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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Your Favorite Mindbenders « previous next »
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Author Topic: Your Favorite Mindbenders  (Read 4449 times)
Metropolisforever
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« on: October 12, 2007, 09:43:28 AM »

Audiences who'd rather not scratch their heads are best advised to stay away from this group of films, in which things are never quite what they seem. In the world of the mindbender, characters can exchange identities, chronological order can be reversed or corrupted, and dream sequences can effortlessly drift into reality. The pretzel logic on display in these movies may be hard to decipher, but it's sure to spur on hours of heated discussion once the credits roll.

So... what are your favorite "mindbenders"???

One of my favorites is Un Chien Andalou (1929), the legendary pre-code surrealist film from France.

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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2007, 10:24:51 AM »

One of my favorites from recent memory is Primer.  If you haven't seen it and want to try and get your head around some real heavy time travel ideas, I cannot recommend it enough.  It's a total puzzle.
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2007, 10:59:44 AM »

I'd have to go with:

2001: A Space Odyssey
A Clockwork Orange
and parts of The Shining

Donnie Darko and 1408 were pretty good.  (That's all I can think of at the moment)

I think Kubrick was the best at throwing you a cinematic curve ball.
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2007, 02:03:08 PM »

Cube, for sure. I love that movie. Low budget, not much to see, but you sit there fascinated for the whole thing, and in the end, you still aren't sure what's really going on.

The sequel had its moments, but mostly sucked. The third movie took things further by showing us the guys who monitor the cube and leaving us with all the same questions.

Still, the original stands best on its own. A unique movie is seldom helped by sequels.
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2007, 03:06:53 PM »

A few that pop immediately to mind -

ROSE HOBART (1936)
DEMENTIA (1955)
ERASERHEAD (1977)
THE MACHINIST (2004)

Some Surreal Herzog:
EVEN DWARFS STARTED SMALL (1970)
THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER aka EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF AND GOD AGAINST ALL (1974)
HEART OF GLASS (1976)
STROSZEK (1977)
FITZCARRALDO (1982)

And just about anything by my hero Guy Maddin, including:
TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL
ARCHANGEL
CAREFUL
THE HEART OF THE WORLD (short)
DRACULA: PAGES FROM A VIRGIN'S DIARY
COWARDS BEND THE KNEE
THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD
SOMBRA DOLOROSA
BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!

And everything by Luis Buñuel.
 
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2007, 06:48:31 PM »

 . Hmmm! Lotsa good ones already taken!  Thumbup

 Here's a few more favorites...
 .the original CABINET of DR.CALIGARI
 .WITCHCRAFT THROUGH the AGES aka HAXAN
 .VAMPYRE (1932)
 .CARNIVAL of SOULS 
 .KWAIDAN (1965) a weird WEIRD Japanse ghost anthology...! Here's a trailer...
 .......... I HIGHLY recommend this one!

     [youtube=425,350]http://youtube.com/watch?v=RTae-tlh8nY
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2007, 11:44:32 PM »

One that immediately comes to mind is FIGHT CLUB.  I got separated from the friend I watched this movie with as we were leaving the theater and he was totally freaked out.  He thought that he had imagined my existence. 

One of my favorite relatively unknown WTF? movies is the surreal giallo DEATH LAID AN EGG, where nothing is as it seems and which loves to jerk its audience around in creative ways.  But what would you expect from a mystery about a series of prostitute murders that's set in an industrial chicken farm? 

CEMETARY MAN would also seem to fit the " things are never quite what they seem" bill.  GOTHIC also comes to mind.
 
For "classic" arty surrealism, I'll add  Jean Cocteau's ORPHEUS and Fellini's 8 1/2 as personal favorites.

Lots of others Too many other to mention... how about Jodorowsky's entire output?

And RC, KWAIDAN's been on my list of "to see" movies for  a good 20 years now... if it's really in the same league as those other classics you mention, I'm going to have to move it to the top!

Oops, THE TINGLER's coming on TCM right now... have to split!
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2007, 01:24:24 AM »

What about Pink Floyd The Wall (1982)?   Thumbup
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2007, 03:38:17 AM »

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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2007, 05:43:47 AM »

 OK...I know a lot of you love these as 'BAD' movies...but I think theyr'e truly surreal...
 .GLEN or GLENDA?
 .MANO's-the HANDS of FATE
 .HAND of NIGHT-aka the BEAST of MOROCCO
 .COMBAT SHOCK-I cannot stress enough how bizzare and wild this movie is!!!

