Kirill and I were talking about movies, (again), we had just watched Martian and were both thoroughly disappointed, though we did have quite the giggle at all the expected moments and the “I’m going to science the shit out of it” (we may use that line!)… When he finally leaves Mars in a tarp-ed space shuttle, pulling an “iron man”…we lost it! Why do people pay for this!!?? Why is this, the season’s blockbuster, when so many gorgeous, wonderful, dynamic & brilliant movies go unwatched?
We recalled a time in Santa Fe when we went to see Kon Tiki (a brilliant movie!), it was Kirill & myself we looked around and saw an old couple in the back of an otherwise empty theatre. It wasn’t shown at the Regal but a small art theater, where I am sure most do not look at the shows, nor show times, and others just find this very idea pretentious (or apparently for old people). The bizarre part is Hollywood does take notice—after they ignore it, the director was then hired to do the next “Pirates of The Caribbean”. Why, you ask, because it’s an epic action movie on the open seas, with dynamic characters, tension, suspense, intrigue and challenges of human character that will have an audience gripped to their seats. The sad part is, once Hollywood gets ahold of them they stop making movies like Pan’s Labyrinth and start making movies like Hell Boy III.
So many movies, so unwatched. The masses missing out on real cinema brilliance, on the passions, the beauty, the raw real human portrayals, the unique stories where you cannot guess what will happen next.
We pondered this and decided movies are like red wine. You must develop a pallet, an appreciation; you can’t go from “Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill” to a fine Amarone. You can’t go from The Martian to Mood Indigo… you would hate it.
We developed a list, a flavor developer, to experience the wondrous world of fine movies. Much like wine, not everyone will agree with your pallet, but some, like a great red~will make your taste buds sing, your brain will light with excitement & want more of it. This often happens to us and we spend our time searching the director to see what else they have done, the writer or even the person who did the sound score and end up on a cinematic journey that feels like Napa Valley wine tour.
Here is our list, a great start to a fine movie pallet, some are more accessible, drinkable (you could drink the whole bottle before you know it!) others need to be sipped, and the one glass just savored. There is something for everyone, sci-fi, fantasy, love, comedy, tragedy, drama, action…these are movies to make you have a conversation after, to ponder to discuss. Some of these movies leave you to decide the meaning, one-persons interpretation could be completely different from yours—and this defines art in itself~ you are feeling, experiencing, and being made aware of feelings.
Kon Tiki 2012 Joachim Roenning & Espen Sandberg~
a bold human adventure without the Hollywood silly clichés.
Gattica 1997 Andrew Niccol~
Science fiction in a timeless form
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind 2004 Michael Gondry~
original story of love
Moon 2009Duncan Jones~
forget The Martian and Interstellar, this is a cool space drama.
Primer 2004 Shane Carruth~
a truly independent film with a complex story line, time travel done right (under $7,000)
Her 2013 Spike Jonze~
original screenplay and look at future that is almost present
I’m Here 2010 Spike Jonze ~
a short that shows how accessible movie making can be, and how a great story is the core of a wonderful film.
Motor Cycle Diaries 2004 Walter Salles~
coming of age story told through a journey of a motor cycle through South America, amazing character development.
Amelie 2001 Jean-Pierre Jeunet~
a quirky love story with a sound score to make you fall in love as only the French can, brilliantly shot!
MicroCosmos 1996 Jacques Perrin~
a unique perspective at the world we pass by unknowingly—an amazing soundscore and sound design!
Winged Migration 2001 Jacques Perrin~
an incredible feat of nature documentary filming, with patience and much planning to get shots that make the animals truly actors in the film, a blend of a documentary and film.
Pan’s Labyrinth 2006 Guillermo del Toro~
a dark adult fairy tale, a perfect blend of fantasy & the cruelties of humankind.
Good Bye Lenin! 2003 Wolfgang Becker~
an untold look at the fall of communism via the family living through it.
The Days of Heaven 1978 Terrence Malik~
film school in bed classic, Terrence Malik before he got all Tree of Life ;) Most known for its mood via lightening, watching this you can see where he is going.
The Science of Sleep 2006 Michael Gondry~
finding love through your imagination
3-Iron 2004 Ki-duk Kim~
an example acting & directing a love story/drama without the spoken word.
Upstream Color 2013 Shane Carruth~
a psychological thriller that examines our relationships via metaphor
Mood Indigo 2013 Michael Gondry~
a fun, spunky story about sadness and tradgey
Synedoche, New York 2008 Charlie Kaufman~
you just have to watch and decide for yourself
Biutiful 2010 Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu~
Javier Bardem’s most brilliant role, a deeply moving story.
Baraka 1992 Ron Fricke~ non narrative, pure brilliance in cinematography, look at your world! You can truly see how images and sound create a story-and the story will be unique to you.
If you found a new movie love, keep sampling more, find the director, the writer, the cinematographer, find what else they have worked on, this is where the IMDB app is a great friend! Indie Wire and Apple Trailers are great places to search for movies that go under the radar.
Watch something EPIC today, so we can stop spending money on saving Matt Damon.