Movies to watch under lockdown

I/we have been watching the following:

The Wedding Plan, Israeli movie about a religious woman who precommits to her future wedding, yet without having a particular groom in mind.  Full of subtlety, motivated by behavioral economics and game theory, poignant, recommended.  Israeli cinema and TV remain an underexploited profit opportunity.

Teorema, directed by Pasolini, this one makes no sense but is utterly captivating.  I say it is the devil rather than Christ, but you could argue it either way.  Don’t expect any scene to cohere, but this one is from the golden age of cinema and it shows.

The Lady from Shanghai.  Could this be my favorite Welles movie, as he had not yet started to take himself too seriously?  It spans sailing life, New York, Acapulco and Mexico’s Pacific coast, noir, and San Francisco’s Chinatown.  The look at 1947 SF is enough to scare some YIMBY into the most desperate protectionist.  This was a rewatch for me, and it seemed even better the second time around.

Rhapsody in August, late Kurosawa from 1991.  Not for neophytes but the frankest cinematic treatment of Nagasaki you are likely to find.  The best 2/3 of this film are very moving and indeed unforgettable.  It is sufficiently subtle that most of the reviews are suitably bad.

Beforeigners, a Norwegian television show with a unique twist on the usual immigration story.  Due to a time warp, migrants from earlier periods of history, such as medieval times and also the Stone Age, climb into current-day Oslo.  You are not allowed to call them “Vikings,” rather they are “people of Norse descent.”  And they cannot assimilate to a very foreign culture, though at least one of them ends up working in the Oslo police department.  Clever and original, I hope they make more than just the first six episodes.


Always saw Stamp in Teorema as an old testament angel arrived to give the family members one last chance, like in Sodom.

The asymptotic assumption of asymptomatic asperger associates is as ascerbic as asparagus on asphalt.

I really enjoyed the Norwegian show "Occupied". Russia occupies Norway in partnership with the EU after Norway turns off the gas pipeline into Europe (for sustainability reasons). Things happen. Highly recommended.

It's on Netflix

The first couple episodes gave off a post-gender vibe, like any of the roles could have gone to men or women interchangeably. Which in my opinion rather throws away characterization. Sweden, or just the show? But "highly" - maybe I will give it another try.

That dynamic is an important part of the plot. The writers are definitely aware that this post-gender vibe has downsides and explore aspects of it.

My list:

1408, Reservoir Dogs, 12 Angry Men, Panic Room, Phone Booth, Saw, Rope, Rear Window, Saw II, Quarantine, Night of the Living Dead.

Great list!

My list is: The Thing, The Shining, Grizzly Man, Rear Window, Francis Ha.


Not a great film but highly relevant and nice to watch in consideration of what the writers plausibly got right and wrong vs the current simulation we find ourselves in. Bad pacing and hard to cover enough angles in a runtime shorter than a Trump pandemic news conference.

Oh and maybe 12 Monkeys would be more appropriate given how much armchair quarterbacking is still occurring in our world. Maybe we just need to invest more in time machine technology.

>Maybe we just need to invest more in time machine technology.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: Today's Democrat Party.

Let’s let them screw up trying to install Euro style rapid transit in an unsuitable location a few times, then the public will reject their rapid time travel subway system.

"Lady from Shanghai" is surprisingly underrated and unknown.

+1000 A cinematic highpoint.

"Lady in Shanghai" from IMDB:
Near the end of shooting, Orson Welles told Columbia executives that he wanted a complete set repainted on a Saturday for shooting on Monday. Columbia exec Jack Fier told Welles it was impossible, because of union rules and the expense that would be incurred by calling in a crew of painters to work on a weekend. Welles and several friends broke into the paint department that Saturday and repainted the set themselves, and when they were finished they hung a banner on the set that read "The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fier Himself". When the union painters arrived at work on Monday and saw that the set had been repainted by someone else, they refused to work, threw a picket line around the studio and threatened to stay on strike until a union crew was paid triple time for the work that had been done (which was why Fier had refused to authorize the work in the first place). To placate the union, Fier agreed to pay them what they wanted but put the cost on Welles' personal bill. In addition, he had the union painters paint a banner saying "All's Well That Ends Welles".

Clever, verrrrry clever.

What lockdown?

