We asked local film programmer Shelly Isaacs—the subject of our Take 5 interview in the “Backstage Pass” section of our December/January issue—to share his ideas for the best movies to watch when confronted with everyday (and not-so-everyday) life events. Here are his picks:
When it’s a rainy day: It deserves a double bill. “Lawrence of Arabia”—there’s no rain in sight, and there’s nothing like this classic, sweeping epic to take your mind off the weather. And, of course, “Singin’ In the Rain”—[which] sort of sums up it all up.
When you’re on your iPad, waiting for hours at the DMV: “Network.” Chayefsky said it best: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
When you’re on an island vacation: “Mr. Hulot’s Holiday.” It’s a vacation within a vacation. Jacques Tati’s take on life is exuberant.
When you’ve just been married: “Two For The Road.” One of the classic explorations of marriage’s ups and downs.
When you’ve just been divorced/dumped by your significant other: “Annie Hall.” There’s laughter in the pain, and it’s highly relatable.
When you’ve just given birth: “Children of Heaven.” Makes you hope for the best.
When you’ve just announced your retirement: “O’Horten.” Like Robert Browning’s poem: “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.”
When you’re grieving: Another double bill. “Cherry Blossoms”—a cross cultural story of love, loss and how important it is to appreciate and value those we care about most, before it’s too late. And “After Life”—I’d like to think it works like this.
When it’s Thanksgiving with the family: “Celebration.” Thomas Vinterberg’s take on family brings dysfunction to a whole new level, and makes you appreciate your own crazy relatives.
When the apocalypse comes: Mel Brooks’ “The Producers.” I want my world to end with laughter.