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Added by Mr. Saturn on 31 Jul 2012 03:37
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Disheartening Films and TV Series

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People who added this item 314 Average listal rating (111 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 7.9

But it is most of all Stroheim who rejects photographic expressionism and the tricks of montage. In his films reality lays itself bare like a suspect confessing under the relentless examination of the commissioner of police. He has one simple rule for direction. Take a close look at the world, keep on doing so, and in the end it will lay bare for you all its cruelty and its ugliness. One could easily imagine as a matter of fact a film by Stroheim composed of a single shot as long-lasting and as close-up as you like. - Andre Bazin, What is Cinema?

My favorite film.

GOLD - GOLD - GOLD - GOLD. Bright and Yellow, Hard and Cold, Molten, Graven, Hammered, Rolled, Hard to Get and Light to Hold; Stolen, Borrowed, Squandered - Doled.
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People who added this item 214 Average listal rating (100 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.8

The darkest coming of age film I've seen. When Mouchette rolls through the grass I hoped she was embracing what joy she had left in life. The only way for Mouchette to experience joy is through escape; Bresson, I learned, makes no facile endings.
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Old times? Not a bit. There aren't any old times. When times are gone, they’re not old, they’re dead. There aren't any times but new times.
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People who added this item 2715 Average listal rating (1570 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.4

Citzen Kane is a very poignant film, especially when Rosebud burns; Roger Ebert said "we find out the secret, that really explains nothing at all." It may have been Ebert that aptly noted the smoke was symbolic of how we can't regain our childhoods.
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People who added this item 1182 Average listal rating (698 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.3

Antonio Ricci: You live and you suffer.

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People who added this item 4621 Average listal rating (2837 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.3

When I first saw Taxi Driver, I sympathized with the protagonist because I felt a lot of hate and self-pity. Travis Bickle is a pathetic and misanthropic character.
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People who added this item 482 Average listal rating (241 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 8.7


Harakiri is one of the most powerful attacks on dogma. It's poor consolation the samurai was able to destroy their ancestor's suit; the suit, like Bushido during WWII, is hallow.
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People who added this item 606 Average listal rating (282 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
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People who added this item 163 Average listal rating (87 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8
Sciuscià (1946)

For if people cannot feel Shoeshine, what can they feel?... - Pauline Kael
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People who added this item 1444 Average listal rating (776 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.4

Who knows what it's like to be me?

The ending exposes the terrible nature of the crowd of people. The killer may have been biologically determined to kill children, but the crowd chose to give into hate, something the Nazis exploited a few years after M.
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People who added this item 1170 Average listal rating (688 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1

Psychiatrist: Your parents say you're always lying.
Antoine Doinel: Oh, I lie now and then, I suppose. Sometimes I'd tell them the truth and they still wouldn't believe me, so I prefer to lie.

It's screwed up how willing the adults are to peg Antoine as a troublemaker and antagonize him. They're really exploiting Antoine in the name of helping him.
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People who added this item 1016 Average listal rating (522 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
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People who added this item 2118 Average listal rating (1292 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.2

Raging Bull is about a man only capable of truly expressing himself through violence. His domineering behavior destroys his life. With age his force dwindles, and his failures are mostly his fault, but unlike Barry Lyndon or Alex from a A Clockwork Orange, I felt sympathy for him because he tried to be a good person.
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People who added this item 720 Average listal rating (408 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1


La Strada affected me because I'm like Zampanò and Gelsomina. I related to their inner conflicts and the conflict they have with each other.
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Nothing in the world can be compared to the human face. It is a land one can never tire of exploring. There is no greater experience in a studio than to witness the expression of a sensitive face under the mysterious power of inspiration. To see it animated from inside, and turning into poetry. - Carl Dreyer, Thoughts on My Craft, Sight & Sound

The Passion of Joan of Arc is the most harrowing non-documentary film experience.
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People who added this item 206 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.5

Bresson insightfully films the evil resulting from something so seemingly insignificant as faked bank notes.
I think in the whole world things are going very badly. People are becoming more and more materialistic and cruel, but cruel in another way than the middle ages. Cruel by laziness, by indifference, egotism, because they think only about themselves and not at all about what is happening around them, so that they let everything around them grow ugly, stupid. They are all interested in money only. Money is becoming their God. God doesn’t exist anymore for many. Money is becoming something you must live for. - Robert Bresson to Paul Schrader, “Robert Bresson, Probably,” Film Comment, Sept./Oct. 1977

The murderer may think he's rescuing the family from a dull life, but his killing is arbitrary and selfish, and not an act of mercy.

