Since the beginning of the 21st century, cinema has continued its path with many new expansions. Today, digital platforms have become an indispensable part of our lives and we have gained new viewing habits. The debate regarding the essence of cinema, how films should be made, and what is ideal, will probably never end.
Beyond all of these discussions, good films that have been released in recent years have been able to gain extra attention with the influence of social media. And the lists, which have been published on different websites in recent years and have become much more popular, create an entertaining and discovery process for cinephiles to catch great movies that don’t get the attention they deserve, or are waiting to be discovered.
Here are the 10 great recent movies you may have missed:
10. My Life as a Courgette (2016)
Claude Barras’ stop-motion animated film “My Life As A Courgette,” co-produced by Switzerland and France, is one of the most impressive works of recent years. Adapted from the French writer Gilles Paris’s novel “Autobiographie d’une Courgette,” this warm film deals with a fundamental issue in the midst of everyday life without dramatizing it.
Courgette is the nickname of the 9-year-old in the film. After his mother’s sudden death, Raymond, a police officer, takes care of Courgette at the orphanage. At first Courgette sees this place as hostile and unfamiliar, but with the help of the police officer, he will make new friends, learn to trust, built a new family, and find true love.
It is appealing to audiences of all ages with its dark and naive style. Although it doesn’t have the rhythm we are used to in popular animations, it is still a great stop with its sharp transitions between sadness and happiness, adorable characters, social realistic approach, and great sound use.
This marvelous animated film was nominated for Academy Awards and won the Best Film and Audience Special Award at the Annecy Festival.
9. The Rider (2017)
After her great first film “Songs My Brothers Taught Me,” Chloé Zhao’s second feature film “The Rider” masterfully combines the reality of life with the magic of cinema.
The young rider Brady struggles to recover from an almost fatal blow to the head during a rodeo. When it is impossible for him to ride a horse again, unanswered questions arise in his mind about who he is and what he wants to do.
Zhao transforms the story of a cowboy into a visual miracle and a realistic critique of American-type masculinity. It reminds us of Terrence Malick with its visual world, Cassavetes with the instant approach, and Kelly Reichardt with social observations. Zhao smoothly combines the documentarist approach with Wild West elements.
This magnificent cinematic poetry cleverly demonstrates the normality and masculine energy and this inevitably strengthens the narrative. It also leaves the audience with one of the most intense finales of recent years.
8. Taxi (2015)
Taxi, which won the Golden Bear in Berlin, is a masterpiece of legendary director Jafar Panahi, who continues to make great films despite being banned in Iran.
The story takes place in a yellow taxi that strolls through the streets of Iran’s capital Tehran, apparently no different from the others. Moving through the colorful streets of Tehran, the taxi welcomes all types of passengers, and the driver seeks to interview each passenger on a different topic.
The person behind the wheel is no one but the famous director Panahi. He presents a rich portrait of Iran, where drama and comedy come together in conversations on different topics, turning the camera mounted on the front panel of the taxi to the passengers.
“Taxi” is an extraordinary work that builds a very creative relationship with reality, using all of its political background for its original idea. It offers an entertaining ride with its flowing editing that does not disturb the audience in the sense of a single space.
Panahi takes a journey not only in Tehran but also in his own cinema. It’s both a fun comedy and a powerful questioning about what is real, what is fiction, and what is criminal.
It constantly deals with freedom of expression and a feeling of hope, with strong references to respect for the freedom of the artist and cinema. After a certain point, this miraculous masterpiece reaches such an extreme that it forces the audience to bring new perspectives on the boundaries of cinema.
7. The Red Turtle (2016)
A Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli co-production, “The Red Turtle,” which won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, is Dutch director Michael Dudok de Wit’s first feature film.
“The Red Turtle” has the creativity, simplicity, and poetic traditions of Japanese animations, and it is a meditative narrative without any dialogue, which makes inferences about the meaning of existence, identity and love.
“La Tortue Rouge,” which deals with life cycles and universal aspects of existence with emotion-appealing music and memorable cinematography, is absolutely one of the best animations of recent years.
The film has an impressive cinematic feeling and it is a spiritual experience with its quiet and unique world. And for those who postpone watching with the knowledge that the film does not contain dialogue, it is certainly a great reason to regret.
One of the most original examples of pure cinema.
6. Lady Macbeth (2016)
Based on the novel by Russian writer Nikolai Leskov in 1865, “Lady Macbeth” describes the search for the sexual freedom of a desperate woman in the 19th century world of Northern England.
It sheds a realistic light on the system of Britain in the 1800s, where women are despised in the gender hierarchy, where men dominate women sexistically within the framework of the dominant culture.
It contains quite harsh and disturbing scenes. It is a revolt film that skillfully blends erotic and thriller elements and an interesting experience with its uncompromising and unpredictable structure.
The film stands out with its ability to visualize the desire of the female character. One of the elements that strengthens its feeling is the wonderful performance from Florence Pugh.
And with the elegance of music, it also can capture a beauty reminiscent of an opera.