November 10, 2009

"The Most Depressing Movies of All Time."

"Precious, the story of an abused, illiterate, impoverished, morbidly obese teen mother looks… difficult to watch, to say the least. We'll suck it up and see it anyway, of course, not just because the movie's getting good reviews and garnering Oscar buzz for Mo'Nique, of all people, but because we've had excellent training in these types of situations. See which other movies left us a blubbering heap on our living room floors, but prepared for more miserable viewing battles nonetheless."

Do we have to go see movies that get excellent reviews when we know they are going to be an immense drag? Or must we generate a better excuse? Like, "Precious" might be racist.

111 comments:

David said...

I would go if I thought I would learn something I don't already know. That's what's depressing about it--that the story is so familiar.

EDH said...

Oliver Stone's Platoon?

wv-"licalomo" = I dunno, ask Titus

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Midnight Cowboy is pretty depressing. But it has always been one of my favorite flicks.

I found Raging Bull so depressing I walked out before the half way mark, and I love Scorcese and DeNiro.

Lem said...

Mel's The Passion of the Christ was brutal..

I stayed until the bitter end.

EDH said...

BTW, did everyone see the security camera video of the drunk woman who fell off the platform in front of an oncoming subway train in Boston after a Celtics game?

If you haven't, it's rather suspenseful.

(Sorry about the ad, but it's worth seeing.)

Pogo said...

Precious is A Clockwork Orange II.

Palladian said...

Just the kind of movie that I hate, the emotional hemmorhage movie. The fact that Oprah is attached should serve as a warning to potential viewers.

I think of them as intramuscular injection movies: you go in knowing that its going to hurt, make you miserable and make you sore and bruised afterward but you go through with it because its supposed to "cure" you in the end.

This is also the reason for the continued existence of performance art, academic 12-tone music, NPR, Ferran Adrià, Unitarians, The New York Times and liturgical dance.

The pea-brained intelligentsia love movies like this, especially if it includes black or other "ethnic" people because it makes them feel extra special good about themselves.

Points must be given to Lars von Trier, one of the most overrated videographers of all time, for getting two of his creepily misogynistic movies on that list at the link. I was very depressed by "Breaking The Waves" and "Dancer In The Dark", but not about the storyline. I was depressed that such offensively manipulative piffle was able to make so much money. "Dancer In The Dark" did, however, provide two moments of comedy: Catherine Deneuve in a babushka pretending (rather unenthusiastically, it must be said) to be a factory worker, and the ending when Björk gets executed. I had to suppress a cheer when she fell through the scaffold trap door, the noose snapped her neck and she finally shut up.

Besides, the most depressing movie of all time is David Lynch's "Eraserhead".

Palladian said...

"Precious is A Clockwork Orange II."

Watch it, Pogo. No one messes with Stanley, the master of beautiful, intelligent, and ice cold depressing movies. Stanley didn't want you to cry, or to ennoble your spirit. He wanted you to curl up in a ball and suck your thumb.

And "A Clockwork Orange" has proven to be quite prescient of the decline of western civilization, England in particular, hasn't it?

Flexo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Irene said...

Looking for Mr. Goodbar.

Flexo said...

Plenty, where Meryl Streep plays an an unbalanced, neurotic, self-destructive, miserable woman who makes everyone around her thoroughly miserable. It is an excellent movie. I never want to see it again.

Splendor in the Grass wasn't a walk in the park either.

Lem said...

Lars von Trier's Dogville was one of the most depressing movies I've seen ever.

Not one soul in the film was a "good" person.

wv- whitty

Palladian said...

And "Eraserhead" deserves special accolades because it manages to be the most depressing movie of all time with no discernible plot, no tear-jerking death scenes and no maudlin soundtrack.

Well, unless you count this as a maudlin soundtrack.

sonicfrog said...

The Mission with DeNiro and Jeromy Irons.

sonicfrog said...

It was a fantastic movie, but so devastating, I swore I would never watch it again. That was twenty'ish years ago when it came out. Haven't watched it since.

