My experience as an adult experiencing movies for the first time

@“Ergoja”#p132752 The Thing is one of those stone-cold classics I know I should watch because it‘s so important, but I’ve been dragging my feet because I‘m also bad with horror like you – or really just any gore in particular. I’ve got a hard time with that body stuff! Will be checking back into this thread to see how it goes over with someone of a similarly weak constitution lol

@“Funbil”#p132753 I‘ll post how I found it here, for context – I couldn’t sleep well for months after seeing the commercial for “The Ring”.


@“Ergoja”#p132320 Memories of Murder

Assuming this is about the Korean movie and not the other American one of the same name, now, see, if you wanted to inject a little more fun in your list, I'd pick a different Bong Joon Ho movie!

_Memories of Murder_ is one of his least fun movies by a wide margin. It is somewhat loosely based on the story of the Republic of Korea's first recorded string of serial murders which became known as the Hwaseong serial murders. Interestingly, the perspective of the film has now become, in a way, obsolete, or at least no longer a timeless statement on it, as between the filming of _Memories of Murder_ and now, the previously unsolved case of the Hwaseong serial murders has been credibly solved. That might make it even more interesting to you, but, maybe it won't.

I do like _Memories of Murder,_ but, yeah, you know, it's a slow burn and about an intense subject matter.

As for Bong Joon Ho movies that are more fun... well... what, are you _too cool_ to watch _Parasite_ just because it was an awards show darling?? I'm just teasing, but, really, _Parasite_ is in my opinion his best movie so far on almost every level, and I say that with a _lot_ of love for his other movies, all of them really.

Here are his movies in ascending order of Fun, starting from least fun to most fun:

**-No Fun Tier-**

  • - Mother is the other least fun one. It‘s a moody drama thriller. I think the most notable thing about it is that its protagonist is an older woman. It’s not my favourite.
  • - This is where I'd put _Memories of Murder._ It has a _little_ but of fun, but, that might just be because of how good Song Kang Ho is at physical comedy. Even in a movie this dark he can't help but be on some level funny.
  • **-Pretty Fun Tier-**

  • - Snowpiercer is a certain kind of fun even if it‘s a bit grim and intense. It’s a Korean-Czech co-production with some big time American and European cast members, and it‘s a post-apocalyptic dystopian sci-fi, sorta blockbustery action sorta thriller-y movie based on a French comic book with a wacky premise. It’s great, if you are into that sort of thing. Has at least one unforgettable scene with an unforgettable moment.
  • - _Parasite_ is intensely focused drama and is glaring criticism of modern class society, but, do not make the mistake of thinking you're not supposed to find _a lot_ of it funny. I mean, I personally thought it was very funny when I first watched it. A big part of Bong Joon Ho's style is comedy caused by intentional juxtapositions of contrasting tones and events. If you have ever almost died trying to hold in laughter because someone farted really loudly during church, that's the kind of humour Bong Joon Ho likes to play with.
  • - _The Host_ moonlights as a moody monster movie, but it's actually about a family of losers getting caught in extreme circumstances and, individually and collectively, not knowing what the hell to do about it all. This one only just barely doesn't make it into the next tier, imo. Also, Byun Hee Bong is stealth hilarious as the loser family's patriarch and is cast perfectly.
  • **-Tons-o-Fun Tier-**

  • -

    Barking Dogs Never Bite is in my opinion a quintessential black comedy. Lots of black comedy is too much black and not enough comedy, and, at some point, a black comedy is just a comedy if there‘s too much comedy and not enough black. This film’s central punchline is… not for the faint of heart, but, it is most certainly that rare mix of something being 50% black and 50% comedy. His directorial debut captures what might be his most honest style. I really like this movie, which might say something about me. Byun Hee Bong is also in yet another perfect casting here, and not unlike Song Kang Ho, his way of being funny is very understated, but it‘s almost like he can’t help but be your grandma's funny brother.

  • -

    _Okja_ is easily Bong Joon Ho's most fun movie, aping a bit of the style of a kiddy buddy movie with a cute friendly animal, put to some real fun tone-juxtaposing effect. It would qualify as what one might call a "romp." Also features Byun Hee Bong! Although, his role is of less importance in this one.

  • If you are not good with horror, try making your setting and environment as comforting as possible. Don’t make the room dark, don’t watch very late at night where you don’t have time to do something fun or relaxing to decompress afterwards. If you can watch with a friend or partner, consider doing so — having someone present to laugh about each other’s reactions can help! You’ll remember you’re just watching a movie, rather than getting the whole hyper-immersion tunnel view you mentioned.

    As well, if Memories of Murder was included to represent Korean film, another suggestion of a VERY fun movie, which would coincidentally also be a fun way to follow #17 on your list, is Kim Jee-woon‘s The Good, the Bad, the Weird! It’s a vivacious and exquisitely paced western set in pre-World War II Manchuria. It also stars the aforementioned Song Kang Ho in incredible physical comedy form. It's like the man cannot move or make a face without the movement itself being a part of a joke.

