In this second part of our series about films from the 21st century that you may have missed, we explore some of the most overlooked films from this period. Films from all around the globe and from all kinds of different genres.
We hope this list enlarges your pending film list with titles you were not aware of, or at least satisfy you with titles you simply love. Feel free to share your own unknown film titles in the comments section so you can recommend more great films and expand the culture among us film fans.
Here it is, 10 great films from the 21st century you may have missed (part 2).
10. The Lure (2015)
To begin with, here we have one of the most interesting and original films of recent times. “The Lure” is a Polish film that adapts the tale of “The Little Mermaid” in a modern and innovative way.
One night, a family of musicians meets two mermaid sisters: Silver and Golden. To integrate into the environment, the two mermaids are hired at a nightclub. When Silver falls in love with a handsome blond bass player, Golden will see their dream of swimming to America in danger.
Directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska, “The Lure” is a musical that gathers the story of “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen and turns it into a journey of two mermaid sisters through the discovery of love and pain in the modern world of humans. With great direction, fantastic lighting, and the charming acting of the two actresses playing the sirens (Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszanska), “The Lure” is a unique film that will surprise any fan of the fantasy genre.
9. Victoria (2015)
Sebastian Schipper directs one of the cinematographic sensations of that year with this award-winning film that has been highlighted above all things for being shot in a single long take.
Filmed in a single sequence shot, the film is set in the famous Berlin district of Kreuzberg. The camera is witness to everything that happens to the young Victoria, a young Spanish girl from Berlin, during two hours of her life. From 4am to 6am, she meets four young people for whom the night just started, and in that brief period of time things happen to her that will give a total turn to her life.
The film captivates you from the first moment, with Victoria dancing in a disco in a scene filmed in such a way that the most sensitive viewers can suffer from epilepsy, while the rest will be completely spellbound.
From this first act, the film enters a constant crescendo that culminates in the final half-hour segment, which overwhelms the viewer completely. That is precisely the feeling left by Victoria at the end, exhausted, in a positive sense, as though whoever had seen it would have accompanied the characters during their journey that night.
8. Spring (2014)
A young American travels to Italy where he meets Louise, with whom he begins an intense romance. However, the girl hides a supernatural secret that could destroy the relationship.
With an independent feeling, “Spring” presents a curious relationship between love and mortality, through the story of a young man who travels to Italy to disconnect and then gets to meet a mysterious woman with a strong secret. Although defined as a science fiction/horror/fantasy film, and while offering explanations from a scientific point of view, “Spring” would be described as fantasy, because the nature of the woman is hard to believe, although it is quite curious because of the symbolism that derives from it and because it is quite original. In a way, the movie is a fairy tale.
“Spring” is also the mixture of two genres diametrically opposed: romanticism and horror. It is a film of a clear fantastic point of view that ends in a supernatural romance, with an undeniable structure of modern fairy tale. The performances from Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker are very good; chemistry is often everything and they have it.
Overall, “Spring” is a very charming film that has relatively slow pacing, but for the most exquisite moviegoers, it will definitely be a satisfying experience. Don’t miss this one.
7. The Duke of Burgundy (2014)
“The Duke of Burgundy” is a British film from 2014 directed by Peter Strickland, a curious filmmaker who, years before, brought us the eerie and intriguing film “Berberian Sound Studio.”
A woman’s passion for the study of butterflies and moths tests her relationship with her lover. Day after day, Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna) play a provocative ritual that consists of punishing Evelyn with a session of pleasure and fetishistic sadomasochism. When one of the two desires a more conventional relationship, the erotic obsession of the other becomes an uncontrollable addiction.
The main problem that exists between these two seductive and captivating women is that one never ends up delivering what the other wants. One is a bad mistress because she does not finish committing herself to her role, and the other fails as a submissive because she is forced to give directions to get the kind of humiliation she seeks.
“The Duke of Burgundy” has an exultant formalism and style. It takes special care in the framing aspect and lightning, with excellent background music and an especially brutal sound that, as we saw in “Berberian Sound Studio,” is a subject that obsesses Strickland. The flutter of the butterflies can be heard in an intense way.
The superimposed images, the constant references to the entomology, and the short shots give the film a special aura and a pure visual identity.
6. Buddha Mountain (2010)
“Buddha Mountain” is a Chinese film from 2010 directed by Lu Yi who, before this film, directed other remarkable films like “Lost in Beijing” and “Dam Street.” “Buddha Mountain” is an independent drama film that’s very well directed with simple and powerful emotions to it.
A widowed woman (Sylvia Chang) and former music star lives alone after the death of her son in a traffic accident. The debts force her to rent rooms to three friends in their early 20s: a singer who worked at fashion venues (Fan Bingbing); a boy who wants to get away from his family (Bo-lin Chen); and his best friend (Fei Long), a boy obsessed with food.
The woman keeps her son’s car in the garage and she spends hours there doing nothing. Her life has no meaning and she tries to end the suffering. The young girl, on the other hand, is in love with her friend, although she does not tell him that and she suffers when he gets involved with the first one that crosses in his path. “Fatty,” as everyone calls him, only wants the group to remain united. At first, the relationship between the landlady and the young teens is very distant, but over time a kind of symbiosis arises between them in which both parties benefit from each other.
The cinematography is terrific, not only in the landscapes, but in making a portrait of the most unknown China (the nocturnal environments, the slums, etc). All of the performances deserve recognition, and the strongest aspect of the film resides on the chemistry between the actors, which is marvelous.