Lem said...

Slumdog Millionaire won an Oscar and it was also accused of exploitation.

Lem said...

"I wish I could agree with those who say 'Precious' is just one more movie that feeds [African Americans'] vision of ourselves as victims," says Raina Kelley in Newsweek. What’s really outrageous is that the film, set in 1987, "is a period piece that feels like a documentary." Hardly anything has changed in the 20 years since.

If that last bold statement is true does that mean the significance of the election of Obama has been greatly exaggerated?

Thats what it sounds like to me.

Darwin said...

the movie was both depressing and hopeful. the performance by monique, of all people, was a revelation. in the end it was exhilarating, from the performances from its cast and from the hope it sowed. the burst of applause in the end from the packed theater was well deserved.

Christy said...

Doesn't Leaving Las Vegas go on that list somewhere?

Andrea said...

Watching depressing movies to show how compassionate we are is the contemporary Western world's version of mortification of the flesh in order to improve our souls. Now that self-flagellation and associated activities is ranked as one of the more specialized pleasures, we had to find some new way of making ourselves miserable.

Anyway, the most depressing movie I can recall seeing is was Christmas With The Kranks, with that Home Improvement guy (Tim Allen?) and some woman as a couple who just want to go to the tropics for Christmas vacation for a change, but their insane neighbors, who are obsessed with their annual street decoration where every house in the neighborhood dolls up elaborately for Christmas, basically harass and terrorize them into staying and participating. It's billed as a comedy about neighborliness and the True Meaning of Christmas, but I saw it as the true heir of Orwell's 1984 where your life is not your own, it belongs to Big Brother, who this time is dressed in a Santa Suit and played by Dan Aykroyd.

The wv word is "bless." Really.

Lem said...

If only they (the adds) had played up some scifi element.. I might go see it.

wv - winti

reader_iam said...

I feel transported back decades.

vf: warre

reader_iam said...

"Maybe, tonight, you'll do it, Henry."

peter hoh said...

Splendor in the Grass is wonderfully depressing, but then I have a weakness for Natalie Wood.

How about Fanny and Alexander? Not only is it depressing, it's long.

Danny said...

I agree 100% with Palladin's take on Performance art, Ferran Adria and his El-Bulli, 12-tone music, Milton Babbit, Unitarian Universalists, PBS/NPR/PRI, liturgical dance, super expensive killer sweat lodges in New Mexico, etc.
BTW, the person who played Precious. Sorry to say so, she is probably the ugliest person I have ever seen in my entire life.

reader_iam said...

Palladian: That scene from "Eraserhead" features a hemmorhage of sorts, I would say.

Lem said...

Ordinary People was mildly depressing compared to The Virgin Suicides.

But The Grave of the Fireflies takes the cake.. OMG.

Fred4Pres said...

Life is too short for depressing movies at the theater. Those movies can wait till DVD or even cable. No rush.

reader_iam said...

Victoria and Palladian back in the space of days: A dream of dark and troubling things, or rather a nightmare of the wonderful and wild?

; )

Palladian said...

"Palladian: That scene from "Eraserhead" features a hemmorhage of sorts, I would say."

Yes! But was it emotional?

Bergman spent his career trying to make a movie as existentially murderous as "Eraserhead".

Lem said...

Woody's Interiors was a riot.

Synova said...

I always figured that anyone paying any attention at all to real life around them gets plenty of anguish second hand already, and that those who felt the need to borrow it at a movie theater... weren't.

Paying attention.

But I'm just a snob that way and quite apologetically prefer movies that provide an escape from the real life around me.

If I need my emotions jerked around I'd rather get jerked around by something with exploding helicopters and spinning back-kicks.

Synova said...

"But The Grave of the Fireflies takes the cake.. OMG."

Yeah.

Did my duty for a lifetime watching that.

reader_iam said...

Palladian: No, not specifically.

reader_iam said...

And welcome back.

wv: slywor

Lem said...

