When it comes to the question of what to watch this weekend, there are films that everyone keeps recommending, and then there are lesser-known offbeat films that deserve to be recommended but no one ever does.
In the ever-evolving world of online streaming platforms, it’s an easy task to find out quality, popular content with millions indulging on social media. But then, one day you sit down for the ritual binge hour and find that you’ve watched everything good that Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and others are suggesting.
To help you in this thirst of virtually unheard cinematic masterpieces, here’s a compilation of films that no one really talks about. A list of films you should watch, and then help them grow in the pop culture recommending it to your peers in online groups and communities.
Now without further ado, let’s start your journey to feeling like a film connoisseur.
Memories of Murder
The first one on the list is the 2003 masterpiece directed and co-written by Bong Joon-Ho. Yes, the same man who made Parasite and defied the odds to win an Oscar. The film is loosely based on the first and the most infamous serial murders in the history of South Korea, which took place between 1986 and 1991 in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.
The film might be in a foreign language, but we need to remember what Bong Joon-Ho said in his Oscar speech:
“Once you overcome the 1-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”
While we are on the subject of foreign-language films, specifically South Korean Films, here is another masterpiece that will leave you spellbound. The Handmaiden is an erotic thriller with countless twists and turns where looking away for even a second might need you to press the rewind button.
The Handmaiden is genuinely a fun blend of sumptuous visuals and a perverse sense of humor. Do not miss this one! There are chances you’d enjoy watching it the second time and more.
The Squid and the Whale
Viewers and critics both loved Marriage Story, applauding the film for its nuanced narrative, for looking at both sides of a messy divorce. While this 2019 Oscar-nominated film might be considered Director Noah Baumbach’s best film to date, there is another critically acclaimed drama he directed around the subject of separation in 2005 that went under the radar – The Squid and the Whale. Ok, not so much under the radar as it was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Screenplay category.
The Squid and the Whale takes a closer look at the impact of a messy divorce on kids. Essentially, it’s a take on how we grow up by absorbing what is useful in our parents and forgiving what is not. It’s a serious drama, but with an underlying dry sense of humor.
The Man from Earth
Revealing anything about this film would be a disservice to the film itself, but we’ll try. The Man from Earth is a perfect film for these times of isolation because almost the entire film takes place inside a house. The film begins with a farewell party for a college professor who is about to leave the company of his friends forever. Unexpectedly for his academic peers, he reveals a 14000-year old secret.
A story that divides the room for of intelligentsia and leads to great mentally-stimulating conversations around theology and biological fantasy alongside some intriguing mind games. Saying anything more would be like giving spoilers!
Everybody Wants Some!!
Dazed and Confused is a film where very little actually happens. But – like life – it’s not always the events that define time but the characters who live it. True D&C fans will vouch by the belief that it is one of Richard Linklater’s best work. Much like his critically acclaimed Before Trilogy, fans have been demanding a sequel to the film.
Everybody Wants Some!! Linklater makes an earnest attempt to deliver an encore. Dazed and Confused was about school life in the 70s. This one is about school life in the 80s! And like its predecessor, Everybody Wants Some!! also boasts amazing soundtracks.
A coming of age. A rite of passage. A slice of life. All these tags could be applied here, but none of them completely fit. Mainly because this sensitively tender portrait of a solitary teenage girl in Eighth Grade is quite unlike anything we have seen before.
The performance of Elsie Fisher, then 15 years old, is worth special praise. Especially when you consider that her role as Kayla, a thirteen-year-old making her way through the last week of a disastrous year in the eighth grade before she begins high school. Fisher’s fine acting had her in the running for a Best Actress Oscar Nomination.
When we say musical romcoms, one of the names in recent times that comes to our mind is the Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightly, and Adam Levine starrer Begin Again. We all love it for the endearing characters and the amazing soundtracks. But this is not even Director John Carney’s best work. His better work is called Once (2007), and the one that is considered his best is Sing Street (2016).
Sing Street a delightful coming-of-age tale that both celebrates young love and laments how quickly the fire of youth can be snuffed out. Not to mention, it has a foot-tapping soundtrack. Go watch it first, and you’ll most probably be adding the album to your playlist later. And while you are at it, go watch Once too, and treat yourself to a musical buffet.
On the surface of it, Ruby Sparks seems like a story you’ve heard before – a lonely yet successful young novelist is struggling with writer’s block and his romantic life. He manages to bring a character to life, that inspires him to do well on both struggling fronts. But here the character he creates, Ruby, is not just a figment of his imagination, but an actual breathing person that develops as he writes, someone other people can see and interact with.
Ironically, actress Zoe Kazan plays Ruby, who is the actual writer of the film, and she manages to do great justice to both her roles, as a writer and an actor, through this charming film. Watch the film, and then probably try to write yourself magically out of single life.
While the article ends here, the list doesn’t. Obviously, there are many more films that go under the radar and need to be spoken about.
If you like this list and want a Part II, do let us know in the comments section below. Title suggestions are also welcome!