Okay, while we don’t want to take the masters for granted, we know that Kurosawa or Kubrick make essential films and that the Criterion Collection rarely has a dud. Shall we call these film fundamentals?
This topic is for recommending films you’ve seen that reach that echelon of greatness, but might not receive the same amount of exposure.
An example might be The Beat That My Heart Skipped. I thought that was really well done.
Now, it’s your turn. Let’s dig deep and unearth those long lost treasures.
ooo ooo ooo MOTORAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Almost Heroes. Chris Farley’s final film, was a box office flop. It didn’t even hit dvd until 5 years after it’s release in theaters. I love it. I think it’s hilarious, and Farley’s best work….
…but that’s probably not what you’re going for here. So i’ll recommend Alien 3. This was David Fincher’s first studio release, I believe, and you can visually see the tension and struggle for control in the film. You can see hints of what Fincher wanted, where his ambition was taking him, but it’s so restrained. Seeing what Fincher has accomplished since, it’s aggravating to think that Alien 3 could have been incredibly more awesome than it is…
…but that’s again probably not what you’re looking for. So I’ll recommend a film out of my childhood that keeps popping into my mind. D.A.R.Y.L. I’m sure it’s nowhere near as good as i remember it, but this film was no less than amazing to me as a child.
SPP, these are great recommendations. Exactly what I was looking for: things I would never come across in my usual digging up of films.
Keep them coming!
Well okay then. Here’s another –
New York Doll, a documentary. It was a pretty big release in Salt Lake City, but i don’t know how well it did outside of the state. It’s about the bass player for Punk Rock royalty the New York Dolls, which just barely preceded the Velvet Underground and the Ramones into the punk rock music scene on the east coast. The documentary, shot just a few years ago, documents this bass player as he prepares for a New York Dolls reunion show, but also shows a bit of where he went after the band split up in the 70’s, the most interesting part is his conversion to Mormonism and becoming a temple worker in Los Angeles.
so according to Entertainment Weekly, an article came out like when i was 12 or 13, here’s the best 100 movies you’ve never heard of:
ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (1976, Media)
BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (1955, MGM/UA, B&W)
THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE (1970, Warner)
BARBAROSA (1982, CBS/Fox)
LA BETE HUMAINE (1938, Video Yesteryear and others, B&W)
THE BIG COMBO (1955, Prism and others, B&W)
BLACK NARCISSUS (1947, VidAmerica)
BRAIN DAMAGE (1988, Paramount)
THE BROOD (1979, Nelson)
BURN! (1970, Key)
CANDY MOUNTAIN (1988, Republic)
CARRIE (1952, Paramount, B&W)
CAUGHT (1949, Republic, B&W)
CHILLY SCENES OF WINTER (1979, MGM/UA)
COMFORT AND JOY (1984, MCA/Universal)
THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (1984, Vestron)
CRISS CROSS (1949, MCA/Universal, B&W)
DANCING LADY (1933, MGM/UA, B&W)
DARK STAR (1974, VCI and others)
DEATH RACE 2000 (1975, Warner)
DECEPTION (1946, MGM/UA)
LE DERNIER COMBAT (THE LAST BATTLE) (1983, RCA/Columbia, B&W)
DETOUR (1945, Video Yesteryear and others, B&W)
DODSWORTH (1936, Nelson, B&W)
DREAMCHILD (1985, HBO)
A FINE MADNESS (1966, Warner)
THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T (1953, RCA/Col-umbia)
FORBIDDEN ZONE (1980, Media)
49TH PARALLEL (1941, VidAmerica, B&W)
FOXES (1980, Key)
GET CRAZY (1983, Nelson)
GLEN OR GLENDA? (1953, Video Yesteryear and others, B&W)
GOOD NEWS (1947, MGM/UA)
GO TELL THE SPARTANS (1978, Vestron)
Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky is insane!!
