It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

Existential movie list?

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 01:31 AM
Aside from Walden taken to film; I know of I Heart Huckabees any one else know of any other titles involving existentialism as a topic?

If unfamiliar with I Heart Huckabees it is a funny romp with a stellar cast

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 02:33 AM
A Scanner Darkly
2001: A Space Oddesy

those are a couple i can think of off the cuff but they are fantastic especially a scanner darkly

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 02:49 AM

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 03:12 AM
a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

Cosmopolis (2012) was a good stab at existentialism with some 1%er losing his way and his sense of identity. The Fall (2006) is one of the most outstanding of cinematography imo - almost every image is like a well-framed photograph and the colours are stunning. The actual story is existential in that archetypal and mythical way of an individual facing psychological crises against an internal narrative. It's also very heart-warming. Moon (2009) is pretty good too with a guy stuck on the moon and looking at his life against the lonely back-drop of an empty base.

Jeez, it's tougher than I expected to conjure up this type of movie. Bill Murray's Lost in Translation or Broken Flowers was pretty existential and both won awards irrc. There's one who's name I can't recall that had a couple on a little island out in space. They lived a thousand lives and were reviewing those lives as the movie aimed for some existential, wondrous crescendo. Thought it was Natascha McElhone from Solaris (decent movie), but must be a female lead who looks like her instead.

Looking forward to other reccos

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 03:57 AM
a reply to: Kandinsky

I second Moon.
Perhaps also: Enter The Void, Interstellar, The Matrix

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 03:58 AM
a reply to: trollz

Great choices

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 04:01 AM
The Cube

Dark City

Truman Show

Waking Life

What Dreams May Come

The Meaning of Life

**I think those would qualify**

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 04:08 AM
Some of these trailers may contain traces of nuts, and offensive material.


Man From Earth

Waking Life (or pretty much any Richard Linklater film, props for the scanner darkly recc above)

The Doom Generation

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night


The Bothersome Man


The Machinist

Fight Club (obligatory mention, the book was better)



Final Cut (not "the final cut")

Couple existential animated tv shows I highly recommend:

Rick and Morty

Aeon Flux (not the film, that was a terrible bastardisation)

edit on 18-2-2016 by spygeek because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 04:42 AM
a reply to: spygeek

Glad you mentioned Primer.
I'd also include Ghosts of the civil dead and Eraserhead.
Maybe even Totally Bill Hicks too!
Also Pi (in a strange kind of way).

I'm a cyborg
Or any film by Park Chan-Wook
edit on 18-2-2016 by Tulpa because: Clumsy

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 04:56 AM
Wow thanks everyone that has contributed so far...

I know a lot of these might not appear existential to some, but if they make you question and look at the larger picture then yeah, it qualifies.

Oddly enough some of these I have heard have given people an existential crisis so deep like the Matrix that they have fallen into psychosis as a result because it turned their world literally upside down and poured out everything they though that they knew.

I think it interesting that some film is so powerful that it can force someone to empty their cup... the sad reality is then the person loses everything they once had not always a bad thing when it is a purging of ideology that wakes them up to things beyond their old robotic rote way of thinking... it is a slow painful process for many as the cns makes connections faster than the mind can balance... but it is an obvious evolution to attempt to adapt to the world they have then found themselves in that by some sights and sounds by all appearances and ears cannot be distinguished by another as if between worlds.

Perhaps psychology will catch up to ancient psychology one day and be able to upgrade without such tremendous stress... it is better than wearing a cage on ones head in a cell like in the dark ages so that whatever demon might come out of there also would be trapped...

So many on this list every one has shared so far I have not screened, and some I have.

The most recent that I have on this list is Moon Sam Rockwell's acting was easily lost in immersion with the film which is a very difficult thing to accomplish...

I suppose since I know what some consider existential not as really a topic itself in a film that educates about it... I'll add a few myself.

