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General discussion about what's out for the couch.
274

Weird Movies & Favorite Weird Movies
Topic by: Battie
Posted: September 20, 2008 - 8:25 PM PDT
Last Reply: December 20, 2008 - 8:11 PM PST

author topic: Weird Movies & Favorite Weird Movies
Battie
post #1  on September 20, 2008 - 8:25 PM PDT  
Maybe you find the movie weird because it was intentionally so (Troma comes to mind), or maybe because it made you think about something you'd never really considered before. Maybe the movie wasn't weird until one point, which changed the movie's lasting effect. Or maybe it was so weird, you just had to stop watching (or just wondered what was in the tap water). I'm sure a few of you can add some anime to the list, too. But let's hear it!

One of the weirder movies I've seen is Nowehere. It had a cast of now recognizable faces in tiny roles. As I was watching, I literally had to stop the movie and make sure I wasn't losing my mind. I'm not even sure what the point of the flick was. Reminded me somewhat of Doom Generation (I looked it up, and it's by the same director). Anyway, for sheer strangeness and a kind of look-back into a shallow and often confusing sub-culture of the mid-90s, Nowhere is worth a watch.

Perfume: Story of a Murderer still tops my list simply because of the last 10-20 minutes. If you've seen it, you know why.

Anime: Kemonozume (which has been discussed extensively and is excellent) and Shigurui: Death Frenzy (fansubbed and probably the only anime that I actually had to stop watching because of the massive gore, violence and perverse sexual situations - Really, it's like regular Japanese shock films set in ink) are the only two off the top of my head.

Bliss, the Canadian tv show, is basically erotic drama (in the style of Red Shoes Diaries) for women. The thing is, rather than simply address shallow fantasies about men, the first season actually steps into some rather weird moments. I haven't watched the entire season yet, but a friend and I did watch The Value of X. It's gender-bending at it's oddest. Two HS seniors..one is a woman who is in love with her best friend and occasionally imagines men she's attracted to in women's clothing. The other is a goth guy who is either bisexual or gay, but is willing (or wants to) wear girls clothes for the girl. I'm still slightly confused after watching it. It's not an amazing piece of film, but it is up there on the weird scale.

Tank Girl..c'mon, mutant kangaroo-men! Absolutely love the film. It's nutty and pure fun.


Lastly, and most importantly, I recently watched Breakfast on Pluto. It's by the same director as The Crying Game (which I've never seen). I started watching it, thinking I'd quickly get bored. After all, most gay and/or transgender movies have a clear social and political agenda that colors everything in the film. This is not always a bad thing, but it does mean that you're watching something with a message, instead of something with a story. Breakfast on Pluto is actually one of the finest films I've seen this year (it was made in 2005). I am absolutely in love with Saint Kitten. I'd never really considered Cillian Murphy to be a great actor, though I never put him in a "rubbish" category, but this movie really made me look at Murphy as potentially one of the best actors of my generation (well, perhaps the generation just ahead of me). The fact that Walk the Line beat out this film for the Golden Globe musical/comedy award is, to me, a real show of how dumbed down award shows are (as if I needed confirmation).

I ended up just sinking into the film. It was beautiful in terms of sets, music, clothing. Everything seemed spot on for the times and it was fascinating watching Patrick transform himself into Kitten over the course of the film, and eventually becoming at ease in his/her world. I'd never really given much though to gender roles before, maybe even seeing much of it as a kind of game for some people who dress and act as the opposite sex. I'm not saying I ever dismissed them or felt disturbed by them, merely that I didn't entirely understand. Strangely, after watching Breakfast on Pluto, I was left wondering about gender roles and how we define sexuality and love as a society. It wasn't that the film had a political or social message written all over it, but that the character was so complete as a person, as Kitten, that I found it hard, by the end, to refer to Kitten as a man. I found it harder to label all of Kitten's lovers as gay (are you gay if you fall in love with a feminized man, not just feminized, but feminine in nature?). The film obscured the lines of sexuality and gender I'd never realized were so stark.

