Lynchian666

Mr. Freedom (1968)

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: William Klein
Why FiC recommends?
1) The American in Paris William Klein has made many films in his lifetime, but none of them have the unique, distinctive edge of “Mr. Freedom” a brilliant satire that is relevant to this day. His arthouse satire on American chauvinism portrays the arrival of an eponymous superhero (John Abbey) in France who is assigned to destroy the enemies of US imperialism.
2) It’s hilarious of course because of the characters and the deliberately over the top absurd dialogues, but in the back of your mind you know that it’s not the characters that you are laughing with but the megalomaniacal stupidity. And there’s a lot of human stupidity in this film. Watch it, have fun, but above all think. William Klein manages with a lot of wit and humor to warn the viewer about what happens if you give a fascist a free hand.

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Whale Music (1994)

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Richard J. Lewis
Why FiC recommends?
1) As a cinephile, finding a movie this original is something to sing about. It’s weird movie, true; but this film has created a world that is wonderful and bleak. The direction is beautifully good, the cinematography is perfection, the screenplay is professionally written, and the connection between all of the characters are just so enduring. It is a film that you will not regret giving a shot.
2) The music in this alone is worth seeking this picture out for. The soundtrack of Rheostatics is brilliant, the moments that make this film a musical are the ones that keep the story alive with moments of joviality and enthusiasm.

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Le grand départ (The Grand Depart) / 1972 / French

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Martial Raysse
Why FiC recommends?
1) This is a cerebral experience with few dialogues and the music by Daevid Allen / Gong in particular is simply hypnotic. It is definitely not for everyone, but for appreciators of avant-garde / experimental films, looking for some stunning cinematography from a different and subversive perspective, I say check it out. Plus, I’m sure even the ones that might not like the film will at least dig the demoniacal noise soundtrack.

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Space Is the Place (1974)

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: John Coney
Why FiC recommends?
1) The earth cannot move without music. The earth moves in a certain rhythm, a certain sound, a certain note. When the music stops the earth will stop and everything upon it will die. -Sun Ra, Space is the Place.
2) A rare, unmissable trash-culture, sci-fi classic tantalizing glimpse into RA’s fantastical world. One of my favorite musical bios of all time which offers sharp social commentary and a stylish Afrofuturist vision.

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Tous les dieux du ciel (All the Gods in the Sky) /2018/ French

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Quarxx
Why FiC recommends?
1) Visually the film is one of the most stunning in recent memory, we are seized from these first moments by its aesthetic which evokes the scenes close to that of David Lynch films, the cinematography of Antoine Carpentier is simply sublime. The idea of insidious contamination of body and mind is at the heart of the film.
2) If you like horror films to be clear and unambiguous, you won’t have much fun here, as ” All the Gods in the Sky ” reveals a different result to almost every viewer. This French gem fits many genres into one film, and it pays off in the end.

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Copacabana Mon Amour (1970) / Portuguese

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Rogério Sganzerla
Why FiC recommends?
1) One of the angriest movies I’ve seen. A rage-filled journey shot in CinemaScope, largely in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, it was not released commercially due to censorship. The film is one of the most radical experiments in Brazilian cinema also a milestone of the Cinema Marginal movement which was against the Cinema Novo movement.
2) A gem of Subversive cinema which plays out like a serio-comic experiment in Gonzo moviemaking. A must watch for the fans of New German Cinema movement, Art Theatre Guild (ATG) , Panic Movement and French underground film movement.

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Boli li? Prvata balkanska dogma (Does it hurt? -The First Balkan Dogma) / Macedonian/ 2007

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Aneta Lesnikovska
Why FiC recommends?
1) “Does It Hurt? The First Balkan Dogma” builds a compelling story of both courage and deceit. The experimentation offers a special ‘look’ that does not leave you indifferent and that can provoke interesting debates and reflections.
2) The film was made in response to the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Dogma manifesto. The film specifically highlights two things: In Macedonia, while arranging the idea of a dogme movie with fake situation which towards the end turns into a real film. The second issue is the secret filming with a mockumentary tone, where she captures the attention of the viewer through the use of both footage from the actual events involved and detailed re-creations with adding her narrative.

