12 Movies for the Lost, Confused, and Disillusioned

As I have mentioned in some of my previous posts, I have reached a point in my life where things don’t quite make sense. I recently graduated from graduate school and am feeling the pressure to start making decisions, but I’m still not sure in which direction to go. My original career plan doesn’t seem quite so right anymore. Maybe my confusion and lack of direction is all part of the spiritual awakening process, or maybe this is a phase that so many other recent college graduates face when they try to transition from the academic world to the work world. I think both explanations could be applied to my situation considering I’ve spent the past seven years in college and have undergone some significant awakenings throughout the past year.

Anyway, it’s a difficult place to be in when you feel driven to do something with your life and to help others, but you’re just not sure what it is that you should do. I am positive that so many other humans on this planet are facing or have faced the same problem. When you add other typical symptoms of a spiritual awakening into the mix, like fatigue, disconnection from the physical world, loss of passion/motivation/purpose, heightened sensitivity, loss of identity, and emotional ups and downs, it can be an extremely tough, overwhelming, and confusing place to be.

I recently watched a movie called The Giant Mechanical Man that stars two main characters who feel like lost drifters who must accept that they don’t have life all figured out, despite the fact that they’re in their thirties. I thought it was a really good movie, and it inspired me to come up with a list of movie recommendations for others who feel lost, stuck, or confused about life.

The following list of movies all center around characters who feel lost in life and dissatisfied, at times, with living an ordinary existence. If you know of any other movies with a similar theme, please mention them below so I can preview them later. Also, just a warning: A lot of the movies below are a bit slow-paced, so if those tend to bore you or you don’t have the patience, you might want to skip these.

1.) Into the Wild – Based upon the true story of a young college graduate who gave away all his money and abandoned the safety and security of a conventional life in order to live a life connected to nature.

2.) The Giant Mechanical Man – (Available on Netflix) A love story about two people in their thirties who are having a hard time figuring out what they want to do with their lives. My favorite quote from the movie: “I feel like modern life can be alienating, and it can be like you’re mindlessly walking through it, like a robot. And you can feel lost. I guess I just want people to know that they’re not crazy…”

3.) Ghost World – Two friends who’ve recently graduated from high school are trying to plan for the future, but one is having a harder time figuring out what exactly she should do.

4.) The Graduate – (Available on Netflix) Most people immediately think of the affair with Mrs. Robinson when you mention this classic, but it also a movie that shows the desperation and anxiety that a young man faces when he graduates from college and is bombarded with questions about what he is going to do with his life.

5.) Ruby in Paradise – (Available on youtube) This is a movie of a young woman who flees from everything that was familiar and heads to Florida without a plan. It is there that she begins to understand herself better and what she wants from life.

6.) Rid of Me – A woman rediscovers herself after her marriage falls apart.

7.) Trees Lounge – (Available on Netflix) The main character, Tommy, has lost just about everything that was once important to him. Throughout the film, it seems like he’s just drifting.

8.) Lost in Translation – An older actor and a young college graduate are both feeling lost and disinterested in their current relationships. Their encounter in Tokyo provides them the kind of connection they’ve been craving.

9.) The Good Girl – A woman who becomes increasingly dissatisfied with her slacker, dim-witted husband and her dull job at a discount store meets a young, troubled guy who can add a little excitement to her monotonous life.

10.) Office SpaceThis movie is so popular that I hesitated to share it, but the characters and the plot of this movie perfectly capture the frustrations and dissatisfaction that go along with working a mind-numbing job.

11.) Metroland – The main character suddenly reevaluates his marriage, his lifestyle, and the choices he’s made when his old friend comes back to Metroland for a visit.

12.) Blue Valentine – (Available on Netflix) A marriage goes stagnant when one partner wants to move forward and grow while the other remains directionless without a single goal, other than to try to save their failing marriage.


The Darker Side of Psychedelic Music

My interest in darker psychedelic music was reignited a few days ago when I heard The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” on the radio. I think it’s such an incredible song. Now I’m desperate to find more bands similar to The Doors, but it’s proving to be much more challenging than I had anticipated. Of course there are plenty of well-known psychedelic rock bands from the ’60s and ’70s, but I’m not just looking for the average psychedelic band. I think I’ve always been more drawn to The Doors than any other psychedelic band of the “hippie days” because they had a more somber, gloomy, and mystical side. It’s been said that Jim Morrison had an obsession with the dark side, particularly death, and I think that came across in quite a few of their songs.

The first time I really got into The Doors I was about 17 years old, and then I came across Mazzy Star’s music, which was heavily influenced by The Doors. I began searching more for this darker style of psychedelic music and discovered a genre of music from the ’80s that was influenced by 60’s psychedelic bands called Paisley Underground. This led me to discovering musicians like Rain Parade, Opal, Kendra Smith, and The Dream Syndicate. While all those music discoveries were enough to keep me satisfied at the time, now I’m back to wanting more. I want something as dark and mystical as The Doors, and maybe the closest I have come to it is a band called Phantom’s Divine Comedy. The lead singer of this band sounds so similar to Jim Morrison that I now understand the conspiracy about Jim Morrison faking his own death.

Here are some of my favorite psychedelic songs that lean toward the gloomy, dark side. If you can think of anything similar to these bands (besides the obvious psychedelic bands like Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, etc.), please leave recommendations in the comments section below. If you don’t know of any, hope you enjoy these!