I get asked sometimes for movie recommendations. This prospect makes me incredibly excited yet also horribly flustered. There are so many great films out there - trying to narrow down a couple is almost impossible. So I'm picking themes now.
Film Picks: Drug Movies
Drugs. For something so destructive I can't help but be attracted to the idea of them (don't do drugs, kids). As modernized human beings we sometimes forget to be introspective - at least, more introspective than we have to be to get by. That's why I have a nice collection of drug films, because they let the viewer dig into the human psyche without having to experience it themselves. Highs/lows, uppers/downers, withdrawals- it's nuts. So without further ado, here are my top drug movies at the moment.
Christiane F. (1981)
This German film is a true story about a young Berlin girl who frequents the '70s disco club scene. She meets a boy, Detlev, who she tries to get closer to by getting deeper into the drug culture. This film is graphic - a nice mix of heroin, barf, and prostitution. That and David Bowie pretty much did the whole soundtrack AND guest starred in the movie. It'll make you sober.
(P.S. Here is a Crystal Castles album on Youtube with footage from the film, amazing.)
Enter the Void (2009)
This film is literally a trip. If you have Epilepsy you best steer clear of this one. The movie tells the story from a first person POV of a drug dealer who gets shot during a bust. During the rest of the movie we see his perspective of limbo - or the void. The camera hovers over the city, seeing all of the chain reactions of his death. Paz de la Huerta plays his sister (AMAZING) and Olly Alexander (from my Skins post) plays one of his best friends. This movie is super graphic as well, but worth it. Harmony Korine raves about Gaspar Noé (the director), so if you're looking for some new inspiration, check out his other stuff too.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Darren Aronofsky's best work in my opinion. The story shows the intertwined lives of 3 people and how they fell deeper in the drug world. A old granny thinks she is fat and buys diet pills from a sketchy doctor* which gets her addicted to uppers and essentially turns her crazy. Her story made my view the world differently. It's disturbing. My So Called Life fans see Jared Leto play a weed smoking drug dealer who shoots up heroin into a black and blue infected arm, too. Beautiful movie, awesome soundtrack, definitely worth a watch.
One of those classic cult movies. Stars Ewan McGregor (young and cute) as well as Johnny Lee Miller. This movie, although it has it's gritty parts, is definitely more of a black comedy than anything. It's sort of a good time until it isn't. It will make you laugh and then cry. My favorite scene is when Ewan literally falls into the carpet after shooting up heroin (nice FX work!).
Across the Universe (2007)
One of my favorite movies of all time. It's a musical romantic drama set in the late '60s. I don't even like musicals and this movie MOVED ME. Julie Taymor (director) got the rights to a boatload of Beatles music and beautifully told a coherent story through each song. A young African American boy sings Let it Be during the 1967 Detroit Riots while later a reluctant Vietnam soldier sings I Want You (She's So Heavy) while carrying Lady Liberty through a Vietnam swamp/jungle. Fuck, BONO IS IN THIS MOVIE. There's some pot smokin, LSD drinking (don't drink the punch), and possibly some shroom action taking place in this movie, but I included it mostly because of the pure creativity of Taymor. You see scenes of proper '60s school dances transition to bonked out collage style circus acts. You have to check it out.
I've done a Film Muse on Go before, so I'll leave that post HERE. This movie is sort of like Run Lola Run where it loops over multiple times and shows different perspectives. It's a story about a drug deal for a rave gone bad. This movie stars our very own Katie Holmes as well. Cool soundtrack, cool people, cool cinematography, and definitely underrated.
Prozac Nation (2001)
I admit, I get sort of territorial over this film. It's a rare gem, truly. It isn't a trip like Enter the Void, in fact, I think the only street drugs used in this film are ecstasy and weed, but this film is more about the pharmaceuticals: Prozac. It's a trigger movie, so watch out. It's true story of a young Harvard bound college journalism student (Christina Ricci) with a history of mental illness. She drives herself to become manic, pushing away everyone she loves (mother- Jessica Lange, friend - Michelle Williams). Prozac is seen as a method of breathing space in the end of film (not a substitute), and I wanted to include that because I don't think we have enough films about that type of situation. I cry every time I see this movie. Jessica and Christina's acting is heart wrenching.
If you have some drug movie recommendations for me, let me know in the comments! Hopefully I can take this series onto Youtube. I'm thinking about doing a post on '90s cult movies next.
Keep it cool,