    Although, maybe you‘re not looking to inject more fun to this process. I can get that. But, you know, as a fellow Cool Brain haver, I would say it’s very important to ensure you‘re not overly associating the concepts of Serious Appreciation of 𝓵𝓮𝓼 𝓯𝓲𝓵𝓶𝓼 with All Work And No Play. I would actually say that one is not a serious appreciator of anything if your main focus is on things that are thought of as high brow because they’re slow, impenetrable, about serious subject matter, or require study or expertise to appreciate. Or even worse, if you equate artistic quality with those kinds of stodgy, inaccessible qualities. I‘m not defending dumb Hollywood blockbusters either, though–it’s more that there are also things out there that are both fun and artfully made!


    @“Ergoja”#p132752 I am wondering if the writers for Wick took inspiration from this film with the radio announcing through (music?) for the gangs to go out after The Warriors.

    Yeah, it's a direct reference for sure in that most recent Wick movie.

    This is a great thread with a really tight list of movies to watch. I desperately want to suggest a ton but know that it would begin to overwhelm you

    However as a self-confessed big horror baby I got on fine with The Thing watching it in a lit room. Without spoiling anything, that film isn't frequently gory but perhaps its effect is heightened by ever present tension. You may want to lay off the Diet Coke and have a weak tea instead for this one


    @“Kez”#p132343 I wonder how people feel about Inland Empire as a first David Lynch movie? I remember being pretty bewildered by it on my first watch. Personally I feel like Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive or even Eraserhead would be better to watch first?

    I saw _Inland Empire_ on the list and rushed to make a post warning against it before scrolling up and seeing other people voice some qualms first.

    Yea... don't. I quite like _Inland Empire_ but it is extremely obtuse, and I would not recommend it as place to start with Lynch. _Mulholland Drive_ is what I'd recommend both as a place to start and as just a movie I prefer. For the purposes of your mission, I don't think _Inland Empire_ is going to tell you anything about what types of movies you like more than what _Mulholland Drive_ would tell you.

    I will say the list does feel very ambitious and has quite a lot of deep cuts - this may be what you're looking for, but I'm not sure this will be the easiest path or inspire a love of film. The layperson has almost certainly seen fewer than five of those movies, and the avid movie fan has seen maybe ten or so. Only real film buffs are posting high scores here. If part of your goal is to be able to chat with other people and form a connection over movies, you may want to work in some more mainstream (within reason) choices. I watched a bunch of movies right before I left for college and I found doing so very rewarding on that front

    I really like the inclusion of _Barb and Star_ on your list and I hope you sprinkle in some more fun and lighthearted fare. Watching movies, like reading books, should feel like your world is expanding, and it can be really hard to feel that way if it ever starts to feel like work. Work in some fun picks, take breaks, and allow your interests to lead you, not the list. Say you watch _Seven Samurai_ and want to watch some more Kurosawa - I'd say go for it and come back to the list when you want to

    Some other choices you may want to consider along your journey:

  • -

    Some More Old Hollywood - I grew up in a town with a theater that played exclusively Old Hollywood movies and so I somewhat take it for granted that others are familiar with this era of films as well. Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a very fun choice! There are just so many good choices here and a ton of variety (and also I think watching this era will give you a lot of returns on teaching you what type of movies you enjoy) that I want to recommend some more. There are lots of great early screwball romcoms like The Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby. For something more of a dark comedy I‘d rec All About Eve and Sunset Boulevard. Definitely watch some Hitchcock if you haven’t before: Vertigo and Rear Window would be my recs, but there are tons of other great choices too.

  • -

    There aren't any Black directors or female directors on your list and if the goal is to try to sample a wide swath of movies then I'd recommend adding some in. Spike Lee and Sofia Coppola are kinda basic choices, but are both great directors with seminal filmographies and very specific voices/styles. I'd actually recommend watching a Nancy Meyers film (_Something's Gotta Give_ is probably her best). Her films are light and fun but she is an incredible example of how a director shapes and controls a film. She has a very specific visual language and she sticks to it: when you watch one of her movies you know that you're going to see some older woman drinking white wine in a cardigan in the most beautiful kitchen you've ever seen in your life and you know what? It's great every time

  • -

    Some New Hollywood/American New Wave - You have a few covered here with both _The Deer Hunter_ and _Apocalypse Now_ but like... wow... you might need a mental health day after that. When I first started really watching a lot of movies, this was the era of film that I came back to again and again. [There are so so many]( excellent choices from this era that I kinda want to urge you to try something other than extremely long, depressing, Vietnam War movies. Watch _The Graduate_ at least. And maybe _Rosemary's Baby_ too. And _Taxi Driver_. And the Kubrick ones as well. And maybe the other Scorseses. And _Eraserhead_. And-

  • -

    A Pedro Almodóvar film - Either _Volver_ or _La Mala Educación_ would be excellent for this list. Almodóvar is a gay Spanish director (again, some perspectives that aren't represented elsewhere on the list) who does some of most interesting and experimental storytelling on film today. He creates these incredible plot structures that are so elaborate and yet never hard to follow. I love the bold choices he makes and even when his films are serious, they are incredibly fun to watch. He might be my favorite director working today, honestly.

