Director’s cut: 6 films to help you survive lockdown 6

It’s just what the director ordered. Film director Siobhan Paterson translates her love of film into some recommendations to help you survive being trapped at home. Ashley Bell reports

I’d rather be there than here, says Melbourne writer and director Siobhan Paterson.

There is the setting of the film Palm Springs, with sun, sand, and the heart-stealing Andy Samberg, and here is yet another Melbourne lockdown.

Siobhan, who has written and directed many films during Melbourne’s lockdowns, says she found an escape through film.

“Watching movies and making films is keeping me sane during the pandemic,” she says.

Siobhan began producing her own short films during high school with only her phone and a few friends.

Since then she has directed many short films, developing a uniquely eccentric and alternative style and ditching her iPhone camera for a studio and full production crew.

Surviving lockdown has even deepened her love of the medium, she says.

Streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ are playing a key role in keeping households occupied during lockdown periods.

According to  Roy Morgan research in 2020, more than 15 million Australians subscribed to at least one streaming service.

The average person watches 10 hours of TV and movies per week via these services, according to AMPD research.

“It’s nice to escape the confines of the living room couch for a couple of hours with a film or two,” Siobhan says.

From comedy to horror, Siobhan suggests six flicks she thinks will transport you into picturesque and thrilling worlds, far away from the lockdown blues.

Moulin Rouge!

“The show must go on,” says Siobhan.

Synopsis: A musical celebration of love and lust takes place in the infamously glamorous Parisian nightclub. A young English poet arrives in the city of love to chase the Bohemian revolution in the height of the gaudy underworld, Moulin Rouge.

Director's cut: 6 films to help you survive lockdown 6
The extravagant underworld of Moulin Rouge.

Palm Springs

“Talk about topical, this film is your classic run-of-the-mill Groundhog Day, however, it does a lot with its fresh take on the premise and is a well-written comedy,” Siobhan says.

“Reliving every day in Palm Springs with Andy Samberg? Well, I’d rather be there than here.”

Synopsis: While stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests develop an unlikely romance. Chaos ensues as the pair must relive the same day over and over again.

Director's cut: 6 films to help you survive lockdown 6
Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti steal hearts in Palm Springs.

Train to Busan

“Best. Zombie. Movie,” says Siobhan.

Synopsis: A mysterious viral outbreak pushes Korea into a state of emergency, with citizens fleeing on an express train to Busan, a safe haven that has supposedly fended off the outbreak.

Director's cut: 6 films to help you survive lockdown 6
A deadly pandemic takes over Korea.

Perfect Blue

“I consider Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue a perfect film,” says Siobhan. “I believe you can watch this over and over again and still find a new meaning, a new clue, every single time.”

Synopsis: The animated tale of a retired pop singer-turned-actress whose sense of reality is turned upside down when she is stalked by an obsessed fan who appears to be a ghost from the past.

Director's cut: 6 films to help you survive lockdown 6
Satoshi Kon’s stunning illustrations in Perfect Blue.


This film is criminally underrated, Siobhan says. “Nickelodeon’s biggest mistake was marketing this towards kids when clearly this film is for sad 20-something-year-olds looking for purpose after completing an arts degree.”

Synopsis: Rango, a family pet lizard-turned-sheriff, winds up in the gun-slinging town of Dirt after being abandoned in the desert. He must step into his new boots and help save the town from a drought that could wipe everyone out.

Director's cut: 6 films to help you survive lockdown 6
Johnny Depp as gun slinging Rango.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

“If I had to pick the perfect lockdown film franchise to binge on, it’s this,” says Siobhan.

Synopsis: Jack Sparrow, an 18th century pirate, is on the quest to help save the governor’s daughter after she was kidnapped. Many rivals stand in his way.

Director's cut: 6 films to help you survive lockdown 6
Johnny Depp (again) as gun slinging Jack Sparrow.

Frances Ha

“I present to you the coming-of-age film for the young adults of the 21st century,” she says.

Synopsis: An aspiring dancer who doesn’t know how to dance throws herself headfirst into dreams of living in New York. But a whirlwind of misfortunes and setbacks threatens to ruin these dreams before they even begin.

Director's cut: 6 films to help you survive lockdown 6
The picturesque world of Frances Ha.