There are lots of movies that are awesome just because they’re weird, and they’re well worth a watch, under the right conditions.
Sometimes we watch movies for entertainment purposes, sometimes we watch movie to feel a certain way, and sometimes we watch movies because they’re so weird, we simply have to experience them – whether it’s just once because that’s all you can handle, or fifteen times, because you love it that much.
Here are some weird, awesome films that are worth at least one watch.
1. There Will Be Blood
It’s a very dark, troubling movie, that’s for sure. Certainly, some viewers would find that it crawls by, though others will love every minute of it.
Daniel Day-Lewis is one of those actors that absolutely draw you in; he’s also one of those actors that stay in their role until their project has been fully recorded. His character’s spiralling relationship towards his adopted son is disheartening, and his spiteful, violent relationship towards the young religious man, Eli, is disturbing — especially the way it ends.
In fact, the way the film ends is awkward and unsettling. There’s the confrontation Daniel has with his son, which is simultaneously juxtaposition from the way he once treated the boy, and a long time coming. Right after, there’s the final gruesome confrontation with Eli. And then there’s that final line: “I’m finished!”
The most unique, bizarre part of the film (and my personal favourite part of it) is the completely dialogue-free first fifteen minutes. As soon as you realise they opened up with no real words, you know this is going to be different from your average, everyday film.
It’s just such a weird experience. It’s really just the story of a kid who gets caught up in some bad stuff while searching for his missing girlfriend. The movie’s presentation goes way past this simple story, though.
The film is handled like an art piece, with eerie imagery, intense camera angles, overly-serious acting and dialogue, and gritty saturation. Sometimes you forget this is just the journey of a high school kid. He sounds more like a protagonist from an old school film noir.
Sometimes, it’s the most absurd things that work best, because this is one of the most interesting films you can watch – it balances perfectly between being so artsy it’s silly, and so artsy it’s awesome.
Plus, Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks absolutely fantastic in this movie. Like, extremely attractive. That counts for awesomeness, right? I mean, look at him.
3. Spring Breakers
Harmony Korine – you either love him or you hate him.
Perhaps some of his other films could be thought of as “better” than Spring Breakers, and surely certain fans will shed a tear at how mainstream the film was, but it’s his most well-known film. Plus, it’s definitely weird. You can watch a movie like Spring Breakers for the social, political, or ethical points it’s making about lost teenage innocence and the spring break culture. You could watch it to enjoy the subtle artistic choices, like the fact that each girl’s hair colour is crazier the deeper she is in the culture. You could also enjoy the much less subtle artistic choices, like the piano rendition of a Britney Spears song playing over the young ladies’ violent journey.
Or, hey, you could just watch it to see boobs. Lots and lots of boobs. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to see boobs.
Spring Breakers is a trip and a half with a point to make, and a super-artsy director trying to make that point. It’s fun and bizarre and euphoric, no matter how deep your movie-watching intellect runs.
4. Enter the Void
Enter the Void is not for everyone. One really must save it for a day when they feel like digging deep into the weird side of what can be considered art.
Many find this film to be over the top, pretentious, and just plain laughable. Respect must be paid to any filmmaker who decides to undertake an endeavour like this though. Every inch of Gaspar Noé’s artistic side went into making this one of the most talked-about experimental modern films: you come for the acid trip opening, you stay for shots of auras coming from people’s genitals as they have sex in hotel rooms.
Between a first-person perspective complete with blinking, very graphic depictions of sex, death and abortion, and a very real, very despondent look at drug culture, Enter the Void will not come close to being like anything you’ve ever seen. Ultimately, it’s a movie to be watched, even if you don’t think you’ll enjoy it. Enter the Void is an experience, and it’s about that experience. You may leave feeling nauseous and sickened by the human race, but you’ll also leave in complete awe at what someone will do to create their true artistic vision (did I mention it was the director’s dream project?).
5. 2001: A Space Odyssey
Really, any Kubrick film could be on this list. A Clockwork Orange is perhaps (only perhaps) his most fluent piece, The Shining is probably his most popular.
But 2001: A Space Odyssey is possibly his most awesome, most artistic piece. First off, he worked with sci-fi great Arthur C Clarke to create the film, which automatically makes it amazing for hardcore geeks.
Plus, back in the day, 2001 was mind-boggling. Everyone wanted to witness the unique cinematography and astounding visual effects in theatres, and repeatedly. In recent times, it’s still a unique experience, with one of the most well-known soundtracks of all time, an awesomely blatant graphic match that ties two of the setting together, and a somehow ambiguous-yet-obvious premise. It’s hard to describe the movie without using the term “masterpiece”. Though it’s long, it’s something to behold (besides, the pause button exists for a reason).
Lars Von Trier doesn’t produce very much normative material. Along with Thomas Vinterberg, he created Domge 95, a form of filmmaking with such specific rules (such as no CGI, only natural lighting may be used, and genre films aren’t acceptable) that only a handful of movies were made under the guidelines. He’s also created some of the strangest movies out there. Lars Von Trier isn’t a household name, either. He’s mostly popular to amongst true film geeks. His productions are generally viewed in film classes, and not many other places.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Antichrist. It’s more likely you haven’t, though. To put it one way, a very artistic man was going through a terrible divorce, and this seems to be what came from that experience. To put it another way, it’s the story of a man and a woman who lost their young son because they were too busy … getting busy to keep track of him. To heal, they go to a cabin in a weird forest where there’s a lot of talk of witches, and the original sin, and there are some very graphic, disturbing scenes.
It can be tough to watch – it’s raw, there are some highly realistic images of genitals getting beaten up, and some very graphic depictions of depraved sexual encounters. Thing is, Antichrist is still worth watching. It’s like a diary entry from Von Trier. It’s overdramatic, if that’s the case, but when you realise that his experiences with his ex-wife have made him write a film like this, you feel rather bad for Lars.
Not to mention that despite the hard-to-watch stuff, there are some gorgeous shots, some tastefully used CGI, and sometimes moments you can even relate to. It’s a visual experience, for better or for worse, and the acting is top-notch, as well.
You just have get past the fact that you see a lot of Willem Dafoe. Like, a lot.
Would I recommend these movies to you? No, not really. There’s no point ruining a strange film by forcing it down someone’s throat. They’re certainly worth a watch, though, if you’re up to it.