I can go outside. I can communicate and walk with my friends. I can drive out of town. I can visit a park. I can have a picnic. I will soon go swimming, and hiking.

I won't be going to any Trump rallies, however,
Or getting a tattoo.

The last thing I want to do sit at home
Watching a movie.

You'd have to lock me down to watch one,
Which makes my wife unhappy.

Why do you want grandma to die, Bill?

She's already dead.

None of what I listed would make you die or anyone else.

Beware of those Trump rallies, Yancey, and
I don't know about the tattoo situation.
Maybe already have a tattoo,
Of Richard Nixon on your back..

I’ve gone postmodern. I’ve got a tattoo of Roger Stone’s back tattoo of Tricky Dicky, but on my front.

Then don't tell me they don't kill people, tell your political allies.

Can you explain your comment? Who is the they and what of what I listed do they claim is killing people? My allies are doctors and scientists.

Killing grandma is just a phrase without content designed to elicit an emotional response.

Is the point of this just to rile people up or? Not my idea of fun, but I guess it’s your time. Maybe revisit movies?

Meant the above for Bill but in hindsight it’s a dumb post. Delete.

Bill, most of what you listed is not allowed or your options significantly limited in California. Many people here have concluded that means that those activities do pose a material risk. Some would even call you selfish.

I don't believe these are not allowed. Be specific. Can I not walk with friends if I am more than 6 feet apart? Can I not drive out of town? Can I not visit a park, keeping social distance? Can I not have a picnic in an open space? Can I not go swimming (that may be an issue in part of California, but where I live that is not a problem because it is still spring and I noted "soon go swimming", so even California now is opening some beaches), A relative in Seattle goes hiking; and I assume you can hike in California.

Post below what you cannot do and provide a link to the prohibition.

Also, I cannot discern what "many here" believe is selfish, so I am not persuaded by that claim. Post any polling evidence to support your claim as to each item claimed to be selfish as believed by others.

Any movie with Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, make you laugh for 90 minutes.

Them was good beans!

Beans! Yes! What an incredibly incisive comment. This is why people come to MR. Wow. Just wow.

If you want to try just one, I'd go with Sergio Leone's My Name is Nobody, with HIll and Henry Fonda. If you enjoy that, do the Trinity movies.

"Folks that throw dirt on you aren't always trying to hurt you, and folks who pull you out of a jam aren't always trying to help you. But the main point is, when you're up to your nose in shit, keep your mouth shut. "

The first two Trinity movies have set pieces I haven't forgotten for forty years. Trinity's initial bean-eating entrance, the poker game, the gun slap fight, the restaurant scene (which was totally adlibbed).

I didn't know anyone remembered them.

Unorthodox (on Netflix) is a bit cliched, but charming. JoJo Rabbit, same.

Trust me when I say to skip the second Trolls movie.

Surprising that Norway is portraying immigrants from pre-modern cultures as having difficulty assimilating.

Trolls World Tour made a big fat profit though in digital release, and is now the answer to a future trivia question.

Quality Norwegian films: Dead Snow; Olso, August 31st. They're different.

How about Ghostbusters?

Rich: This is a virtue-signalling thread. The idea here is to mention movies no one has ever heard of, to show how awesome you are. If they are foreign (non-USA) you get quadruple virtue points.

Hope that helps!

Right! Hard to get out right now to that hidden strip mall that has almost as good a version of what you ate in a hidden alley on your trip to that nearly unknown place in the developing world.

It could just be that some don't wish to watch Ghostbusters again and again.

I believe you’re thinking of Groundhog Day.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) - IMDb

I have dilemma. These red and white blood cells seem disconnected from any body organ. They have a colony in bone marrow, but that seems to be a convenient cave. It denies me the right to divine existence, I am just a mechanical shell to support these interloping body snatchers.

Excellent pick and very relevant to the moment.

Body Snatchers is terrific -- funny how the wonderful Kevin McCarthy went on to play so many bad guys on TV.

For dark-horse creepy sci fi try to track down
1) Seconds (1966 John Frankenheimer/James Wong Howe flick, stunning performance by Rock Hudson of all people, as a man "reborn" with a new identity).

2) O.B.I.T. (1963 Outer Limits episode, amazingly prescient look at our modern surveillance society, with gripping photography by the great Conrad Hall)

Both of these feature the unnervingly sinister character actor Jeff Corey

Deerskin. Hilarious & dark French comedy.

