Scrambling still for a last-minute Fathers’ Day gift idea? In my book, there’s nothing that a cozy home screening can’t fix. On this list is a roundup of films that will induce a smorgasbord of reactions from both you and your pops.
Here are 10 movies to watch with your dad this Fathers’ Day.
(PH, 1981 dir. Mike De Leon)
Vic Salayan’s imposing patriarch is the most dominant figure in Mike De Leon’s classic. His exceedingly overprotective demeanor has managed to manipulate his daughter and her husband, played by Charo Santos-Concio and Jay Ilagan respectively, and, in a bloody denouement, end everything.
An obvious commentary on the oppression under which the country fell at the time, Silayan’s character echoes a cruel truth on patriarchy that rings true even today. Watching this film with your dad, I know, isn’t exactly ideal, but it should, on an intellectual level, initiate an interesting discussion.
The Tree Of Life
(US, 2011 dir. Terrence Malick)
Terrence Malick’s philosophically grandiose drama follows a young boy whose relationship with his father irrevocably shapes his adult life, which grows riddled with existential dilemma. To call this Malick’s best is barely accurate, but it is perhaps his most heart-rending film to date. Watch it with your dad. Get a good cry out.
To Kill A Mockingbird
(US, 1982 dir. Robert Mulligan)
Atticus Finch bred plenty of lawyers, and it’s mostly thanks to Gregory Peck’s incredible performance as the lawful father of Scout and Gem. If you’re unfamiliar with the book—which is, at this point, highly unlikely—Atticus is a lawyer who chooses to fearlessly defend a black man falsely accused of molesting a young white woman.
(UK, 2010 dir. Mike Mills)
Mike Mills’ dramedy is somewhat autobiographical, following a man named Oliver whose recently widowered father comes out as a gay man. “I don’t want to be just theoretically gay,” his father Hal tells him. “I want to do something about it.” The film, at times touching and funny, is an earnest portrait of coming to terms with one’s own identity.
(US, 2008 dir. Pierre Morel)
When an innocuous line from a movie gets meme-fied over and over (“I will find you, and I will kill you”), you know you must be doing something right. Although I’m personally hard-pressed to see a lot right about the Taken series, I can see its appeal. The premise is simple: Liam Neeson musters every ability his ex-black ops character can in order to save his daughter.
You know, Vic Silayan’s character from Kisapmata, except less like a psychopath and peppered with action movie cool.
(SE, 1986 dir. Andrei Tarkovsky)
Andrei Tarkovsky’s last film is nestled in a kind of familiarity we’re all attached to. A family, while having a fine dinner with friends, is interrupted by a news break on the radio that announces the commencement of World War III and the possible end of the world by nuclear holocaust. The film’s protagonist is so imprinted to this idea that he’s willing to compromise his own sense of fatherhood by sacrificing his own son to, possibly, “undo” the situation. Pretty intense stuff, I know, but this film is so inquisitive I had to add it.
Ang Tatay Kong Nanay
(PH, 1978 dir. Lino Brocka)
On the surface, the thesis of Lino Brocka’s astounding drama is: parenthood and homo/transsexuality aren’t mutually exclusive. Dolphy’s defiant transsexual, Coring, proves this, when her partner Dennis, who leaves her for another woman, brings home a baby whom she takes in and loves selflessly. Indeed ahead of its time, this classic is charged with emotion, thanks mostly to Dolphy’s impeccable performance as Coring.
(JP, 1959 dir. Yasujiro Ozu)
The relationships in Yasujiro Ozu’s Floating Weeds sprawl in a broad, complicated web, but the most distinct is between a traveling troupe actor and his son, who hasn’t an idea about his father. Set against the backdrop of a sleepy seaside town, this seminal work is one of the best films from one of the best filmmakers in the world.
(PH, 1972 dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
Francis Ford Coppola’s classic about an Italian-American crime family is widely regarded as one of the best films of all time. Beyond the incredible performances from Marlon Brando and the rest of the cast, The Godfather showcases incredible dynamic between fathers and sons and sons of sons.
(US, 1977 dir. David Lynch)
For all its bleak, unnerving imagery, David Lynch’s debut film reflects the fears of fatherhood in a blindingly vivid fashion. The film follows a man named Henry, who marries a former fling named Mary X. Henry moves in with her, and stays with until she gives birth to a disfigured, lizard-looking infant that won’t stop wailing.
Beat the hassle of last-minute shopping. Spend some actual time with your dad by binge-ing movies from this list. If I missed your favorites, leave them in the comments below!