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What are the most unique movies you've ever seen?

bobbybrown
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#41

Post by bobbybrown »

monty on May 6 2014, 05:23:38 PM wrote:Sexmission is a great comedy, you bobbybrown are a sourpuss. I really fail to fathom how it's possible to misconstrue a film to such a degree as you do here. It's not about misogyny, it's a political satire in sci-fi guise.
Well, of course I recognize its attempt to poke fun at totalitarianism, if that's what you are talking about. But I really like that theme, and it felt so trite and weak from the beginning that I kind of tuned out and ignored it completely and focused on its musings on gender, which were so unexpectedly familiar. There's a ton more political bite in some minor Svankmajer shorts from the 60s like Zahrada (1968) than here, and I've got the same vibe of a populist cash-in and half-assed satire from Machulski's Kingsajz (1988). I guess it's either me being a sourpuss or Machulski being a hack, and I'm fine either way. ;)

And hey, misconstruing is so much more fun than seeing Jerzy Stuhr hamming it up in a bland rehash of Sleeper (1973)!
Last edited by bobbybrown on May 7th, 2014, 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PeacefulAnarchy
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#42

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

bobbybrown on May 6 2014, 05:09:57 PM wrote:
PeacefulAnarchy on wrote:I took the misogyny as parody. Considering the absurdity of the entire film I couldn't see it any other way.
I may be over-reacting, but a lot of 'arguments' in the film in this humorous disguise, wordings and winks and all, felt so familiar to me and similar to voices heard on the internet and in media _today_ here where I live, that I believe its fans (it was and still is a mainstream hit in the SU) and creators alike wholeheartedly agree that giving women political power will result in a man-hating catastrophy, even though they exaggerated it a bit in the film.
The internet taints everything. The problem of course being that the diversity of views on some subjects can be so large that one side can seem a parody to those not familiar with people actually holding those views, or vise-versa. The only people I've seen mention it are people who wouldn't agree with that view and to me, being distanced from the film in both time and culture, taking it as parody seemed just seemed natural. I do see what you mean, though. I've certainly had reactions similar to yours with other films, where for all their comedic styling the underlying views struck to close to reality that I couldn't shake the feeling that there was sincerity rather than mocking underneath the jokes.

In this particular case I don't recall the film well enough to say more. I do remember wondering if I should take it as parody or not at a few points in the film, so it's possible that if I watched it again I might see it as you do.
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monty
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#43

Post by monty »

Well, I beg to differ. Sleeper's got nothing on the genius that is Sexmission. That you claim to find little political bark in Sexmission is weird as there's tons of it there. Also, saying Sexmission is about misogyny is about as astute as saying Gulliver's Travels is about little people bashing.
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#44

Post by Kasparius »

funkybusiness on May 5 2014, 06:43:34 PM wrote:
allisoncm on May 5 2014, 10:24:14 AM wrote:I have a list of "bizarre" movies, and they're unique movies, most of which I like (I like everything except "Spider Baby", which was just okay).

https://mubi.com/lists/bizarre-films--2
02 Electrocuting an Elephant Thomas A. Edison
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Toooopsssyyyy
So you like electrocuting elephants? :huh:
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#45

Post by Kasparius »

monty on May 6 2014, 05:23:38 PM wrote:Sexmission is a great comedy, you bobbybrown are a sourpuss. I really fail to fathom how it's possible to misconstrue a film to such a degree as you do here. It's not about misogyny, it's a political satire in sci-fi guise.
Then again, Monty is a huge fan of The Girl in the Red Scarf, so take that comment with a grain of salt.
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#46

Post by bobbybrown »

PeacefulAnarchy on May 6 2014, 06:16:10 PM wrote:The problem of course being that the diversity of views on some subjects can be so large that one side can seem a parody to those not familiar with people actually holding those views, or vise-versa.
Yes, I believe this is the case. Like when people take the most radical and exaggerated example of an idea they aren't actually familiar with, and base their opinion of the whole on this fringe. And I'm glad you recognize this kind of reaction, it always spoils all the fun, especially when you can feel that authors are completely oblivious to the issue they are lampooning, haven't really given it much of a thought and decided that it's a good analogy to show totalitarianism in a bad light. Fighting fire with gas. I'd much rather watch something aggressively one-sided and enjoy being blatantly manipulated into a position I don't agree with (Moore and Riefenstahl spring to mind), or try to untangle a confused message of somebody who is hesitating and sees flaws on both sides, or enjoy misantrophy of a cynic who doesn't care at all about an issue, than watch this kind of a flippant exaggeration.
monty on wrote:Sleeper's got nothing on the genius that is Sexmission. That you claim to find little political bark in Sexmission is weird as there's tons of it there. Also, saying Sexmission is about misogyny is about as astute as saying Gulliver's Travels is about little people bashing.
I'm scared to admit that I disliked Sleeper too (not my type of humour at all). :) But what I'm trying to say is not that misogyny is Sexmission's theme; it's not about it, it's unknowingly engulfed in it. And that makes is so embarrasing that I don't want to spend any minute with its main theme, because yeah, the Big Brother and the Party sucks, no question about that. But it doesn't mean I'm going to accept any stupidity that happens to condemn them. And btw, the fact that it wasn't banned and managed to become such a hit also speaks something about its bark. ;)
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#47

