10 Films The HOF-Men Recommend: 10th Edition
Here are the 10 films that made it to the 5th edition of our ‘HOF-Men Recommend’ Series. You can check out previous editions in the linked articles.
1. Stalker  | Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Human mind settles for the most self-destructive of thoughts when it wishes to contemplate and compare itself to richer details of yesteryears. The traumatic effect that leads to constant despair can never be resolved to form a composed answer. Which is why Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker only provides a glimpse of that constant state of incompleteness. The incompleteness that supposedly doesn’t have an answer but is on the constant edge of knowing where to go and what to do. It’s a soliloquy of existentialism rigged in chaos, a defining sound of lost hope & a rebirth of an unnamed organism that can rule them all.
2. A Pure Formality  | Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Essentially a deluding chamber-piece wrapped in a neat psychoanalytical drama about a novelist’s latest facade into dumbed down existential crises. Giuseppe Tornatore’s A Pure Formality uses its restricted premise to craft a terrific paranoia filled thriller that is only upped by Ennio Morricone’s spine-chilling score. A dark, brooding and atmospheric puzzle that forms answers and then dissolves itself in another confusing chaos of eccentric psycho-babble.
3. Meshes of The Afternoon  | Director: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid
A landmark of a short film that encapsulates the groundbreaking tendencies of experimental imagery. Woozy & exceptionally edited to rightly construe a meaning, Meshes Of The Afternoon can both evoke terror and a sensory feeling of being lost in a circle of distress. A minute, surreal and commendable reflection of the self as seen through the lens of a different point of view. A knife, a flower, and a mirror will never be more metaphorical than this.
4. Force Majeure  | Director: Ruben Östlund
Constantly questioning our fragile yet strange empathy – even towards our loved ones, Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure is a cold, discomforting and truly unsettling masterwork of self-illusion. By putting a family on a skiing vacation on a snowboard of questionable circumstance, the film examines the heightened human emotions, triggered male-ego and unscrupulous gender-roles in the modern day society. By playfully engaging with the oddity of human behavior, Östlund presents us with the extremely terrible feeling of how much we really know ourselves.
5. Faces Places  | Director: Agnès Varda, JR
A meet-cute, delightful and sneakily poignant ode to art through Agnes Varda’s blurring lens. Faces Places fills your heart with so much love, passion and life-affirming figurines that you almost forget that this just might be Varda’s last visual gift to mankind. It’s touching in ways that warm your heart with happiness.
6. The Headless Woman  | Director: Lucrecia Martel
Powered by María Onetto’s remarkable performance, The Headless Woman is a tale of complete detachment from life. A nuanced, subtle and quietly powerful character study of a woman in denial of her realities, her societal, marital flaws and her inability to fix something that might not be broken in the first place.
7. Confessions  | Director: Tetsuya Nakashima
Confessions is an aggressively maddening psychological revenge thriller. Set around teenage angst, repressed grief, and mental trauma, the film plunges into a satire on teenage hysteria while also exploring and exposing the weakling crime count that often goes unpunished. It’s shocking, mysterious and overall very rewarding.
8. Laurence Anyways  | Director: Xavier Dolan
Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways is a melancholic stride through confusion and frustration. It’s an immensely beautiful tale about a man with a soul of a woman in love with another woman. As weird and deeply unsettling as it may sound, Dolan, with his uncanny eye for visual enchantment and regressive emotions fills up this nearly 3-hour long film with an understated study of the complexity of human behavior which makes it quite a feat.
9. Stranger Than Paradise  | Director: Jim Jarmusch
In Stranger Than Paradise, my indie hero – Jim Jarmusch essentially revolutionized the typical road-movie and the whole of the deadpan-comedy genre itself. By constructing the stationary life of a couple of drifters in New York, he bestowed the new-age hipsters with a classic of gloomy, playful and sad proportion. It’s almost like a shot at the American dream but in reverse.
10. Unsane  | Director: Steven Soderbergh
With Unsane, Steven Soderbergh’s iPhone shot new film, we get a raw and brutal turn into psychological horror. He essentially takes up a B-movie premise set in a mental asylum and peppers it with enough bewildering chaos to sustain it’s 90 minutes runtime. It’s thrilling, scary and feels more real than it is supposed to. Oh, and it also manages to critic the contemporary care providers.