Monday, August 10, 2015

Five Emotions. Five Films.

This post is part of ConMan's "Film Emotion Blogathon" in which the participants must pick five films to represent the five emotions featured in the film Inside Out.

Saw this going around the blogosphere and decided to jump on board. The blogathon's concept is simple. You just have to pick five films to represent the five emotions featured in the latest Pixar film i.e. joy, sadness, fear, anger and disgust and write about them. Below are my picks!

JOY: First of all, you want to pick a movie that makes you happy. The kind of movie that you put on whenever you’re in a bad mood that never fails to lighten your spirits.

Billy Elliot (2000)
Directed by Stephen Daldry

From the very opening scene with Jamie Bell jumping to "Cosmic Dancer" by T. Rex, I knew the film was going to be a feel-good romp. Of course, it's not happiness and rainbows throughout, but I would still characterize it as a generally happy film. Just the concept of a boy wanting to be a ballet dancer in spite of what the world thinks is prime for grade-A inspiration. It's just so damn easy to root for Billy's dreams and with every dance number the film showcases, it's hard not to feel invested. Bell as the title character is still one of my favorite "child acting" examples of all time and his unflappable spirit and joy is infectious. By the time the final scene rolls, with adult Billy getting ready to go out on stage with his dad and brother watching, it's impossible not to smile.

SADNESS: Now for the movie that made you cry the most. Maybe a character dies, maybe the guy doesn’t get the girl, but your eyes should be pretty watery by the film’s end.

The Kite Runner (2007)
Directed by Marc Foster

Based on the extremely popular novel of the same name, The Kite Runner was a film that left me emotionally exhausted and completely dehydrated from all the tears I shed when I saw it in theaters. Most of this was due to timing since I had just finished reading the novel a few weeks prior to seeing the film so I was already crying even prior to all of the sad parts. The film itself is about two boys living in Kabul and their epic story of brotherly love, brutal betrayal, and heartfelt redemption. It's ultimately an uplifting film, but the twists and turns it takes in its narrative, like the book, is quite heartbreaking in parts. There's a line in the novel, and in the film, that when I still see it written out or hear, I turn to blubber. It ultimately speaks to the unbreakable bond between the two boys in spite of all of the shit life has thrown at them and yeah, I'm crying right now just thinking about it. "For you, a thousand times over."

FEAR:  This is the movie that gave you the most nightmares. Pretty self explanatory. Whether blunt or subtle, this is the movie that scares the **** out of you.

Donnie Darko (2001)
Directed by Richard Kelly

This film was a trip. I remember seeing it for the first time and not even realizing what I had just watched. What I did know was that the character of Frank aka the protagonist's mysterious imaginary friend dressed in a truly grotesque bunny costume was one of the scariest things I've seen on screen, up there with the shower scene from Psycho, Hannibal Lecter, the clown Pennywise from It, and whatever happens to Gremlins after you feed them after midnight. As generally innocuous as Frank was in the film, his unaffected and ominous voice, his penchant to show up randomly, and his terrifying face all combine to still scare me to this day.

ANGER: This is a movie that you flat out hated. Not a movie that was dull or boring, but a movie that just fills you up with rage just thinking about it.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Directed by Brett Ratner

Here's the thing, I love the X-Men. I was obsessed with them when I was a kid and the animated show the aired on TV during the 90s was my jam. Back in 2000 when the first live action X-Men film debut, it not only started the Age of Superheroes, but it was the first time I got to see actors playing characters that I've loved from the comics. AND it was great. It was then followed up by an even better sequel which ended with a tantalizing tease for the third film that promised fans the long-awaited and super popular Phoenix storyline. Unfortunately, that third film was an abysmal bloated mess with a truncated Phoenix storyline wedged in along other plot threads that could've easily been left out for their own films. It angers me, because it essentially dissipated any goodwill the first fantastic two films garnered that the franchise is STILL trying to recover from even with pretty good films recently.

DISGUST: This last one is a bit tricky, I’ll let you interpret it the way you want. This film should make you cringe.

The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Directed by Mel Gibson

I went to Catholic school for most of my non-adult life so the judgment and subsequent crucifixion and death of Jesus has been hammered into my psyche for as long as I can remember. And yet it was never hammered as gorily and as torturously the way Gibson's film did. I'm not qualified at all to say if all of that was accurate in any way, but I do know that it was just TOO MUCH for my own sensibilities. To literally see bits and pieces of skin pulled apart and blood coating everything was quite sickening. On the other hand, seeing this man get tortured so violently for humanity's sins made me disgusted in another way. Just think about how many people have used and STILL use Jesus' name to enact equally violent and disturbing acts as well as use faith and religion to promote inequality and hate. It frankly just makes me want to vomit on the human race.


  1. Good choices! Thanks a bunch for participating in my blogathon!

    1. You're very welcome! Great idea for a blogathon!

  2. Definitely agree about The Last Stand. That film almost ruined the whole franchise for me! I agree The Passion was hard to get through, but still powerful.

    1. I like to pretend The Last Stand never happened. And with the new films, looks like that's JUST fine!

  3. Whew, good picks!
    You and I agreed on joy, whereas I think you're closer to my husband on anger - he's angry at the awful treatment of superheroes too.


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