Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Best Non-Famous Movies

I love movies. Anyone who knows me knows I do three things with my free time: watch movies, play basketball, and read. Here is a list of incredible films--in no particular order--you've probably never heard of:

1. Elling (2001, Norway)
2. La Haine (1995, French)
3. A Peck on the Cheek (2002, Indian)
4. Street Fight (2005, American)
5. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974, German)
6. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989, Japanese)
7. Farewell My Concubine (1993, Chinese)
8. Swimming to Cambodia (1987)
9. The Orphanage (2007, Spanish)
10. Shower (1999, Chinese)
11. The Lives of Others (2006, German)
12. Pelle the Conqueror (1987, Danish)
13. Sweet Land (2005)
14. Gallipoli (1981, Australian)
15. Children of Heaven (Persian)
16. Color of Paradise (Persian)
17. Misfits (1961, American)
18. Two for the Road (1967, American)
19. The Message (1976)
20. Muhammad Ali - The Whole Story (1996)
21. Night of the Hunter (1955)
22. No Man's Land (2001)
23. Coraline (2009)
24. A Taxing Woman (1987, Japan)
25. American Teen (2008)
26. Lilies of the Field (1963)
27. The Lion in Winter (1968)
28. Battle of Algiers (1966)
29. Winter Light (1963)
30. Jim Thorpe, All American (1961) [In memory of Westmont High School Wrestling Coach Patrick "Terry" Vierra]
31. Taxi to the Dark Side (2007) [This documentary is not for the squeamish. Also, I recommend watching The Oath (2010), before watching Taxi to the Dark Side.]
32. Through Deaf Eyes (PBS 2007)
33. Gideon's Trumpet (starring Henry Fonda)
34. McCarthy Years (hosted by Walter Cronkite) (1991) [not scintillating, but included because of its high American historical significance]
35. The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008, Korea)
36. Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
37. The Wrestler (2008)
38. Splendor in the Grass (1961)
39. Persepolis (2007) [dedicated to my grandmother, Mamani]
40. The Garden (2008) (documentary)
41.  Deliver Us from Evil (2006) [difficult documentary to watch, but included, because one rarely sees the banality and cluelessness of evil so vividly]
42.  Source Code (2011).  One of the best modern movies I've ever seen. Jake Gyllenhaal is part of a new military program designed to prevent future attacks. Is he merely part of a simulation or something more?  Similar to Spielberg's Minority Report, but with two love stories--one romantic, one familial--as its foundation.
43.  A Separation (2011) (Persian)
44.  City Lights (1934) (Charlie Chaplin film)
45.  The Edge of Heaven (Auf der anderen Seite) (2007)
46.  Ken Burns' Unforgivable Blackness: Jack Johnson (2005).  Jack Johnson, a boxer in the early 1900s, was Muhammad Ali before Muhammad Ali.
47.  White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007)
48.  Somewhere Between (2011)
49. About Time (2013), a love story.
50.  Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
51. La La Land (2016) (this movie absolutely broke my heart, which leads me to my next suggestion...) 
52.  Southside with You (2016) (excellent dialogue of the beginning of a love story for the ages) 
53.  The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009)
54.  My Son the Fanatic (1999)
55. The Time that Remains (2009)
56. A Man Called Ove (2015, Sweden)
57. Shoplifters (2018, Japanese 万引き家族)
58. Aftershock (2010) (唐山大地震, Chinese)
59. The Fifth Element (1997) [perhaps the least defensible choice on this list, but I loved everything about it.]
60. Cities of Last Things (2018) by Wi Ding Ho (featuring the songs Drone (Omnibus) and Omnibus One)
61. Harold and Maude (1971) [this is a famous movie, but I decided to include it when I realized non-Western audiences may not have heard of it.]
62. Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend's Boyfriend (2013)
63. Star Trek: Insurrection (1994)  
64. Once Upon a Time in China (1991) (Hong Kong)
65. Queen's Gambit (Netflix, 2020) 
66. Past Life (2016, Israel, החטאים) 
67. Star Trek: Prodigy (2021, American series) 
68. Undone (2019, Amazon series) 
69. Zana (2019, Kosovo) 
70. Slumberland (2022)
71. Russian Doll (2019), Season One only
72. Maniac (2018)
73. The Magician's Elephant (2023), excellent for children 

Bonus I: HERE is a list of my favorite books.

Bonus II: HERE is a list of excellent horror films.

Bonus III: a list of great movie quotes is HERE.


Slovebunny said...

Wow I have not seen a movie on that list. But then again I am a romantic comedy or chick flick genre kind of girl.

Anonymous said...

North Face should be in the top 10 of all time on this list. See it & you will agree.