21 votes

What piece of media had a profound emotional effect on you?

This topic got me thinking on this. Nowadays I'm not a very emotional guy but in the past some movies completely wrecked me. My Girl, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Blue Gate Crossing (cried from the movie theater till the bus stop), The Hottest State (which quite literally accelerated the end of one of my relationships) and Stand by Me are examples of movies that made me cry like a little baby. But also some anime, like Rec and Kare Kano, and books like The Sorrows of Young Werther. What about you?

23 comments

  1. scrambo
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    Though I don't remember crying per-se, To The Moon is one of the most memorable video game experiences of my life. I'll let my review from 2014 speak for the most part: I recommend it to this day...

    Though I don't remember crying per-se, To The Moon is one of the most memorable video game experiences of my life. I'll let my review from 2014 speak for the most part:

    This was an absolute masterpiece in my opinion. Honestly, playing through this game hit me harder emotionally than any other game I've ever played. 8-Bit Graphics add to the charm and character. I would absolutely, 100%, recommend this game.

    I recommend it to this day whenever I get the chance.

    7 votes
  2. [2]
    Akir
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    This is relavent. Rather than go into all of the details, here's a quick shortlist of the ones that come to memory easily: Cloud Atlas Wolf Children The Sound of Music Violet Evergarden Mawaru...

    This is relavent.

    Rather than go into all of the details, here's a quick shortlist of the ones that come to memory easily:

    • Cloud Atlas
    • Wolf Children
    • The Sound of Music
    • Violet Evergarden
    • Mawaru Penguindrum
    • Sarazanmai
    6 votes
    1. escher
      Link Parent
      This is the only anime to ever make me cry. Episode... 13? The one where the woman is writing letter after letter after letter. That one. Didn't see that ending coming and suddenly my cat is all...

      Violet Evergarden

      This is the only anime to ever make me cry. Episode... 13? The one where the woman is writing letter after letter after letter. That one. Didn't see that ending coming and suddenly my cat is all worried about his human sobbing on the couch.

      2 votes
  3. vivaria
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    The Florida Project was the last time I sobbed to a movie. It made me reexamine my mother's childhood growing up in an abusive household, and the work my mum put in to raise me differently, and...

    The Florida Project was the last time I sobbed to a movie. It made me reexamine my mother's childhood growing up in an abusive household, and the work my mum put in to raise me differently, and what it's like to raise a child under the threat of poverty. I gave quite a think about how much of poverty is due to individual action/inaction, and how much is due to the systems that keep people trapped, too. It really made me appreciate everything she had done to ensure my life wouldn't turn out like the one she had to endure. There was a lot of ugly crying as I tried to express my appreciation towards her that night.

    5 votes
  4. [5]
    grahamiam
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    I'm 34 and I still get chills from the Harry Potter movies theme song. It's odd to think about because they're not the best books in the world and I wasn't completely enamored with them when I...

    I'm 34 and I still get chills from the Harry Potter movies theme song. It's odd to think about because they're not the best books in the world and I wasn't completely enamored with them when I read them the first time, but at this point I've had so many conversations with people about them, I've seen the movies and read the books a few times each, I've been to HP themed parties and tried to make butter beer and read some fanfic, played some of the video games, etc. etc. It hasn't been a huge part of my life but it has been a part of my life for almost 20 years (I didn't read the first books as they were published), so they're just important to me in a way not much other media had the chance to be.

    Now, big emotional response on my first encounter with the media? The video game To the Moon, the David Foster Wallace short story "Good Old Neon," the poem "Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude" by Ross Gay, and the novel Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I can't think of movies I had a super strong reaction to immediately, at least since teenagerdom with stuff like Donnie Darko and Amelie.

    4 votes
    1. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      This book and movie series is probably one of the most powerful moments in a couple generations in terms of potential for nostalgia. It even reaches across generations.

      I'm 34 and I still get chills from the Harry Potter movies theme song

      This book and movie series is probably one of the most powerful moments in a couple generations in terms of potential for nostalgia. It even reaches across generations.

      1 vote
    2. [3]
      WendigoTulpa
      Link Parent
      I just read Good Old Neon from your link, and it was kind of a trip of emotions. On the one hand I feel like I related to so much of the protagonist's behaviors and the whole concept of living for...

      I just read Good Old Neon from your link, and it was kind of a trip of emotions. On the one hand I feel like I related to so much of the protagonist's behaviors and the whole concept of living for the audience rather than living the drama, but then it feels kind of phony since its not a personal account of Wallace's... I think? The last bit where he started using his own name was odd and I think I'll need to re-read this more carefully later. I can't imagine someone writing about this matter so vividly without experiencing it themselves on some level.

      1. [2]
        grahamiam
        Link Parent
        What do you mean by phony? It's a fiction short story - not sure what you mean.

        What do you mean by phony? It's a fiction short story - not sure what you mean.

