OK, so it is 420. We know it, you know it, everyone knows it. And while there is a solid amount of listicles out there reminding you that Pineapple Express is about weed and therefore the right movie to watch today, lets expand our horizons a little bit today. It is 2020 after all, we are not in high school, and enjoying herbal refreshments is more about self-care and (very importantly, right now) taking a little vacation inside your brain than anything else, so … treat your viewing choices accordingly. Use tonight to escape our collective reality, and exchange it for something gentler, more beautiful, more… chill.
Below, a few very 420 friendly movies you maybe didn’t plan to watch tonight, but you should:
Chunking Express (1994) – In this slice of PURE cinema two heartsick cops spend their nights floating around Hong Kong, looking for women they love, and stopping at a small take-out joint. This description doesn’t do Wong Kar Wai’s masterpiece any justice, but expect to be: a. utterly charmed, b. suddently crave canned pineapple and c. keep the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’” on repeat till further notice.
Orlando (1992) – Sally Potter’s time-and-gender-traveling adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 classic of the same name is what catapulted Tilda Swinton into our collective hearts and minds. Now, available on Criterion channel, it is as gorgeous to look at and mind-bending as ever, but what you may not remember about it is just how FUNNY it is. Swinton’s timing is perfect, and her deadpan awkwardness is one, truly, for the ages.
Drive (2011) – Sure you’ve seen Drive, but have you seen Drive high? (streaming now on Netflix)
Diva (1981) – Jean-Jacquex Beniex made this thriller in 1981 and it reads like a cross section between a high fashion magazine and a pulpy crime comic book. Centered around two disparate worlds: that of a gorgeous opera singer (whose voice has never been recorded) and a murdered sex worker, it is still one of the weirdest, most elegant things you could spend your evening on. Streaming on Criterion (if you don’t have it, get the 14 day free trial now, SERIOUSLY -ed)
Last Year At Marienbad (1961) – Alain Resnais directed this nearly wordless meditation on memory and relationships, and almost sixty years later, it is as innovative and stylish as anything you’ve ever seen. In fact, when Suns Cinema played this in January, I got tickets for the entire BYT staff to come and spend a Sunday evening bathed in its glory. While a blue-ray copy of this can set you back as much as 250 bucks these days, it is streaming for free on Kanopy (thank you to the public library system!)
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