I believe Mojo magazine has created a 50 weirdest albums list. Shall we do that with films. I would give you a different two everyday but right now I wish to nominate, Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky and The Music of Chance by Jim Nashe. Your contributions to this weirdness would be most welcome.
Nonsensically weird like Eraserhead, or just plain weird like I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK?
The weirdest film I’ve seen recently is Hard to Be a God by Aleksei German. And hey, same authors for the source novel as Stalker. I really should try some of their books.
The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes by the Brothers Quay is a film I’d highly recommend to anyone who currently associates ‘weird’ with ‘interesting’.
_Spectres of the Spectrum) by Craig Baldwin.
a science fiction allegory which tells the story of a young woman with telepathic powers, who travels back in time to save the world from an electro-magnetic pulse. The film takes a cautionary stance against the media outlets in charge of creating and perpetuating the popular mainstream, and in doing so, follows the trajectory, through collage, of media from its beginnings to the present.
I would have gone with Stalker, my favourite movie bar none.
In no particular order:
- A History of Violence
- Beyond the Black Rainbow
- Dead Leaves
- El Topo
- Fear X
- Fish Story
- Kin Dza Dza
- Mind Game
- Mushishi (Bugmaster)
- The Mothman Prophecies
- The Secret of Nimh
- Under the Skin
Some weirder than others.
I used to think that movie was just insane, but after watching it through a few times I’m leaning toward “underappreciated genius.” It’s imaginative and trippy but still manages to have a narrative that actually makes sense. Some stuff that ends up looking crazy on screen just looks that way because there were budget issues or rewrites or whatever, but in this case you get the sense that the filmmakers got exactly the movie they were going for.
Internal logic is consistent for sure.
Possibly the trippiest part is when he first arrives at the farm… and it’s so normal.
Out of all of those though, the one you probably haven’t seen, or maybe even heard of, that you should watch first is Kin Dza Dza. Awesome.
Pretty much anything by Jodorowsky, including the previously mentioned El Topo but also Santa Sangre and especially Holy Mountain, which pretty much defines “weird art movies”.
Horror movies of the 60s are fascinating to watch, because they hadn’t really figured out the “rules” of horror yet, so there’s no cliches, and the production values are so lousy that they often look like snuff films. The appropriately named Something Weird and the freaky Blood Feast – arguably the first slasher film – are worth checking out. “Have you ever had… an Egyptian FEAST??”
Animation: Brothers Quay, Satoishi Kon, “Fantastic Planet”, “Coonskin”, and the bizarre “Raggedy Ann and Andy” movie (animated by some of the best artists of all time). I have a personal deep affection for “The Mouse and His Child”, which is deeply strange and existential and blew my mind as a kid.
Others I keep remembering: Phantom of the Paradise, Mirrormask, Jim Henson’s The Cube, God of Cookery, Hausu (House)…
I need to get around to seeing some Jodorowsky films… The bits of Holy Mountain that I saw while MrsTobinL watched it were pretty far out.
Weird movies I have seen?
Zardoz (which I need to see again as it was 20+ years ago and on tv starting at midnight)
The Star Creatures which is more just batshit insane and painful to watch.
The Wild World Of Batwoman this is batshit insane but revels in it and is fun to watch
The Brainiac (El Baron del Terror)
The House By The Cemetery (Lucio Fulci, nothing more needs to be said)
The Manipulator aka B.J. Lang Presents
Mickey Rooney plays a delusional old man who thinks he’s the greatest director of all time, about to stage his comeback. He’s captured Luana Anders who he’s forced to star in his latest production. (Keenan Wynn’s in it very briefly, but it’s really just these two.) This two-hander is filmed with every trick in the book to liven up the inherent staginess of the script, but it’s not really necessary because Rooney’s incredibly OTT performance provides all the pyrotechnics one could need. I always knew he’d crack one day.
The Death of Maria Malibran
Maria Malibran was a famous opera singer of the early 19th century who died on stage after a riding accident. I learned this from Wikipedia. You won’t get it from the film which consists of a collection of stagy tableaux where performers lip synch opera badly while enacting various overwrought exchanges with their scene partners. You know, love, anger, death, remorse, the traditional shtick. Most of the pairings are lesbian, until you look closer and notice that some of the women are apparently played by men. (And occasionally the reverse) Oh, and there’s blackface too, as one of the performers performs (for real, not mimed) St. Louis Blues. A celebration or a mockery of the pomp of old world culture? Fascinating, regardless.
Was that a ‘this looks good’ HOLY CRAP or an ‘I can’t believe this idiot liked it’ HOLY CRAP?
Mmmm, someone has Netflix I see.
(Watched a lot of those there)
π: Faith in Chaos.
Love that movie.
That is an “I have never heard of this bonkers thing in my whole life and now I must see it” holy crap.
Never heard it called that with the tag line before, always just Pi or π…
I should have put in my third favourite film ever as well, from Aronofsky:
@nungesser, it’s one of those films that only hard core scifi geeks or Russians know about. After you’ve scraped the bottom of the barrel for long enough, weird stuff starts to flake off.
“Faith in Chaos” appears on the theatrical release poster. By the positioning, it could be the Subtitle, or a tagline.