8. Velvet Goldmine (1998) (Watch on Netflix)
The Plot: Todd Haynes’ portrayal of Brit Glam Rock in the 1970’s. Referencing characters like Ziggy Stardust and many other musicians, albums and songs, this film is a surreal masterpiece.
Why It’s Beautiful: Yet another example of excellent costume and makeup, this film was and still is a revolutionary achievement in artistic innovations. Todd Haynes is a master of referencing actual events and interpreting them into his work. In this film, there are countless examples of blurred lines of what’s real and fake. Velvet Goldmine is dazzling in it’s weirdness and tragically underrated and unseen.
7. Melancholia (2011) (Watch on Netflix)
The Plot: A mysterious new planet named Melancholia slowly approaches earth and threatens to collide with it. The second film in Lars Von Trier’s “Trilogy of Depression”.
Why It’s Beautiful: Following “Antichrist”, “Melancholia” is structured in a similar way. The mood is appropriately somber and the film is literally very dark.
Kirsten Dunst give a surprisingly amazing performance as a depressed bride who remains calm in the midst of a tragedy. Dunst captures misery and delivers it in a way that is penetrating to the audience. This image of the mourning bride is unforgettable. All the characters are suffering in varying degrees in this film leaving the viewer feeling hopeless.
One of the most impressive attributes of this film is Las Von Trier’s use of minimal CGI. The opposite of “Enter the Void”, the special effects are very subtle and selectively used. This film has all of its elements working harmoniously together, making it visually and emotionally impactful. After you watch this and “Antichrist”, be sure to see the third and final installment in the trilogy “Nymph()maniac”.
6. Dogtooth (2009) (Watch on Netflix)
The Plot: A family and their not-so-traditional lifestyle.
Why It’s Beautiful: Dogtooth, one of the best films of 2009, mastered steady camera shots, minimal dialogue, bizarre imagery all while staying true to simplicity in details. Terminally strange and beautifully shot, Dogtooth expands beyond its intent of being a political symbolism to an avant-garde masterpiece.
5. Enter the Void (2009) (Watch on Netflix)
The Plot: Drug dealer and user Oscar is an American living in Tokyo with his sister. Early on in the story, Oscar is shot and killed in a nightclub. Based loosely on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the rest of the movie follows Oscar’s various transitions into the afterlife.
Why It’s Beautiful: Shocking, disturbing, and emotionally upsetting, “Enter the Void” should be best remembered for its stunning visuals but keep in mind (if you haven’t seen it) this movie is very graphic.
Pulsating, hypnotic, vibrant colors are used throughout the film as the story’s narrative unfolds. CGI is overused in movies these days and often services as a cheap shortcut in replacement for sets. However in this film, the special effects are carefully and precisely used in an effective execution which proves to be truly dazzling.
Running at 161 minutes, “Enter the Void” may be a test of patience to some viewers, especially because of the lack of dialogue and sub par acting from the cast. What this movie lacks in some areas, it compensates with its dazzling visuals.