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The Constant Factor (1980) Polish

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Krzysztof Zanussi
Why FiC recommends?
1) The story follows Witold (Tadeusz Bradecki) a young man who dreams of climbing the Himalayas, although his father, a climber, died in the mountains. The way the story builds, from innocence to sin & then an almost surreal sequence toward the end of the movie, is intriguing to watch.
2) A bitter portrait, a reflection on art and life with one of the powerful ending. Directed by a unique filmmaker whose name is not well known in the world cinema.

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Book of Days (1989)

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Meredith Monk
Why FiC recommends?
1) At first glance, it seems like any other experimental drama with medieval theatrics, but it is more than just that. Meredith Monk masterfully directs a flawless combination medieval musical along with a contemporary music theatre with a pseudo-documentary feel about the joy and suffering of human nature.
2) The film draws parallels between the Middle Ages, a time of war, plague, and fear of the Apocalypse. This is an astonishing fiction-within-fiction visual play that ingeniously implicates the viewer supported with highest moral and artistic integrity.

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O lacrima de fata (A Girl’s Tears) Romanian/ 1980

FiC Rating 4/5
Dir: Iosif Demian
Why FiC Recommends?
1) Directed by Iosif Demian, it is one of most original Romanian films made during communism. It served as a major inspiration for the Romanian New Wave, also it was screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.
2) The picture is shot in the style of cinema verite combining fiction and non-fictional elements. The film was based on actual events which adds a bit to the movie’s subversiveness and 90% of the actors were locals who gave the maximum truth to them.

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Hadduta misrija (An Egyptian Story) / 1982 / Arabic

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Youssef Chahine
Why FiC recommends?
1) I finished Youssef Chahine’s Alexandria Trilogy ALEXANDRIA…WHY? (1979), AN EGYPTIAN STORY (1982), ALEXANDRIA, AGAIN AND FOREVER (1989). My favourite is the Egyptian Story, a cornucopia of motifs, a self-therapeutic experimental arrangement, a pioneering cinematic primus.
2) Chahine had a unique style as he was as influenced by classic Hollywood and Italian Neo-Realism and didn’t follow the 3rd world template to appeal or catnip the festival audience. The theme about finding happiness outside of society’s constraints blended with postmodern styles almost Felliniesque at times. The kind of film most people don’t have the attention span for anymore and that’s a shame. If you’re familiar with Youssef Chahine ‘s work, and appreciate it, it’s a must see.

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Ame agaru ( After the Rain ) / 1999 / Japanese

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Takashi Koizumi
Setting: Rural
Why FiC recommends?
1) A drama by Takashi Koizumi from a scenario written by “Akira Kurosawa” shortly before his death and made as a tribute to him, No where near as good as it would have been with Kurosawa behind it but fine nonetheless, especially the cinematography which was gorgeous. Any fan of Akira Kurosawa will want to see this.
2) If you want a peaceful and beautiful samurai film, do yourself and your immortal soul a favour; this movie is for you, would really recommend it, this one is a lesser known Japanese gem.

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Cockfighter (1974)

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Monte Hellman
Setting: Rural
Why FiC recommends?
1) Most undeservedly obscure movies of the 70’s, certainly the most authentic and graphic depiction of the practice in America. With profuse use of the voiceover, intimately tells a simple story that confronts the male protagonist with his desires and fantasies that lead him to desperate search for victory (and how lonely he is! How great his despair! And how terribly far all salvation!).
2) The film contains some of the most realistic depiction of American masculinity and exultation in violence. There is even a pseudo-documentary atmosphere that anticipates something similar, especially in cockfights, which were so realistic that the film was banned by censors from countries like England – even though Hellman apparently refused to shoot the most violent scenes.

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Zirneklis (Spider) / 1992 / Latvian

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Vasili Mass
Setting: Town
Why FiC recommends?
1) The images that director Vasili Mass packs into the frame will stick with you long afterwards, dreamlike and meaningful and sinister and beautiful all at the same time. Aurelija Anuzhite as Vita is absolutely perfect, playful and childlike while at the same time achingly, sexually gorgeous. Highly recommended for the fans of Jaromil Jires, Jean Rollins, Walerian Borowczyk, Frantisek Vlacil, and Juraj Herz.

