So we’ve all watched movies that are action packed, fast paced, and move from one scene to the next at breakneck speed. Who hasn’t? The Avengers, Fast and Furious, Knives Out, and Tenet are just a few that require your attention, moving from point A to B to C without a moment to lose. There’s a lot to love about films that have you glued to your seat, even if you have to go to the bathroom really badly.
But recently, I’ve started getting into films that slow you down, films that sometimes meander and wander aimlessly. These movies aren’t about getting to that resolution as fast as possible, but are more about understanding the intimate, often disjointed moments in life and the beauty within them. As they say, it’s not so much about the destination as it is about the journey. So I’ve compiled a list of four movies you should watch that are really just about the vibes. Let’s go!
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Let’s start with an easy one. This Studio Ghibli film follows the story of a young witch and her black cat going off into the world by herself for the first time. There isn’t much more to it than that honestly, but you get to go along with Kiki and watch her discover new things, find friends, and be challenged in often small, and occasionally, very big things. Really, it’s about growing up and living out those small, difficult moments. And because it’s a Studio Ghibli animated film, it’s a feast for the eyes as you settle into a lovely seaside town and watch Kiki get to work.
Paterson is a quiet, intimate movie about a man who gets up in the morning and goes about his day. At the same time, it’s also about the battle to get up every day, live your life, love your family, and be creative in a world that doesn’t want you to. Directed by Jim Jarmusch, the movie is a beautifully shot and incredibly intimate exploration of a very ordinary man finding meaning and contentment in life. And somehow, it’s moving and absolutely not boring at all.
Days of Heaven (1978)
Orange and pink-tinged sunsets. Lonely farmhouses. Open plains as far as the eye can see. You get all of these things and more in this jaw-droppingly stunning film about runaways who find work in the Texas panhandle during the 1910s. The story doesn’t seem like much at first, but the film quickly draws you in with its gorgeous cinematography and great performances. And if the fact that most of the film was shot during the golden hour isn’t enough to convince you, then what’s the point?
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (2003)
This film feels like meditation. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring has more silence in it than words, but it’s still captivating all the same. Filled to the brim with the slowness and sounds of life, the film moves with a breathtaking quietness that brings some peace into a chaotic world. This South Korean film places you in a Buddhist monastery and makes you appreciate the gentle, slow-moving parts of life and the world all around in the most atmospheric way possible.