        1. WendigoTulpa
          Link Parent
          When I started reading it, it felt a lot like a real personal story, or at least maybe instances of reality mixed with fiction to string along a narrative, but as I read more it started to become...

          When I started reading it, it felt a lot like a real personal story, or at least maybe instances of reality mixed with fiction to string along a narrative, but as I read more it started to become obvious it was more fiction. Then near the end he started referencing a David Wallace, and it seemed like maybe there was less fiction that you'd think? This is the first time I've read anything by DFW so maybe I'm not used to the way he writes.

          By using the word phony I meant the story lost some of its gravitas during instances that seemed fictional, since I had initially thought it was real. Maybe I was too quick to assume it was real.

  5. ibis
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    the song From Little Things Big Things Grow By Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly. Idk how popular it is internationally, but here I grew up hearing it as a jingle on adds. The first time I sat down and...
    • the song From Little Things Big Things Grow By Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly. Idk how popular it is internationally, but here I grew up hearing it as a jingle on adds. The first time I sat down and actually listened to the lyrics all the way through I was floored. The story itself was very powerful, and the lesson that the underdog can win definitely spoke to me.

    • I'll hide the name of this movie because I'm going to spoil it:

    spoiler Red Dog

    It's a movie about a dog, and in the end the dog dies (it's not the big Hollywood one). I don't remember much about the movie itself, I'm pretty sure it wasn't that good. But the dog was the same breed and similar colouring to my childhood dog. When it died on screen I was surprised by how strong my reaction was. It was very embarrassing as I was seeing it at the cinema haha.

    3 votes
  6. kfwyre
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    If you want a good, quality cry, then I highly recommend the film Short Term 12. It's about a group home, based off of writer and director Destin Daniel Cretton's own personal experiences in...

    If you want a good, quality cry, then I highly recommend the film Short Term 12. It's about a group home, based off of writer and director Destin Daniel Cretton's own personal experiences in working in one.

    The film captures the complexity, emotional burden, and triumph of working with kids better than any other movie I've ever seen. Whereas most "teacher movies" tend to be Hollywoodized inspiration porn, Short Term 12 gives a more complex and nuanced portrayal of the influence and responsibility adults have in working with children/teens. Rather than feeling hackneyed or cliche, it feels real and lived. It tackles very serious issues (e.g. mental health, abuse) in valuable and honest ways. The supporting cast of kids in the movie are mostly unknown actors, and the reality with which they inhabit their roles makes it feel more like a documentary in places. Furthermore, lead actress Brie Larson delivers an incredible performance, displaying layers and subtlety that anchor the film's richness.

    The film is intimate, human, and powerful in just about every possible way. It's one of the few movies I've watched multiple times, as I don't feel that its resonance is diminished even when you know its plot.

    Rather than link the trailer, I'll instead offer up this five minute clip as a small slice of the movie. I've linked it here before, as I think it does a particularly good job of capturing the intensity of an adolescent emotional breakdown, and it gets particular props from me (speaking as a crisis-trained teacher) for featuring a well-executed example of a team restraint following proper protocol and form. All told, this five minutes captures the film's pacing and attention to detail, as well as the humanity of its storytelling. The clip does have encoding issues so there are some visual artifacts as it goes, but it's still watchable. If you find it compelling, I highly recommend watching the whole movie.

    3 votes
  7. kjhanonichi
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    there's a lot. i'm a very emotional person. but what comes to mind atm is childhood movies. fox and the hound, all dogs go to heaven, land before time, and probably a few others i can't really...

    there's a lot. i'm a very emotional person. but what comes to mind atm is childhood movies. fox and the hound, all dogs go to heaven, land before time, and probably a few others i can't really think of atm

    2 votes
  8. asoftbird
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    Mostly songs that get played at funerals. There's also classical songs from CDs l used to listen to as a kid when traveling to Italy on vacation. You'd sit in the back of the car, watching the...

    Mostly songs that get played at funerals.

    There's also classical songs from CDs l used to listen to as a kid when traveling to Italy on vacation. You'd sit in the back of the car, watching the mountains get progressively bigger with the soundtrack playing. Being from a country that has no mountains, they've always impressed me very much. l can't for the life of me recall the name of the songs though.

    (Also @Deimos, l think there's a word missing in the title ('effect'), could you fix that?) apparently there's other people who can edit as well, ignore

    2 votes
  9. Staross
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    Cartoon Saloon's movies (Secret of Kells & Song of the Sea) are the ones that really make me cry. Also some parts of NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind (the comic).

    Cartoon Saloon's movies (Secret of Kells & Song of the Sea) are the ones that really make me cry. Also some parts of NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind (the comic).

    2 votes
  10. Loire
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    I don't know what it is but whenever a character performs some sort of heroic self sacrifice I get weepy. Nothing else can make me cry but I'm bawling like a toddler everytime Bing Bong jumps off...

