Movies the Comrades Think You Should See

Since Movie Week has just been so fun, we couldn’t stop after our 100 list, so we asked our listeners and friends from the Facebook group for some additional films they deem essential. A big thanks to everyone for submitting, including our hosts, all week. I don’t know about you, but I’m personally committing to watching everything on the list. I already have like six DVD’s from the library. Me, I’m Malcolm. Okay.

Withnail and I (1987)

Withnail & I is a very unusual comedy. Even its own writer claims that it doesn’t have any jokes. However, what it lacks in lightheartedness, it makes up for in absurdity and atmosphere.”  -Alistair Pitts


Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980)

“Soviet Russia is not exactly synonymous with warmth or laughter. However, Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears has plenty of both. In the first half, three young women struggle to get themselves established in 1950s Moscow. Part two picks up their stories almost 20 years on.”         -Alistair Pitts

The Lives of Others (2006)

“The central character in The Lives of Others is a secret policeman charged by his boss with finding dirt on one of East Germany’s best playwrights. It’s grim and suspenseful, but also oddly uplifting in parts.”  -Alistair Pitts



Rebecca (1940)

“I love ‘but what if the help went crazy and secretly didn’t like us’ movies (think Lifetime movies about nannies). A good example, unlike one I’d do on my podcast (@NABMPodcast), is Hitchcock’s Rebecca. It’s unnerving in the best way. A young woman marries a rich man and feels like she’s living in her husband’s first wife’s shadow. Then their house is set on fire. Totes spookifying!”  -Megan Tripp

While You Were Sleeping (1995)

“I love improbable rom-coms, like Hallmark movies about ad execs. A good example is While You Were Sleeping. A young woman saves the life of her crush and is mistaken for the man’s fiancée. She goes along with it because she’s lonely and falls in love with the man’s brother. It always makes me laugh, and the supporting cast is phenomenal.”  -Megan Tripp

Magnolia (1999)

“This surrealistic depiction of the shared humanity between desperately broken and lonely people features some of the best performances Tom Cruise, William H. Macy and John C. Reilly have ever given.”  -Michael M. Rader


Moon (2009)

“Moon is a small, thoughtful, and criminally underrated science fiction film that never lets its pensive subject matter on meaning and identity overshadow a good story and Sam Rockwell’s relentless affability.”            -Michael M. Rader

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

“A perfect movie. Every actor is in top form, each struggling to outshine the other in a tense, bleak look at the toxicity of capitalism and masculinity in the age of Reagan.”        -Michael M. Rader

Event Horizon (1997)

Event Horizon portrays the Alien story with a dimensional horror element in which a rescue crew endures the unknown of space and space travel. It also contains Lawrence Fishburne saying one of the most unintentionally funny lines containing the ‘F’ word.”  -Arthur Nygard

A United Kingdom (2016)

“The story of Seretse Khama, heir to the throne of Botswana, and Ruth Williams, the white woman he fell in love with and married despite the objections of both their families and the British government. Beautifully shot on location in Botswana and London and powerfully performed by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, it’s a gorgeous telling of a piece of history I wouldn’t have known anything about were it not for the film.”  -Tracy Tanoff

Maurice (1987)

“A Merchant Ivory classic and one of the few adaptations to improve on its source material. Considered the gay period drama the world wasn’t ready for on its debut in 1987, in 2017 we can do with this story of a gay man finding happiness when homosexuality was still illegal in England just as much. By carefully enlarging the role of a side character from the novel and placing Hugh Grant’s Clive in a key few added scenes, the screenwriters perfectly portrayed the heartwrenching consequences of being outed in that era and made Hugh Grant’s closeted character deeply sympathetic to a degree he never was in the novel. Newly restored this year, it looks gorgeous and remains an emotionally engaging film.”  -Tracy Tanoff

Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg! (2009)

“A documentary about Gertrude Berg, the Jewish woman who pioneered the radio and television sitcom prior to, during, and after WWII. This is another film where had I not seen it, I would have had no clue about this history. At a time when we’re still having conversations about the lack of powerful female employees in the film and television industries, we all need to learn more about Gertrude Berg.”  -Tracy Tanoff

Wolf Children (2012)

“I expected a light romance movie when I picked up Wolf Children. But instead I was given a tour de force of emotion. On the surface it’s a movie about a mother raising her two werewolf children, but as you watch it, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s about so much more. It is about passionate love, painful loss, perseverance, inevitably of change and so much more.”  -Matt Jorgensen

Patema Inverted (2013)

Patema Inverted begins with a fascinating premise. What if some people had gravity work in the opposite direction. What followed is a movie that impressed me deeply. Alongside having a relatively impressive cast and an art style that focuses on shifting perspectives, you are also treated to a fascinating (if a little weak) commentary on the dangers of preconceived notions and prejudices.”  -Matt Jorgensen

From Up on Poppy Hill  (2011)

From Up on Poppy Hill is not your typical Studio Ghibli movie. You won’t see magical realism or an alternate universe here, however it still possess all the charm and beauty of Spirited Away or Ponyo. It tells the tale of two teens who are endeavoring to find a place in the quickly changing world of 1960s Japan and asks the question- can we change for the better while maintaining our past or must we discard it? Memorable characters, music and art all come together to be one of my all time favorite Ghibli Films.”  -Matt Jorgensen

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