I second Dead Ringers. And Vertigo pretty much takes it out of me. Nights of Cabiria, although (like A Woman Under the Influence) it’s also strangely uplifting. Long Day’s Journey (Katharine Hepburn version) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Muholland Dr. Mickey and Nicky! Oh, Don’t Look Now. (As my sister said when I showed it to her, “That guy is doomed. DOOM-ED.”)
“hillary and jackie”
Nope. Guy with no arms and legs, and his face is scooped away, and he’s deaf. dumb and blind, but he is still conscious. Yep, Johnny Got His Gun is the most hopeless of the hopeless films.
Lilja 4 ever was very depressing,although it is completely in Russian,with no English sub-titles It still seems to get the message through,it is an interesting piece,and definitely worth the watch.Though it is hard to find,there does seem to be a Youtube version available,it’s title is in Russian,so it is hard to point out.But if you find it,watch it.
My Blueberry Nights.
It is a horrible film. I found this to be utterly depressing. I had to re-watch all the other WKW films to make sure I really liked them, I still do.
Leaving Las Vegas and Requiem For A Dream. Talk about downward spiral
Leaving Las Vegas and Reqiuem are kind of depressing — but Nicolas Cage wants to die in Leaving Las Vegas (though we never find out exactly why) and the long-suffering Elisabeth Shue does get to have sex with him while he’s dying, so there’s a twisted kind of consolation there. (I know, not much, right?) Requiem was a disappointing frenetic-farcical take on Hubert Selby — Selby’s work is much more genuinely depressing because his characters don’t seem as blindly idiotic as the ones in the film.
Ermanno Olmi’s Il Posto is extremely depressing. I cannot get the closing shot out of my mind. If anybody watched this movie after starting their first day in an office they might just kill themselves right there.
I’m a big fan of many of the films being listed here, in particular the Bresson and Bergman. No doubt these films are bleak, which I love. But I don’t find them depressing. If anything they are uplifting, as they express things I feel about our world in ways that I can’t do for myself. I get more depressed with most hollywood films, because they make me think about how much I often hate our consumer driven culture.
one film that noticeably disturbed me was “Night of the Living Dead”, for the ending. It’s completely out of the blue for what is supposed to be more of a “fun” movie.
Children Underground – documentary about Romanian street children. The fact that it’s real makes it very sad and depressing.
I think HUSBANDS is pretty depressing.
“SANSHO THE BAILIFF and AU HASARD BALTHAZAR may be among the most depressing movies ever, though there´s so much beauty in them that one feels nothing but joy.”
Wow, you said exactly what was on my mind. Even though I admire Bresson, he’s so effing merciless that it’s hard to take. A quick summation of Balthazar: a donkey (not unlike a human) has a very pleasant almost perfect childhood, then everything goes downhill and the only time he can get any relief is in death. Makes you glad you’re alive eh?
I would also add another film which is not just depressing, but one of the most realistic and terrifying depictions of totalitarian regimes ever made, the Polish masterpiece “Interrogation” by Ryszard Bugajski. The film was banned immediately after being completed in 1982 but could luckily be saved so that it finally premiered in Cannes a couple of years later. I think that nobody can watch this heartbreaking film about a woman imprisoned and tortured for a couple of years without feeling the need to cry out of despair. I think that everyone should watch this extraordinary film in order to understand the misuse of ideology and power. The film could have likewise been situated in any other fascist or communist regime and the methods used in Stalinist Poland during the 50s even reminded me of the political imprisonments in Argentina during the dictatorship of Jorge Videla about 25 years later, depicted in films like “The Night of the Pencils” or “Garaje Olimpo”.
Started something called “Reflecting Skin” which made me feel shitty.
See The Sea is depressing.
Requiem for a Dream…Depressing and disturbing
Pretty much any Bresson film.
Plus for some reason I’ve Loved You So Long made me cry and cry.
Opening Night (1977) d.John Cassavetes
I personally wouldn´t consider Opening Night as depressing as A Woman Under the Influence.
A Woman Under the Influence seems a tad exaggerated to me. Actually Gloria was the Cassavetes film that choked me up. :)
a film about war in bosnia. i can’t remember the title or the director (which is making me go crazy), but there’s a scene, where the soldier steps on the bus, full of children and start taking some of them out – they all are under 8y old i think, some are just babies, taking them out for revenge, because they’re children of the people from the wrong side… this is the point where my hear breaks. i could never finished watching that film, because even if you get the climax in the film, it’s never 100%. this was happening in bosnia for real.
Dancer in the Dark, Cries and Whispers, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and sometimes Inland Empire is depressing, depending on your interpretation of the film (which is different every time for me). Dead Ringers would probably the top of the list, though. It’s an incredible film, but it made me so depressed that I had to actually give the film away.
I love Dancer in the Dark, but every time I see it I do feel a bit down.
Harmful Insect is pretty depressing
Synecdoche, New York is the only movie that has left me absurdly depressed for a number of hours after seeing it. About fifteen minutes before the end of that movie I just started bawling like a child.
Grave for Fireflies wins hands down for me… In fact, it affects me so strongly that even an article about the film or a poster can leave me feeling blue… Most films that are mentioned in this thread are depressing possibly because are exceptionally tender, the situations felt with a deep poignancy that communicates to us… Maybe all life is depressing and when life truly appears in film it never fails to depress us or in a different reading, takes us into a state of gentle contemplation…
The Deer Hunter. Saw it when I was a senior in high school. I was numb the next day. Told some co-workers at my part time job about it and said I was depressed. I don’t think I’ve ever been effected in the same way. Granted, I was young.