With the majority of US state lawmakers opting to extend stay-at-home orders past the current White House deadline of April 30, and over a dozen states pushing to extend their orders well into the month of June, more and more people are getting into the act of binge watching popular television and Netflix shows. Our seasoned cinephiles on the RunPee team believe movies can be every bit as good as any long-running series for keeping people entertained while sheltering in place — with the added advantage of thematic diversity between every 2-3 hour film, instead of a single motif running through a season’s worth of episodes.
We think a great selection of movies to watch during this extended quarantine period are ones that provide insight on things like fear, isolation and mental disorders. During this time, it’s important to understand how times of stress and uncertainty can affect members of society already grappling with mental illness. If this sounds interesting to you, you’re in luck; as usual the RunPee team has already done the leg work in advance so you don’t have to.
Here are three must-see psychodramas. The “re-imagined” movie posters for the age of Covid-19 are courtesy of Eric Van Buskirk at ClickStream._
Black Swan (2010)
Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan brilliantly highlights the dangerously compounding effects that stress and paranoia can have on individuals struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). As one of the more complex conditions categorized as an anxiety disorder, the behavioral symptoms of OCD range from eccentric to debilitating.
In a time as uncertain as the Coronavirus pandemic, the prospect of indefinite quarantine and loss of employment can drive even mild neuroses to self-destructive behaviors in obsessive personalities. As one of the better films of the 2010s, Black Swan showcases this dynamic to impressive and memorable effect.
Steven Spielberg‘s Jaws is a world-renowned suspense scenario highlighting the critical importance of speedy community organization in the face of public safety hazards. The protagonist openly suffers from thalassophobia, a lesser-known form of irrational fear than say agoraphobia or claustrophobia. His fear of the open ocean is attributed to his being born and raised as a “big city boy” — and comes to bear repeatedly in one of Spielberg’s most enduringly recognizable thrillers to date.
Todd Phillips’ Joker is his most highly-acclaimed work in the industry thus far, and arguably with good reason. The film paints a stark and gritty picture of Arthur Fleck, a bullied and perpetually dispirited young man. As society continually rejects him, Fleck slowly but surely descends into madness and ultimately violence as his only perceived means of viable self-expression.
Todd Phillips paints a necessary and powerful picture of the effect of isolation on mental illness, something one in six Americans currently struggle with. During the Coronavirus lockdown, Joker can certainly be both topical and rewarding to watch.
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