Post by Knaldskalle »

bobbybrown on May 6 2014, 07:04:09 PM wrote: And btw, the fact that it wasn't banned and managed to become such a hit also speaks something about its bark. ;)
Well, censors generally aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer. Many are the countries and cultures that have developed subtle methods for criticizing the powers that be, in response to oppression.
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bobbybrown
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#48

Post by bobbybrown »

Knaldskalle on May 6 2014, 08:08:14 PM wrote:
bobbybrown on May 6 2014, 07:04:09 PM wrote: And btw, the fact that it wasn't banned and managed to become such a hit also speaks something about its bark. ;)
Well, censors generally aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer. Many are the countries and cultures that have developed subtle methods for criticizing the powers that be, in response to oppression.
In most cases I agree, but I just couldn't find anything subtle in there. They show the government obviously feeding lies to the society, recreate the Wizard of Oz-ish mockery of the leader, the life is awful and the oppressors are literally feminazi. And the leads are so eager to get laid that the whole film looks like a fraternity's take on Orwell's 1984. Maybe I have missed something.
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#49

Post by Rad82 »

The term unique is widely subjective.

Most of my favorites I consider "unique" in many ways and definitely worth the watch since they did offer me either unique experiences or/and feelings. Many may be so common that everyone has seen by now, but there's also a few under-watched I guess. Not all of them are necessarily bizarre or weird enough, but I do consider them all great unique recommendations if not for their theme, then for their brilliantly unique execution (order is ofc irrelevant):
Spoiler: click to toggle
District 9
Memento
Sin City
Dark City
Blade Runner
City of Lost Children
Underground
Being John Malkovich
Pan's Labyrinth
Cube
The Machinist
Mar Adentro
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.. and Spring
Hero
Oasis
JSA
Castaway on the Moon
Insomnia (the scandinavian original version)
Open your eyes
The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover (Greenaway)
Zift
Z
Festen
Baraka
Das Experiment
Possession (1981)
12 Angry Men
The Hunt
Fanny Och Alexander & Persona
Triplets of Belleville
Waltz with Bashir
Heroic Times
Belladona of Sadness
One thousand and one Nights (Yamamoto)
GITS Films

Too much sci-fi, yes I know. :)

Holy Motors and Stranger than fiction were pretty ok too, while certainly bizarre.
Those are still just a fragment though.

OFC it would be very easy to also include most Kubrick, Lynch and Trier Films as well as Jodorowfsky's.
Amazingly unique Directors, though only Kubrick truly deserves to be called perfect in film-making.

From animation I'd say all Rene Laloux Director works and certainly films from stop-motion masters such as Svankmajer, Trnka, Brta, Kihachiro Kawamoto & Starewicz. Masaaki Yuasa & Satoshi Kon full filmography as well. All of those are the epitome of uniqueness. I'll stop here though cause the animation genre is endlessly unique in Europe & Asia anywayz, especially if we look into experimental & independent film-making.
Last edited by Rad82 on May 7th, 2014, 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#50

Post by agrimorfee »

Not going to toggle lists here so forgive if I missed mentions of Head, Jacques Tati, Zero For Conduct, A Hard Days Night, Jan Svankmajer, Bela Tarr, and The Annunciation.
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#51

Post by Knaldskalle »

bobbybrown on May 7 2014, 01:36:41 AM wrote:
Knaldskalle on May 6 2014, 08:08:14 PM wrote:
bobbybrown on May 6 2014, 07:04:09 PM wrote: And btw, the fact that it wasn't banned and managed to become such a hit also speaks something about its bark. ;)
Well, censors generally aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer. Many are the countries and cultures that have developed subtle methods for criticizing the powers that be, in response to oppression.
In most cases I agree, but I just couldn't find anything subtle in there. They show the government obviously feeding lies to the society, recreate the Wizard of Oz-ish mockery of the leader, the life is awful and the oppressors are literally feminazi. And the leads are so eager to get laid that the whole film looks like a fraternity's take on Orwell's 1984. Maybe I have missed something.
I didn't think it was subtle either, but I didn't hate it. I think if it as an example of what things could turn out like if militant feminists had their way ("Just get rid of men and the world will be filled with fat happy women and there will be no war!"). I thought it was mildly boring once the novelty of the concept had worn off, but I can't argue with its uniqueness.
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#52

