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  • The Open Culture Collective

Vol. 01 - Isolation | Watch List

Isolation isn't limited to the physical sense of the word, and many people, especially in modern times, find themselves feeling a little lost in their surroundings, consumed by loneliness.

TOCC has curated a list of movies with endearing tales of such characters, making connections in unexpected ways.

For Nonna Anna (2017)

Directed by Luis De Filippis

With brevity and silence that speaks volumes, Canadian breakthrough director Luis De Filippis brings to light the subtle pangs of distress in being trans. Coursing through a maelstrom of emotions from scene to scene, this critically acclaimed short film leaves the audience feeling heavier and lighter - all at once.

MEAL (2018)

Directed by Abhiroop Basu

Created amidst the ominous discordance of the CAA-NRC conflict with a silence that sears, Abhiroop Basu builds on the obtrusive tension in an already dysfunctional family with every frame. The palpable disruption to the lives of citizens is simultaneously reminiscent of riots gone by and an unsettling glimpse into the future of a democracy in divide.

Macadam Stories / Asphalt

dir. Samuel Benchetrit

Set in a dilapidated apartment building, the film follows the lives of it’s residents as they each make an unusual connection. Their monotonous lives are echoed in the drab setting, but as the story progresses, humour and wonder prevail. Their encounters are wholesome to behold amidst the solitude of urban isolation.

Lost in Translation

dir. Sofia Coppola

This one is no stranger to isolation lists as it perfectly captures the feeling of being disconnected and disenchanted with the pace and intentions of world around. Existentially distraught, the two main characters navigate their situations, in search of purpose and meaning. They cross each other’s paths in a foreign city and find solace in each other’s company.

Garden of Words

dir. Makato Shinkai

This film was inspired by the older Japanese meaning of love - Koi or to long for someone in solitude. It portrays a relationship blooming between two solitary people who find that they are able to open up to each other and reveal their dreams like never before. With breath-taking animation and very little dialogue, the sounds and imagery of raindrops falling in a deserted park are sure to leave you mesmerized.

The Lunchbox

dir. Ritesh Batra

A critically acclaimed film that follows Ila, a young neglected housewife and Mr. Fernandes, an irritable widower who leads a solitary life. It is a charming tale of the happenstance bond that forms between these two characters, through letters shared in a lunchbox and the dabbawalas of Mumbai.


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