 ....COMBAT SHOCK! (warning: Spoilers!!!!...and graphic gore!!!!)

     [youtube=425,350]
Small | Large
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2007, 07:44:31 AM »

Some great films are mentioned here.  Donnie Darko, Primer, Fight Club, etc. 

I'd like to add the following to the list:

Session 9 - One of the only films to actually frighten me.  The ending still gives me chills when I think about it.  Superb.

Jacob's Ladder - Great twist in the end.  Fantastic film where you cannot figure out if the main character is out of his mind or if something more sinister is happening.

Paranoia 1.0 - Film about a computer programmer getting empty packages at his home.  I don't want to say more than that.  This film actually was on IFC last night.  I recommend checking it out.
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2007, 12:56:03 PM »

Pi.
Brazil.
Zardoz.
Alphaville.
Kafka.
The Lost Continent (1968)
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2007, 08:52:09 PM »

Pretty much anything by David Lynch.

When I first saw Lost Highway with a friend, we actually rewound the tape and watched most of it again to try and figure out what the heck we just watched.

I also recently watched Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me about a month ago.  I'd never seen that one before and had to go to it's Wikipedia page to understand what was going on.
Freakin' trippy!   Buggedout
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« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2007, 08:59:22 PM »

I really wanted to love Un Chien Andalou, but it just left me wanting somehow. I followed numerous themes throughout the film, but ultimately it disappointed me; I expected more.

I would add The Forbidden Zone to this list. It doesn't exactly depend on confusion like many others listed, but it is definitely bizarre.

There's also a trio of movies from Japan called Yokai Monsters. They seem to be half serious/half comedy, and I'm not sure if they are out there far enough to make it on your list, but they are fun and strange (and, in a way educational: You learn a bit about Japanese mythology). Here is a trailer for what is probably the best of the three:

                                [youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DYvUDsUgDo
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« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2007, 02:10:22 AM »

The best mindbending films are those with odd chronology or just surreal in general.  Take an everyday, stereotypical plot, like a thriller about a serial killer and give it an unusual take, and you usually have a good movie.

I should note that I don't usually get too confused during movies, so I'm classing 'Mindbenders' as films that invoke thought into them, rather than just confusing the hell out of people [which is of course good anyways]  Oddness also applies here!

Un Chien Andalou is a beauty, I just like the fact that for a very old film it was one of the first to really delve into such a different way of thinking.  Sure, nowadays things have developed and we have lots of 'arty' films doing the same thing, but I just remember this film is pretty much the one that started it all.


There's so many out there, almost too many to list here off the top of my head, but definitely Bunuel's work [such as the EXCELLENT Belle De Jour]

Lars Von Triers' Zentropa [or Europa, depending on where you look] is an odd film about an German-American who wants to help rebuild Germany after WWII.

Directors like Cronenberg tend to give the mind a good twirling in some cases, as well as Satoshi Kon with his Anime.  Mamorou Oshii who did Ghost in the Shell and the live action "Avalon" are also trippy in some parts [especially Ghost in the Shell Innocence]

Michel Gondry has done some beautiful, weird films like the very excellent Science Of Sleep.

Jean Cocteau does alot of mind bending stuff, like Belle et le bette [?] Well spelling aside, his early version of  the story of Beauty and the Beast is fantastic, and was filmed in France during World War II no less.

Lynch also makes people think, and quite often squirm, in his films.  I watched a short of his that was called 'A cowboy meets a Frenchman' or something along those lines, and is quite funny, but just so darn odd...


Others are just wacky for wacky's sake, such as The Forbidden Zone.  I just got a film called 'Funky Forest: The First Contact' which is a Japanese omnibus of short, very odd films.  I don't have an english translation of the whole thing but one part called 'After School' involves some very wierd happenings, such as a man who uses his 10 inch long nipples to shoot coloured liquid at a girl who hits it with a badminton racquet as 'practice.'

Jacques Tati made some very good noodle-scratchers.  One of my favourites is Mon Oncle [1958] which relies quite a bit on visuals, rather than dialogue, to explain what is going on...

Ah but there's so many, like Memento etc...
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