Office Poll: Here are the Quarantine Movies the Interview Editors Are Watching

Published May 18, 2020

Photo by Thurstan Redding for Interviews Summer 2019 issue.

In the new documentary Spaceship Earth, an eight-person commune walls itself off from the outside world inside a mammoth glass structure known as Biosphere 2. Built in 1991 in the Arizona desert, the dome strove to replicate Earth’s ecosystem, packing a savanna, a desert, a rainforest, wetlands, an ocean replica, and a working farm into the three-acre compound. Things don’t go exactly as planned, and through a mix of talking heads and remarkable archival footage, the director Matt Wolf made a film about a self-quarantine that is perfectly suited for this moment. And it got us thinking: What other movies make perfect, if unexpected quarantine viewing?  Our answers below.  

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NICK HARAMIS

Editor-in-Chief

“Does Saw count? Because I am literally stuck in a cold, unfamiliar room with one other man (my boyfriend), and I am pretty sure I’m going to have to murder him if he doesn’t kill me first.”

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MEL OTTENBERG

Creative Director

“High Anxiety, The Bitter Tears of Petra van Kant, Vampires Kiss, Annie, Hellraiser II.”

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SARAH MORRISON

Production Director

“Erin Brokovich. Hear me out. Mysterious illness. The powers at be actively working against the wellbeing of the general public. Nominal payouts. Sounds familiar.”

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CHRISTOPHER BOLLEN

Editorial Director

“I might say 1974’s Murder on the Orient Express (1974) is a kind of quarantine film. The passengers, all suspects, are stuck on the train trapped in the snow, and while there is no chance of starvation, and in fact luxury and opulence abounds, director Sidney Lumet’s clever decision to keep the camera inside the cars creates a relentless sense of claustrophobia as a ruthless Poirot (played impeccably by Albert Finney) circles ever-closer to the truth. The recent remake—playing to the box office—makes the mistake of treating the story as a kind of action-adventure. It isn’t. It’s all about sitting and sitting and more sitting, and being grilled by a fussy little Belgian, and sitting still more as you wait in dread.”

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JACK VHAY

Designer

“What about Bong Joon-ho’s 2013 sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer? Who among us wouldn’t want to be stuck on a high-speed, post-apocalyptic, population-controlled train, looping around a world that has fallen into a perpetual ice age?”

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MICHAEL QUINN

Photo Director

Birdbox is a mysterious, invisible killer. A decimating society. A face covering the only defense. An entire world is thrown into a state of panic, hysteria, riot, and death. Stay inside. Trust no one. Corona 2020.”

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ALEXA LANZA

Market Director

Sunset Boulevard. Joe [William Holden] got the wild quarantine house but at least Norma can throw a party for two.”

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BEN BARNA

Executive Editor

“The only movie I’ve watched in the last month is the 2019 version of Les Misérables, because I can’t stop mainlining Top Chef.”

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LAUREN TABACH-BANK

Entertainment Director

 “Titanic. Literally nothing sounds as brutal as a cruise right now. Even if I’d have to pass up the opportunity for Jack to paint me like one of his French girls, it’s a hard no. We all know how that story ended.”

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MITCHELL NUGENT

Manager, Brand Marketing and Partnerships 

“No other film personifies a quarantine nightmare quite like Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers. Boy meets girl in Paris. Girl introduces her twin brother to boy. Boy moves into twins’ home. Riots ensue and keep the trio in lockdown. There is an empty fridge and endless chat about movies. More riots, poverty, and deaths. Oh yeah, and there’s that incest subplot. Truly terrifying stuff.”