It's Day 2 of quarantine 2.0 and I'm tired and fed up. Not that I would be fluttering about like a canary outside under normal conditions, but there is a limit to what a man can do and redo from his checklist without a crack opening up inside his cerebral mass of decaying creativity. Hence I decided to do what 999 people have done before with a 'Things I like that's why I think you should try..' type of lists. So, here are my 6 movie recommendations (in no particular order) for all those looking for something outside of Netflix to binge on.
Memories of a Murder (2004)
Before becoming a household name, Bong Joon Ho first grabbed attention with his classic serial killer movie, 'Memories of a Murder'. Based on a real life case in South Korea, Memories of a murder is a great 'curl up inside your bedsheet while it's raining outside' type of movie which will keep you hooked with its spine tingling atmosphere, genuine character based humour (which Bong is a master of) and terrific performances. It's a great initiation for anyone wanting to venture into Korean cinema and more specifically Bong Joon Ho after Parasite.
Teaser for the film : Never go out in the fields alone at night…
The Thing (1982)
"Whether we make it or not, we can't let that Thing freeze again. Maybe we'll just warm things up a little around here. We're not gettin' outta here alive." This last line from John Carpenter's body horror masterpiece can very well be put in the context of Covid-19. A group of scientists on a remote base in Antarctica encounter a "thing" that can mutate into the body of its host. What follows is one of the smartest and most suspenseful horror movies of all time. Full of grotesque, inhumane and practical effects of the highest quality, this film, despite being made 40 years ago, will never get old. Accompanied by Erico Moriccone's haunting score, the suspense of who is who or in this case 'what', will leave you terrified of the unknown.
Teaser for the film : Ever seen a ribcage amputate a man's arm ?!
Black Friday (2001)
Controversial, shocking, introspective with some provocative dark humour – basically all that we love about Anurag Kashyap, this retelling of 1992 Bombay bomb blasts is for me, the greatest Hindi movie of all time. With a non linear structure that feels almost like a mini series in itself, the greatest strength of this movie are its grey characters. In typical Anurag Kashyap fashion, it's hard to differentiate between the good and bad. You will often find yourself surprisingly being sympathetic towards the terrorists and loath the law enforcement authorities. It's basically writing of the highest quality that makes us realise the frailties of our own morality. A must for all Kashyap fans.
Teaser for the film : Nawazuddin Siddiqui being interrogated by K K Menon in a darkly red light room. A cinematic wet dream for all cinephiles.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Bowling, joints, a carpet that "binds the whole room together", Neo Nazis, Vietnam War veterans and a kidnapping gone wrong. This movie can only be described in disjointed words. A laugh riot that takes place of the streets of Los 'An-geless', as the narrator calls it, this stoner comedy is about almost nothing. Exactly like the lightness you feel after a half smoked joint, it's the Coen brothers at their peak. Watch this one on a relaxing, boring afternoon and try to resist the uncanny charm of the 'Dude'.
Teaser for the film : "What does it take to be a man?", you will find the answer to this eternally complex metaphorical question from the 'Dude'.
Before RGV took his trip down the cuckoo lane he made classics like 'Satya', 'Company' and 'Bhoot'. Heavily inspired from films like 'The Exorcist' this is the quintessential Hindi movie adaptation of the classic possession horror movie. The vibrant energy of RGV, bursting jump scares from all corners and some corny special effects make this a great watch for all those 'Aahat' fans and still remains one of the best Indian horror film of all time.
Teaser for the film : An eerie and shocking transformation of Urmila Matondkar into the possessed soul will make you gasp with horror.
Damián Szifron's Argentinian anthology is a cocktail of revenge, redemption and downright hilarity. Each short film feels like a pressure cooker, with intensity that keeps magnifying by the minute till finally someone opens the nozzle to let out all the steam. With 5 short films each tied together by similar themes, this is a movie to be savoured rather than quickly devoured.
Teaser for the movie : Always check who the captain is before getting on a flight.