To me, the movie was beautiful and strange. It was also funny and Kitten's way of saying things was often amusing and sweet. And true. It was impossible to not love the character of Patrick/Kitten. And to think, I put it on with the intention of washing dishes while I 'watched' something boring (needless to say, the dishes had to wait). And it's not just about the gender-bending, but the character of Kitten. The strange outlook she had on the world and her life was so different and sometimes so beautiful that is was, at times, almost painful to see.

~After reading some reviews, there seem to be two camps: those that found the movie dragged in places, and those who thought it was perfect as is.
hamano
post #2  on September 21, 2008 - 6:34 AM PDT  
I've seen so much weirdness I have a real problem trying to decide which ones to recommend.... I'm sure I'll think of some good ones later but here are some that just bubble up to the top while I'm trying to ignore the noise from weirdness that I WOULDN'T recommend.

I WOULD second Battie's anime recommendations, except I didn't think Kemonozume was that "weird"... Shigurui WAS definitely weird as well as a bloody mess, but Kemonozume was basically a "Romeo & Juliet" story that was pretty easy to get, even more so than some of Satoshi Kon's stuff. I would tell people to see Kaiba for some real weirdness... the drawings look like they were drawn for kindergarten kids but thematically it's very adult. And weird. I didn't really get it in the end so I stopped watching it, but it's worth sitting through the first few episodes.

As for films I think I'm a bit skewed in the first place, so you should take my recommendations with a grain of salt.

Prospero's Books is probably the weirdest film that I love the most. It's a musical/ballet/pageant/opera by Peter Greenaway. There's no reliable source for this film, so see it whatever way you can.

I would recommend the works of Kenneth Anger if you want some nice weirdness that will stay with you. There's also a Vol 2 if you like Vol 1.

Another really weird film is Liquid Sky which is perhaps mercifully now all but forgotten. Just read the description and some of those reviews! But it has some disturbingly real girl-on-girl sexual aggression, and the last thing you see of the heroine is rather memorable, in a pretty, funny, Blue Velvet kinda way.

There are a lot of weird films from Australia (and New Zealand, let's not forget New Zealand) and some of them I really love, but are Muriel's Wedding or Picnic at Hanging Rock really weird? Or Walkabout? Not to me... The one that really sticks out for me was Sweetie, a pre-Piano film by Jane Campion. What the heck WAS that?

Another film that I would recommend is David Lynch's Dune, which you should really actually see in a theater or with virtual reality goggles or something. Just don't approach it as a SF film epic. Don't approach it as a David Lynch film. It's an SF epic directed by David Lynch, which is a category all its own, I think. I believe it's a triumph of weirdness, while many people see it as a failed SF film or a failed David Lynch film.

I'm sure I'll think of more later...
hamano
post #3  on September 21, 2008 - 6:39 AM PDT  
So is Breakfast on Pluto like an IRISH Pedro Almodovar film?
Battie
post #4  on September 21, 2008 - 11:47 AM PDT  
> On September 21, 2008 - 6:39 AM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> So is Breakfast on Pluto like an IRISH Pedro Almodovar film?
> ---------------------------------

I don't know, I've only seen Volver. BoP isn't really like anything I've seen before.
underdog
post #5  on September 22, 2008 - 12:34 PM PDT  
Dune is definitely up there for me, too, Hamano, as is Sweetie. I'll never forget either film, though I can't say I can call both of them really good; well, Sweetie is a good film, but just not one I think I need to see again. Dune is a big mess but fascinating and ambitious and crazy.

I'm sure I could put many other Lynch films on this list, too. Eraserhead seems obvious, I guess. It certainly is "weird" but it's an experimental film. And what about "Gummo." My god, Harmony Korine is an oddball.

I've seen films that are uncomfortably odd and not in a good way, some straight to video fare and others not worth mentioning.

