Happiness is cool and all but sometimes you just want to CRY A LOT. VRV is chock full of tear-fuel, and I’ve curated a list of some top-tier stuff to watch when you wanna get all melancholic. Turn down the lights, put on your favorite song by the Smiths, and break out the tissues for some SAD SAD MOVIES AND SHOWS.
The short film Geist is a little bit like those adorable animated shorts that precede Pixar movies, but instead of heartwarming whimsy you get bleak sadness. A sailor winds up shipwrecked on a stormy island and seeks shelter in an abandoned home. This setup is supplemented with a slightly surreal magical realism which acts as a portal into our nameless protagonist’s past. As he explores the rooms of the house, we as an audience explore his memories, and the careful attention to the sailor’s silent, heartbreaking expressions conveys much more than dialog could.
Do you like your sadness with a little side of VIOLENT REVENGE?! Then this South Korean thriller is for you! Following a secret service agent whose fiancée was tragically murdered, this film doesn’t shy away from depicting pretty gruesome stuff in Kim Soo-hyun’s quest for revenge, but it’s all grounded by a strong emotional core. Watching Kim Soo-hyun’s love distort into a violent rage that drives him to inhuman acts is compelling, impressive, and just… really depressing…
There are two types of people in the world: those who see this show and think “what’s so depressing about a cute series with colorful magic?” and those who hear that last sentence and shake their heads knowingly. I won’t say why and I won’t say how, but I will say that this is one of the tear-jerk-iest of tear-jerker anime. Just make it past the third episode and you’ll understand…
Fans Korean and Japanese dramas are no strangers to tear-inducing media, but this particular J-Drama is on another level. Sawada Takuto is on the hunt for a job toward the end of his time at college when he is suddenly diagnosed with ALS. The show builds to its emotional peaks slowly, and treats its subject matter thoughtfully and with care. This lovingly crafted series will punch you in the heart. Repeatedly. Without mercy. And you’ll enjoy it.
This movie will ruin you. It starts off lighthearted enough but don’t be fooled. A documentary focusing on one of the filmmaker’s best friends, Dear Zachary uses a loose and kinetic editing style to piece together a grand narrative that takes turns you could never imagine coming. It’s is one of the most inventive, devastating, beautiful pieces of filmmaking I’ve ever seen. It’s best to go into this one blind, so I won’t write more here. Just make sure you have a friend/pet/significant other to cry with… you’ll need them.
BONUS: Kittenhood (for healing!)
After all of that you’re going to need something to heal the gaping wound in your soul, and what better metaphysical medicine than KITTENS. Kittenhood is a documentary about kittens that will make you believe, if only for a fleeting moment, that all is right in the world. Only tears of joy allowed on the Kittenhood train, ALL ABOARD.