A list of movies I’ve seen that meet one or more of the below requirements, listed in job-interview style (lol) :
1. the creator is in control. Space and time, image and sound bend to his/her will. Rule does not encourage “Lars von Trier behaviour”, but I usually don’t care about the behind-the-scenes aspects anyway. If this is met, then 2-10 must not necessarily apply.
2. atmosphere is key, things don’t necessarily happen because you learned in Scriptwriting 101 that they have to, the flow/mood is dreamy, poetic, shifting, the plot – if there – makes way for moments of contemplation. Magical realism is also encouraged.
3. the protagonist is unusual, an outsider, usually aimless, passive, but not an idiot, or a hopeless masochist (a “tool”). In fact, the smart AND compassionate protagonist (or a smart, unflinching sadist) is usually the one I always like watching. Having a young protagonist (up to mid-30s) also helps. (When I get older, I’ll watch movies with old people in them, but ’til then…cue “identifying with protagonists” discussion.)
4. doesn’t shy away from offensive content, doesn’t fall into “goody two-shoes” morality, doesn’t want to teach me a life lesson
5. if realist, the moral issue(s) should not be the point of the movie. I don’t want to come out of it feeling like I’ve just taken a defining issues test. I especially don’t like messages like “life’s an endless struggle”, “teenagers are scum” or “we’re the 99%, let’s burn everything!”… Okay, I probably won’t mind the last one – “OCCUPY : THE MOVIE”.
6. must be comprehensible at least. I usually like weirdness, but I have less and less time for borderline incomprehensible, and it’s a sad fact :(
7. is ideally both dramatic AND laugh-out-loud funny (and it knows it) rather than pure comedy or pure drama.
8. a doomed romance is nice to have.
9. being made in UK, Japan, Spain, Germany, Romania or Post-Soviet Russia is nice, but not necessary.
10. being coined as “indie” or “new wave” is nice, especially if it doesn’t show. I appreciate what you’ve done with less, but don’t care about your cred.
bonus : 11. great dialogue (if translated well on screen) is super nice to have.
Of course, movies that respect even 2 or 3 of those requirements are rare. So I watch what I can. Requirements are always fun to write, though.Read less