It is quite intriguing the feeling we have when a film stays in our head for awhile after we watch it for the first time and feel that – to quote a verse from a famous Neil Young song – “there’s more to the picture than meets the eye.”
With that in mind, here is a selection of films that should be watched more than once for their complexity. Like them or not, these 10 films definitely bring elements to the screen that we can identify and understand better with multiple viewings.
Also, it is never too late to remember that many things interfere in the choice of the titles, but as always, memory and personal preferences are the main ones.
So, here are 10 movies you should watch at least twice.
10. Enemy (2013, Denis Villeneuve)
There is a giant spider over Toronto. A very big and terrifying spider.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, “Enemy” is based on the novel “The Double,” written by José Saramago, a Portuguese author that won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998.
It follows the story of Adam Bell, an oblivious history professor living in Toronto who’s consumed by his routine, who sees his life changing when he sees an actor in a film he rented that looks exactly like him. From that moment on, he will try everything to meet his double.
It has a confusing atmosphere if you watch it only once; with multiple viewings, the hidden meanings in this story start to appear and we are able to understand the relationship between the doubles in the narrative and the symbolism brought to screen by Villeneuve and screenwriter Javier Gullón.
“Enemy” is a great film that is very underrated in Villeneuve’s career and definitely should be watched more than once.
9. Mr. Nobody (2009, Jaco van Dormael)
Helmed by Belgian director Jaco van Dormael, who in 2015 directed the good “The Brand New Testament,” “Mr. Nobody” is a very difficult movie to be watched for mixing many different themes (and for being very confusing at some points), but its bold aesthetics makes it so visually intriguing that we keep everything we saw in mind for a long time after watching it.
Started by Jared Leto, Diane Kruger and Sarah Polley, “Mr. Nobody” is about a man who’s 118 years old who is telling the story of his life to a reporter. But is actually as far as possible from being as simple as that.
Being a little confused, this man thinks he is 34 years old at some points, so we start to travel through different times, perspectives and realities that surrounded his life and the people he knew.
Although it’s a good film, “Mr. Nobody” is a movie that is too complex (and at some points simply confusing) and should without a doubt be watched more than once – because things get a little bit more clear by watching it twice.
8. Memento (2000, Christopher Nolan)
One of the most interesting ways to build a narrative seen on this millennium, “Memento” is definitely the best work by Christopher Nolan.
Starring Guy Pearce as Leonard, “Memento” tells the story of a man that suffers from short-term memory loss and who is trying to solve his wife’s murderer. Following two different storylines in Leonard’s life, one of them moves forward while the other go back in time, revealing more of his past and making the audience progressively understand his current situation.
Alternating a story that moves forward with another that moves backwards is something very unique and a bold move for a filmmaker like Nolan, who was just starting his career after his first feature film “Following” (1998). For being so complex in its conception and the best work in Nolan’s career, “Memento” should definitely be watched more than once.
7. Mother! (2017, Darren Aronofsky)
One of the best – and most controversial – movies of the year, “mother!” could maybe be considered the best film in Darren Aronofsky’s career to date.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, the movie follows a couple whose relationship is tested when more and more uninvited guests start to arrive in their new house and prevent them from being at peace.
This pretentious (not necessarily in a bad way) biblical allegory about nature with a brilliant performance by Jennifer Lawrence gets so crazy at one point that watching it once again is kind of necessary because the first impressions might only get us shocked.
With great camera work and many shots being very close to Lawrence’s face – and once again, her performance is brilliant – giving a claustrophobic atmosphere in the film, “mother!” should definitely be considered among the most intriguing films from 2017, and should be watched more than once for its complex symbolism.
6. Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott)
This movie should be watched more than once not only for its intricate concept and for being one of the best movies in the 1980s, but also because it has a few versions that are quite different from each other.
Directed by Ridley Scott and based on the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, written by Philip K. Dick, “Blade Runner” did not have the greatest reception at the time of its release, but it surely became a classic in the following years.
The movie tells the story of Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), an ex-cop who is assigned to assassinate replicants, androids that look exactly like humans. One day, four replicants commit murder in the Off World colony and Deckard is assigned to “retire” them.
“Blade Runner” has so many different levels, from its brilliant visual conception to its approach on humanity, and is definitely a movie that should be watched many times because its nuances seems to be infinite.