Re: Lady from Shanghai, I think Welles was taking himself too seriously when he made it - which is why the studio had to chop an hour out of the film. According to Wikipedia, the famous hall of mirrors scene would have lasted twenty minutes without the studio's cuts. That would have been too much of a good thing.

It is an enjoyable movie though, and the actor Glenn Anders was deliciously creepy in in it.

Thanks to Tyler for these recommendations. I agree that 2 and 3 are great. I haven't seen the other ones, but I will surely watch 1, the Israeli film. And if you want to see another Pasolini, The Gospel According to Matthew is a beautiful movie, and is free on Amazon prime.

I've been watching Pasolini on Criterion. Started with the Decameron and now on to Canterbury Tails. Unlike anything I've ever seen before. They are captivating, but so odd at the same time. I'm not sure what to make of them. Best thing to say is that nothing like this is getting made now and probably couldn't be.

The best Welles movie is Chimes at Midnight. A bunch are better than the Lady from Shanghai. I recommend The Trial, Touch of Evil, Othello, Kane, and Ambersons all come to mind.

If you really want a good quarantine movie, try Dreyer's Day of Wrath (1943). Great for capturing social fear and paranoia.

Dreyer. Great film maker. As underrated as Bergman is overrated.

Haven't seen Chimes at Midnight; will make a point of doing so. See the others. I also liked F for Fake very much.

Shorter Tyler:

I only watch foreign movies, because I am much more awesome than you.

No movie is „foreign“ to a cosmopolitan globalist. But maybe that is your point,

I bet philistines like you are as insecure as you sound.

"SeeN the others."

I recommend the documentary "Edvard Munch" by Peter Watkins.

There is apparently more than one documentary about him. The one I'm referrring to is this one:

"Illness, madness, and death were the black angels that kept watch over my cradle and accompanied me all my life."

Watch “Bambi”. Really puts things into perspective. We don’t have it so bad! It was especially Sad when they stopped drawing the mom deer.

I wonder if anyone under the age of 50 thinks Welles was ever interesting.
I think he was, but I think there was something missing there.
Which is true of all famous directors, but Welles was an "independent" director, so he gets the blame for not being quite a genius, and all the other famous directors, none of whom, even the ones more famous than Wellese, were actual geniuses, get to blame their relative lack of genius on the studio system, or on the audience.

Basically I think it comes down to the fact that angelic level genius is rare, and it has never been found in the sort of person who can raise the cash to make a big movie.

That being said, there are thousands of two hour movies with, here or there, five or ten minutes of angelic (or Shakespearean, for you gnostics) genius.

And of course there is Men in Black (the paging Doctor Howard paging Doctor Fine Men in Black), which is free on youtube in a magnificently colorized version. DUTY HONOR HUMANITY

The immune network theory is a theory of how the adaptive immune system works, that has been developed since 1974 mainly by Niels Jerne[1] and Geoffrey W. Hoffmann.[2][3] The theory states that the immune system is an interacting network of lymphocytes and molecules that have variable (V) regions. These V regions bind not only to things that are foreign to the vertebrate, but also to other V regions within the system. The immune system is therefore seen as a network, with the components connected to each other by V-V interactions.
From wiki.
I was faking it, the channel theory was invented long ago, 1974.

Here is a trick we are allowed.
The network of B cells is floating around the blood stream, and the antigens generally larger and more stable.

But the abstract in abstract tree helps, we can create a complement process in which the B cells are a static network and the antigen has to pass through this network. The anitgen gets into a loop, it is never really processed. The loop causes the static tree to adapt, making the antigen mostly loop where antibocies can mostly find a morsel. The reformation of the tree is via cytokine messaging which partitions the concentration of various B cells.

I watched an old Doris Day, previously unknown to me. "What Happened to Jane." What happened to Jane was, her shipment of lobsters from her fledgling lobster business arrived at the country club late, through the fault of the railroad, but the railroad chief wouldn't pay up, and she had to fight for justice, and drive a train; and it was all connected with Yankee Doodle and patriotism. She sang a bad song with some Boy Scouts. Jack Lemmon was in it, and didn't betray any displeasure at finding himself in this movie. There seemed to be actual Connecticut scenery. It's one you could watch it with the sound off, if like me you mainly enjoy viewing how things used to look. Or maybe still do, in Connecticut.