Naked Lunch is up there among my favorite "weird" movies.

Lars von Trier's The Idiots is up there, too (unfortunately out of print right now).

Okay, here's another odd film that I bet very few people have seen (and it stars Bjork!): The Juniper Tree.
underdog
post #6  on September 22, 2008 - 12:35 PM PDT  
> On September 21, 2008 - 11:47 AM PDT Battie wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On September 21, 2008 - 6:39 AM PDT hamano wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > So is Breakfast on Pluto like an IRISH Pedro Almodovar film?
> > ---------------------------------
>
> I don't know, I've only seen Volver. BoP isn't really like anything I've seen before.
> ---------------------------------

Girl! You've never seen Women on a Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, or Matador, or All About My Mother (which I think you'd like if you liked Pluto, though they are very different films)... ? Ay caramba dios mio! Get crackin'! :-)
Battie
post #7  on September 22, 2008 - 12:45 PM PDT  
> On September 22, 2008 - 12:35 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Girl! You've never seen Women on a Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, or Matador, or All About My Mother (which I think you'd like if you liked Pluto, though they are very different films)... ? Ay caramba dios mio! Get crackin'! :-)
> ---------------------------------

Lmao, I have a comfortable "niche" of indie films I'll watch. As in..they're borderline mainstream? HA! Sundance and that indie movie channel sometimes introduce me to other good flicks. :P But even those tend to be comfortably within the lines, no?
underdog
post #8  on September 22, 2008 - 1:37 PM PDT  
> On September 22, 2008 - 12:45 PM PDT Battie wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On September 22, 2008 - 12:35 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > Girl! You've never seen Women on a Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, or Matador, or All About My Mother (which I think you'd like if you liked Pluto, though they are very different films)... ? Ay caramba dios mio! Get crackin'! :-)
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Lmao, I have a comfortable "niche" of indie films I'll watch. As in..they're borderline mainstream? HA! Sundance and that indie movie channel sometimes introduce me to other good flicks. :P But even those tend to be comfortably within the lines, no?
> ---------------------------------

I gotcha. But Almodovar's work isn't really "indie" (though certainly unique), I guess you could cast them as Spanish cinema but they are all his own. His earlier films are a bit more flamboyant and "fun" than his more recent, but all have a dark side, with comic elements. Always colorful to look at. Great characters. Pick one and give it a try. (Every once in awhile they do show one of his films on IFC, too.)

Nenufar
post #9  on September 22, 2008 - 1:45 PM PDT  
Oh man, Forbidden Zone, hands down!
hamano
post #10  on September 22, 2008 - 3:55 PM PDT  
> On September 22, 2008 - 1:37 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On September 22, 2008 - 12:45 PM PDT Battie wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> I gotcha. But Almodovar's work isn't really "indie" (though certainly unique), I guess you could cast them as Spanish cinema but they are all his own.

Oh, yeah, gotta see Matador and Law of Desire, or AT LEAST All About My Mother which is certainly a finer and weirder film than fluff like Y Tu Mama Tambien. I didn't like Talk To Her that much but Battie might like. I haven't seen Volver yet.

All About My Mother wasn't so weird but it was very moving and heartfelt, I thought.

Sweetie was kinda like my own "Glass Menagerie"... It's still my second favorite Campion film next to The Piano, which I wouldn't put in the "weird" category.
hamano
post #11  on September 22, 2008 - 3:58 PM PDT  
> On September 22, 2008 - 1:45 PM PDT Nenufar wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Oh man, Forbidden Zone, hands down!
> ---------------------------------

Oh yeah, is that a fun film like Being John Malkovich? BJM was pretty funny. I'd recommend that if you haven't seen it yet.
underdog
post #12  on September 22, 2008 - 4:14 PM PDT  
> On September 22, 2008 - 3:58 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On September 22, 2008 - 1:45 PM PDT Nenufar wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > Oh man, Forbidden Zone, hands down!
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Oh yeah, is that a fun film like Being John Malkovich? BJM was pretty funny. I'd recommend that if you haven't seen it yet.
> ---------------------------------

BJM is a much more coherent vision, as "weird" films go, than Forbidden Zone, and quite honestly looks like Driving Miss Daisy compared to FZ, but it's a better movie. But both are memorable.