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People who added this item 2567 Average listal rating (1421 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 9.5
Possibly the greatest TV show (it's tied with The Decalogue and The Wire for me) and probably the most entertaining. What's dark about this show unlike a show like Dexter is Walt is an everyday guy who becomes what some would call evil through his choices, circumstances, and delusional belief he's right to do these things because he's a family man.
Bryan Cranston has said in many interviews that he discovered everyone is capable of being dangerous.
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My argument with so much of psychoanalysis, is the preconception that suffering is a mistake, or a sign of weakness, or a sign even of illness, when in fact, possibly the greatest truths we know have come out of people's suffering; that the problem is not to undo suffering or to wipe it off the face of the earth but to make it inform our lives, instead of trying to cure ourselves of it constantly and avoid it, and avoid anything but that lobotomized sense of what they call "happiness." There's too much of an attempt, it seems to me, to think in terms of controlling man, rather than freeing him. Of defining him rather than letting him go. It's part of the whole ideology of this age, which is power-mad. - Arthur Miller
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People who added this item 374 Average listal rating (182 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
Intolerance (1916)

Each story shoes how hatred and intolerance, through all the ages, have battled against love and charity.
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If you grew up feeling ashamed for being gay, this film is essential viewing.
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People who added this item 114 Average listal rating (50 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
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People who added this item 387 Average listal rating (210 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1

If there is no God, would it really make any difference? Life would become understandable. What a relief.

Bergman called Winter Light his bravest film.
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People who added this item 2109 Average listal rating (1232 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.2

Polanski's ending is allegorically realistic. His ending with the bystanders ignoring the powerful man may have been influenced by childhood as a Jew in Nazi occupied Poland.
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People who added this item 377 Average listal rating (170 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9
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People who added this item 136 Average listal rating (62 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 7.9
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People who added this item 402 Average listal rating (201 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.6

Possibly the most depressing film ever made.
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People who added this item 572 Average listal rating (250 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 7.9

Jonny's pessimistic self-pity and misanthropic feelings are 'in itself a cliché'.
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This is one of the most profoundly unsettling films. You see an old man who assaults people and find out he's become an enraged pacifist after his comrades have been eaten by their superiors during WWII. Even as a pacifist, I seriously reconsidered the maxim 'the end justifies the means', but realized changing my ethics out of an emotional, not rational, response could be a form of military worship.
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People who added this item 1922 Average listal rating (1061 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8

I feel badly about thinking that Dogville, which in my eyes is one of my most successful films, should have been a kind of script for [the person who massacred people, and thought of Dogville as one of his favorite films] ... It's horrific. My intention with Dogville was totally opposite. Namely, to ask whether we can accept a protagonist who takes revenge on the entire village. And here I take the absolute distance from revenge. It's a way to nuance the protagonist and our feelings and perhaps even uncover it, so it just is not black and white. - Lars von Trier (interview)
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People who added this item 383 Average listal rating (180 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 7.8
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People who added this item 664 Average listal rating (301 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
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People who added this item 386 Average listal rating (184 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.8
The Trial (1962)

The prologue is pretty bleak.
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People who added this item 399 Average listal rating (239 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.2

If you've ever had a pet you loved, this film will probably make you cry.
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People who added this item 110 Average listal rating (52 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8

Kon Ichikawa demolishes the heroic and persevering qualities present even in many antiwar films, to show war is an evil and only destructive force.
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People who added this item 171 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.3
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People who added this item 3140 Average listal rating (1959 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.4
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People who added this item 165 Average listal rating (68 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.1
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People who added this item 934 Average listal rating (496 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
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People who added this item 322 Average listal rating (169 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
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People who added this item 476 Average listal rating (258 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
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Films that left me with less faith in humanity, or feeling depressed, hopeless, or despairing, and my watchlist. This is the opposite of my list life-affirming films.

Recommended Filmographies

Robert Bresson
Michael Haneke
Most of the videos contain spoilers.

Recommendations are welcome.

The most depressing movies I've seen:
Night and Fog
The Emperor's Naked Army Marches on
The Long Day Closes
The Devil Probably
The Passion of Joan of Arc
The Seventh Continent
Mouchette

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