Still from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998).

As far as bad drug trips go, Terry Gilliam’s filmography boasts of a fine collection. I say bad because of what generally happens to his films’ protagonists. This is just one such example in the man’s career which includes Brazil and 12 Monkeys; a psychedelic, garden-variety hallucination whose characters are hell bent on trying every fiendish limit of being an oddball, and being an asshole.

Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro annihilate sensibility in every sense of the word, in two appropriately brain-fried performances in this meandering, fascinating epic of the dark human psyche, and the elusive, idealistic ‘American Dream’.

Advertisements

Still from In The Mood For Love (2000).

Wong Kar-Wai makes strange films.

That is the least I could say, given the nucleic emptiness of his works. We were taught in our physics class that atoms constitute all matter at an elementary level. Since the nucleus of the atom holds a vast majority of its mass, all tangible matter in the universe is composed essentially of empty space.

This idea transposes wonderfully to metaphysical debates about the nature of reality and existence, as it rightly should.

I digress to make this point: In The Mood For Love is easily the sexiest film I’ve ever watched; a rare miracle in a film devoid of any physical contact between the lovelorn protagonists. It is uncontrollably sexy in its lighting, and the coloring, and the slow-motion montages of these two people making their way across rainsoaked streets in search of themselves. Secrets are erotica, red hallways are romance. This film speaks its own meta-language.

In The Mood For Love is the kind of film which enhances your capacity to dream better. To be a better person: more appreciative of stolen glances, doomed ambitions and destined failures. It is the story of two people who know what they want, understand how to get it, recognize their ability to make it happen, and still end up suspended between pure desire and acceptability.

A masterclass in cinematography, composition, sound design, acting and direction which crowns restraint and subtlety above all. A film which bleeds gorgeous through and through.

Quote from Alice in Wonderland (2010).

In the opinion of a humble literature student and an avid film geek, Tim Burton’s obsessively detailed, delicious-looking Disney classic is the most loyal adaptation there is of the drug-laden master narrative of Lewis Carroll’s ‘children’s’ tale.

It has been six years since the movie made waves at the box office, which is three lifetimes’ worth in context of the development of visual effects. And yet, the film still looks impeccable: the colors of its frames, the appropriately dreamy texture of its foggy but steadfast narrative, the beautiful insanity of its characters (we all know there is NOTHING Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter cannot accomplish as actors), to Danny Elfman’s rousing score; everything is a delight.

Quote from You’re The Worst (2014-).

Stephen Falk’s unrelentingly hilarious black comedy that just happens to be centered around a relationship with two self-destruct buttons, You’re The Worst is a second coming of the outdated yet always relevant boy-meets-girl stories. There is nothing to bicker about in this show: heart-crushing hoops of reality through which these characters, like us, fail to jump through, top-shelf humor, fearless performances from the leads and plain beautiful insights into the endlessly unreliable map of human emotion.

Give this one a whirl if you haven’t. It’s worth your time and attention.

Still from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010).

There are days (the ones where I re-watch this Edgar Wright cult favorite) when I calmly accept that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World might be the most mischievous, colorful, visually inventive and entertaining film ever made in history, and that we’re all secretly aware of the fact.

The movie contains immense quantities of raging, ferocious joy. There is nothing quite like it. Anywhere.