RR Movies: Confusion and Delusion

From Trump’s attempts to insinuate fraud into the electoral system and his wife’s re-iteration that the Donald has changed completely in the last 11 years, to the Daily Express’s headline promising cheaper food out of the EU as the pound plummets and inflation rises, the world seems to be turning into a huge experiment in cognitive dissonance. Where did all the sense go?

Whatevs, let’s distract ourselves with films that have delusion and confusion at their core. I’ll kick off with Inherent Vice, PT Anderson’s attempt at Thomas Pynchon‘s novel. The drugs don’t make things clearer….

What confusing and/or delusional films would you recommend?

15 thoughts on “RR Movies: Confusion and Delusion

  1. One of the most confusing films I have ever seen is eXistenZ, which is all about a virtual reality game that is implanted into the players.

    You are never sure what is really happening and what is part of the VR world the protagonists appear to get sucked into.

  2. Sorry if this posts double. My first thought is Gaslight, but I actually never did see it. But this topic is prime nor turf and right up my alley. Rear Window. But I think I’ll go for Monseur Hire for now.

  3. For delusion Sunset Boulevard is a classic example with Norma Desmond still clinging to the fame she experienced 20 years ago as a silent film star ! Even her ex husband (Erich von Stroheim) and now her butler (!!) still writes her anonymous fan letters to maintain the illusion ! The King of Comedy is also a great example of delusion with Pupkin even building a studio set in his basement so he can supposedly interview the celebrities he worships. Of course he has the last laugh by becoming a talk show host simply by kidnapping another host (Jerry Lewis) and serving 2 years in prison !

  4. I have a recollection of a French film I saw years ago where a young boy thanks his mother for looking after him all these years “but now I want to go and live with my real mother”.
    He guides her to an address where another woman tragically lost her child some years earlier. They both insist that the boy is the reincarnation of her lost child.
    It’s impossible to work out whether this is a shared delusion, a hoax they have somehow worked on together or actually true.
    No idea what it was called. I don’t suppose anyone else saw it?

    Anyway, in the absence of a title for that one, I’ll go with one of my favourite films of last year: the baffling and (I think) hilarious) “A Pigeon Sat On a Branch Reflecting On Existence”. There is a kind of, sort of narrative with the two lugubrious joke-and-novelties salesmen wandering into half the scenes but you really have to just go with the flow.

  5. Dunno if they ever made a film of it, but one of the most confusing books I ever read was The Dain Curse. Up until nearly the very end I was thinking, exactly what the fuck is going on here? Then at the end, ahh, Hammett does know what he’s on about after all.

  6. Happy End is a 1966 Czechoslovak comedy film directed by Oldřich Lipský. It is told entirely in reverse, giving rise to a different story than the one a forward-flowing narrative would depict.
    The reversed chronology also applies to dialogue: lines are read in an ostensibly reversed order, variously resulting in sheer situational comedy and dada.
    This is a film that I saw in the ’60’s and it’s haunted me ever since, I just came across a wiki page about it. EVERY detail is shot or presented in reverse.

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