By Hannah Wilkinson
After a week of the 7pm – 6am curfew, we all know what it is like to be cooped up in enclosed spaces for long periods of time: boring. So, for some light catharsis, and an entertaining break from constantly updating Twitter, we present four films whose characters are equally, for various reasons, stuck.
John Hughes, 1985
It is now 7:06. Cairo has exactly 10 hours and 54 minutes to ponder the error of its ways.
Your apartment might not contain the demographic diversity that leads Bender, Claire, Allison, Brian, and Andy’s life changing emotional journey during their eight-hour detention, but you can still eat up 97 minutes of prime curfew time with John Hughes’ classic high school movie. Emotions run high, and boundaries are broken as this group of high school students discovers that they are more than the stereotypes used to define them.
Stanley Kubrick, 1980
It is worth keeping in mind as you settle in for your umpteenth night under curfew that although you are quite bored, at least you are not stuck for the entire winter in a hotel built on top of a Native American burial ground, being served bourbon on the rocks by a ghostly bartender. Stanley Kubrick’s classic horror movie follows the already fairly bonkers Jack Nicholson’s descent into murderous insanity due to being cooped up in the Overlook Hotel with no one for company but his wife, son, and a helpful host of characters from the hotel’s violent past. The film has been interpreted and re-interpreted ad infinitum, so feel free to see it as a metaphor for corporate America, a crisis of masculinity, or an advert for all-inclusive package holidays. You might end up sleeping with lights on for the next month, but at least the curfew will give you the time you need to work on your novel…
Jafar Panahi, 2011
Jafar Panahi is a well-known Iranian director, whose films have won him international acclaim. In 2010 he was arrested in the middle of a project and charged with making propaganda against the Iranian government. He was given a six-year prison sentence and banned from making films for 20 years. While awaiting the results of his appeal, Panahi was placed under house arrest. Unable to complete his latest project, the film follows a day in Panahi’s life under house arrest, as he attempts to tell the story of the film using his own carpet as the set, and chronicles his frustration as he realises that the job of director cannot be done within the confines of a house. The film was made in secret, on a tiny budget, and was partly shot on Panahi’s phone. It was smuggled out of Iran on a memory stick hidden inside a cake, and managed to reach various international festivals.
Duncan Jones, 2009
Sam Rockwell is as cooped up as a Dokki dweller on Tahrir Street in this Duncan Jones Sci-fi masterpiece, only with more clones and a computerised Kevin Spacey to do his housework. And he is on the Moon. Rockwell, the only actor on screen for most of the film, plays a man tasked with single handedly manning a lunar station which mines chemical “helium – 3”. In his last two weeks of a three-year stint on the base hallucinations, personal crises, and ethical quandaries abound, and Jones’ gripping sci-fi thriller will make you really appreciate how easy it will be to leave your apartment come the morning.