The Shining I Am LegendInto the Wild
Toy Story 2 (Jessie)
Synecdoche, New York (2009)*
Taxi Driver (1976)
Eraserhead (1977)*Dogtooth (2009)
The Aviator (2004) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) One Hour Photo (2002)Into the Wild (2007) Shame (2011)
Nights of Cabiria
Out of those I have watched here is how I feel about those movies' treatment of isolation and solitude as subjects. I think it is important here to make a distinction between self-imposed isolation and the unwilling kind. Into the Wild
's character is alone for most of the movie. But he chooses it. He is on a quest. He never really suffers because of it - except physically at the end, but I feel like that should not count. In One Hour Photo
, Robin Williams stays away from people. Maybe he is unable to have a social life, maybe he does not really want to. I got the feeling it was the latter, that he was content. Of course, he is a scarred character who is partly unable to function normally but he stays away from people, not the inverse.
Then you have movies about people lost in the multitude, you just cannot fit it, like Taxi Driver
, Nights of Cabiria
or, my pick, The Piano Teacher
. They are not the same as Shame
because in it Fassbender can
function. Sure, he has issues ; but he has friends and family who care about him nonetheless and whom he can rely on. Cabiria is utterly alone and the Teacher in Haneke's film only has her mother - which in this case is worse than having no one at all.
The Toy Story
pick is a charming one but ultimately it belong's to Jessie's arc and is not really one of the main themes of the movie. And I would argue that I Am Legend is the same kind of figure as The Martian
: the character is absolutely alone but the movie is not about that and we do not spend much time dwelling on that fact.
And what about movies like Punch-Drunk Love
where the main character starts out alone and lonely but finds someone / solves his situation by the end ? Are they still about being alone if the being alone part is momentary ?