Victoria and Palladian back in the space of days: A dream of dark and troubling things, or rather a nightmare of the wonderful and wild?

And peace and order was restored throughout the land ;)

wv - semating

reader_iam said...

(Clinically and existentially speaking, of course.)

reader_iam said...

As for movies right up there for me (since a few have been listed here already), anyone up for "Cries and Whispers"?

reader_iam said...

I always figured that anyone paying any attention at all to real life around them gets plenty of anguish second hand already, and that those who felt the need to borrow it at a movie theater... weren't.

Why?

... weren't.

Paying attention.

What?

Never figured you for a one-size-fits-all type. Huh.

chickenlittle said...

Precious is A Clockwork Orange II.

Just watched the trailer. Definitely non-fabulous. I'm fairly certain Titus won't be seeing Precious. Not unless somebody forced him to watch it the way they made Alex viddy that sinny in A Clockwork Orange They'd have to strap him in and clip open his glazzies to get him to viddy it.

Synova said...

I know, reader. ;-)

I'll admit that I'm unfair about this. I recognize it, but I can't help it either.

Synova said...

Just realized that I wrote "apologetically" instead of "unapologetically"... I'm not sure if that was a "past my bed time" typing short cut or a spell-check error.

Lem said...

The Machinist with Christian Bale could be said to be the Anti-Precious.

just saying..

William said...

Bergman's got the lifetime achievement award in the depressing movie category. He made any number of great movies that I never want to see again......I used to think that Antonioni movies were depressing but really they were just boring....What did Palladian and Victoria do to Trooper York?

avwh said...

My votes for most depressing:
Requiem for a Dream
Leaving Las Vegas
Boys Don't Cry
The Deer Hunter


The gal playing Precious is only ugly in the role; she's much prettier and vivacious as herself.

Had no interest in seeing this, just based on the storyline, until I read reviews from reviewers I mostly trust. I also get the impression it's ultimately much more uplifting and hopeful than just the storyline makes it sound.

Palladian said...

"As for movies right up there for me (since a few have been listed here already), anyone up for "Cries and Whispers"?"

Excellent choice. Definitely Bergman's bleakest film. Great color, though. Excellently shot.

I have to admit that I tend to only care about art that delivers philosophical extremity. I'm the opposite of Synova, I find "real life" to be the escape and art where real things happen. Life is full of intractable, diffuse, meaningless pain. Art gives pain meaning. Listen to Bach's Cantata 198 or the St Matthew Passion or look at the frescoes of the Brancacci Chapel or read Rilke and you'll see what I mean.

Palladian said...

Or you won't...

Allison said...

Requiem for a Dream. Depressing and nonredeeming. Ugly.

Million Dollar Baby.

I must be one of the only folks here of a certain age, because I am the only one to mention Pink Floyd's The Wall.

q12345q6789 said...

RE: avwh
"Requiem for a Dream"
Depressing: Sure. But horrifying for the last quick-cut montage sequence that I can only closely describe as a deliberately, pounding "mind-rape"* at my expense.
*especially for what was done to Jennifer Connolly whom I was in love with since I was seven and saw Labyrinth.

q12345q6789 said...

But then again has anyone here seen 'Antichrist' yet?

PatCA said...

I agree with Andrea. Watching these movies sometimes is like doing penance. It's awful but you feel so proud of yourself later.

Ralph L said...

Who played the desperately horny blind man who impregnated that bowling ball?

vbspurs said...

Why is that people jump up immediately and cry "racist" and "exploitative" when it's about a morbidly obese black woman in depressed circumstances, and yet not one person would think to say the same thing when watching, say, "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?", which features a morbidly obese working-class white woman?

Doesn't that perpetuate the same kinds of stereotypes, just few would think to include race?

What is a truer comment is that no one makes movies about morbidly-obese rich folk in distress. So what we may be seeing is not racism, but class-consciousness.

Cheers,
Victoria

blake said...