I recently saw "I Remember Mama". Made in 1948 and nominated for 5 academy awards. It is a sweet and optimistic movie, perfect for Corona virus times.

On Beforeigners:

Interesting. It's considered wrong to say people who live in different places can't adapt to your culture, but would it be considered wrong to say people who live in different times can't? In perception, time is treated much differently than space, but in physics, time is just another dimension. And of course the future is already here, just not evenly distributed. So different answers would not be coherent.

But I think in response to a time-traveling vikings, we would in fact act as if "This time is different." Thankfully. Probably more sensible for society to draw the occasional arbitrary line than demand perfect consistency, because consistency ≠ correctness.

"What's your past work experience?" "Raping and pillaging."

Twenty years ago I read an American's comment about Rhapsody in August. He saw it with a Japanese friend at a movie theater who was crying at the end. The American assumed it was because the movie was so powerful to his Japanese friend but instead the friend said: "I was crying because it was a Kurosawa film but so bad!"

Clearly hadn't already seen Dodes'ka-den.

Local Hero, by Bill Forsyth, with Peters Riegert and Capaldi. In fact, any Forsythe movie is great.

Truly Madly Deeply if, for some reason, you haven't seen it.

Back to back comparisons of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (original and Curtis Hanson remake), or back to back comparisons of The Thing (original and John Carpenter remake.

What's Up Doc, to see Streisand almost being likeable.

The Third Man and Double Indemnity

Yellow Sky, for an obscure but good Western

Lots of random, small, excellent movies.

Fun fact: mention of "Yellow Sky" recalled Anne Baxter to me - a certain fearless quality she had as a novel heroine - and I just looked her up and learned she was a granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright.

I think I read that before, but maybe not. She only had a couple roles of note. Neither of them was the one she won the Oscar for! Died young.

Congratulations! Your movie picks finally got one right: Lady from Shanghai is Welles's most underrated picture. I will add to that, his most disliked/least liked picture is Mr. Arkadin, which is actually a very impressive work, considering the obstacles Welles faced (of course there are various versions, which differ in quality.) It's self-recommending so do watch it while sheltering in place.

There are a lot of reasons to criticize Welles, but "not yet started to take himself too seriously"? Just compare F for Fake to Kane!

Fauda Season 3?
Last season of Homeland was unexpectedly satisfying.

A few recommendations for sheltering in place.

Two plays (I don't know if they were filmed): "No Exit" and "Waiting For Godot."

"The Seventh Seal" for obvious reasons. Dealing with Death in the plague years.

The TV mini-series of Stephen King's "The Stand." Now there is a seriously high R0. And just like in China, the virus escaped from a lab and the government tried to cover it up.

"World War Z" has an odd relevance despite the impossible premise.

"The Road" maybe, for the aftermath.

"The Ruins" is about plants, not viruses, but the sense of isolation, danger, and despair echoes current events.

Beforeigners sounds good but has already been done -- by the GEICO cavemen

Too bad Welles had Rita Hayworth cut her hair for the role....

I'll recommend some lesser known movies:

"Prick Up Your Ears". Brilliant preformances by Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina.

"A Summer's Tale". Not classic Eric Rohmer but still very good.

"The Ghost Writer". Excellent thriller from Roman Polanski.

"Cadillac Desert". A great documentary, about bringing water to L.A. that you can find on Youtube. The first section "Mulholland's Dream" is the best part. Afterwards you can watch "Chinatown" again.

Here's a reverse film tip - movies that are free on Amazon Prime, favored by reviewers, and yet are pretentious, awful garbage. Both utterly nihilistic. Spoilers ahead!
Midsommar: whiny millennials witness gory deaths and super gross stuff. No real plot, no real characters, minimal action.
The Lighthouse: two dirty bearded weirdos drink, yell, hallucinate and jerk off a lot, and die. The director used symbols to make the plotless crappy movie seem deeper than it was. Plus black and white! It's the kind of movie the fictional characters of Midsommar would probably like.

Le Silence de la mer; Les Enfants terribles; The Dreamers; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf; A Special Day. And after letting Teorema sink in, Something for Everyone.

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