As tough as it is to swallow, the entertainment industry has seen a large number of reshuffles in the past week, with big tentpoles like A Quiet Place Part 2, Mulan, No Time To Die, and Fast 9 all getting pushed back to a later date. Production on high-profile films like The Batman, The Little Mermaid, and Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings were all halted due to Coronavirus concerns. The box office is also at an all-time low as people stay home to avoid the unnecessary spread of the contagion. So, if you are worried that house arrest will make you shrivel into a lifeless mummy and looking like E.T., fret not as Guardians of The Galaxy director, James Gunn has some movie suggestions to keep you occupied.
The director recently took to Twitter to share his “10 great movies you likely haven’t seen, to stream while you self quarantine.” Don’t worry, you don’t need to wash your hands for these as they’re not contagious.
Here’s a list of films you should watch during self-quarantine, specially curated by James Gunn.
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice – Paul Mazursky, 1969
Uber-‘70’s dramedy with some of the greatest dialogue of all time. The naturalistic acting was a huge influence on me, and the Elliot Gould/Dyan Cannon bedroom scene is one of my all-time favorites.
Villainess – Jung Byung-gil, 2017
As revolutionary to actions films as was The Matrix, Fury Road, and The Raid, and yet this South Korean film was seen by so many fewer people in the States.
Pretty Poison – Noel Black, 1968
Dark comedy starring Tuesday Weld as a coquettish sociopath and Anthony Perkins as a lonely dude caught in her web. Shockingly funny and not dated.
The Wanderers – Philip Kaufman, 1979
The strangest and most beautiful street gang film ever (yes, EVER) – in turns exciting, touching, and surrealistic – a populist art film.
Mother – Bong Joon-ho, 2009
Long before Parasite, and after the Host, Bong Joon-ho made this film about a mother’s undying – some would say almost psychotic – love for her son. My favorite of his films.
One Cut of the Dead – Shinichirou Ueda, 2017
To tell you anything about this movie could hurt it – but if you love zombies and filmmaking and joy, this is the movie for you while you #Quarantineandchill.
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans – Werner Herzog, 2009
I’ve recommended this to some friends who thought I was nuts. But to my mind it’s one of the greatest films of the 2000’s. Leave it up to Herzog to use off-the-rails Nic Cage to full effect.
The Yellow Sea – Na Hong-jin, 2010
Another great South Korean action film, gritty and over-the-top and practical where Villainess is stylized. Perhaps the greatest non-car chase scene ever.
Hail the Conquering Hero – Preston Sturges, 1944
I could probably just recommend every Preston Sturges movie ever – but this little gem is one of the least-seen and probably my favorite. He is the true pioneer of what writer-directors like me do today.
Duck You Sucker (A Fistful of Dynamite) – Sergio Leone, 1971.
Leone is one of my favorite directors. This is probably my second favorite film of his after Once Upon a Time in the West, and is the one that’s been the most forgotten.
Out of this list, I’ve only watched One… Cut of The Dead, and I can tell you that it is ah-ma-zing. All I can say is you’ll be disputing the sensibility of whatever your optics see in the first 30 minutes or so, but once it races past that barrier, holy-smokes, the screenplay takes a backdoor rush into some other dimension that is witty and endearing and gory and hilarious.
It’s also interesting that out of the ten films James Gunn suggested, five of them are Asian films. The director has indeed professed his love for Asian cinema in the past, citing Wong kar-Wai’s In The Mood For Love as one of his favourite films ever. So, yeah, it’s great that he’s promoting art from this side of the world as well to create wonderfully diverse recommendations.
So, get your rations ready, pop up that in-house tent, and get ready to throw that one-man party with James Gunn’s #QuarantineandChill list to spice things up! Oh, and while you shouldn’t maintain contact with people, volleyballs do make great accomplices. I’ve named mine Wilson.
Remember to practise good hygiene, drink lot’s of water, and avoid public mass-gatherings for now. Stay safe y’all!