8. Three…Extremes (2004)
A disturbing Asian horror of three terrifying segments. It’s a sequel to ‘Three’ (2002) and follows the same concept. Being that horror is the most watched genre that’s non pornographic, there’s a good amount of anthology horror and the concept generally works for the genre. Three…Extremes however isn’t a slasher or a series of ghost stories but three somewhat realistic tales that haunt your emotions. There’s no doubt that it crosses the line far past its predecessor.
The three segments will make you cringe. Dumplings by Fruit Chan from Hong Kong is about a woman trying to look better by eating dumplings that have a sick secret ingredient. The Hong Kong director also released a feature length version that’s sure to ruin your appetite.
South Korean director Chan-wook Park expresses a more personal fear in Cut when a twisted film extra kidnaps a film director for some funny games. There are a lot of sick people but you never expect a person to go through such extremes but it’s very possible that a co-worker or friend could loose it.
Takashi Miike from Japan directs a more psychological segment in which a woman’s abstract dreams start releasing painful memories that she has blocked out. It’s too scary to deal with something horrific and the realisation is a horrible strain. The mystery of the recurring nightmares starts to horrifically unravel.
9. Eros (2004)
Eros is the Greek god of love. The word eros can refer to either romantic or intimate love. And that’s exactly the theme of the film. Tastefully done and well made. Although erotic, the three segments are far from being artsy versions American pie but are about love.
Director Wong Kar-wai whom has directed love stories with such energy, tackles the erotic tale of the frowned upon connection between a man and a prostitute in The Hand.
Steven Soderberg’s segment Equilibrium is a nice story about a mans dream of his wife. At first the man played by Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t realise that the women in the dream is his wife and is so worried about his love for his wife that he sees a therapist.
The Dangerous Thread of Things directed by Michelangelo Antonioni shows a man who has a lustful affaire but goes back to his wife that he loves and has more appreciation for after comparing her to his mistress.
10. All The Invisible Children (2005)
Made in part with UNICEF the film takes viewers around the world and gives a voice to unfortunate children. From child soldiers in Africa, impoverished children in China, abused children in Serbia, through to a young girl coping with the realization that she is HIV positive, the film sheds light on what many try to look away from.
Ridley Scott and his son Jordan directed one of these segments, it’s about photographer that has gone into war zones and is finding it hard to cope as an adult and shows the realization that so many children are affected by situations adults cant handle.
11. Paris, je t’aime (“Paris, I love you” 2006)
Directors such as the Coen brothers, Alexander Payne, Gus Van Sant and others joined forces to make this film possible. Eighteen shorts about true romance in the city of love. Originally planned to be twenty representing Paris’ twenty districts. It’s not a sappy rom-com whatsoever but a great showcase of talent.
In one of the segments it’s not about the love or desire for another person but a women’s love of Paris and her joy in life. With an international star cast this film takes first place. As a result of the films success, it is only the first in twenty-four films from the ‘Cities of Love’ franchise.
The ‘Cities of Love’ franchise represents every continent except for Antarctica and uses the work of directors such as Mira Nair, Fernando Meirelles, Paolo Sorrentino, and more. Some are well established and others are new emerging directors.
12. To Each His Own Cinema (2007)
The Cannes Film Festival is the most prestigious film festival in the world. The pedigree and reputation brings the top film vanguards to the beautiful town of Cannes in the south of France. In 2007 To Each His Own Cinema premiered at Cannes as a tribute for the festivals 60th anniversary.
Previous winners of Cannes directed 3 minutes short films about going to the cinema and falling in love with the movies. This film will remind anyone of the first time a movie made them feel, the company that shared the movie going experience, going to the cinema to escape on a rainy day or where you spend your hot summer days.