GUN CRAZY (1949, CBS/Fox, B&W)
HEARTLAND (1979, HBO)
HELL IN THE PACIFIC (1969, CBS/Fox)
THE HIDDEN (1987, Media)
HIGH AND LOW (1963, Pacific Arts, B&W)
HIGH TIDE (1987, Nelson)
HI, MOM! (1970, American)
THE HIT (1984, Nelson)
HOME OF THE BRAVE (1949, Republic, B&W)
HOUSEKEEPING (1987, RCA/Columbia)
IN A LONELY PLACE (1950, RCA/Columbia, B&W)
I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943, Turner, B&W)
JAZZ ON A SUMMER’S DAY (1959, SVS)
THE KILLING (1956, MGM/UA, B&W)
LONELY ARE THE BRAVE (1962, MCA/Universal, B&W)
MACAO (1952, Fox Hills, B&W)
MARKED WOMAN (1937, MGM/UA, B&W)
MIKEY AND NICKY (1976, Warner)
MIRACLE MILE (1989, HBO)
MIXED BLOOD (1985, Media)
MONKEY BUSINESS (1952, CBS/Fox, B&W)
THE NAKED KISS (1964, Home Vision, B&W)
THE NAKED SPUR (1953, MGM/UA)
NEAR DARK (1987, HBO)
1918 (1984, CBS/Fox)
THE NINTH CONFIGURATION (1980, New World)
ON DANGEROUS GROUND (1951, Turner, B&W)
ONE-EYED JACKS (1960, Paramount)
OVER THE EDGE (1979, Warner)
PARIS BLUES (1961, Key, B&W)
PAYDAY (1973, HBO)
PEEPING TOM (1960, Admit One)
PERSONAL BEST (1982, Warner)
THE PLAGUE DOGS (1982, Charter)
POINT BLANK (1967, MGM/UA)
Q: THE WINGED SERPENT (1982, MCA/Universal)
THE REVOLT OF JOB (1983, MGM/UA)
RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY (1962, MGM/UA)
RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11 (1954, Republic, B&W)
THE SAGA OF ANATHAN (1953, Balzac, B&W)
SAINT JACK (1979, Vestron)
SAY AMEN, SOMEBODY (1983, Pacific Arts)
SECRET HONOR (1984, Vestron)
THE SENDER (1982, Paramount)
SHACK OUT ON 101 (1955, Republic, B&W)
THE SHANGHAI GESTURE (1941, Mystic Fire)
SMILE (1975, MGM/UA)
SONGWRITER (1984, RCA/ Columbia)
THE STEPFATHER (1987, Nelson)
STRAIGHT TIME (1978, Warner)
STREAMERS (1983, Media)
STREETWISE (1985, New World)
THE TENANT (1976, Paramount)
THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (1949, Budget, B&W)
TICKET TO HEAVEN (1981, MGM/ UA) -btw this film is AMAZING
TRACK 29 (1988, Cannon)
TWICE UPON A TIME (1983, Warner)
USED CARS (1980, RCA/Columbia)
VAMPIRE’S KISS (1989, HBO)
WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956, United)
WHO’LL STOP THE RAIN (1978, MGM/UA)
WITHNAIL & I (1987, Media)
ZARDOZ (1974, Key)
A ZED & TWO NOUGHTS (1985, Pacific Arts)
some duds….some that are already on Criterion but a good list to start with…atleast I though so when i was 12.
Ritwik Ghatak’s “THE CLOUD CAPPED STAR” – an extraordinary motion picture. I like it better than “PATHER PANCHALI”.
