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The Films That Got Me Through The First Lockdown

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

With rumors flying around that we're going back into another national lockdown tomorrow, we thought we'd reach out to one of our writers and ask for them to give us some insight into what helped them keep positive while being stuck at home. For Hollr Writer Miles Edwards, film was his escape and way of getting through all the uncertainty so read on to find out what movies in particular helped him, because we all need comfort movies in our lives!

Lockdown was (and still is) a tough time for me. And, of course, everyone one else. With not much to do and nowhere to go- streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney + became our best friends. Escapism became mandatory. For me, I relied on them heavily and no doubt will in the current lockdown we’re facing in Cumbria. Unless I finally complete Netflix. Which I joke about but at times it feels as though I’ve come close.

Given that we’re currently in a second lockdown with no concrete end-date in sight, I though that now would be a good time to share some wonderful films that helped me get through the first lockdown, in hopes that a few of these picks can help you get through this one.

1. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)

Scott Pilgrim has become somewhat of a cult classic among young people. Every generation that discovers it finds something brilliant in the dialogue, the music, the humour- you’ll probably even recognize some of the quotes and music from TikTok. Scott Pilgrim is my all-time favourite film. It’s an optimistic and hilarious blend of action and comedy and is a film that always gets my blood pumping and releasing some of that often-sparse serotonin. During lockdown, I watched Scott Pilgrim three times- and every time I watched it, I felt a little better about life. It’s just one of those brilliant films that will always, no matter how I feel make me laugh and make me have a great time. It’s currently streaming on Netflix and is available to rent on Amazon Prime.

2. JoJo Rabbit (2019)

Taika Waititi is one of my favourite filmmakers currently working in Hollywood, and his film JoJo Rabbit is one of my favourite films of his. You’ll probably recognize his voice as the rock guy from Thor: Ragnarok (which he also directed). Like Scott Pilgrim, it’s a film with an effortless personality and an amazing sense of humour. The film sports a wonderful message of love and hope- something that I know I really needed during the first lockdown. It also ends with my new favourite quote that I won’t spoil because you should definitely watch this film. All you need to know is it’s a mantra that I now choose to live my life by. It’s available to rent on Amazon Prime and YouTube.

3. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

I could sit here and give you film after film that’s funny and optimistic- but I think it’s also important to say that it’s okay to not be okay. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic after all- I don’t blame you if sometimes you feel sad, angry or stressed. I feel all these things too. And when I’m feeling this way- I always pop on Inside Llewyn Davis. Now, Inside Llewyn Davis might not has as broad an appeal as the other films on this list. It’s a dry comedy with no real plot and is no doubt an acquired taste- but for me, it works as a warm hug even when I’m going through my darkest times. While I can’t guarantee you’ll enjoy it, I can definitely say it’s worth your time. It’s available to rent on Amazon Prime and YouTube.

4. Stop Making Sense (1986)

I first watched Stop Making Sense on a night when I wasn’t feeling too good, but by the time the credits started rolling I couldn’t stop myself from dancing, and massively irritating my other family members (sorry Mum). Stop Making Sense is a film you might not have heard of and I hadn’t either until I stumbled across it on YouTube (where it’s free to watch). It’s a concert film that showcases a massively energetic and elevating 1986 concert by The Talking Heads. If you don’t know who The Talking Heads are, I’m sure your parents will. Anyway, I wasn’t a fan of The Talking Heads going into the film but I certainly was a fan going out of it. The funky music paired with the excellent choreography gets your heart rate going and generally has an infectious feeling of euphoria along with it. In a nutshell, simply watching this film is a better workout than anything Joe Wicks could do. If it sounds like it could be your thing check it out. If you don’t think you’ll like it, check it out anyway- it’s free to watch on YouTube.

5. One Cut of the Dead (2019)

One Cut of the Dead might be the most obscure film on this list. It’s a Japanese zombie film with a massive twist. That’s all I can say about the plot without spoiling anything. What I can say though, is that it’s a wonderfully inventive film that massively uplifting and endlessly hilarious. I watched it on iTunes during the first lockdown and it’s quickly become one of my all time favourite films. I watched it three times during lockdown and plan on my fourth viewing tonight. Don’t let the fact it’s subtitled put you off- as Bong Joon-ho famously said during his speech at the Oscars- “once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films”. (quick sidenote, his masterpiece Parasite almost made this list). One Cut of the Dead put me on a high for the few days after I first watched it and I’m sure it will do the same for you. I recommend it massively. It’s currently available to rent on iTunes and YouTube.

Lockdown isn’t easy for anyone, but I thoroughly believe that films can help to make it easier. If you do watch any of these films be sure to let us know, and tell us what films helped you get through lockdown in the comments below.

If you’re a film fanatic like Miles or you're just interested in seeing Miles' thoughts on more films, give Miles' Letterboxd a follow.

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