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Some of the rarer title are availble to buy here:
Other titles not on IMDB: Radiohead - In Rainbows – From the Basement Mashed in Plastic: The David Lynch Mash-Up Movie Drive in Delirium, Vol. 1
I put the more popular/recent titles first to get more views.
So just to clarify with some examples: "Unbreakable" is underrated as most critics passed it off at the time of it's release but it has since maintained a strong following with over 160,000 votes on imdb.
The Malayalam film "Elippathayam" (Rat-trap) written and directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan is acclaimed but it is obscure even in it's country of production. It is still available on DVD with subtitles from the UK company Second Run, however, so it isn't hard to find.
Whereas the Turkish comedy "Outrageous Class" is very popular in Turkey and has a high rating on imdb, it's not available legally with English subtitles on home video overseas, making it hard to find.
No film is over 49 minutes (with the exceptions of David Lynch's "Rabbits", "My Childhood" & "My Ein Folk", and "The Smiling Madame Beudet").
Also, no feature length anthology films were included. I began making this list in early 2009. I now finished it in 2013, adding the short oscar nominations for this year. Enjoy and discuss! ---- P.S. I really like these short film lists here: http://www.imdb.com/list/bCsd0-DTUv4/ http://www.imdb.com/list/6e6x6r_kXKE/ http://www.imdb.com/list/-3JHOu65Aq8/ http://www.imdb.com/list/J-Pb12XD-As/ http://www.imdb.com/list/bDt6cQhgFus/ http://www.imdb.com/list/mYyBXbOXh6Y/ http://www.imdb.com/list/dDGV4VgYLzA/ http://www.imdb.com/list/1ihjrAh-MF0/ http://www.imdb.com/list/zrOngfdYPI4/ http://www.imdb.com/list/TftcqepYvYI/
Also check out this website - 100 Important Directors of Animated Short Films: http://alsolikelife.com/shooting/2009/08/100-important-directors-of-animated-short-films/
And don't forget about this list about 16mm Eperimental films: http://www.prattlibrary.org/locations/sightsandsounds/index.aspx?id=33290
Those lists are bound to have films not on my list, maybe even ones not on IMDB.
Edit: Removed 3 titles: La coiffeuse (1905), Eveready Harton in Buried Treasure (1929), and Transfer of Modulation (1969) for being in the adult category, causing this list to be filtered. This version is otheriwise the same, just republished.
No live shows (comedy/music), stand-alone shorts, web shows or anime.
While We're Young (2014)
A good, mature Ben Stiller comedy/drama
"While We're Young" stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple in New York who are married, but don't want to have children. Josh is a documentary filmmaker; and Cornelia's a film producer that works with her father on his movies.
Their friends who're approaching forty all have kids, leading to some humorous scenes about parenting, including one where Naomi Watts freaks out when at a kid's singalong.
Josh meets a young couple, Jamie and Darbie (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) at one of his film lectures and they immediately hit it off, with Josh seeing himself in the younger Jamie, who's an aspiring documentarian.
The movie has some funny insights about being young, modern life and technology as well - like when everyone uses their phone in the middle of a conversation, or when they don't know the answer for something - but instead of googling it, try to remember it on their own.
Instead of being a breezy, straightforward comedy, "While We're Young" veers off into more serious territory in the film's third act, which has some surprising plot developments and makes the movie ultimately more interesting in the end, instead of just being another comedy about rich, unsatisfied New Yorkers trying to find themselves (think Woody Allen).
One gripe I have is that the movie seemed to drag when Jamie and Darby decide to invite Josh and Cornelia to an ayahuasca ceremony - where people drink Peruvian roots, hallucinate and vomit. It forwarded the plot (Josh helping Jamie make his documentary), but it went on too long, wasn't very funny or interesting and seemed a bit of of place in the early part of the picture.
This was my first Noah Baumbach film, and will surely endeavour to check out more of his work in future.
7.0/10 - Definitely worth watching at least once.
Omoide no Mânî (2014)
Possibly the last Ghibli film, still a strong effort
"When Marnie was There" is about a lonely girl named Anna who stays with her Aunt and Uncle in the countryside for heath reasons and while there she strikes a friendship with Marnie, an unusual girl who lives in an old mansion by the lake.
Hiromasa Yonebayashi's second film as a director, following "The Secret World of Arietty" is a wonderful tale about adolescence and growing up. The film has beautiful animation and a style that departs from Miyazaki's films - being more grounded in reality, but still having moments of magical realism whenever the two girls meet.
Pacing can seem slow and sedate at times, especially for the first forty minutes when not much seems to be happening in terms of plot, but if you see it through to the end, everything comes together nicely in this mysterious and sometimes emotional story.
Studio Ghibli have said that "Marnie" might be their last picture, or at least their last feature film - which is a bit sad because the company has consistently made excellent animations throughout the years - Miyazaki or otherwise. I hope they do return with more films in future, developing a new generation of talent and keeping traditional animation alive.