I don't know about this. I think there's a difference between a tear jerker (like, I dunno, Beaches) or a movie with an unhappy ending (say, Titanic) and a depressing movie. But I haven't seen most of these.

Grave of the Fireflies is tough. Hard to watch and a brutal reminder about war but I'm not even sure I would call that depressing. The harm visited is largely incidental.

Million Dollar Baby is sad at the end, tragic even. But I wouldn't call it depressing.

Mystic River, on the other hand, with its nihilism—corruption around every corner—might qualify.

Four Months, Three Weeks, Two Days is depressing, I think, because it shows an entire society under the oppressive thumb, and the corruption is everywhere.

Watchmen would be depressing if it weren't so ridiculous. (At the time, I suppose it seemed less silly.)

A sad movie can be fun and life-affirming (I'd probably argue that Million Dollar Baby is life-affirming); I think to be depressing it has to present a convincing hopelessness.

blake said...

Victoria--

Are there morbidly obese rich people in distress?

vbspurs said...

Two words: Orson Welles.

vbspurs said...

Grave of the Fireflies is one of my all-time favourites, Blake. But it's transcendently beautiful, rather than depressing for me.

Maybe I have empathy problems, but movies about human beings in distress do not necessarily depress me. The ones that do, usually include animals alongside them.

Then I get a constricting feeling in my throat as I watch, with a churning feeling in my stomach as accompaniment. I'm thinking specifically of two such films:

Umberto D, Di Sica's best film IMHO, and that's saying much. It tells the tale of an elderly, impoverished ex-civil servant reduced to being a beggar, often with the help of his dog.

And Wendy and Lucy, a parallel tale of a shiftless young American girl who, like many poor people trying to catch up to their circumstances, has one bad thing after another occur to her -- including to her dog.

Loneliness and suffering is one thing. But loneliness and suffering shared by those who love you unconditionally makes me ball like a toddler.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Transcendentally. PIMF. Grrr.

blake said...

Victoria—

Orson Welles was borderline destitute. Bogdonavich tells a tale that he worked for Welles for quite some time, and when he demanded payment, Welles gave him his car—then had him drive him around.

Deborah said...

"Johnnie Got his Gun".

wv: maties. Ahoy.

Deborah said...

Well. I know what I'll be doing this weekend!

[logging on to Netflix account]

mrs whatsit said...

"Brazil" belongs on this thread. Maybe it wasn't depressing exactly, but it was ugly, negative, disturbing and pointless. Bleah. Once I escaped the theater, I wanted to take a mental shower.

WV: "wartic" Never mind ugly, negative, disturbing and pointless. Wartic! That's what it was!

grapp said...

You can't pay me to see a ghetto movie. I've met lots of Preciouses. Dumb as the back of a spoon and glorying in it; outfitted in tight tight tight clothing that shows every speed bump; pregnant in school and fighting over a guy; mother of a kid and texting in class rather than studying; claiming I wanna be a doctor but not willing to do the work. I'm tired of ghetto movies and ghetto talk. It's high time people start Clarence Thomas-ing it and picking themselves up by their brain-straps and bootstraps. Meantime, I'm just tired of a lazy minority of the community defining the majority and deciding who is and isn't 'authentic'. So, Precious, tough titty, baby. Cross your damn legs, take the spoon out of your mouth, go exercise, and go pick up a book. See how your life will change.

grapp said...

"If I need my emotions jerked around I'd rather get jerked around by something with exploding helicopters and spinning back-kicks."

You got that right, Synova!

bearbee said...

re: Clockwork Orange, depressing AND replusive.

re Palladian's: Just the kind of movie that I hate, the emotional hemmorhage movie. The fact that Oprah is attached should serve as a warning to potential viewers.

Agree.

Assume Oprah sees herself in the protagonist.

kentuckyliz said...

wealthy morbidly obese ppl have the resources to solve that problem. diet food is expensive. they can hire someone to smack the cookie out of their hand. fat camp. lap band surgery.

which brings an interesting question--when we all get free health care, will the government force ppl to get lap band surgery? it's cheaper than paying for the scooter and a lifetime of medical complications.

yeay, palladian is back!!!

