The next few weeks will prove a challenging time for those of us faced with the prospect of self-isolation. However, since it is for the health of society’s weakest that we practice social distancing, it’s a good idea we practice recommended measures. In the next week, The Badger will be recommending some of the best art to while away the hours with. This section, Myself, editor Chris Ahjem, and Film & TV Editor Michael Humphreys are recommending the best self-isolation films.
Singin’ In The Rain (1953)
This list aspires to be somewhat escapist than the last few. My mindset, approaching self-isolation periods, is to look at film viewing as one would approach Christmas. TV scheduling at Christmas is crammed with the most calming cinema, harking back to post-war joviality and the feel-good. Singin’ In The Rain presents the sort of upbeat Hollywood optimism one needs to keep in touch with through a pandemic. The title song, Singin’ In The Rain stunningly displays Gene Kelly’s prowess as a performer, as well as the grand Hollywood sets so often used in the era. Tunes such as Make ‘em Laugh, too, display a deft combination of escapism and skill one will so desperately want to watch during a week at home. It will keep you singing and laughing, either at the gags, or at the gulf between then and now.
Bee Movie (2007)
A film so memed it’s become a pastiche of itself. Memeing has provided new subtexts to films such as this, as well as Shrek, that can be well valued during an isolation period. The line, ‘You like Jazz?’, while said absolutely straight in the text’s original context, can now be viewed in a new hilarious light. Aside from this, this is basically an episode of Seinfeld but with Bees. It has an ecological subtext we can all enjoy, and a happy ending one can value during a pandemic.
The Lighthouse (2019)
If you’re self-isolating with another person, just the two of you, I would perhaps recommend against watching The Lighthouse. However, as this pandemic has struck just out of awards season, I may as well take the chance at suggesting you watch this mostly-snubbed film. It’s about isolation and it’s maddening effects, so while it may be worth watching for the artistic content, it may make your week in self-isolation just that teeny bit more unbearable.
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
The Studio Ghibli/Netflix deal could not have come at a better time. With more of us home than ever, now’s the time to rewatch or perhaps even discover the endless brilliance of Ghibli’s animated films with Kiki’s Delivery Service being one of my absolute favourites. Following a young witch who travels to a far away town to find emancipation and start a new life, the film is a heart-warming coming-of- age tale. Plus, special shout out to fashion icon, aviation-obsessed and all-around legend Tombo.
This psychological horror is THE perfect film to watch with flatmates (see also: Mother! and Hereditary). It is one of the craziest experiences of my life with almost every shot perfectly memeable. Just remember, drinking in Ma’s basement doesn’t count as social distancing y’all!
Gone Girl (2014)
Be a cool girl like Amy Dunne and spend a night in watching this genuinely brilliant bait-and-switch thriller. Despite its relatively long run time (coming in at 2.5 hours), Gone Girl is a gripping and enjoyable mystery in which you find yourself rooting for the morally wrong people. To make it even better, Anne Hathaway cites Gone Girl as her favourite romcom.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
The feel-good cinema event of the
summer pandemic! This instant classic is the ideal film for a self-isolating flatmate sing-along movie night. Picture yourself on a beautiful Greek island stuck between three men and you’ve got yourself the best possible escapist cinema right there.
On the subject of snubbed films, comes a deep dark dive on the toxic, manipulative and ultimately inhumane side of news media. Following Jake Gyllenhaal’s psychopathic camera-man ‘Lou’ as he rises through the ranks of the industry, we become engrossed in his story and realise in horror how well-suited someone of his nature is for the industry. As such, Nightcrawler acts as the perfect criticism of the news media industry in general – especially when it begins to sensationalise events…
Ah Pixar, the only company who can make the escapades of an isolated robot in a rubbish filled world, not only interesting to see, but beautiful to watch. Wall-E came out in 2008 (that’s so long ago) and I believe at this point can be considered a Pixar classic. As planet-wide armageddon is seemingly closer than ever, to have the imagination that planet’s most adorable rubbish collector will survive and thrive is somewhat heart-warming.
Back to The Future (1985)
The classic feelgood movie. Following the exploits of teenager Marty Mcfly and the doc (the original Rick and Morty), as they test a time machine that sends Marty back in time to when his parents were in school. With sci-fi exploits, an intense third act and a fantastic rendition of ‘Johnny Be Good’, Back to The Future stands as a consistently fun watch to get us through our self-isolation.
Why not find more great film recommendations by listening to Chris’ film radio show, We Need To Talk About Movies. Chris and a variety of co-hosts (including Arts Print Editor Lucy Peters with Jude Whiley guesting) discuss iconic films from The Shining to Parasite, Shrek 2 to Fargo and Marriage Story to Joker. Find it on mixcloud.com/talkaboutmoviesurf.