Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mixtape Movies #1

Andy has once again come up with a brilliant idea for a blogathon. The idea is to make a mixtape (or, to adapt to the 21st century, a playlist) of five films that revolve around a common theme plus a wildcard entry (a film that doesn't quite fit among the others but still belongs). I got really curious and as a result, I came up with several different mixtapes. (They'll be posted within the next few days.) Anyway, onto the first one.

Many of the themes for my mixtapes will be rather...dark. And the first one is no exception. The title? "Addiction is Bad". These films revolve around the downward spiral of the leads and how it can affect those close to them. The list starts after the jump.

The Lost Weekend (Wilder, 1945)
This was one of the first films not afraid to focus on addiction. Sure, witnessing Don Birman (Ray Milland) sinking deeper into his alcoholism looks tame now, but just imagine what audiences thought of it back in 1945.

Days of Wine and Roses (Edwards, 1962)
Likewise, the descents of Joe (Jack Lemmon) and Kirsten Clay (Lee Remick) might look meager in comparison to recent films (one such example will be coming up next), but the response in 1962 must have been one of shock.

Leaving Las Vegas (Figgis, 1995)
This was just the beginning in showing how low one can get when it comes to addiction. (It certainly wouldn't be the last either.)

Requiem for a Dream (Aronofsky, 2000)
All right, show of hands. Who saw this film and vowed to never ever take drugs as a result?

Shame (McQueen, 2011)
Many films (read: low-brow comedies) treated sex addiction as a joke. Thanks to Steve McQueen's meticulous direction and Michael Fassbender's raw performance, that's not the case anymore. (Thank God.)

And the wildcard is...
Bigger Than Life (Ray, 1956)
Granted, this film isn't strictly about addiction, but it does show how one's personality can change with the addition of a potent drug. And like Billy Wilder before him and Blake Edwards later on, Nicholas Ray wasn't afraid to shock his audiences.

Well, that's one entry down. A lot more to go...


  1. I'll raise my hand regarding 'Requiem For a Dream', alright. Wonderful movie mix tape, Anna.

  2. Great mix! I've been having a hell of a time trying to figure out a good idea. Hopefully it will come to me soon.

    1. Thank you. And I'm sure you'll come up with a good one.

  3. Nice work. A couple of suggestions for other movies that could make the mix: Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm and Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction.

    1. Thank you. The Man with the Golden Arm didn't have the same impact on me as much as the films on my mixtape. (Haven't seen let alone heard of The Addiction.)

  4. I’m impressed you have seen The Man with the Golden Arm. I know a lot of movie fans who haven’t even heard of it! The Addiction is a bizarre little Abel Ferrara film from the mid 90’s. its all a bit dreamy and arty and very ambiguous. Depending on your point of view it is an allegory for either drug addiction or religion. It was shot back to back with and released alongside his gangster film, The Funeral.

    1. Darling, I've seen a number of classic films that very few people I know have seen.

  5. Terrific mix! Now I just need to watch Bigger Than Life.

  6. wow, great mix! I should be ashamed of calling myself a Lemmon fan when I STILL haven't seen Days of Wine and Roses. It looks terrific.

    (I'm checking these posts now, loving the blogathon!)


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