood, or not so Hollywood, choices (again, what a cool gang you have). The Reader offers you all of the above, but the sorrow lingers in you after the last scene would not be something you’d expect for a movie date night.
(A film by Steve McQueen, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor)
Academy materials are not usually for friends’ fun bonding in the first place. Then about 12 years a slave, do you want to spend over two hours watching people cruelly being raped, tortured, whipped to near death or thrown into the sea? It is over two hours that feels like 12 years of extreme pains and stresses, facing one of human’s darkest and most shameful eras. Slavery is a serious issue that in no way should be brought into your party table.
(A film by Takashi Miike, starring Kenichi Endo, Shungicu Uchida, Kazushi Watanabe)
After Visitor Q, there are two questions you can confidently answer:
- How sick and bizarre can Japan be?
- How sick is too much sick you can endure?
Visitor Q definitely raises the barrier of what could shock me to one level higher. Well, now I am pretty sure nothing in cinema can shock me anymore, because the most disturbing and fucked-up matters I already experienced in Visitor Q. It’s sickeningly funny. It’s sickeningly dark. It’s sickeningly violent. Nothing is usual in the universe of Visitor Q. In short words, it’s about the most perverted family in the world that fall apart, and then unite together after the visit of a mysterious man called Q. No one knows who Q is. I am not even sure he’s a real person.
Open with the line “Have you ever done it with your dad?”, you wonder what could be more appalling than this. And then, of course Takashi Miike does not stop there. He leads from this O-shaped mouth moment to that I-can’t-believe-my-eyes one. Sometimes you wonder why the hell am I still watching this, yet you can’t stop because you want to know what’s coming next (well, you really can’t guess anything). Then there will come the moment you find yourself guiltily crack up, and a loud voice of morality inside you shouts out “Oh my God what the fuck is wrong with me now? Am I even supposed to laugh at this?”
I have challenged myself with movies like this. But no, not anything could come close to Visitor Q. While I’m kind of proud that I forced myself through this experimental movie, somewhere deep inside I know I may want to un-see it. Still it’s a movie you should check out if you’re ready for the challenge. But please, don’t do it to your friends. Maybe some of them will not survive the first five minutes anyway.