    I don't know what it is but whenever a character performs some sort of heroic self sacrifice I get weepy. Nothing else can make me cry but I'm bawling like a toddler everytime Bing Bong jumps off that cart.

    2 votes
  11. nothis
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    It's Such a Beautiful Day by Don Hertzfeldt. It's maybe my favorite animated movie. Before you check what it actually looks like and fear that's just a super pretentious statement to appear edgy...

    It's Such a Beautiful Day by Don Hertzfeldt. It's maybe my favorite animated movie. Before you check what it actually looks like and fear that's just a super pretentious statement to appear edgy (honestly, it's a pencil-drawn stick figure cartoon), hear me out! This is the movie that, most consistently, can make both profoundly sad (I'm not gonna lie, I shed tears) and make me laugh out loud. All within an hour or so. It's beautifully, unashamedly weird in a way no other piece of media with this level of care put into it usually is. It was originally a short story (the one I linked is the full, 1 hour movie) and it's unusual to see an independently produced (this was all hand drawn by a single guy!) movie that actually is pushed into something approaching feature-length. It's a story about living, love and the fear of dying, mental illness and occasionally, it's plain slapstick comedy. It's absolutely great!

    You might recognize Hertzfeld from Rejected, an animated short he got an Oscar nomination for and which tends to pop up all around the internet every couple of years. Well, It's Such a Beautiful Day is his magnum opus.

    Whatever my description makes you think of, I will happily guarantee that it's actually better than you imagine it. I will admit, though, that you have to enter a certain mood to truly appreciate it. It's not a movie to relax to after a stressful Tuesday.

    2 votes
  12. knocklessmonster
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    When The M Machine released their Metropolis Pt. I and Pt. II EPs, they also released online liner notes. You had the track, and the story for it below so you could follow the concept album with...

    When The M Machine released their Metropolis Pt. I and Pt. II EPs, they also released online liner notes. You had the track, and the story for it below so you could follow the concept album with it's somewhat more abstract (but still dance-able) music. I went through it in one night, and it was very emotional for me. I found it, actually, I thought it was gone. The EPs still give me chills six years later because of that commitment they had to the concept.

    The two EPs were conceived as an album, but they had to split it up and delay its release by a year. The project was inspired by Fritz Lang's film Metropolis, which I wound up watching the week after. This leads into the second most profound piece of media I've seen.

    I don't remember the entire plot of the movie, but Metropolis is one I would recommend to everybody. It's a silent film, the first feature-length science fiction film, actually, but it's an amazing movie, and at least I forgot I was watching a silent film, it was that engrossing.

    1 vote
  13. WendigoTulpa
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    I think I get emotional with all media really, especially at the end of a book, show, or movie, but music is probably the most frequently and easily emotional source for me, probably since songs...

    I think I get emotional with all media really, especially at the end of a book, show, or movie, but music is probably the most frequently and easily emotional source for me, probably since songs or even albums are far shorter and punchy than other media.

    Lately I've listened to Rings by Aesop Rock
    The topic of losing your artistic ability to fear and waking up years later realizing you lost a big part of yourself terrifies me.

    Concept albums or songs that tell a story are also very potent.

    The Protomen, first and second albums tell the story of an uprising against robots, loosely set in the Megaman universe I think.

    The Hurricane by Bob Dylan is another example, telling a very impassioned story of a black man being unjustly convicted in what I assume are the 50's or 60's.

    Finally, the Hamilton soundtrack makes me emotional as heck, especially Wait for It, Hurricane, and It's Quiet Uptown.

    1 vote
  14. zara
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    Little Wonders by Rob Thomas has been my go-to have-a-good-cry song lately, what with my mother's condition worsening. I didn't care too much for the movie it's attached to (Meet The Robinsons),...

    Little Wonders by Rob Thomas has been my go-to have-a-good-cry song lately, what with my mother's condition worsening. I didn't care too much for the movie it's attached to (Meet The Robinsons), but I still play it every once in a while when I just need to let it all out.

  15. sebs
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    Inside Out. I don't think I can watch that film without crying. At this point I have like a pavlovian response and every time I hear the first notes of the music theme I start smiling. It's a very...

    Inside Out. I don't think I can watch that film without crying. At this point I have like a pavlovian response and every time I hear the first notes of the music theme I start smiling. It's a very beautiful movie.

  16. zlsa
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    Wanderers, by Erik Wernquist. It's a short film about a future where humankind has expanded into our solar system, and it's filled with really incredible scenery in our own (figurative) backyard.

    Wanderers, by Erik Wernquist. It's a short film about a future where humankind has expanded into our solar system, and it's filled with really incredible scenery in our own (figurative) backyard.

  17. drawkcab
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    Hands down for me it was the short film Denali. It's about 8 minutes long and an emotional rollercoaster.

    Hands down for me it was the short film Denali. It's about 8 minutes long and an emotional rollercoaster.