As the title of the topic says, I’m interested in films with characters who feel trapped in their own life and rather drastically change it or try to change it. They are rebels of their own lives, so the typical youth-rebellion against authority or society is not what I’m looking for. Which films can you think of?
-OFFICE SPACE (Mike Judge, 1999): not really the character’s own decision, but helped by a hypnotic therapy gone wrong…
-THE RAIN PEOPLE (Francis Ford Coppola, 1969): housewife panicks after discovering she’s pregnant and escapes husband and home in search for another life…
-REVOLUTIONARY ROAD (Sam Mendes, 2008): the failure of change…
-MARIA LARSSONS EVIGA ÖGONBLICK (Everlasting Moments, Jan Troell 2008)
-FIVE EASY PIECES (Bob Rafelson, 1970)
There must be many many more.
Suddenly remembered the Travis Bickle monologue: “June 8th. My life has taken another turn again. The days can go on with regularity over and over, one day indistinguishable from the next. A long continuous chain. Then suddenly, there is a change.”
-TAXI DRIVER (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
-IKIRU (Akira Kurosawa, 1952)
Breathless!!! … and I guess most Godard movies.
Godard? I always thought Godard used actors as cinematic butterflies; unpredictable playful little things on celluloid he likes to juggle around with, like a cat in the editing room enjoying to play with the mice on the screen, rather than trying to explore characters with a life of their own, but tell me if I’m wrong.
Well, yeah, but these cinematic butterflies often suddenly and arbitrarily change the course of their lives.
I guess you’re right, but it doesn’t feel the characters (and the audience) care much about how they live their lives, because Godard is not interested in them that way.
Some discussion on around the 1970 film Wanda was recently revived on here. I’d say that fits this bill in an interesting way.
Martinus, I suggest you watch Une Femme Mariee, and perhaps 2 Or 3 Things I Know About Her and really reconsider this myth of Godard’s expendable, elastic ‘noncharacters’.
I enjoy watching Godards movies and maybe I should rewatch those, but I doubt I’ll ever feel a real connection with any of Godard’s characters. That’s not a bad thing because he’s not aiming for emotional involvement.
Monday Morning, by Iosseliani. In another by the director, Gardens of Autumn, the main character, a minister of state, finds freedom and a taste for the simple pleasures again when sacked- an initially involuntary liberation from bureaucracy, pomp and protocol.
Maybe Into the Wild. Or is that too much the youth rebellion against society?.
The Lavender Hill Mob.
Thanks very much Kenji! I’ll track down the Iosseliani’s and Guney’s Hope. Also thought about Into the Wild. I think it was more than just youth rebellion, more a real life-changing decision by a person who happened to be young. I’ll start a list about this topic. Maybe also “Alice doesn’t live here anymore”? The idea for this topic came by reading Russell Hoban’s TURTLE DIARY about two lonely people who become obessed with the captivity of three sea turtles in the aquarium of the London Zoo and resolve to rescue them and release them in the sea. I discovered it was made into a movie with Ben Kingsley and Glenda Jackson, but it’s not on MUBI.
I thought about The Passenger and Into the wild. Also Stroszek.
Certainly emotion is generally not the main concern of Godard’s most famous works, but I feel that he does substantially probe the inner lives of dimensional, emotionally On characters in those films I mention.
This is much more oblique in the case of 2 Or 3 Things but it’s there nonetheless. I’d also say that in the case of both films he pulls this off without sacrificing the strength of usual endeavors of aesthetic exercise and politics.
Into the Wild
Lost in America
Time Out (2001)
A lot of these are mid-life crisis and quarter-life crisis movies.
Alice (Woody Allen)
I think Luisa in Y Tu Mamá También fits well here
Chungking Express (Aided by contextual shift)
The Suspended Step of the Stork. Also some Kaurismaki films.