Originally posted on Draven99’s Musings on 7/28/04:
Welcome to this weeks Top Ten, back on schedule after last week’s minor disruptions. This weeks list is Ten Bizarre Films. The list is compiled from films that I own and I have limited myself to one film per director, as some directors make a lot of strange films. The list is in no order of weirdness.
Ten Bizarre Films
1. Mulholland Dr.: One of the most unexplainable films (except for the hard to find Lost Highway) I have ever seen, this film from David Lynch started it’s life as a pilot for a television show that got rejected.
2. City of Lost Children: From the director of Amelie, comes this sci-fi film about a circus strongman searching for his little brother and getting ensnared in a child thievery ring. More strange than it sounds.
3. Happiness of the Katikuri’s: A Japanese remake of a Korean film (The Quiet Family), and directed by Takashi Miike, this film is part musical, comedy, drama, and horror. It is about a family that runs a remote cabin, where the clientele keep dying.
4. A Clockwork Orange: I remember disliking this the first time I saw it, my opinion has clearly changed, but it still remains one strange film. Great use of the old Ludwig Van, plus an anti-violence message.
5. Vanilla Sky: Cameron Crowe and Tom Cruise team up to deliver one strange film of jealousy, sex, and science fiction. A thinking man’s Total Recall.
6. Suicide Club: A film about a string of unexplainable suicides, including a group of 54 school girls, and the cop investigating them takes a surreal turn into the realm of the unexplainable at the end.
7. Naked Lunch: “Exterminate all rational thought.” That would apply to most films on this list. Based on the work of William S. Burroughs this film incorporates drugs, bugs, and typewriters into surreal fantasy starring Peter Weller and directed by David Cronenberg.
8. Pi: Darren Arronofsky’s debut is a tale of a mathematician working to unlock the secrets of the stock market while everything else falls around him and he is pursued by stock brokers and religious zealots. Very strange.
9. Six String Samurai: What if Elvis lived? what of there was another World War and Elvis ruled the last city, Las Vegas? What if he died and we need to find a new King? Sound interesting?
10. Songs from the Second Floor: I have no idea how to explain this film from Sweden, it is not to everyone’s tastes but it does help to show the absurdity that is all around us.
I love strange films, as evidenced by the list above. The more bizarre, the better. These films push the boundaries of the film medium, and at times show that a linear narrative is not necessarily needed to tell an insightful story. Whoever believes a film must exist in a straightforward way has not experienced all that the film medium has to offer. Please let me know what you think of these films, and feel free to suggest others that you think may interest me.
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