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015)
Entertaining Bollywood Crime Drama
"Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" stars Sushant Singh Rajput and follows the titular detective in 1940s Calcutta as he investigates the mysterious disappearance of a famous chemist and the surrounding intrigue that follows when he finds out why people wanted him missing.
The movie has a convoluted plot that strings the viewer along and keeps the suspense and intrigue well developed throughout. The anachronistic soundtrack and occasionally graphic violence contrast extremely with the sombre dramatics and occasional humor of Byomkesh and his partner as they try to figure out what is going on. Some parts of the film were over the top, but for the most part the film was a satisfying and believable movie experience. The directing is stylish and modern, bringing a lot of energy to the story that could have been dry and by-the-numbers if the period details were treated completely accurately.
Some things I didn't like were nearer the end of the film when there is a scene explaining every single detail of the story to the audience - it dragged on too long and it wasn't necessary to remind us about everything we just saw. The ending was also a bit over the top and seemed like a way just to set up for the sequel instead of concluding this story - something which I hate in movies.
All in all, I enjoyed the movie despite some flaws. The plot kept me interested in what was happening and the acting from everyone was solid. If you're interested in current Indian cinema but not a fan of musicals or love stories, this movie is worth seeing at least once.
World of Tomorrow (2015)
Bold and imaginative sci-fi short
Don Hertzfeldt's first digitally animated short film (if you don't include his Simpsons couch gag) is about a girl called Emily who is visited by a clone of herself from the future who takes her on a tour of the world of tomorrow. Beautifully intimate and epic at the same time - the movie covers similar themes from Don's other film "It's such a beautiful day", featuring both humorous and poignant scenes about living life, finding love, and why we hold onto memories. Here it's done in a more sci-fi setting, the director's vision of the future being completely his own.
"World of Tomorrow" is definitely worth checking out. You can stream it now on "Vimeo On Demand" for $5 dollars, so go ahead and support an independent artist working on original ideas - which is becoming rare in today's entertainment industry.
Quiet, brooding, intense sporting drama
"Foxcatcher" stars Channing Tatum, Steve Carrell and Mark Ruffalo and is a true story about wrestler Mark Schultz (Tatem) who meets millionaire John E. Du Pont (Carrell) and trains with a team at Du Pont's state of the art facilities at Foxcatcher farm leading up the 1988 Seoul Olympic games.
Dave Shultz (Ruffalo), Mark's brother, is also an accomplished wrestler; with Mark always feeling that he's living in his brother's shadow. When Dave comes to stay at the estate to train the team, tension rises between the two men. At the same time, John Dupont has a creepy, almost controlling relationship with Mark, which leads to many uncomfortable scenes.
The slow, sedate pacing might throw some viewers off, but I liked that about the movie. It lets you take in every nuance of the characters and tells you a lot about how they're feeling without having to use dialog. Bennett Miller is a fine director, the movie having a constantly eerily beautiful quality about it, as well as a build up of quiet tension and some great ambiguity in certain scenes. But it's also the fine performances from the three leads that helps drive the movie along - especially an unrecognizable Steve Carrell (known for his comedic roles, such as "The Office") - making "Foxcatcher" engrossing viewing.
Inherent Vice (2014)
One trip where I didn't mind getting lost
'Inherent Vice' will divide audiences with its meandering and confusing plot and two and a half hour running time, but patient viewers that stay 'til the end will mostly come away with a satisfying movie going experience.
The characters in this movie are all rather interesting, especially Jaoquin Phoenix's Doc Sportello, a hippie private eye looking to find missing land developer Mickey Wolfman; and Josh Brolin's Lt. Detective Christian "Bigfoot" Bjornsen - a straight-laced, hard boiled cop whose constant clashes with Doc during the movie provide many laughs.
This movie is very different from P. T. Anderson's previous films, with the film being very dialog heavy and having a labyrinthine plot that features a large ensemble cast of famous faces (such as Martin Short's humorous drug addicted dentist), 1970s hippie paranoia, a hefty dose of comedy and sex, and just general weirdness that will bewilder first time viewers such as myself who will be confused as to what's real in the story and what's in the head of the drug addicted protagonist - which leads to both excitement in the movie's unexpected surprises (the Ouija board scene), and boredom when the plots pacing sags in the second half and characters are dumping confusing exposition on the audience from scene to scene.
Preconceived audience expectations about a movie always affect how a movie is received - 'The Master' wasn't so much an attack on Scientology as it was an expose on the cult of personality and a character study between two men who're completely opposite of each other. The first time I saw 'The Master' I thought it was expertly directed and acted, but I was left perplexed and unsure how I felt after viewing it - but now I love that movie.
Paul Thomas Anderson always makes fine movies that you grow to appreciate more over time - 'Inherent Vice' was enjoyable enough the first time around, but I am sure I will pick up more on the subtle details in plot and character development so that I will enjoy it even more.