LOL about liturgical dance--thank you for including that on the list. seems to fit the theme of fat people in skin tight clothing.

is the pursuit of happyness the anti-precious?

it just burns me--when race hucksters have ppl so convinced that they'll never achieve anything because they'll never get a fair shake, so why try. so academic and career achievement and marriage are seen as SWPL.

the more ghetto culture is ascendant, the sicker our society gets. if only it stayed in the ghetto. sigh

Beta Conservative said...

Any Meryl Streep movie depresses me, but "Sophie's Choice" will never be viewed again in my home.

The book and movie are one-timers for me.

Pogo said...

More to the point, Precious is A Clockwork Orange come true.

There isn't enough life affirmingosity in any movie to make up for the ugly brutality I already saw in the previews I've seen of 'Precious'. It's full of evil barbarians with bad motives who hate humanity, as far as I can tell.

And I can watch this malevolent entropy for free just a mile from my house.

The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock features the same sort of mistreated black youth, but given a chance by a white family who shows him how civilization has some decided benefits. Probably very cheesy, but not the horrific millennial 'Garden of Earthly Delights' I expect from Precious.

Moondog said...

Anything by Todd Solondz.

Pogo said...

The Most Depressing Cartoon of All Time was Super Friends from the 1970s.

Gawd, it was so bad, made me want to become an evil villain.

H.R. Pufnstuf caused a similar suicidal ennui.

rdkraus said...

I thought of Sophie's Choice too.

I read more books than I see movies, but many of those I like, like for example, Bill Trevor's, are depressing, or more accurately, melancholy.

I enjoy reading them because they evoke a mood, a different feeling than I have in real life, where I'm mostly optimistic and satisfied about life (ha, despite the fact that, as Derbyshire might say, we're all doomed).

A recent depressing book, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. Gonna be a movie and could be a good one. Should be depressing, but they might "happy it up."

rhodamine said...

Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Nobody Knows" - absolutely heart-wrenching. Based on a true story.

TC said...

In 1969, a friend and I walked out of the Orpheum in Minneapolis after seeing "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?". He said it was terrible because it was totally depressing. I said that was the point.

John said...

At some point these movies just become pornography. Yes, there are a million sad stories in the world. But, if you do nothing but tell them and offer no hope no comment or redemption, how are you just not gawking? Precious stikes me as the same thing as movies like Saw, just with emotional torture rather than physical.

John said...

Awakenings with Robert Dinero and Robin Williams is completely depressing and awful.

knox said...

I only made it through the first 20 minutes of Breaking the Waves. No one could ever, ever get me in front of a Lars von Trier movie again.

And I read Push (the book Precious is based on) years ago, soon after it came out. Just depressing, through and through. The little bit of hope at the end seemed disingenuous, the rest of it was so unrelentingly brutal.

I'd put an awful lot of 70s movies in the depressing category. Many that are considered "classics" are just downers.

prairie wind said...

Can I put Saving Private Ryan on this list or would that be wrong because it has Tom Hanks in it? If it doesn't qualify as depressing, it definitely belongs on the list of movies you don't need to subject yourself to.

I have no idea how the book ends because I quit halfway but I'm already putting the movie of Edgar Sawtelle on the depressing list.

ricpic said...

But what about all us troglodytes out here who don't give a damn about Precious or her mother or her stepdad and can't be made to give a damn and wouldn't cry one tear into one hanky over her plight because we know that she and her mother and her stepdad are WASTES OF SPACE!

dbp said...

Lots of really depressing movies listed, but most of them pretty old. The most recent really depressing one I have seen is Oldboy.

I would never want to see it again, but I can't say I regret seeing it once.

Ern said...

Do we have to go see movies that get excellent reviews when we know they are going to be an immense drag?

