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Thread: Films with existential / phsychotherapy / mental-health themes

  1. #1

    Smile Films with existential / phsychotherapy / mental-health themes

    There have been a couple of threads recently about the films you've seen the most, and all-time favourite films... and, as I'm going through a slightly neurotic/introverted/depressive/existential phase at the moment, I was curious as to whether anyone had seen any decent films with mental health / existential themes...?

    I saw Girl, Interrupted and Prozac Nation in the last couple of days, and both were amazing. I Heart Huckabees was pretty good too.

    I also watched Garden State (which was a bit average - it lacked subtlety, but Natalie Portman was really fit, which made up for it!) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (which gets great reviews but didn't really impress me).

    So... are there any similarly-themed films that you've enjoyed...?

  2. #2


    Instead of a movie, would you try reading?

    Plenty of existential novels. Like "I Know This Much Is True" by Wally Lamb.

  3. #3


    Flowers for Algernon. o-o Made me cry. xD Uhh,

    Or you could try video games too? xD You have the Silent Hill series, they're ALL a psychological trip.

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    The Orphanage (El Orfanato) has some good psychological themes, as well as being a great horror movie.

    Moon is kind of a mental-health themed movie. It's about a guy posted alone on the moon for a mining/energy company. Great movie with Sam Rockwell as the main character.

    Hmmm, I know I've seen plenty of movies with these themes but can't really recall any.

  5. #5


    Benny and Joon was okay and featured jhonny deep in a somewhat early role... he actually play's a mute in the movie, for the most part.

    The Rainman was really good.

    Fight Club is good as well (book is somewhat better), but I am not sure if that fits into your criteria.

    Sunshine also deals somewhat with mental health of a group of people who are locked in a closed off space for well more then 5 years. Though their mission is to detonate a bomb either in or on the surface of the sun, to crate a new star. I thought it was pretty good. It's from the guy who made 28 days later and Slumdog Millionaire.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Zephiel View Post
    Instead of a movie, would you try reading?
    I don't read as much as I should (actually I don't watch that many films either), but yeah - I might look out for that book. The Wikipedia entry makes it sound really interesting.

    If you like existential novels, you've got to read Notes from Underground by Dostoyevsky - it's an absolute masterpiece (and much easier to read than the long, dry novels that he's better known for).

    Quote Originally Posted by Minou View Post
    Or you could try video games too?
    Oooh! Flowers for Algernon sounds good but I'll have to pass on the video game - I'm sooo useless at games!

    El Orfanato sounds a bit scary (I'm not that keen on scary films as I haven't found a mummy to comfort me ), but I might have a watch when I'm feeling brave!

    I saw Moon a couple of months (moonths?) ago. It was worth watching, but didn't blow my mind or anything... I saw Fight Club at the cinema when it came out and that did blow my mind! Great film!

    There are some really good suggestions here - thanks everyone (and keep 'em coming!)

  7. #7


    My advice: go direct to the source and watch a good film / production of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' (try Laurence Olivier's 1948 which is pretty noir and existential & is freely available on TPB) after that you should watch / read 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead' by Tom Stoppard.

    To be or not to be...

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  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Incomplete Dude View Post
    American Psycho

    What a weird movie, and hardly the best I've ever seen.
    It was pretty funny I think. YouTube - American Psycho

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