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Added by BoomBoom3000 on 1 Dec 2010 10:38
3641 Views 7 Comments
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Off the Grid: Outsider Societies in Film

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People who added this item 3244 Average listal rating (2009 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Into the Wild (2007)
Drama.



This is definitely primarily a road movie. And it's focus is squarely on the individual rather than the group. But the section set in Slab City by the Salton Sea is a great look at a real and current outsider society. The continuation of many of the themes associated with outsider societies throughout the rest of the movie makes for satisfying viewing for the off-the-grid enthusiast.
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People who added this item 91 Average listal rating (51 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
Dark Days (2000)
Documentary.



DJ Shadow provides the score for a documentary on a group of individuals living in abandoned train tunnels in NYC.
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People who added this item 8790 Average listal rating (5589 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.8
Fight Club (1999)
Action.



The titular "fight clubs" themselves don't really represent a true outsider society, until they bloom into Tyler Durden's army of apocalyptic pranksters.
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People who added this item 53 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 7.2
Documentary.



Chronicles Internet entrepreneur Josh Harris's rise and fall, with a particular focus on his bizarre communal-living surveillance experiment. Anyone who uses a computer connected to the Internet should check this out.
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People who added this item 26 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.3
Surfwise (2007)
Documentary.



Intriguing story of a family of surfers lead by an authoritarian patriarch living off-the-grid. The film focuses most intensely on the father, Dorian Paskowitz, who gave up a medical career in order to chase down gnarly waves and a vision of how to achieve a healthy mind, body, and soul. Surfwise also raises important questions such as: "Is it worth it to not have to go to school and surf all day, if you have to listen to your parents getting frisky in the back of the RV?"
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Documentary.

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People who added this item 217 Average listal rating (119 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 5.9
Holy Smoke (1999)
Drama.



Harvey Keitel is a cult deprogrammer sent to retrieve Kate Winslett from an Indian ashram. Around this same time, Kate Winslett was in another cool movie in an exotic location that also prominently featured religious themes called Hideous Kinky.
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Documentary.

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People who added this item 35 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.3
Documentary.



This is a really shocking documentary about a band of homeless children living a dismal and deprived existence in an underground Romanian train station. Bleak.
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People who added this item 790 Average listal rating (520 ratings) 3.8 IMDB Rating 3.7
Horror.

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People who added this item 2309 Average listal rating (1463 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6
The Beach (2000)
Action.



Ok, yeah... this movie plays up the androgynous, nymphy DiCaprio side for the teen crowd, but this is an ill-flick if you ask me. Outsider ex-pats in Thailand get in over their heads with nefarious locals! Dig it.
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People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 4.9
TV Movie.

I've got this image here until I can find the one for the Jeremy Davies lead tv movie, Helter Skelter, about the Manson family. Davies is in all his ticky glory as the manipulative cult leader.
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People who added this item 18 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.7
Commune (2005)
Documentary.

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People who added this item 3417 Average listal rating (2250 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.5
The Village (2004)
Horror.



You probably hated this movie. I did not though. I thought it was pretty fresh.
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People who added this item 128 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.8
Horror.



Fred Durst was actually really good in this movie. It's nothing special, but it's a decent little horror flick about an isolated town with a, you know, dark secret.
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I'm fascinated by outsider societies... those groups of people who have opted out of participation in normal society, instead seeking some other form of communal living. The films on this list feature outsider societies living off-the-grid. Some of the groups are cults, some are not. Sometimes things end well, but usually not.

The films I've listed span a variety of genres, with the majority falling most squarely under the categories of either documentary or horror. I'd argue both are appropriate in some cases (Jonestown: The Life and Death of the Peoples Temple I'm looking at you!).

Some of the themes that frequently surface are pretty interesting: rejection of modern technology, poverty, isolation, survivalism, power and influence, religion and revelation, madness, libertarianism, utopianism, etc.

In order to keep the focus narrow, I didn't include:

a) Secret societies where members also participate part-time in conventional living (Eyes Wide Shut),
b) Outsider societies in the future (Children of Men),
c) Music or youth subcultures (Dogtown and Z Boys), or
d) Drug subcultures (Trainspotting).

Also, I only selected movies I enjoyed (hence the exclusion of say, Savage Messiah, which would fit the bill, but is a terrible film).

If you've got suggestions for the list, let me know, as I'm sure I've missed some and I'd love to see them.

10 Point Rating Scale:

1 - 3 Awful.
4 Not good.
5 Meh.
6 Average.
7 Enjoyable.
8 Liked it quite a bit.
9 Loved it.
10 A work of genius.

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Comments

Posted: 6 years, 6 months ago at Dec 9 23:21
Cool list. Can't think of any to add at the moment, but if you've never seen the original Wicker Man I recommend you check it out. I enjoyed it enough that I won't watch the remake.
Posted: 6 years, 6 months ago at Dec 9 23:45
seen any Harmony Korine films? Mr. Lonely and Trash Humpers i think particularly fit the bill. how about Gypsies? keeping it short, 'Wife to be Sacrificed'..there chew on that.

edit: and Goddamn 'Gummo'
Posted: 6 years, 6 months ago at Dec 10 0:35
@ ethereal_tard
I remember liking Gummo a lot, but it was a long time ago and I honestly need to revisit it again.

I actually have Trash Humpers on my Netflix Queue currently. I'll have to bump it up the list on the suggestion.

Thanks for the suggestions.
Posted: 6 years, 6 months ago at Dec 10 0:38
@ the giraffe

I haven't seen the original Wicker Man. Normally, I don't rent older horror but maybe I need to expand my horror horizons. Thanks for the suggestion!
Posted: 6 years, 3 months ago at Mar 22 0:29
Braveheart??!
Posted: 6 years, 3 months ago at Mar 23 14:43
I honestly have no idea how Braveheart got in there. Weird. Gone now.
Posted: 5 years, 11 months ago at Jul 26 1:57
got another one for you, man.

Voices in the Tunnels

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