Really Odd Movie Gems

I had a tepid response to the merely odd movie list from a few days ago, so here is my partial list of really odd movie gems. Certainly there are more bizarre films, but these are just odd AND good - you know, films I can watch more than once.

The Triplets Of Belleville - This one definitely qualifies as strange. A bizarre story told through incredibly stylized animation. It features a pro cyclist, so that may attract some. Keep an open mind and enjoy the fantastic imagery while the story takes its weird wanderings. Visually it kept my interest, even with the wild plot.

Koyaanisqatsi - This movie is out there. An experimental film that tests an idea: Can images alone convey meaning, even deep meaning? The cinematography is stunning and mesmerizing. I was indeed moved by this film as I let the images speak to me. The score was also an experiment - Philip Glass used only three notes. While I appreciated the range he wrung out of those three notes, it was too repetitious for me and I turned the sound way down or even off at times. Not much middle ground for this film - either the experiment will work for you or it won't. The title is a Navajo word (pronounced coy-on-a-scott-see) that roughly means "life out of balance".

Spirited Away - An incredible imaginative film by revered Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. The story features themes that are foreign to most Americans, but even if you can't get into the story you should appreciate the stunning quality of the art. I've watched a few other Miyazaki films (Princess Mononoke and Kiki's Delivery Service) and this is my favorite.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within - Amazing quality and realism for early computer generated animation (it still holds up today). Excellent art and design. Back in the day, this was THE DVD you used to show off your home theater. The film was made in Japan and has themes that are foreign to most Americans, but it's so gorgeous to watch I just went with it.

What Dreams May Come - Don't let the casting of Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr. fool you, this is a heavy story. But good, in a hit-you-with-stark-reality kind of way. When the movie was released it got a lot of attention for the cool painting effects it employed. But beyond the eye candy is some serious dealing with life, death and after-life. I'm surprise a studio signed onto this film, given the subject matter. It's too much to watch very often, but every now and then I need the shock to my system this film gives me.


dug said...

what's to say, except those are all great movies. never seen final fantasy, but the rest i love.

have you seen the rest of the miyazaki oeuvre? great stuff.

Kevin Vigor said...

A non-Japanese oddity for you: Dead Man ( Fantastic movie.

I wanted to like Triplets of Bellville and just couldn't. Miyazaki rules, though; particularly enjoyed Howl's Moving Castle, and it's even kid friendly.

Rick Sunderlage said...

Totoro or is it Tottoro? anyway, simiar to Spirited Away. Totally great.

KanyonKris said...

dug - I only have my feet wet with those 3 Miyazaki films, but I want to watch more. And I shall.

Kevin - Dead Man looks interesting.

Rick - I've heard good things about My Neighbor Totoro and will get around to watching it.

It's now obvious, I need to rejoin Netflix. Time for a winter movie binge.

StupidBike said...

In the early 90's, my friend Lary (old one R'd Lary) was in Architecture School at UK and they watched that film in Class, For years when the room got tense, or someone got mad or there was a uncomfortable silence he would chant.

Koyaanisqatsi ......................Koyaanisqatsi ...................Koyaanisqatsi ..................Koyaanisqatsi ......Koyaanisqatsi

h yeah, he was also the guy we had to literally bribe not to wear a thong and cover himself with Baby Powder and then skip through Lyna and my wedding with a bow and arrow. He just wore a tux. Although in hindsight, I think a powdered thong wearing cupid would of made the wedding even better.

KanyonKris said...

Amusing story - I liked it.

It seems my posts keep reminding you past events you enjoy (or don't enjoy) recalling.

velofreak said...

Triplets is a great movie. Haven't seen Spirited Away. Have to check that one out.