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Xala / 1975 / Senegalese

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Ousmane Sembene
Why FiC recommends?
1) ‘Xala’ discusses many important themes that we have discussed in class, particularly the balance between Western practices and “traditional” ones. While this starts from Senegal’s official El Hadji’s sexual incompetence on his wedding night with his third wife, it plays out throughout the film.background is given, but their actions say all the more. I was full of awe after enjoying this utterly majestic work of art. Highly recommended!

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Abigail Harm (2012)

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Lee Isaac Chung
Setting: Town
Why FiC recommends?
1) It will be easy to compare the atmosphere to a Terrence Mallick film with a closed apartment hidden in the seams of the narrative collar of the film. Because the filmmaker goes beyond his illusory tributes. Abigail Harm is a character work imbued with the style of its director. It is a complex work that still hides many mysteries. As for Amanda Plummer’s performance, she is above and beyond any description and she embroiders Abigial’ multiple moods with ease.
2) This is my favourite Plummer film followed by Michael Winterbottom’s Butterfly Kiss. The excellence is also evident through the film’s characters. The three most significant roles, Amanda Plummer (Abigail Harm), Will Patton (Visitor / Narrator), and Tetsuo Kuramochi (Companion) have deeply complex character sheets. Not necessarily on the surface, as no direct background is given, but their actions say all the more. To say too much here can be destructive, which of course I do not want.

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Manji 卍 / 1983 / Japanese 

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Hiroto Yokoyama
Why FiC recommends?
1)  Passion and emotional turmoil are served up raw in this Viscerally EROTIC, CYNICAL & COLD film. Patient viewers will be rewarded with an all-out experience during the film’s finale.
2) Certainly, I think the film was of the kind of kind, where you are drawn into the world of passionate passion and love, which develops in a totally unpredictable direction and becomes catastrophically destructive to the relationship.

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Tokyo X Erotica / 2001/ Japanese

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Takahisa ZeZe
Why FiC recommends?
1) WHAT IF DAVID LYNCH MADE A PINKU !!
2) This experimental film from Takahisa Zeze explores love, life, sex, and death throughout the course of five explicit vignettes told through the rules of postmodern cinema, with a very complex script narrated through a non-linear interlocking montage.

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Historias extraordinarias (Extraordinary Stories) / 2008 / Spanish

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Mariano Llinás
Why FiC recommends?
1) It is a secular film, neither choral nor Manichean. Ordinary characters, almost all of them, in extraordinary situations that sometimes lead them to behave in ways, even violent, in contradiction with their principles. Frequently felt in the narrative lane of SABU, Aki Kaurasmaki, Takahisa Zeze with the constant narration and mild dry humor with Kafkaesque letter names, who solve one mystery only to see another open before their eyes.
2) The film offers the spectator a multiplicity of glances around the same event, the problems suffered by the protagonists, which triggers interesting consequences. It is divided into 18 chapters, with novel titles.

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A Thousand and One Hands (Les mille et une mains) / 1973 / French

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Souheil Ben-Barka
Why FiC recommends?
1)  The story in Souheil Ben-Barka’s debut is all knitted around an insane old man who goes from a Kafkaesque absurdity to the next social humiliation. It is absurd, but it is only the beginning of the almost surreal, but unfortunately all too realistic questioning the cultural hybridity.
2)  I’d recommend this for fans of Souleymane Cisse’s Baara, Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s Gabbeh, Yimou Zhang’s Ju DOU, Carlos Mayolo and Luis Ospina’s The Vampires of Poverty.

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The Bed Sitting Room (1969)

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Richard Lester
Why FiC recommends?
1) A wonderfully bonkers Post-Nuke Comedy set in Britain, where the BBC has been reduced to one man and the Circle Line is still in operation. This must be one of the most original, bizarre, and imaginative dystopian films ever made.
2) It mixes great comedy with a very serious and important issue, the ending is one of my favourite in movie history. A Timeless classic and absurdist delight not to be missed.

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Monday/ 2000/ Japanese

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: SABU
Why FiC recommends?
1) The film is mix of Yakuza thriller and black comedy, which is also the most rounded film by SABU (Blessing Bell, Hard Luck Hero, Postman Blues, Mr. Long), genius of Japanese mutant cinema.
2) At a funeral, the man in the coffin turns out to have an active pacemaker, which leads to very unpredictable and surreal results. A journey between busted journeys so crazy and surreal as to border on the dreamlike in which reality and fantasy meets. The scenes are of breath-taking visual beauty, well thought out and backed up with the appropriate music.

