Distressing Dramas
March 17, 2013 8:24 PM   Subscribe

Would you happen to know of any movies or series with tension as continuous and agonizing as the third season of *Moral Orel*, the movies of John Cassavetes, *Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?*, *Scenes from a Marriage*, and the Japanese series *I am Mita, Your Housekeeper*?
posted by slowlikemolasses to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Requiem For A Dream
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:32 PM on March 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Dead of Winter
posted by mannequito at 8:38 PM on March 17, 2013


I think I know exactly what tension you're going for, and this isn't 100% that, but still very palpable: We Need to Talk About Kevin.

But I do know, so I'll come back with some more suggestions.
posted by war wrath of wraith at 8:40 PM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives
posted by griphus at 8:41 PM on March 17, 2013


Second half of Audition - or hell, most of it.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:41 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


David Mamet's Oleanna (and potentially Glengarry Glen Ross), Tom Noonan's What Happened Was..., many of Lars Von Trier's films (start with Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark and Melancholia), Thomas Vintenberg's The Celebration. Seconding war wrath of wraith on We Need to Talk About Kevin. Oh, and A Separation and Everybody in Our Family.
posted by eschatfische at 9:09 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Based on an original play, Mike Nichol's Closer, 2004.

Damn, did I love this film!!
posted by jbenben at 9:12 PM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I was coming back to recommend "A Separation" that eschatfische mentions, and yes, definitely, Von Trier's work and Vintenberg's "The Celebration" hit those notes.

Along those lines, early PT Anderson ("Boogie Nights", "Magnolia") has that quality as well, sometimes (in my view) to the point of manipulation (Von Trier's also guilty of this), but YMMV.
posted by war wrath of wraith at 9:26 PM on March 17, 2013


Death and the Maiden and The Prisoner episode Once upon a Time.
posted by rjs at 10:16 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Dreamlife of Angels.

I handle dramatic tension very poorly (as in I've run out of movie theaters because I get so overwhelmed), so tend to avoid most emotionally tense films, but this one was so heartbreakingly good I soldiered through the agony.
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:02 PM on March 17, 2013


The River's Edge from 1986.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:01 AM on March 18, 2013


Open Water
At Close Range
posted by fuse theorem at 6:56 AM on March 18, 2013


Polanski's Knife in the Water
posted by lunalaguna at 7:32 AM on March 18, 2013


Happiness, directed by Todd Solondz.
posted by scratch at 8:02 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Secrets and Lies
posted by brujita at 8:23 AM on March 18, 2013


Gabrielle, directed by Patrice Chéreau with the brilliant actors Isabelle Huppert and Pascal Greggory

Maybe - another with Huppert The Piano Teacher (very difficult to watch)
posted by citron at 10:28 AM on March 18, 2013


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