Strange Days... about recorded memories being bought and sold like a drug on the black market

12 Monkeys... Time travel in an attempt by a early matrix like government to create a better future by manipulating the past

The Jerk... a charismatic Forest Gump type that discovers his "purpose" goes out to get it, (spoiler alert) in the end he does... kinda like king kong not losing his Faye Dunaway.

If you haven't seen The Jerk you're now desperately trying to not read beyond the spoiler alert right now so thats why this line is here.

The Fountain... I honestly don't recall

Pan's Labyrinth... also I do not recall

The Odyssey... very powerful movie for us against the world type of couples.

Natural Born Killers... like the above description but with guns, drug trips, murder, and larceny

U-Turn... one of those everything no matter what goes wrong by a single decision

Tough Guys... A couple of young train robbers in prison for a long time now old farts trying to readjust to life outside the pen

Ghost World... a young lady meets an older guy via the same taste in music... seems superficial but can go very deep the more one questions the older guys reality making it a hidden gem

The Secret of NIMH... *was pulled from theaters early* over parent controversy scaring the crap out of their kids because hey it's a cartoon. But it goes into a lot and I mean a lot of issues from the point of view of Rats

Felix The Cat... This is a nice hidden gem as well that shows life and subculture of the 60's through animated cats with a type of animation that is rare to see

Trainspotting... Existential crisis of a young man in Europe

The Forbidden Zone... a musical romp by the Elfman brothers it's basically like a journey of ingesting a hallucinogen but caught on film

Well there's some of my additions... I'm looking forward to screening some of your suggestions

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 05:16 AM
a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

I didn't see this posted above anywhere, possibly because it received mixed reviews.

It may not be considered "existential" in the more widely accepted sense but, it sort of "shook me up" and
made me think about some things, at that time, a little differently.


posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 05:19 AM
a reply to: spygeek

How did I miss seeing A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night? In your list... oh that's right long title while scanning a bit too quickly... one of the very best movies of that genre aside from the original version of Let the Right One In... no I will not see the re-make for American theater. But, one of the best films I've screened in awhile and also one you can easily forget is in black and white when watching... and the music? Forget about it...

Might as well drop a couple more since I'm making another post

Secret Window... writer where his book comes to life and so does he

Secret of the Beehive... A old Frankenstein one that many that love the genre are oblivious too

My Life as a Dog... foreign film about a kid sent to stay with his aunt and uncle that cannot cope with the other children in the village so he decides to become a dog

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 08:18 AM
a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

Couple more
The man who wasn't there
Hudsucker proxy

And someone's got to say it....

Donnie Darko.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 09:04 AM
a reply to: Tulpa

chut up!!!! hahahah i havent seen that movie since i was in high school

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 11:38 AM
a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

The Wall
The Wall (German: Die Wand) is a 2012 Austrian-German drama film written and directed by Julian Pölsler and starring Martina Gedeck.[3] Based on the 1963 novel Die Wand by Austrian writer Marlen Haushofer and adapted for the screen by Julian Pölsler, the film is about a woman who visits with friends at their hunting lodge in the Austrian Alps. Left alone while her friends walk to a nearby village, the woman soon discovers she is cut off from all human contact by a mysterious invisible wall. With her friends' loyal dog Lynx as her companion, she lives the next three years in isolation looking after her animals.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 11:40 AM
What about John Dies at the End?

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 12:35 PM
a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness
Upstream Color

Oslo, August 31st


Easton's Article

Red Knot

Synecdoche, New.York

edit on 09 11 2015 by MaxTamesSiva because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 01:09 PM
a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

Being John Malkovich is obvious choice. Basically asking "who is your puppet master"

Brazil can really bake you noodle as most Terry Gilliam movies can do. Does the protagonist win or does he finally withdraw into his own fantasy world. Does he die? The great thing is you do not need to "know" which to enjoy the film.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 02:57 PM
I don''t know how to categorize this film "existential" is good as any....

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 03:41 PM
A couple that might fit this category.

Barton Fink
Jacob's Ladder

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in