Top 10 DVDs for your existential crisis
This article originally appeared on slice.ca
Top ten DVDS for your existential crisis
What better topic for a top ten list than the ol’ existential crisis? What are we here for? What’s it all about? Who moved my cheese? These are all-important questions that we, as humans, were forced to study in philosophy 101. Seriously, don’t you ever just get the feeling that manis and pedis might give way to something bigger? Like a full-body massage? After all that, if you’re not satisfied, throw these movies on for some instant soul-searching.
1. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
If you’re wondering if your life couldn’t be any more boring, check out Harold Crick’s sorry existence. He’s an IRS auditor who realizes that his life is empty, till something really strange starts happening: he starts hearing voices. Check out this flick and get inspired to break out of old routines. It’s got a great soundtrack, too.
2. I Heart Huckabees
This one might be the obvious choice. Just when you think your life is perfect, you examine the cracks and realize that nothing is right at all. At least, that’s what the characters in I Heart Huckabees discover. If the star-studded cast weren’t enough to draw you in (Jude Law, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Schwartzman, Lily Tomlin, Mark Wahlberg, et al), the film manages to make existential crises entertaining and humourous.
3. Being There (1979)
Kind of the Forrest Gump of his time, Chance is oblivious to all the impact he’s having on the world. In fact, he’s sort of oblivious to everything, unless it’s been on television. But everyone else thinks his simplistic talk holds some kind of deeper meaning. “Being there,” two very important words for existentialist thinkers, allows you to see the value of the present and how easily we’re distracted from true meaning. Film buffs like Roger Ebert think this movie is the ish, so check it out.
4. Fight Club
Based on the best-selling Chuck Palahniuk novel, this film marries two of our favourites: hot men fighting shirtless and dark social commentary. Snap out of your rut and get messed up after watching this stylized think piece.
5. Six Feet Under
This isn’t exactly a movie, but if you’re looking for a phenomenal series that deals with the meaning of life, look no further. If you’re having an existential crisis, you’ve probably given up on working anyway, so you might as well spend your days contemplating reality while watching this award-winning series. Based out of a funeral home, the Fisher family encounters death on a daily basis while dealing with their own mortality.
6. American Beauty
After quitting his boring job, Lester breaks out of an angst-ridden life to do the things that make him happy. Remembering a better time, he picks up some old habits: a fast-food job, teenage infatuation and pot-smoking. Appearing as number 34 in IMDB.com’s top 250 movies of all time, this flick is a stock favourite. Re-watch it while in crisis.
7. Leaving Las Vegas
If you’re down in the dumps, perhaps this heavy film will make you feel better about your own life. At least you’re not a drunk with nothing to live for in Sin City. At least you’re not a hooker who gets beat down by her drunk nothing to live for boyfriend. If you are, then… maybe you shouldn’t watch this movie.
8. Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
This movie, like its predecessor Head (starring the Monkees), tries to inject meaning into something that’s usually meaningless: pop music. The candy-coated product-placement extravaganza, with its weird social commentary masquerading as a teen coming of age formulaic comedy, has a strange message: fate isn’t real. Rosario Dawson and Tara Reid star alongside Rachel Leigh Cook. The film’s deceptive tagline: “Now, fate is giving the Pussycats, the chance of a lifetime.” Could all our hopes and dreams be lies? This pointless flick is the most existential of all.
9. Office Space
A cult classic, this Mike Judge (writer for Beavis and Butthead and Saturday Night Live) movie dares to ask what the heck the point is in going to work every day. With its mundane conversation and pointless workload, this modern workplace offers little to no inspiration for the wayward soul. Watch and laugh at your own futile life.
The opening sequence of this movie says it all: Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that? The movie follows a group of addicts in Edinburgh who’ve replaced meaning with heroin. Quite depressing, this film resonated with gen x-ers and became a smash hit in the 90s, an era of hopelessness for lots of twentysomethings.