5. Children of Men (2006; dir. Alfonso Cuarón)
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, “Children of Men” is one of the best movies released in this century.
Starring Clive Owen, the movie follows the story of a chaotic world in 2027 where women have become infertile. In this scenario, a former activist tries to transport a pregnant woman to a sanctuary.
With astonishing cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki, “Children of Men” has many powerful metaphors and is definitely one of the best films from the 21st century so far.
A masterpiece by Cuarón and without a doubt a movie every cinephile should check out.
4. The Beekeeper (1986; dir. Theodoros Angelopoulos)
Greek director Theodoros Angelopoulos made one of the most interesting movie trilogies in cinema history, the Trilogy of Silence, with the movies “Voyage to Cythera” (1984), “The Beekeeper” (1986) and “Landscape in the Mist” (1988).
Mixing existentialism and politics with narratives that are more intimate with regards to the characters in his previous films, this trilogy has some of the best films in Angelopoulos career. In “The Beekeeper,” we follow the story of Spyros (Marcello Mastroianni), a retired schoolteacher who goes on a journey with his bees in order to obtain honey from different areas of the country, and along the way, he meets an abandoned girl.
It would not be a complete exaggeration to say that with the slow-paced atmosphere of his films and with the existential and philosophical approaches of his stories, Angelopoulos is a filmmaker who has significant connections with Andrei Tarkovsky’s filmography.
“The Beekeeper” is another amazing film directed by Angelopoulos, and a movie that should be watched by every cinephile.
3. The Legend of Suram Fortress (1985; dir. Sergei Parajanov & Dodo Abashidze)
Directed by Sergei Parajanov and Dodo Abashidze, “The Legend of Suram Fortress” is an adaptation of a famous Georgian folk tale. The movie follows the story of a boy who, in order to stop a fortress from falling apart, needs to be bricked up alive into the fortress’ walls.
With powerful metaphors and an astonishing production design, “The Legend of Suram Fortress” is definitely a movie that could be a companion piece to “Stalker” with its oneiric atmosphere.
With amazing directing by Parajanov and Abashidze, this movie is truly full of energetic imagery. Definitely a movie every cinephile should check out.
2. Blow-Up (1966; dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and based on a short story by Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar, “Blow-Up” is one of the best films ever made.
“Blow-Up” follows the story of a photographer from London who finds something suspicious in a series of photos he took in a park. A very sophisticated narrative, “Blow-Up” takes us through this photographer’s journey of discovery, until the iconic ending scene of this film.
With a great performance by David Hemmings in the leading role and amazing cinematography by Carlo di Palma, this is a truly visually impressive film that has awesome music by Herbie Hancock.
“Blow-Up” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1968, and is a masterpiece directed by Antonioni that should without a doubt be watched.
1. The Tree of Life (2011; dir. Terrence Malick)
Another movie on this list that can surely be considered among the best of this century, “The Tree of Life” is a masterpiece directed by Terrence Malick.
Starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain and Sean Penn, the movie follows the story of a family in Texas during the 1950s. In this story, we see the eldest son of this family from the innocence of his childhood until his adult years, which seem to be full of disillusion.
With many powerful nuances and metaphors, “The Tree of Life” is a movie that can perhaps be considered as complex as “Stalker” and which has a very profound philosophical and existential approach.
The cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki, allied with the great music by Alexandre Desplat and the powerful performances on this film, are also some of the elements that make this film so unique.
“The Tree of Life” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 and is considered by the BBC as number 7 on the list of The 21st Century’s 100 Greatest Films. A great film by Terrence Malick that should without a doubt be watched by every cinephile.
Author Bio: Vítor Guima is a filmmaker, writer and musician. Every day he watches a movie, reads a few pages from a book, listens to an album and freaks out with the feeling of not having enough time to see everything. You can follow him on Instagram on @ovitorguima.