Whenever awards season is underway, it always reminds me of some of the most audacious – and neglected – films ever released…
These are movies that are hard to describe in a one sentence, challenge the viewer in ways you don’t expect movies to do, and reward you with a mind-blowing cinematic experience, thanks to the Director’s singular vision…
There is nothing more exciting than watching a Director’s passion for a project unveil itself onscreen…whether it’s Sam Peckinpah directing James Coburn in the brilliant and under-rated “Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid”, or Francis Ford Coppola on the set of the greatest film ever made, “The Godfather”…
There are amazing films released every year – some are big hits, but many don’t get the exposure they deserve…well, it’s time to blow your cinematic mind just a bit:
Because here are three of the most audacious, innovative and mind-blowing films of the past few years!
Here Are Three Visionary Films To Share With You!
“Audacious” doesn’t begin to describe these three brilliant works of art! Let’s get started with the latest film from one of the most controversial Directors in the world!
Enter The Void!
Argentinian Director Gasper Noe makes tough, provocative films….that just happen to be brilliant. Here is his masterpiece from 2009:
A U.S. drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection. Check out the trailer:
My friend Sasha Grey got to watch this with Director Gasper Noe in his Paris screening room, and she told me to seek it out immediately – and boy was she right! This film is electrifying – shot from the main character’s point of view…
Gaspar Noé describes his movie as a “Psychedelic Melodrama”. As the lead character says:
“Basically, when you die your spirit leaves your body, actually at first you can see all your life, like reflected in a magic mirror. Then you start floating like a ghost, you can see anything happening around you, you can hear everything but you can’t communicate. Then you see lights, lights of all different colours, these lights are the doors that pull you into other planes of existence, but most people actually like this world so much, that they don’t want to be taken away, so the whole thing turns into a bad trip, and the only way out is to get reincarnated.”
According to the website IMDB, Gaspar Noé was inspired by the famous “star gate” sequence in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The camera never stops moving, gliding over a neon Tokyo at night….
The screen is drenched with color, as you can see from these screen shots from the film…
This is challenging filmmaking for sure, but worth the time and effort. And if you REALLY want to be challenged, remember that Noe is the Director of the ultra-violent and controversial “Irreversible”…
As challenging as his movies are, they are also brilliant films that explore dark territories of the mind…and speaking of singular visions, wait until you see this:
L’Homme à la tache de vin: What makes you carry on, Oscar?
Mr. Oscar: What made me start, the beauty of the act.
L’Homme à la tache de vin: Beauty? They say it’s in the eye, the eye of the beholder.
Mr. Oscar: And if there’s no more beholder?
That dialogue says it all. This film is almost impossible to describe, so check out the trailer first:
Here is all you need to know about the plot: from dawn to dusk, you travel in a limousine alongside a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.
Director Leos Carax’s professional name is an anagram of his real name, ‘Alex’, and ‘Oscar’. And interestingly, his regular collaborator Denis Lavant stars as Monsieur ‘Oscar’…
Leos Carax wrote the part of the supermodel with Kate Moss in mind, but by the time of filming, Moss was about to get married so the role went to Eva Mendes.
Singer Kylie Minogue also stars in the film – in a part that the Director turned into a musical role when she agreed to be in the movie.
According to IMDB, the film’s initial concept started with a trend Leos Carax had observed where stretch limousines were being increasingly used for weddings. The director was interested in the cars’ bulkiness!
From there, the characters and situations become more and more ethereal and hallucinatory – with haunting imagery throughout…
Leos Carax’s most well known work in the US is the great – and provocative – 1999 film, “Pola X”.
And if those two films are not mind-blowing enough, well then it’s time to go “inside the mind” once again!
Yes, another mind bender, literally…In “Vanishing Waves”, a neuron-transfer scientist experiments with the thoughts of a comatose young woman. Check out the trailer…
The experiment takes an unexpected twist when the two meet in their mutually altered forms of consciousness. Soon, their psychic meetings turn into a romantic, sexually charged relationship set against the backdrop of surreal dreamscapes created by their collective minds.
“Vanishing Waves” was directed by Kristina Buožytė and Bruno Samper, and was a co-production between three countries: Lithuania, France and Belgium…
Once again, this is a movie that delves into the mind: how thoughts can be controlled, how thoughts can merge, and of course, the erotic nature of the mind as well…this is a great science-fiction film – full of big ideas and startling imagery…
Kudos to “Artsploitation Films”, a cutting edge home video company releasing challenging films from around the world….like this one released with Elijah Wood:
And speaking of Elijah Wood, here is his new thriller with Sasha Grey:
Read all about “Open Windows” here:
“Open Windows” is available on demand, so check it out!
And kudos to these three Directors for their brilliantly challenging work! Let me know if you’ve seen any or all of them!
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