  • -

    Something A24 - Very current. Very on-trend. Can certainly be hit or miss, but maybe that's a good thing if you're trying to find your taste. Recently vindicated by commercial (huge box office) and critical (won the Oscar for Best Picture) success, which means that they are probably uncool now.

  • -

    A Musical - I learned a lot about my taste from watching movie musicals because a lot of them are failures (either just bad in general or bad at translating the work from stage to screen). I'm not the biggest fan of musicals in general, so the ones that have worked for me really impress me

  • I think this is a great project and I hope you find some stuff you truly love!


    @“Hunter”#p132813 There aren’t any Black directors or female directors on your list and if the goal is to try to sample a wide swath of movies then I’d recommend adding some in.

    This also makes me realize this list is SORELY lacking one of the best movies of the last decade, _Sorry To Bother You._

    I also feel compelled to mention a Māori directed movie based on a book by a Māori authour called _Once Were Warriors,_ with fair warning that to call it an intense experience and emotional gut punch would be underselling it by a fair deal. It's more like an emotional disembowelment. Speaking of Māori directors, it's hard not to call Waititi a bit of a dirtbag and sellout these days, but I really enjoyed the movies he made _before_ he was cool (pick me!! pick me!!!!), _Boy_ is very funny and sweet, and perhaps it's because fellow Māori Jemaine Clement is involved with _What We Do In The Shadows_ that makes it far better than the TV show it spawned.

    _Smoke Signals_ is the classic pick for indigenous movies over on this continent of ours, and for good reason.


    @“Hunter”#p132813 A Musical

    Just recently watched _The Producers_ (2005) and boy, even knowing that I knew that story, was that a lot more fun than I was expecting it to be! It was great to see Uma Thurman looking like she was having a ton of fun on set. The songs are great and the premise is still unendingly delightful, and delightfully executed upon. Only thing that can really be held against it is Matthew Broderick's weirdly distractingly inflexible face and weirdly wooden performance, in a movie that is just so full of life otherwise.

    You know, no Mel Brooks on this list seems like another glaring omission!!


    @“Ergoja”#p132434 I was happy to add the French films as I’m from a place in Canada that speaks French. I only speak a very small amount but it’ll be nice to add some immersion.

    It’s always tricky to recommend _Les Enfants du Paradis__Children of Paradise_ to non-French speakers because it was written by a poet and lyricist, and a huge part of its marvel comes from the ingeniousness and rhythmic precision of its dialogues, so I am relieved that you may have some ever so slight cultural crutches to help you enjoy the writing and tone of the movie.


    @“TomoftheFog”#p132444 C’est arrivé près de chez vous is very black comedy, won’t say anything about it!

    I love it too (perfect movie to discover as a teenager) but we shouldn’t take credit for possibly the most Belgian movie ever filmed.




    @“◉◉maru”#p132868 I love it too (perfect movie to discover as a teenager) but we shouldn’t take credit for possibly the most Belgian movie ever filmed.

    You're not wrong! I've seen a few Belgian films but only in French and it's miles ahead of the rest.

    But there is JCVD - that has to be a close second ;)

    If I may make a suggestion: take a look at American Movie

    a good north star while you're on this journey imo

    Sometimes I pause movies like 8 times. no apologies :smiley:

    @“Hunter”#p132813 I'm kinda with you on this!

    @“Gaagaagiins”#p132789 Hi there! I didn‘t make the list myself, so I had no idea about who the director was or what they’re known for. I have not seen Parasite! I can add it to the list since you wrote up such a great post detailing some other films! If I like it, I‘ll watch some his other films. I’ve literally seen none of them, so I get to experience them all for the first time. Thanks so much!

    @“rejj”#p132790 I'm definitely watching my first few horror games at like, 12PM with a tea with my dog haha.

    @“Hunter”#p132813 Thank you very much for this post! I definitely want to incorporate as many different directors from different backgrounds as possible. I‘ve gone ahead and updated the list (I didn’t add any on my own, so now you've gone ahead and made it larger! thanks!)

    I'm going to add

  • - Something's Gotta Give
  • - Sunset Boulevard
  • - Taxi Driver
  • - Volver
  • - Vindicated
  • And I'd welcome anyone to recommend me some films from black directors. I'm so naïve that my approach would be to just do that google search, and I think I'll get a better list if folks just recommend some! I can sprinkle a few of them near the top but most of the newer suggestions are going on the bottom just to keep things sane on my end.

    I usually watch one movie a year maybe, so I'm already overwhelmed at (now going on 3 in week haha). I'm going to try and done one a day once I get some work taken care of over here.

    @“yeso”#p132877 Adding it!


    @“Ergoja”#p133218 And I’d welcome anyone to recommend me some films from black directors.

    I'm going to suggest _Neptune Frost_, although I have no idea if it is up for streaming anywhere. You may need to get ... creative ... in order to watch it.