This small indie Australian film starts off as a drama and slowly but steadily starts exploring wider themes. Utilizing a non-professional cast and crew composed of family and friends, James Ward Byrkit made a hard sci-fi that is not nearly impenetrable like “Primer,” but hits hard with scientific facts.
At the very beginning, it seems that the party of friends will explore the themes of cheating as one character is busy arguing with her partner about adultery; everything seems pretty fun until they decide to leave the home after a power cut caused by the comet. From there, the film goes into sci-fi horror territory inspired by the theories of quantum physics.
But the physics element is fun here, with the brilliant natural acting of the cast and the low-key light exemplifying their confusion. The final scene is brilliant with the comet acting as the catalyst for the scientific discovery of the lead players. It is also a very optimistic and assuring film that kindles the hope that maybe everything in life is not as bad as it seems. Presumably, you will watch the film, so the final scene is not revealed in a spoiler.
7. The Square
A man who is so self-obsessed that after a casual encounter, he forces the girl to hand over the used condom so that she can’t use the semen to artificially impregnate herself. An ape-man imitator performs so realistically that the uninitiated audience catches their breath in fear. An art installation whose promotional video on YouTube causes havoc in the museum curator’s life.
One of the finest social critics of the 21st century in the form of black comedy, “The Square,” as a film, is more than the sum of its parts. The satire hits harder because almost all of the film’s situations have occurred in real life, or were partly inspired by them. Ruben Östlund likes to draw his film’s scenes from real life as well as from YouTube and here he does exactly that: imitating the occurrences of daily life, albeit in a satirical way.
Russian performance artist Oleg Kulik experienced firsthand the same fear, which inspired the famed ape-man sequence in the film. It is nearly impossible to state the themes of “The Square” verbally and it warrants a necessary viewing for the experimental audience.
8. Burn After Reading
Life is a chaotic mess that doesn’t welcome anticipation, as it frequently proves the opposite. The Coen brothers wrote the original screenplay for “Burn After Reading” and made a comedy thriller with stars like Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand, and John Malkovich as important characters. Here, the lives of the main characters are tied up in ways they can’t imagine and their futures seem blurry, even to the most attentive and knowledgeable film lover.
The film is imbued with situational violence, comedy, and a widely entertaining as well as thought-provoking plot. Stars brilliantly played their roles, with Pitt in one of his career-best turns.
Everyone dies in the end in real life; the Coen brothers know this and kill off our beloved characters accidentally and suddenly with humor, not in a George R.R. Martin way. One of the side characters casually remarks at the end, “I guess we learned not to do it again,” without exactly knowing what they did. And so is the condition of the viewers.
Stop-motion animation films have come a long way since their inception; now, the 21st-century audience truly appreciates the mastery associated with the medium. Another interesting aspect about animated films in general is that they have surpassed the bland tag of only being children’s films; everyone admits it as a separate film genre that can produce adult films as well.
In 2013, existential genius Charlie Kaufman made a stop-motion film with the theme of isolation that further stamped animation as an adult medium. The protagonist Michael is a customer service expert, who is driven into boredom by a force that he doesn’t quite recognize.
As a result, everyone appears to be the same boring person to him; nothing enchants him until he hears of a young woman named Lisa, whom he thinks is the romantic solution to his problem, and proposes to her.
All goes well, the lady accepts his proposal, but as time goes by, Michael discovers that she is like everyone else in the world and not the goddess of heaven “Anomalisa” as he thought her to be. A deep exploration and reading of human life, “Anomalisa” is an interesting film to watch when you are bored.
10. Certified Copy
“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” At first, this quotation may seem out of context, but it isn’t. The underlying message is that sometimes things are not the same as they appear to be.
When opting to make a French film for the first time, the great Iranian maestro Abbas Kiarostami chose this topic as his theme to explore, and he made a marvelous film out of it. Everything is a copy of a copy; we are living in a world where every reproduction has its own life according to its own right, and the relationship between the original and the copy is ambiguous. So are our relationships, which suddenly can take a turn when the most beloved person behaves like a stranger or vice-versa.
With the great Juliette Binoche as an unnamed married woman, and English baritone William Shimell as British writer James Miller, this film by Kiarostami is pregnant with ideas that needed to be explored by the curious film lover, even long after the film ends.