Sometimes life is boring. Sometimes things get weird and you need a fresh new perspective. So I have compiled a list of films that will make you laugh, want to crawl out of your own skin, or make you reevaluate things. Either way, if you need to switch things up, watch one or all of these films.
1. Withnail and I
This is one of the funniest dark comedies I have ever seen! First, the British roadie from Waynes World 2 is in it. He plays a drug dealer with one of the best lines from someone who is about to shake hands with the devil after smoking too much weed: “Find your neutral space. You’ve got the rush. It will pass. Be seated.” I could have used that a few times. He also rolls a joint that he calls the “Camberwell Carrot” (its name coming from the location of its inception — Camberwell — and its similarity in size and shape to a carrot). Watching Withnail and Marwood have panic attacks, avoid assaults, rapes, and starvation all while being on a bender is comedy genius. If you need more of a reason to check it out, the role of Withnail is played by Richard E. Grant, who also plays Jessa’s rehab friend and coke sniffing partner Jasper on Girls.
2. Je T’aime Je T’aime
This is a weird one. Directed by Alain Resnais, this 1968 French sci-fi film follows Claude, a man fresh off of a suicide attempt who is selected for a time travel experiment through his personal past. As he begins his journey through time, we begin to see what led him to his failed suicide. The film is a beautiful and strange monster that you watch like a voyeur through a keyhole. You follow Claude and his tragic past as he relives important memories, all while the time machine begins to malfunction, sending him in and out of his past out of chronological order.
3. After Hours
This is the best film Martin Scorsese ever made (IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MAFIA), shot while he was getting tired of the bullshit he was dealing with in Hollywood (Passion of the Christ). After hours follows Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne), a yuppy from the Upper East Side who meets a girl (Rosanna Arquette) in a coffee shop. After discussing their shared love of Henry Miller, he goes to meet her later that night in Soho, to buy a plaster of Paris bagel with cream cheese paper weight. Of course, in the pre-ATM, cell phone, credit card days of 1980s Soho, he loses his money in the cab ride there and is trapped downtown. What follows is an adventure through a lost time, in a neighborhood barely recognizable today, and one of the greatest films about NYC, ever made.
4. The Exterminating Angel
Whoa, this film will probably be around forever. Made by surrealist madman and frequent collaborator of Salvador Dalí (Un Chien Andalou), Luis Buñuel. It follows a formal dinner party of wealthy people, who for some reason cannot leave. Watch as these civilized people slowly crumble and the thin veneer of polite society shatters as they become the savage underclass they often point their noses up at.
5. On Holy Mountain
Of course you cannot make a list of strange and amazing films without including one by Alejandro Jodorowsky. This list is no exception and his chosen film is the brilliant, slap in the face to religion, greed, and general consumption. Watch in awe as one man’s shit is turned into gold by an alchemist, as only Jodorowsky could do. But really what you walk away with (if you can survive this masterpiece) is the knowledge that it’s all bullshit. Religion is bullshit, money is bullshit, popularity is bullshit, beauty is bullshit. Just stop worrying and live your life. Live life.
Article by Timothy White. You can follow him on Twitter @TipToTheHip