13. Tokyo! (2008)
Directors Joon-ho Bong, Leos Carax and Michel Gondry each take a third of the film. Three unique stories set in Tokyo, Japan by three non-Japanese directors. Each segment focuses on a character that deals with some sort of change. This film takes us from the skyscrapers that tower over, down to the sewers where only undesirables would loiter, and out to the suburbs where the rest of the world seems so distant.
The first segment is directed by Michel Gondry and is titled Interior Design. A young couple struggle with finances as they try to peruse a better life, deal with emotional hardships and stress. The girl transforms into a chair. A metaphor of where the man is taking the relationship.
Merde which is French for “shit”, is the second part. A monstrous outcast is preyed upon begins his revenge by terrorizing innocent citizens with grenades. Leos Carax makes him out to be a semi-human Godzilla.
Last is Shaking Tokyo. Joon-ho Bong came up with a story of a struggling agoraphobic (an anxiety disorder characterized by anxiety in situations where the sufferer perceives certain environments as dangerous or uncomfortable, often due to the environment’s vast openness or crowdedness) after seeing people in Tokyo walk alone and many food shops sell individual meals apposed to family sized portions.
What he gathered from the culture is that people are independent and are more reserved than out going. Japan has a growing number of shut-ins. But the segment has a happy ending when the man over comes his agoraphobia.
14. Tales from the Golden Age (2009)
Romanian new wave filmmakers including Cannes winner Cristian Mungiu, mock communism and it’s tyrants that plagued Romania for more than 40 years and left the country in turmoil, despair and economical devastated at the end of the cold war. Each segment is based on true urban myths from the era of the socialist republic.
It’s very funny from the start but just as the ridiculous North Korean propaganda or the film “Life is beautiful”; the humor is set in a disturbing realm. What sets it apart from other anthologies is that the directors are not listed by segment.
The first urban legend is The Legend of The Official Visit where an official visits a small town and ends up at a drunken dinner with the locals. He orders everyone on a carrousel but unfortunately that includes the ride operator and they are forced to spend the night spinning around.
The second is The legend of The Party Photographer. When the party rushes the photographer with demands to alter the photograph for political reasons he makes a funny mistake.
Legend of The Chicken Driver is about a man with a plan to impress the heart of a woman by making money by selling eggs directly to the public rather than delivering them to where the state demands. When he is locked up his only visitor is his angry wife.
Legend of The Greedy Policeman is the story of a police officer that was given a pig by his brother. Its alive and must be killed and prepared. He is unwilling to share with his neighbors so he and his family try to learn as they go and end up creating a gas explosion.
Times were tough and for the last segment show a con artist trying to capitalise at the expense of others by tricking them out of bottles. At first he went door-to-door asking for tap-water samples and then recycling them for money. But it all unfolds when he tries to con a block of flats out of bottles by telling them to give him air samples.
15. 7 Days in Havana (2012)
Taking place over 7 days, its unique in that every segment follows either the main character, someone who has passed through on his visit to Cuba or a side story delightful side story taking place during the time. The main character is a young American man on the island who has a keen spirit of adventure and we get a joyful insight into the country through the people he meets and his experiences as well as side stories.
Gaspar Noe adds a mesmerizing dialogue free segment of a Santa Maria ritual on the embargoed Nation. It stays away from politics and shows you that it’s the only life these people know and they want to look on the bright side and come together to make the best of it.
On the first day (Directed by the famous actor: Benicio Del Toro) the main character arrives, gets checked in to a hotel and we’re introduced to Havana. Similar to any vacation but the flavour of Cuba are unique and differ from the rest of the world.
From Monday through Sunday we see a young man immerse himself in modern culture. Most people would just go to museums and lay in the sun but the young man chases women and makes friends with the locals. The main story and side stories are filled with Cuban music and the simple joys and happiness it brings to all cultures.
Author Bio: The international filmmaker, Anthony Crossland was born 24th November 1989 in Watford, UK and holds duel citizenship with the U.S.A. In 2012 Anthony graduated from Full sail university with a degree in film studies and has since gone on to work in the film and television industry.