And yeah, regarding Almodovar, I was sort of off the weird film thing and just recommending his work in a more general, must-see fashion. (Though there are moments in just about all of his films that would qualify as "weird.")
hamano
post #13  on September 22, 2008 - 6:07 PM PDT  
> On September 22, 2008 - 4:14 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> (Though there are moments in just about all of his films that would qualify as "weird.")

Yeah, he definitely has those moments where you're reminded of Bunuel.
Vanamonde
post #14  on September 23, 2008 - 9:31 AM PDT  
Memento

There are films that must be watched with a large condom on your head.

And anime, too. Like "Excel Saga"!
underdog
post #15  on September 23, 2008 - 10:41 AM PDT  
> On September 23, 2008 - 9:31 AM PDT Vanamonde wrote:
> ---------------------------------

There are films that must be watched with a large condom on your head.
>
> ---------------------------------

Like this one, or this one?
weezy
post #16  on September 24, 2008 - 10:20 AM PDT  
> I'm sure I could put many other Lynch films on this list, too. Eraserhead seems obvious, I guess.

I second this and will say "Blue Velvet" tops my list of weird Lynch films.

Meet the Feebles was the last movie I saw where I was bowled over by the oddness.
weezy
post #17  on November 12, 2008 - 11:49 AM PST  
Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing Christmas on Mars in a theater full of Flaming Lips fans, dressed to impress in Santa, Marching Band, martian, and other costumes. Wayne Coyne was there to introduce the film and encouraged the rowdiness that ensued - people laughed, people yelled "ACIIID!!!" at the screen, people threw things. It was great fun!

Though I will admit some parts were dull, there was plenty of funny moments, weird moments, and freak-outs to keep the me entertained. Vagina imagery, almost always a good thing. A minor let-down was the lack of actual songs. The soundtrack was mostly dissonant sounds and sound effects.

What I loved about the movie is that it expressed Wayne Coyne's love of the absurd, the cosmic, and his wonderfully optimistic perspective. A great cameo by Fred Armisen and others from the Flaming Lips crew made this movie a treat for fans of the Lips. I encourage those interested in this movie to put on their own viewing party.
Vanamonde
post #18  on November 30, 2008 - 9:07 PM PST  
> On September 24, 2008 - 10:20 AM PDT weezy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
...
> I second this and will say "Blue Velvet" tops my list of weird Lynch films.
...
> ---------------------------------
The late Doctor Hunter S. Thompson would often say, "It never got weird enough for me". I would repeat this nonsense until once I was in a line for Todd Solenz's, "Happiness". That and three other films are in a catagory I have personal was, "Okay, I saw it once and it was weird and okay but I never, never, NEVER wanna see it again!!!!"

"Blue Velvet" and "Pink Flamingoes" are the only films I have in that catagory.

ahogue
post #19  on December 20, 2008 - 8:11 PM PST  
> On September 21, 2008 - 6:39 AM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> So is Breakfast on Pluto like an IRISH Pedro Almodovar film?
> ---------------------------------

For what it's worth, I really didn't care for Breakfast on Pluto. I mean it wasn't terrible, it just wasn't...much of anything. Just passed right by me.

I agree Dune is worth watching and in some ways has gotten a rap it didn't entirely deserve. Kenneth Anger is definitely one for those seeking real weirdness. Totally agree, Naked Lunch is a truly weird and truly good movie.

I think I'd add The Exterminating Angel and my personal favorite, Glenn or Glenda. Really, anyone who hasn't seen this masterpiece really ought to do themselves a favor.

I'm envious of Weezy. I missed my chance to see Christmas on Mars in the theater...

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