Sunday, 14 March 2010
Top films which love the unexpected
I have been enjoying the way movies can play tricks on you or experiment with narrative, having recently seen two surprising films. The first, The Prestige (2006), was a drama that keeps you guessing all the way through. One or two brilliant moments towards the end really shine where the obsession of the two main characters, both stage magicians, breaks through, and we finally see what drives them. Another was the (very) slow but compelling thriller The Conversation (1974), in which Gene Hackman stars as troubled and obsessive surveillance man, Kaul, as he tries to piece together a conversation his team has managed to record, to find out why it is wanted so much, and what danger it could cause. What sounds like a random chat (“who started this conversation anyway?”) grows to have more and more significance as the puzzle grows thicker. And the film refuses to give you all the answers.
Following on from my post on quirky films last month, here are 3 more films which don’t give you the full picture straight away.
One more off-the-wall movie to finish you off: Night Watch (2004) – which was at times quite an uncomfortable experience, and comes across as more a bunch of crazy ideas than one story – but (and this will be highly personal to each viewer) it never put me off engaging with its gritty horrific world in all the confusion and which won points with me with some really surprising intense sequences borrowing from the thriller and action genres, and a killer ending. I'm not sure I followed it all, and not sure if its view of the world having a balance between good and evil is supposed to be good or not, it all seems very sinister and kind of an arbitrary way of running things.
That's all for now, more on film to follow in a couple of weeks...