Tickled is basically a film about how the YouTube-based world of “competitive tickling” is a run by a secretive exploitative millionaire named David D’Amato, a man who inherited his fortune and served as an assistant principal to 8 different high schools over the course of just 10 years. D’Amato would pay young straight men to tickle and be tickled by their friends, all on film, all completely clothed, and all under the guise of a homophobic, pseudo-religious media organization called Jane O’Brien media.
A coming of age film set in the mid-2000s, Lady Bird follows the senior year of a student as she resists the soul-crushing conformity of her Catholic high school. Several key themes in this film are deviance, identity, and social class. Lady Bird comes from a working-class family experiencing downward mobility which sets her aside from the more privileged students at her private school. As a result, she periodically attempts to pass as economically-secure, and nowhere is this more evident than in her pursuit of popular friends.
By far, this was my favorite film of 2017/18. Though it was shunned by mainstream awards committees, I bet the sociologist in you will find this more true-to-life than any other film from last year. Furthermore, this would be an excellent movie to show to students of sociology because it exhibits so many concepts and social problems. Yet what makes this film particularly beautiful is that the characters exhibit agency and empathy in their complex relationships.