I've never found much of a correlation between how good a movie's reviews are and how much I like it. At least it's not like "serious" music, where there's a negative correlation between what the musicologists like (Mahler, Schoenberg, Reger, Webern, anybody alive today) and what I like (Mozart, Bach, Dvorak, etc.)

sonicfrog said...

"Requiem for a Dream" gets a second vote.

Shanna said...

"If I need my emotions jerked around I'd rather get jerked around by something with exploding helicopters and spinning back-kicks."

Ninja Assassin! The best name for a movie ever.

I like to see a dark movie now and again, but not every week. My friend really wanted to see precious this weekend but it's not out in arkansas yet. Darn.

I wouldn't exactly say Saving Private Ryan was depressing, but it was very sad. The part with the jewish guy is burned into my mind though. That's one of those things I wish I could unsee.

Southbound Blues said...

"Precious" is written by Sapphire, who is black, produced and directed by Lee Daniels, who is black, stars Mo'nique and Gabby Sidibe, who are black, and is promoted by Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, who are black.

How on God's good earth could this film be racist against blacks?

Unless, of course, all these extremely successful people have been so oppressed by whitey that they've absorbed into themselves the culture of racism and are working out their self-loathing in an artistically freudian manner.

Scrutineer said...

"Turtles Can Fly" might be more depressing than anything in that list (or in this thread). Still worth watching, though.

prairie wind said...

I've tried to block it out, Shanna. Is that the part with the knife? Geez...talk about violence porn! I had nightmares. Now I refuse to listen to people who tell me I need to see a movie.

Southbound Blues said...

*which is, of course, one of the most racist viewpoints imaginable, resting on the basic assumption that black person can have an identity only in reference to whites.

David said...

Bambi.

Take a young child to see Bambi if you really want to see someone upset by a film.

k*thy said...

Do we have to go see movies that get excellent reviews when we know they are going to be an immense drag? Or must we generate a better excuse? Like, "Precious" might be racist.

Well, you can either sit and accept distilled reviewers judgments or go judge for yourself, but you miss a lot of the world when you let others decide.

Weather Girl said...

Depressing movies are a complete waste of time, IMO. Movies should be escapist and either fun or intriguing. Depressing is dumb.

jaltcoh said...

Happiness.

Leather Daddy said...

We are particularly looking forward to this movie because we understand Mo'nique's performance tears it up like a twink's ass at Southern Decadence.

vbspurs said...

The most recent really depressing one I have seen is Oldboy.

Ooh, that was awful. Kafka meets Tarantino.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Movies should be escapist and either fun or intriguing. Depressing is dumb.

Well, I couldn't disagree more, but I did want to say that the most depressed I ever left a cinemahouse was having watched a documentary about people who commit suicide from the Golden Gate Bridge -- it's called The Bridge.

What depressed me is that the cameraman positioned himself so he can film people taking their own life, and that reminded me of Kevin Carter, the photographer who committed suicide after taking the photo of a skeletal Sudanese girl with a vulture behind herm waiting for her to die.

It also interviews people who SURVIVED the icy plunge.

Apparently, it's all in the angle that you enter the water. Should you enter the "right way", your vital organs are less pierced and flattened and thus you survived.

I'll never forget one person responding to the question we all have about suicides, that at the moment of their death, when they have taken the decision to die, if they have any regrets as death envelopes them.

The person said, "The moment I jumped off, I thought this wasn't such a good idea."

Nah, really?

Cheers,
Victoria

lynnieo8 said...

I can't remember being so depressed as when I left the theater after viewing "Cold Mountain" OMG I was in a funk for at least a week. I made the grave error of not reading the book beforehand. Never again!

Flexo said...

There are three movies that, while they did not exactly depress me generally, they did make me quite angry and disgusted with government officials and, hence, somewhat depressed about them ever doing the right thing, ever. But the other people in these movies, everyday individuals, gave me cause for hope and, thus, did not make the entirety of the movies depressing.

Hotel Rwanda and Beyond the Gates, a/k/a Shooting Dogs, both of which were about the UN and governments of the world doing absolutely NOTHING while hundreds of thousands of people were being hacked to death by machetes.