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Manasarovar / 2004 / English, Hindi

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Anup Kurian

Why FiC recommends?
1) A rare stroke of luck from a film is this brilliantly cast and staged by director Anup Kurian. There was plenty of wry humor, pathos, and atmosphere to keep any thoughtful viewer interested.
2)  This is genuinely a masterpiece rich with feelings, emotions, social commentary and visual artistry. An absolute must-watch, if you don’t love it, then check for a pulse.

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The Earth Is Blue as an Orange/ 2020/ Ukrainian / Russian

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Iryna Tsilyk
1) This is one of the best ode to cinema, a love letter to the medium which is superbly performed by everybody, although the cast is mostly non-actors.
2) Every member of the family has a passion for cinema, driving them to shoot, edit and screen a film inspired by their own life set against the backdrop of war in Donbass town (Ukraine) between 2014-2015.

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Vakratunda Swaha / 2010 / Bengali

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Ashish Avikunthak
Why FiC recommends?
1) Ashish Avikunthak “Vakratunda Swaha” is without question one of the best short films i’ve seen. If you’re not a fan or audience of Avikunthak’s work then I’d probably recommend that you start with this short. 
2)  A must watch for the fans of Arthouse or Experimental films.

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Jigureul jikyeora!(Save the Green Planet!) /2003/

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Joon Hwan Jang

Why FiC recommends?
1) A very original genre hoping Experimental Sci-fi, Black comedy which slowly dissolves into chilling Horror. Bizarre and captivating, completely defies any genre. Highly underrated when compared films of Bong joon ho,Park Chan-wook and Im Sang-soo.
2) This is a film that invites numerous interpretations, as all great art does – however, this film is also very entertaining, making it a rare film experience.

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Wir Monster/ 2015 / German

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Sebastian Ko
Why FiC recommends?
1) This near perfect script has been dealt with utmost care to seal off all loopholes the human mind could ever conjure up which cleverly balanced between plot and psychology, contrary to the nonchalant treatments that grace thrillers these days.
2) I strongly recommend this film, especially to the thriller genre lovers.

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Combat Shock / 1984 / English

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Buddy Giovinazzo
Setting: Suburban/Small-town

Why FiC recommends?
1) Buddy Giovinazzo’s Combat Shock, an unsettling cross between Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant (1992) and David Lynch’s Eraserhead (1977) as far from the tone of your typical Troma movie in the offering. 
2)  It’s a must watch for fans of the genre, a lo-fi borderline horror film with a mutant baby that tops even the baby in Eraserhead for sheer creepiness.

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Cuadecuc, vampir / 1971 / English / Spanish

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Pere Portabella

Why FiC recommends?
1) Cuadecuc, Vampir feels a lot like an ancestor of E. Elias Merhige’s Begotten (1990), blurring the worlds of horror and the Avant-garde.

2) ‘Cuadecuc, vampir’ is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. Not only does it show how ‘The Count Dracula’ by Jesús Franco was made, but it hypnotizes, like you have landed yourself on the set and forces you to take advantage of it. It is also one of the favourite films of Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin. 

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Pepperminta / 2009 / German

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Pipilotti Rist
Setting: Universe

Why FiC recommends?
1) A Surreal Adult Fairy Tale! Blends Pippi Longstocking with Daisies!
2) Pepperminta is like a cross between characters from films such as Poppy from Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Liegh), Maries from Daisies (Vera Chytilová), Eunince from Butterfly Kiss (Michael Winterbottom), Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet) and Honey Whitlock from Cecil B Demented (John Waters). It is beautiful, dark, bizarre, and dreamy film! My favorite place to be!

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Playing The Victim (Izobrazhaya zhertvu) / 2006 / Russian

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Kirill Serebrennikov
Setting: Suburban/Small-town

Why FiC recommends?
1) This is a truly unique movie, tragic, ironic, and hilarious, a noir remake of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The story delves into the tragicomic life of Valya, a loner with a rather special job, he plays the role of the victim in the reconstructions of the murders made by the police.
2) Beyond the moments of absurdness, “Playing the Victim” is a hard- hitting social commentary part psychological drama with minimalistic cinematography and one of the best films from Russia.

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