Happy Holidays and weird movies….

Well, I have a follow-up post to the cryptography one of a few weeks ago, but it will have to wait until I get around to plucking a picture off my digital camera (it’s of a genuine ten franc note!). Anyway, Happy Chrismahannukwanstice and New Year, and sorry for the break in posts (those handful of you who actually read this).

As a note, apparently far more people actually read this than I would ever have guessed, but NO ONE POSTS!! So next time you’re on, leave me a note!

And, to usher out the old year and ring in the new, I was (for some unknown reason) possessed to give my top ten list of the weirdest movies of all time. I’m sure there are plenty I have missed and certain directors such as Bunuel, Fellini, and Cronenberg only appear once (since they could dominate the list if they wanted). So here’s my list. Comments welcome (especially if they pertain directly to any of these films).

1. Un Chien Andalou (The Andalousian Dog) (1929), directed by Luis Bunuel, screenplay by Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali. The writing credit says it all. Truly the single most bizarre film I have ever seen. I actually wrote a report on Bunuel in my high school film class.

2. Fellini – Satyricon (1969), directed by Federico Fellini, screenplay by Fellini, Petronius, Brunello Rondi, and Bernardino Zapponi. Both strange and unsettlingly creepy.

3. Pi (1998), directed by Darren Aronofsky, screenplay by Darren Aronofsky, Sean Gullette, and Eric Watson. Dark and disturbing, perhaps moreso because I am a mathematician.

4. Videodrome (1983), written and directed by David Cronenberg. There is nothing quite like watching James Woods grow a VHS receptacle in his stomach. Plus, we can watch Debbie Harry (of Blondie fame) do some acting.

5. Prospero’s Books (1991), directed by Peter Greenaway, screenplay by Greenaway based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This could have been higher on the list. Includes an old and buck naked John Gielgud plus an unnamed extra rivalling Dirk Diggler. Wherefore art thou good taste?

6. Delicatessen (1991), directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, screenplay by Gilles Adrien with Caro and Jeunet. 1991 was a good year for the bizarre. A post-apocolyptic cannibalistic feast.

7. Blue Velvet (1986), written and directed by David Lynch. Lynch had to be on this list somewhere and perhaps this isn’t his weirdest film (and I haven’t seen it in a long time), but I just remember it being really, really weird (supposedly his latest is weirder still). Not sure this should be this high, but hey…

8. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover (1989), written and directed by Peter Greenaway. So after saying Bunuel, Fellini, and Cronenberg (not to mention Lynch) couldn’t appear twice on this list, I’ve given Greenaway two nods. So shoot me.

9. The Sweet Hereafter (1997), directed by Atom Egoyan, screenplay by Egoyan based on the book by Russell Banks. This is the first film on this list that I consider to be watchable. It won several Academy Awards and was truly an excellent film, but I will never get the creepily weird portrayal of the bus driver out of my head. Incidentally, Egoyan’s Exotica could also have taken this spot on the list.

10. Memento (2000), directed by Christopher Nolan, screenplay by Nolan based on the short story Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan. A fantastic film that has a pretty straight-forward plot except that it’s told backwards which is why it appears on this list. On the other hand, it’s a brilliant piece of filmmaking.

So those are my top 10. What are yours? Happy Holidays!

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7 Responses to “Happy Holidays and weird movies….”

  1. Reel Fanatic Says:

    The Sweet Hereafter is just a great flick that has lingered with me much longer than most movies manage to .. as far as weird movies go, I’m a strong partisan of “Donnie Darko.”

  2. Quantum Moxie Says:

    Man, I have to see Donnie Darko one of these days, especially since I know someone who was in it (see my post on Erdös-Bacon Numbers below). I agree with you about Sweet Hereafter. I think there was just something about the way that bus driver was portrayed that was unsettling and weird.

  3. Charles Daney Says:

    I really, really liked Prospero’s Books – because I like The Tempest a lot, as well as for the plentiful nudity, which is very tasteful IMHO.

    As for weird, well there’s no known upper bound for that. Among films that are somewhat mainstream, how about Zardoz, by John Boorman, and featuring Sean Connery wearing a diaper most of the time.

    For non-mainstream, the sky’s the limit. Try Flesh Gordon…

  4. Anonymous Says:

    How about “Bubba Ho-tep”. The imdb description is: “Elvis and JFK, both alive and in nursing homes, fight for the souls of their fellow residents as they battle an ancient Egyptian Mummy.”

    Oh and the guy who plays JFK happens to be black.

  5. Quantum Moxie Says:

    OMG, that has to be the funniest premise I have ever heard (referring to the previous anonymous comment). I’ll have to see if I can find that.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I actually watched Bubba Ho Tep yesterday for the first time (weird coincidence). It was weird I suppose (it included: elderly getting their souls sucked via their asses,a black JFK, gross penile growths…well, just one of those thank God) but was completely watchable. Bruce Campbell’s awesome.

  7. Quantum Moxie Says:

    Hahahahahaha… You gotta love Bruce Campbell. The guy completely embraces his status as the modern-day acting version of Ed Wood.

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