We Were Soldiers, the true story about America's first major engagement in Vietnam, with the troops being sent into hostile territory without any support or intelligence from that bastard LBJ.

Both are rather appropriate, I think, in this "reset" age of Obama.

LordSomber said...

The Swimmer is definitely a favourite. Imagine Don Draper a few years down the road in deep denial.

Sigivald said...

Do we have to go see movies that get excellent reviews when we know they are going to be an immense drag?

Short answer: No.

We never have to go see any movies, unless we're in some sort of very strange prison, or school.

And we certainly shouldn't go see films out of a feeling of duty or any motive other than desiring the experience (whether it be the film itself, or the company of a companion while watching it).

Largo said...

I must be one of the only folks here of a certain age, because I am the only one to mention Pink Floyd's The Wall.

That's a film that riveted me at a certain age, but has become less bearable with every viewing sense. Pink at his trial wears well though.

But Waters provided music for the most emotionally devastating film I have ever seen: the screen adaptation of Raymond Brigg's When the Wind Blows. (You can get a taste of it by watching the first two and a half minutes from this clip.)

Honorable Mentions:

Falling Down.
The Deer Hunter
Leaving Los Vegas
Watership Down *
Raise the Red Lantern (1991 China)
Ponette (1996, France)

--
* Always fun to pull on an unsuspecting pre-teen audience!

Largo said...

A sad movie can be fun and life-affirming (I'd probably argue that Million Dollar Baby is life-affirming); I think to be depressing it has to present a convincing hopelessness.

I think blake nailed the criteria.

c3 said...

What, no mention of "Affliction". Or if you'd like layers of depressing, "what is redeeming in all of this" how 'bout "Short Cuts"

And not to rant but it seems applicable to films who's style might repulse but which are "artistic" based on the message...why is David Lynch or say Quentin Tarantino so "artistic" when being graphic but the whipping scene in "The Passion of the Christ" was just "way over the top"?

John Stodder said...

I am depressed by the existence of torture-porn movies like Saw and all its sequels. But I have not seen any of them, only heard about them from my son and nieces.

John Lynch said...

It's funny that as novels die, the way to sell a book is to have a shitty life and write about it.

John Lynch said...

Requiem for a Dream at least gave us Lux Aeterna.

traditionalguy said...

The most depressing movie would have been Empire of the Sun if the American Army had not shown up to save them at the end.

knox said...

Watership Down is not depressing! They free a bunch of rabbits from a brutal, authoritarian warren... and then handily destroy it. Quite the opposite of depressing.

It's a fantastic book, I recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it. You just have to get over the "but it's about rabbits!" dismissive thing that a lot of people have.

John Lynch said...

I liked Watership Down. I don't think anyone should read too much into it (so to speak), but it's a good adventure story.

The movie of the book is a lot more depressing, in tone and story. I don't recommend it for kids. It scarred me as a child. The scene where the warren was gassed was pretty horrifying.

blake said...

I saw Watership Down as a kid, too, and liked it. (Interested readers should visit Trooper York's for a whole sub-series called "Tales from Amy's Garden".)

As for seeing something because it's well-reviewed? That stopped for me at a very young age when I subjected myself to Under The Volcano. What a freaking waste of time.

Allison said...

Oh, of course! I forgot the obvious one:

Forrest Gump.

The most depressing disturbing film.

Everything good is fiction. Everything bad in the film is real. Every single thing.

Now that I have children, or maybe now that I'm older and no longer adolescent or a young adult, I no longer watch movies to learn truths about life. Life has been depressing enough, thanks. I'm blessed it's improved and have no need to experience bleakness. It will return in due course all by itself.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

Allison, in a way, however unintended, you've looped back to Palladian's observation earlier.

Methadras said...

Moby Dick, Naked Lunch, Casino, Goodfellas, and so many more. Excellent movies, yet so depressing. Not a level of redemption in any of them.