When it comes to Kubrick films, “Eyes Wide Shut” is without a doubt the most Kubrickian. All of his other films have explanations, but there isn’t one for this one. It’s the master’s last word on the modern world’s deep sleep. The film’s dream-like narrative, fueled by stunning visual detail, Nicole Kidman’s stellar performance, and a masterful use of Ligeti’s music, makes it impossible to tear yourself away from. Eyes Wide Shut is one of the most bizarre movies ever made.
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If done correctly, labyrinthine stories can be even more engrossing than straightforward ones, and the fluidity with which the plot unfolds is what so sharply distinguishes them from trite attempts to ‘confuse’ an audience. Infinite storylines are woven from twisted plots, contrasting reality and fantasy with a confident ease that enthralls any audience to a journey that is both difficult and ultimately rewarding.
None of the films listed below are simple to make, but by experimenting with the medium of cinema, they all contribute to new ideas and rare masterpieces that go beyond the confines of traditional storytelling. They are all important. To conclude, the following is a list of high quality films that we think you might enjoy if you enjoyed ‘Eyes Wide Shut’. Some of these films, such as ‘Eyes Wide Shut,’ are available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
10. Code Unknown
71 Fragments, a Chronology of Chance was Michael Haneke’s first attempt at a film of this type, and it was a resounding failure despite the fact that it was directed by a legendary filmmaker. Compared to its predecessor, Code Unknown has more of a chance of succeeding as a voyage into challenging cinema, thanks to its cleverly interwoven storylines that leave the viewer wanting more after the credits have rolled.
Code Unknown’s grand message is pushed as some sort of profound realisation that grows larger and larger as the film nears its climax, despite some excellent stand-alone scenes. It doesn’t reveal anything, though, and after several viewings, I’ve come away with little more than the rare microcosmic wonder Haneke was able to fit into this twisty film.
9. Lost Highway
Despite its failure, Lost Highway is a fascinating watch because it shows David Lynch warming up for his later explorations of segmented storytelling in a film that purposefully splits in half midway through. In Lost Highway’s first 40 minutes, the focus is on Bill Pullman’s horrifying plight. Even more than masterful. When Lynch rips the gears apart and goes his own way, all of Pullman’s building tension is rendered meaningless. The shuffle goes on interminably, but nothing can diminish the impact of the first act. If nothing else, that alone should motivate you to see the film.
8. F for Fake
In my opinion, Orson Welles’ F for Fake is his best film (despite my dislike of his work). Welles gives a charismatic performance as the central character in this examination of media truth. The film jumps between several different stories at once without ever losing focus. The final revelation reminds me of Orson Welles’ insane reversal in The Holy Mountain, which caught the audience off guard in one of the most deviously intelligent filmmaking moves he ever made. Many of the man’s projects have been slowed by his ambition and inflated ego, but everything works out perfectly here.
Using actors from all over the world, Alain Resnais created an often hilarious and lovingly crafted satire on the creative process to cap off his heyday. With the same cutting-edge technique used in previous films like 8 12, Day for Night, and All That Jazz, he shows the passing of a dying writer as well as his characters and abstract moments. It differs from those films in that it places more of an emphasis on scriptwork than on visual opulence. On this page, characters are rewritten mid-scene, and the writer loses control in a creative rush as a result of the wit, malice, and sharpness. Resnais’ masterpiece is engrossing, entertaining, and well worth the effort of anyone who can locate it.
6. That Obscure Object of Desire
There is a perfect kind of surrealism in That Obscure Object of Desire, which makes you question yourself before you doubt the film’s authenticity is. Our subconscious understanding of what a normal story involves is pricked in a subtle way, and this raises questions about the inherent truth of the story, which Buuel could only tie in a beautiful bow. With outstanding performances from everyone involved, that obscure object of desire becomes a landmark in surrealist film as well as a masterclass in twisting plotlines. This is one of the director’s best films.
5. Black Swan
As the perfect companion to “Eyes Wide Shut,” Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece “Black Swan” follows young ballet dancer Nina Sayers as she prepares for the New York Ballet’s upcoming season, which will open with Swan Lake. It’s no longer possible to find a prima ballerina to replace Beth, so now the director must find someone who can dance both the white and black swan. While Nina excels as the white swan, Thomas is unimpressed with Nina’s portrayal of the black swan, which another dancer, Lily, portrays with an unfathomably effortlessness..
Nina struggles under the weight of the responsibility, but she persuades Thomas that she can play both roles despite her growing insecurities towards Lily and her hallucinations of the black swan (in the form of her own doppelganger). As Lily is getting dressed as Black Swan for one of her rehearsals, she has a vision of her own doppelganger as the black swan. In the end, she realizes she accidentally stabbed herself when she used a shard of glass to stab her doppelganger. Her nemesis is formed by the uncertainties surrounding her personality, her overbearing mother, and her demanding job. The movie ‘Black Swan,’ which starred Natalie Portman and garnered her the Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as numerous other honors and accolades, did not disappoint.
4. Mulholland Drive
It had to be here, of course. Mulholland Drive, with its wrecking ball of a mid-way reversal, is the most worthy of David Lynch’s work, with his assuredly surreal style making him the most likely to cram two films onto this list. As a result of the film’s general eeriness and the oddball characters darting in and out of the thread to ultimately tie us all up in knots, it has a superb screenplay that remains compelling even after it becomes incomprehensible.
It also helps Lynch’s ability to blend humor and horror into an enthralling Hollywood nightmare to contribute to the overall experience. Mulholland Drive is as good a story with twists and turns as we’ve seen this century. It’s diverse enough to draw and repel large audiences, appear on endless lists (including most of our own), and always spark heated debate.
Lawrence Olivier and Michael Caine face off in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s marathon mind-fuck Sleuth, in which the former is a classical megastar and the latter is a then new enough face. Throughout our journey into the deadly narcissism, the tone is expertly handled, lending goofiness to serious scenes while also managing to imbue them with unexpected rug-pull power. With both actors working to the absolute limit for 140 minutes, Sleuth is deserving of such high praise. It’s the only movie bar, and that’s no accident. Why are people scared of Virginia Wolf? In addition, every member of the credited cast was nominated for an Academy Award.
2. The Hunters
As one of Theo Angelopoulos’ greatest works, The Hunters is a ravishing treat of twisted narrative technique with its magical meditation on life, death, and an amusing assortment of things in between. The Hunters has consistently imaginative visual storytelling as well as masterfully told episodic stories.
Following the lives of several people who witnessed the death of their friend, it tracks through moments that each of them connects as significant, the last of which takes place most in an uninterrupted 25 minute long scene.. Despite segmenting his action so expertly, Angelopoulos’ genius feels like it’s several different takes stitched together for the sake of time, and yet he doesn’t cut them. A beautiful, humorous, dramatic, and enigmatic slice of Greek culture, it’s well worth your time to look into this book further.
1. Last Year at Marienbad
Because of its ubiquity, Last Year at Marienbad has become a permanent fixture on all of my best-of lists, but nowhere is it more at home than here. Avant-garde Nouvelle Vague treasure Alain Resnais’ masterpiece weaves a mesmerizing nightmare of pure cinema actively perplexing audience and torturing potential viewers with tantalizing cinematography and the career prospects of the main actors. By diving in, you open yourself up to a whole new world of cinematic possibilities.