WHAT? (POLANSKI, 1972)
THE APPLE (GOLAN, 1980)
THE HAND (STONE, 1981)
ANGEL (JORDAN, 1982)
FAT CITY (HOUSTON, 1972)
WISE BLOOD (HOUSTON, 1979)
TRANCERS (BAND, 1985)
PUNISHMENT PARK (WATKINS, 1971)
THE LAST MOVIE (HOPPER,1971)
ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE (GUERCIO, 1973)
PASTORAL: HIDE AND SEEK (TERAYAMA, 1974)
MOON IN THE GUTTER (BEINEIX, 1983)
THEMROC (FARALDO, 1973)
BOF! (FARALDO, 1971)
MARTIN (ROMERO, 1977)
M.S 45 (FERRARA, 1981)
THE SQUEEZE (APTED, 1977)
DEATH LINE AKA RAW MEAT (SHERMAN, 1972)
CAL (O’ ‘CONNER, 1984)
PRESSURE (OVE, 1975)
FINGERS (TOBACK, 1978)
ONE FALSE MOVE (FRANKLIN, 1992)
IVANSXTC (ROSE, 2000)
P’TANG YANG KIPPERBANG (APTED, 1982)
RADIO ON (PETIT, 1977)
THE SILENT PARTNER (DUKE, 1978)
BLUE SUNSHINE (LIEBERMAN, 1976)
BABYLON (ROSSO, 1980)
LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH (HANCOCK, 1971)
WENT THE DAY WELL? (CAVALCANTI, 1942)
THE BOYS NEXT DOOR (SPHEERIS, 1985)
THE LANDLORD (ASHBY, 1970)
WHERE’S POPPA? (REINER, 1970)
WRONG IS RIGHT (BROOKS, 1982)
WHITE OF THE EYE (CAMMELL, 1987)
THUNDERCRACK (MCDOWELL, 1975)
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE (YATES, 1973)
If you like John Cleese, i recommend Clockwise.
World of Wires (1973)
what is “obscure” to some viewers may be everyday porridge for others. that depends on what you look for, if you’re into cult gems, into underground, blah blah blah.
But thinking of true greatness (even if bizarre, but who are we to judge) I’d say:
“Sweet Movie” – Dussan Makavejev
“Liquid Sky” – Slava Tsukerman
“Putney Swope” – Robert Downey
“Follame, Follame, Tim” * – Pedro Almodóvar
“Superstar: The Karen Karpenter Story” – Todd Haynes
“The Long Weekend (O’Despair)” * – Gregg Araki
“Drowning By Numbers” – Peter Greenaway
“What?” – Roman Polanski
“Gates Of Heaven” – Errol Morris
“Let’s Get Lost” – Bruce Weber
“Eating Raoul” – Paul Bartel
“Diva” – Jean Jacques Beineix
“Suture” – Scott McGehee, David Siegel
“Scotland, PA” – Billy Morrissette
“Deep Crimson” – Arturo Ripstein
“Pistol Opera” – Seijun Suzuki
“Paris Is Burning” – Jennie Livingston
“The Seven Minutes” * – Russ Meyer
“The Atrocity Exhibition” – Jonathan Weiss
“Funeral Parade Of Roses” – Toshio Matsumoto
“Providence” – Alain Resnais
wow sonja went APE SHIT! and as far as the ones that I recognized in her lists, she went ape shit with good shit. I would recommend the films of someone who I have mentioned on the forum before, Vera Chytilova. I have only seen daises and fruit of paradise, but I would recommend both of these brilliantly abstract surrealist gems from the Czech new wave!
There’s this mexican film director called Ruben Gamez. Sadly he’s not that known but if you ever come across the films Tequila (1992) and La Formula Secreta (the secret formula 1965) don’t miss the opportunity to watch it. They’re both incredible.
“Begotten” – E. Elias Merhige
“Violence at Noon” – Nagisa Oshima
“There’s Always Tomorrow” – Douglas Sirk
edouard, i’m at work and have little to do…..haha
Superstar is easy enough to find online, google video has a compressed mpeg4 that’s not the best quality but it’s absolutely a must see and difficult to come by otherwise. I’ve had an old VHS copy of Liquid Sky for years and pop it in when I’m in that certain mood to be hypnotized by what I’m not really sure. Those who know, know. The large list has some great choices but a few highlights are Over the Edge, the best real teen romantic rebellion movie ever put to celluloid. Straight Time has a very cool performance by Dustin Hoffman. Lonely Are the Brave is a perfect look at a man that time has forgot and the fight to remain free, one of my personal faves. I’ll add Multiple Maniacs by John Waters, enough said.
