25 Essential Winter Films to Devour This Season + Where to Watch Them

Every season comes with its own set of cravings. The moment the summer sun begins to beat down on our exposed flesh our mouthes begin to water for something strong and sweet to drink as our ears want nothing more than to hear the stylized sounds of  that particular hum that pulsates in the air. When autumn arrives and we begin crunching leaves under our leather boots, it’s almost impossible not to be thrown into the depths of a nostalgia fit, our sense memory beckoning us to look back into our past selves that which we craved once upon a time. And when it comes to the frozen chill of winter and the looming threat of a new year, we’re unconsciously forced to do our yearly reflection and investigation into ourselves, diving into the insular world we’re able to escape from in the warmer months. As we become more hermetic by nature and hide away into heated rooms with cozy company, we wrap ourselves in fuzzy sweaters and find ourselves stimulated by a very specific set of sights and sounds. 

The winter psyche begs for consumption, to be kept satisfied and warm—we find ourselves drawn to music, films, literature, and art that we can be totally devoured by. Yes, of course there’s the usual list of wonderful and horrific holiday films to get you into the faux cheerful spirit, but then there’s those films that feel so perfectly befitting to the mindset one adapts in the cold—films whose essence give off a glow and invite you into a world to disappear into for however long they allow. So as the descent into the holidays and New Years begins, take some time to hide away in some wonderful wintry films—from psychosexual and Christmas light lit dramas and spun-out psychedelic wonders to inquires into the moral and existential. Cozy up, grab yourself a whiskey, and enjoy.

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PERFORMANCE, Nicolas Roeg
(Rent on iTunes)

“The only performance that makes it, that makes it all the way, is the one that achieves madness.”

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BRIEF ENCOUNTER, David Lean
(Rent on iTunes)

“There’ll come a time in the future when I shan’t mind about this anymore, when I can look back and say quite peacefully and cheerfully how silly I was. No, no, I don’t want that time to come ever. I want to remember every minute, always, always to the end of my days.”

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MORVERN CALLAR, Lynne Ramsay
(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“There’s nothing wrong with here. It’s the same crapness everywhere, so stop dreaming.”

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THE LAST DETAIL , Hal Ashby
(Rent on iTunes)

“ I am the motherfucking shore patrol, motherfucker! I am the motherfucking shore patrol! Give this man a beer.”

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EYES WIDE SHUT, Stanley Kubrick
(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“ No dream is ever just a dream.”

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CIAO! MANHATTAN, John Palmer & David Weisman
(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“ I’d like to turn the whole world on just for a moment… just for a moment. I’m greedy. I’d like to keep most of it for myself and a few others, a few of my friends. Keep that superlative high just on the cusp of each day so that I radiate sunshine.”

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MY NIGHT AT MAUD’S, Eric Rohmer
(Watch on Hulu)

“I’m happy around you. If I’m happy with you, it’s because we’ll never meet again. The thought of the future needn’t depress us, since we have none.”

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BAD TIMING, Nicolas Roeg
(Watch on Hulu)

“Leave and you kill me. Leave and I’m dead.”

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THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK, Jerry Schatzberg
(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“I was gonna marry you!”

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A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, Stanley Kubrick
(Rent on iTunes)

“It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.”

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OPENING NIGHT, John Cassavetes
(Rent on iTunes)

“I have a small part. It’s unsympathetic. The audience doesn’t like me. I can’t afford to be in love with you.”

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FANNY AND ALEXANDER, Ingmar Bergman
(Watch on Hulu)

“Therefore let us be happy while we are happy. Let us be kind, generous, affectionate and good. It is necessary and not at all shameful to take pleasure in the little world.”

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THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT, R.W. Fassbinder
(Watch on Hulu)

“It’s sad, believe me, when you realize that the distressing things by far overweight the beautiful things you feel.”

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SHAMPOO, Hal Ashby
(Rent on iTunes)

“You never stop moving! You never go anywhere!”

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SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY, John Schlesinger
(Rent on iTunes)

“ I’ve had this business: “Anything is better than nothing.” There are times when nothing has to be better than anything.”

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METROPOLITAN, Whit Stillman
(Rent on iTunes)

“The cha cha is no more ridiculous than life itself.”

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THE CONFORMIST, Bernardo Bertolucci
(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“I’ve already repented. I want to be excused by society. Yes. I want to confess today the sin I’ll commit tomorrow. One sin atones for another. It is the price I must pay society. And I shall pay it.”

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WINGS OF DESIRE, Wim Wenders
(Watch on Hulu)

“Longing. Longing for a wave of love that would stir in me. That’s what makes me clumsy. The absence of pleasure. Desire for love. Desire to love.”

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THE LOVERS ON THE BRIDGE, Leos Carax
(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“My dreams sent me. People in dreams, ought to call them when you wake. Make life simpler. “Hello, dreamed of you. Love woke me.”

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STRANGER THAN PARADISE, Jim Jarmusch
(Watch on Hulu)

“It’s Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and he’s a wild man, so bug off.”

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OSLO, AUGUST 31ST, Joachim Trier
(Watch on Netflix Instant)

“It will get better. Everything will be alright. / “Except that it won’t.”

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FIVE EASY PIECES, Bob Rafelson
(Rent on iTunes)

“If a person has no love for himself, no respect for himself, no love of his friends, family, work, something – how can he ask for love in return? I mean, why should he ask for it?”

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