Post by monty »

bobbybrown on May 7 2014, 01:36:41 AM wrote:
Knaldskalle on May 6 2014, 08:08:14 PM wrote:
bobbybrown on May 6 2014, 07:04:09 PM wrote: And btw, the fact that it wasn't banned and managed to become such a hit also speaks something about its bark. ;)
Well, censors generally aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer. Many are the countries and cultures that have developed subtle methods for criticizing the powers that be, in response to oppression.
In most cases I agree, but I just couldn't find anything subtle in there. They show the government obviously feeding lies to the society, recreate the Wizard of Oz-ish mockery of the leader, the life is awful and the oppressors are literally feminazi. And the leads are so eager to get laid that the whole film looks like a fraternity's take on Orwell's 1984. Maybe I have missed something.
@bobbybrown: You do overlook an essential aspect of Sexmission. While you complain of the portrayal of women in this film, the men are pictured just as bad. None of them come off smelling of roses exactly - they're egoistic, deluded bastards.For example, the one protagonist happily leaving his loving wife and daughter behind for the chance of getting fame as the world's first "cryonaut"comes to mind... So, yes, besides the political satire of totalitarianism, there's also satire of questions of sexuality and gender. For instance, the film turns the male fantasy of having an all-woman world all to oneself upside down, its mockery just underscoring the ludicrousness of any such twisted macho reveries. Also, the film mocks any militant feminist's dream society. Ultimately, what the film shows is that both men and women can better realize their potential as human being in a world where true freedom of thought is possible. In a such a world, both the paternalistic as well as the matriarchal societal model are quickly revealed as failed modes of thinking. In such a world, real equality has the potential to become reality. Sexmission is the farthest from a sexist film possible.
Last edited by monty on May 7th, 2014, 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#53

Post by bobbybrown »

@monty, I must admit you and Knaldskalle made me doubt my harsh reaction to the film. It may be a case of me being oversensitive and probably mislead in some way about the topic, two lead actors being extremely obnoxious and unlikable, jokes that are totally not in my taste, and the awful cookie-cutter quality of the main content of the film - the actual sci-fi action-adventure, on which they wasted way more time than developing its satire. And maybe part of it boils down to me watching it with Russian subtitles (since it's closer to Polish than English), some quite telling and off-putting expressions that formed my impression may have been lost in translation (that is, of course, assuming you watched it in English, which may not be the case).

But I still cannot believe there is a balanced commentary on gender running below the surface, subverting the calculated appeal of Jerzy Stuhr's character and presenting his hero as a flawed one. Aren't you reading too much into it? The family of his may be just a standart "domestic hell"-kind of joke that is common in patriarchal societies, and I have no doubt based on his acting and words that viewers are supposed to root for him. He wants to TRAVEL IN TIME (as I understand, there was a huge sci-fi craze in the Soviet Union and its satellites, Aelita and Gagarin and all), and his shallow family doesn't understand him, I don't think our modern judgment of this situation would coincide with that of the indended audience, especially since it's a comedy.

It's hard to explain in more detail, and I feel like I'm starting to grasp at straws here, but I felt very sharply that the mind-set behind the film doesn't believe there's any type of feminism but the militant one, the status quo is perfectly fine as it is, and "what those deluded women really need is a good lay". I agree with you that it starts with "the male fantasy of having an all-woman world all to oneself turned upside down"; actually that concept was what bought me into watching it. But very soon it's established that everything's so messed up because they have no men to put some sense into their heads (the idea of a totalitarian all-female state equipped with same-gender sex and self pleasure didn't occur to the authors at all), and the ending literally shows our heroes curing women with sex and having that fantasy finally handed to them on a silver platter.

Again, I'm ignoring its anti-totalitarian part of satire right now, and you have already made me doubt my position more than I expected starting this talk. I don't think I can add anything more to what I have already posted.
Last edited by bobbybrown on May 7th, 2014, 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#54

Post by beavis »

Salo. Don't think anything similar had been atempted before... Or after

Conan the Barbarian - it is serious heroic fantasy with a dark and bloody edge. In recent years two things came close, 300 and the lord of the rings trilogy, but Conan has the best of both those worlds. Why is it that all atempts at doing something like Conan have to fail so miserably? Must be one of the hardest genres to get right

Anything by Matthew Barney.... Could say similar things about a lot of directors with a unique style and vision, but this one is the biggest of them all, and most outside of any regular movie (or even experimental movie) experience.

The Salvation Hunters - what von Sternberg was doing in his debut was pretty unique for the time and place he was is. It's not the most experimental silent ever, not even the best, but it is trying to be those things, with very good results.
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#55

Post by Kasparius »

2001
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#56

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#57

Post by watchayakan »

Man with a Movie Camera
Inland Empire
Synecdoche, New York
Being John Malkovich
Eraserhead
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#58

Post by plasma_birds »

I have an easier time as picking directors who are unique more than their individual movies, where names like Robert Bresson, Harmony Korine, Ozu Yasujirô, Manoel de Oliveira, and Lav Diaz come to mind.
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#59

Post by Torgo »

cinephage wrote: May 5th, 2014, 4:47 pm Tetsuo is another strong and unusual movie, but I disliked it (I know it has a strong fan-base, even on this forum).
Especially in this forum, Mister! :shifty:


Reality is that many of the most unique (and outright bizarre) films I've seen were on the bad side. And I don't regret those (only that they sometimes missed chances).
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#60

Post by 3eyes »

I guess I'll give a shout-out to Allegro non Troppo. It's not merely a parody of (i.e. answer to) Disney. It not only shows up the Disney's commercialized vacuity by the political and existential pointedness of its every segment, but all this is interpersed with a parody of Italian neorealism. One of my top faves ever.
:run: STILL the Gaffer!
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