Has no one seen Philip Ridley’s “The Reflecting Skin”? It’s brightly disturbing, gorgeously shot, enchantingly scored and features Viggo Mortensen in one of his earliest appearances on celluloid (and in the nude).
I would love to see his follow-up, “The Passion of Darkly Noon”.
IMAGES, Robert Altman’s 1972 film. Also, THE IMAGE (1975) by Radley Metzger.
I would like to see a triple-disc/box-set feature with Polanski’s “apartment trilogy”: Repulsion, The Tenant and Rosemary´s Baby.
VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS
Anything by Raul Ruiz
To Mathias: Already exists, except it includes Knife in the Water, no Rosemary.
shotzi, if you like “dancing outlaw” you should try “okie noodling”.
i don’t know how obscure it is, but i always recommend “safe men” to those looking for something that has slipped between the cracks. it stars sam rockwell, steve zahn, paul giamatti and michael lerner. it’s no top 10 entry or anything but it’s sweet, funny and often overlooked.
“VIVA LA MUERTE” by FERNANDO ARRABAL is the most insane that I can recommend… This one very tied to the cinema of ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY… :O
The Last Movie
Prince Of the City
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
Black And White
These aren’t that obscure, but many film buffs I know who should know haven’t seen or even heard of these -
CUL-DE-SAC Roman Polanski w/ Donald Pleasance and blacklisted actor Lionel Stander.
THIS SPORTING LIFE
SUNRISE – F.W. Murnau’s American silent.
POINT BLANK – Lee Marvin wants his money
COME AND SEE – I hate the overused label “Anti-War film”, but if you’re interested in seeing horror inflicted on civilians (SALO, anyone?) this is it.
THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT – Jacques Demy post umbrella
CLASS TOUS RISQUES by Claude Sautet (Is this on dvd?) – for all fans of desperate French gangsters on the lam. Lino Ventura tries to cross back to France with his family while being hunted by Italian police. With Jean Paul Belmondo as the only man he can trust, they tried to avoid a body count… nice try.
Has anyone seen “GUNS AT BATASI? It’s not a war movie- more like character study. Richard Attenborough played a by-the-book British Army Sgt. Major in remote outpost in a ’’new” African republic during the waning days of the Empire, caught in the middle of a political crisis. It’s timeless, the scenes look all too familiar with our current situation in you-know-where. Great performances filled with subtle humor by well known British actors of that era, as well as a very young Mia Farrow.
“BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK’’ – has to be one of the finest American film ever made, period.
Good call Sonja, but it’s actually in color, wide-widescreen. The MGM dvd out there is bare-bone. In fact, years ago it was released by Janus/Criterion/ MGM on laserdisc – complete with scene by scene audio commentaries, and anecdotes by John Sturges himself! Sorry, I’m no film student, it’s just frustrating why Criterion,or others hasn’t put this one out with the same treatment. One could hope…
I’ve done my proselytizing for Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak on other threads, so – apart from urging folks to get to know their work, I’ll leave it at that.
I gotta mention Nagisa Oshima again however – his 1965-75 run of work is something film freaks should really put some effort into seeing. Folks lucky enough to live in a handful of major cities will get the retrospective; I would hope that all the rest of us proles can enjoy a slew of DVD releases sometime afterwards. Diary Of A Shinjuku Thief, Ceremony, Death By Hanging and The Man Who Left His Will On Film all pretty much knocked me sideways – easily on a very short list of the greatest films of the 60s new wave, or of the 60s (and early 70s) in general.
Race, identity, crime and punishment are all well-worn subjects in film; Death By Hanging is among the most inventive (structurally), the funniest (several of my favorite cold-blooded laugh-out-loud moments), the most ruthless (in it’s sociopolitical critiques, which are mostly flung to the right, but occasionally left-ward as well – Oshima seemed suspicious of unconsidered shibboleths regardless of their political orientation), and the most disorienting (in how it shreds and reassembles the idea of a ‘fixed’ identity), and otherwise inflammatory films about all of the above that I know.