As much as everyone loves lounging around at home at every opportunity, the inevitable truth about holiday breaks is the eventual boredom that kicks in at the one week mark. Most seasoned cinephiles would have watched what I like to call the “underwear” of cult films, ranging from Annie Hall to Inglorious Bastards but these 10 films are classics (not in terms of age) which are not talked about as frequently. They aren’t unheard of, just not as popular. So hopefully you’ll find something new to keep you from vegetating this winter.
It’s considered one of the most complicated science fiction movies out there but don’t let this or the fact that it’s a low budget independent production put you off. If you feel like your brain needs a jolt then this skillfully made film about time travel is like double espresso shot in movie form.
Blade Runner (1982)
A film that will probably leave you with a completely different perspective on love, life and perhaps the entire genre of science fiction; it is Ridley Scott at his best. It’s centered on bioengineered androids called Replicants who have been implanted with false memories. And no, it’s nothing like Scarlett Johansson’s latest, Ghost in the Shell.
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
An absolute treat for the eyes, this beautifully scary Spanish film is sure to leave you in awe. It’s one of those films that you’ll hold dear to your heart and will become a special memory. The story of a girl in the middle of civil unrest and her encounters with mythical creatures; an ingenious symbiosis of history, fantasy with a touch of darkness. Stay away if you’re expecting Narnia.
Mary and Max (2009)
Animation as a genre can be very circular in terms of its cheery happy-go-lucky outward character and being ensconced in moralistic happy endings. But in some cases it deals with heavier themes that desperately need addressing while being in equally endearing claymation format. It’s about pen pals with their widely contrasting yet converging circumstances.
The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
An odd one to say the least, this film is so wonderfully cute and surreal at the same time; never thought those two adjectives could be clubbed together but this movie is proof. Unusual animation, dialogue-free and nothing like you’ve ever watched before. A tiny French grandma on a quest to rescue her kidnapped grandson, it’ll make you think, “What on earth am I watching?”, but remind yourself that those are the best kinds of films.
My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
If you like feeling warm and fuzzy once in a while, this is definite must watch. An iconic film about two sisters and their interactions with a giant, outlandish, cute spirit called Totoro and other friendly forest spirits. Watch this with your younger sibling for a delightful time. It’s not run-of-the-mill and will definitely make you nostalgic about your childhood.
If you enjoy black comedy and clueless-esque films then you’ll surely find this thoroughly compelling. It’s not your Mean Girls, it’s much better. Veronica is stuck in a trio of uber popular, stuck up and cruel girls (all named Heather) and she is desperate to get out.
This whimsical romantic comedy is nothing like you’ve ever seen before. It’s sweet, vibrant and thematically rich. The actress Audrey Tautou is an absolute pleasure to watch as she plays a girl with a quirky mission who inadvertently finds love. If I had to represent this film in dessert form, it would be a souffle. Need I say more?
Roman Polanski’s “Apartment Trilogy”
If you still haven’t moved beyond Hitchcock when it comes to the psychological horror genre, this would be the place to start. This isn’t an official trilogy but these are three films – Repulsion (1965), Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Tenant (1976) – which share the same setting, an apartment. It’s giving you the creeps already right? I suggest going into these blind, so do not rotten tomatoes these!
Angels in America (2003)
Well, I’m cheating because this isn’t technically a movie. It’s an HBO miniseries. Set in 1985 New York in the middle of the AIDS crisis with a fantastic cast consisting of Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Emma Thompson and other lesser known but equally talented actors, the movie is a multi-faceted politico-religious masterpiece to say the least. It’s one of those things that you keep revisiting and dissecting to discover a new hidden theme each time.
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