American Sniper (2014)
Serviceable war biopic, but the weakest best pic choice
Bradley Cooper portrays US army sniper Chris Kyle in this Clint Eastwood directed biopic based on Kyle's novel of the same name.
The movie goes back and forth between the time when Chris Kyle joined the marines and met his future wife, through to his four tours in the middle east and his return home to his family, having to deal with his post traumatic stress disorder from the war.
Clint Eastwood is a fine director and this movie contains his usual craftsmanship, the plot moves along at a good pace and retained my interest through most of the scenes, both in America and on the battlefield. Near the end the movie dragged on a bit and the final scenes felt rushed and underdeveloped - explaining the aftermath of a situation in a text blurb instead of showing it. I felt that could have been handled better.
The acting is fine all around, but the dramatics were a bit flat for me, with the effects of war on Chris Kyle's personality and physical health being touched on, but not to the fullest emotional effect it could have been. Also, the movie was pretty biased towards middle easterners, showing mostly terrorists and bad guys who were threats to the soldiers and locals if they agreed to help the Americans out. There wasn't much middle ground to show locals who were friendly towards the Army or just tried to live their day to day lives without having a seething hatred for the US and constantly trying to kill them. But then the movie would have more nuance, instead of pushing the message it's going for - that Chris Kyle is a hero for saving soldiers, which is commendable - but there is another side they could have explored as well, showing the collateral damage causes.
Overall, worth seeing once if you're interested in the director or knowing about the real life person, but not that great to be nominated over "Nightcrawler" or "Gone Girl" for best picture at the Oscars - both darker, more nuanced and emotionally charged films.
About time Martin Luther King had a movie made about him
David Oyelowo portrays Martin Luther King during his historic march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 to help secure the equal right for blacks to register to vote in the south (where's it's technically allowed in legislation, but bullying and intimidation from local officials and law enforcements makes it nearly impossible to register).
All in all the movie is fairly interesting in dramatizing the actual events, going behind the scenes about what led to the march and the problems faced beforehand - both to King on a personal level (being spied on and his family being threatened), and to blacks in Selma from ill-treatment by the law.
All the acting is amicable, with Oyeleowo being the standout as Martin Luther King, Jr. - The Doctor's rousing speeches being reenacted to full effect.
The most powerful scenes are of Dr. King's speeches, and the strife faced by the peaceful protesters, and in between the quieter scenes and it's all handled well by director Ava DuVetnay - but while these slower scenes of dialog were fine enough to move the plot along, I felt some dragged on a bit and were a bit dry, lacking the tension or power the rest of the movie had in certain parts.
All in all, it's a noble enough telling of important events in Civil Rights history, and certainly well made and informed enough to give viewers who aren't as knowledgeable about this time in history enough enough of an insight about the relevance of Dr. King's work, as well as to keep them invested just enough over its two hour running time.
"Predestination" is anything but straightforward, and I am so glad for that - one of the most original sci-fi films made in years, using the concept of time travel in a fresh and interesting way.
The film stars Ethan Hawke, Noah Taylor and Sarah Snook. Ethan Hawke plays a "temporal agent" assigned to go back in time to stop a terrorist called "the fizzle bomber" from blowing up part of new york city, potentially killing thousands.
I don't want to spoil the rest of the plot, but the movie went in a completely different direction than I expected and I was pleasantly surprised. The acting is stellar all around and the effects are excellent. I haven't seen any films by the Spierig Brothers before, but their direction reminds me of Alex Proyas' work on "Dark City" and "The Crow". I look forward their next movie. Sarah Snook is also an actress to look out for, her performance definitely being deserving of the praise it's been getting (winning Best Actress at the AFI awards over Essie Davis in "The Babadook" - which is also great).
2014 has been a great year for Australian made movies ("Son of a Gun", "Babadook", "The Rover", "Parer's War") and "Predestination" is among the best of them.
Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru (1960)
Good, but I wanted to like it more
While enjoyable, the film to me was very long and drawn out in it's pacing, but it has moments of brilliance and Kurosawa's usual artful directing style. Toshiro Mifune is rather restrained and against type, but it suits the film well. His character marries into a family of wealthy, corrupt bureaucrats who have a tendency to not get caught, silencing any dissenting voices, especially from any employees who don't play along. "The Bad Sleep Well" has it's fair share of twists and turns, playing out like a film noir, with a distinctive Japanese twist.
After recently watching Kurosawa's masterful ransom drama "High and Low", this movie comes off as a bit of a let down, mainly because I felt the story didn't need to be as convoluted as it was (the opening marriage scene, for example, has all the main players and their back stories hurriedly introduced by a group of observing reporters) and from the start it was a bit hard to follow along and be as connected with the characters and plot as I'd have liked to have been. In saying all that, the ending is brilliant, lending great dramatic weight to the proceeding events as well as being completely surprising.