Film makers today leave no stones unturned when it comes to showing their artistic brilliance. Audience seem to be hungry for more offbeat content. Any attempt to capture the essence of storytelling in an unconventional way seems to gather more interest. The unconventional seems more conventional now. Here I have prepared a list of similar movies. These movies tried something different in some or the other aspect. Who knows if they might become inspiration for similar movies in the coming times and may form its own genre.
The list isn’t an attempt to rank them. The world is a big place, sorry for missing out on any other fantastic piece of cinema.
01. Searching (2018)
There can be a long argument whether this movie can be called as real cinema for not. But when it comes to storytelling this can only be termed as brilliant. The director Aneesh Chaganty has managed to make a thriller out of only a computer desktop. From the beginning to the end, whole of the story is told with just a computer screen. It’s the applications and the clicks and the drags that tell the story. Sounds boring aren’t? But it is the brilliant choreography of the use of applications on the screen which makes the story comes alive. In no way does it hamper the thriller genre of the film. This movie for sure deserves your time. Oh! And did I mention it took only 13 days to make the movie?
02. Locke (2013)
To sum it up, it’s just Tom Hardy in his car on his phone. That’s it! That’s all of it. With the entire movie taking place in a moving car and Tom Hardy as the only character who we are able to see, the film seems hard to watch at first. But it is the dialogues and Tom Hardy’s brilliant performance that makes this film work. The other characters are established by the various phone calls Hardy takes throughout the movie. There are movies which have been made which take place in a compact space but Locke will touch you the most in terms of its emotional essence. Tom Hardy really talks through his face.
03. Birdman (2014)
It was the vision of the director Alejandro G. Inarritu along with the cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki that made this movie about backstage drama in Broadway possible. What really makes this film special is that the cinematography makes it look like it was shot in one extended take. This only enhances the story of the movie. Some of the scenes really touch you with its emotional perspective. Which looked like a near impossible task at first was pulled off by the awesome cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki. Birdman finally got its due when the film walked out with four Oscars including the Academy Award for Best Picture.
04. Memento (2000)
Well! You have tried a thriller narrated forward, now try it backwards. One of the best works by Christopher Nolan, this film ditches the regular way of storytelling and comes up with a different way. Memento follows the story of Leonard Shelby played by Guy Pearce who suffers from anterograde amnesia with the motives of hunting down the man who killed his wife. While usually a thriller holds your attention by demanding to imagine all the possibilities in the future, this time the viewers are left with a task of imagining all the possible past which may have led the protagonist to the present. This movie is for viewers who are loyal enough to keep up with the movie till the end. The climax will blow you away (or should I say the beginning?).
05. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
A movie about an undercover agent on a mission to investigate groups involved in the drug trade is made even better by the means of rotoscoping. While the story in itself is like an illusion the visuals add on to enhance the storytelling experience. With A Scanner Darkly the director Richard Linklater takes a leap in making a movie which engages the viewers with not only its story but also with the visuals, which only makes the movie more surreal. Watch this if you are someone who likes to lose himself in the movie. A cast comprising of stars like Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr. , Winona Ryder and Woodley Harrelson is also a reason to watch this film.
06. Pulp Fiction (1994)
As if Quentin Tarantino’s movies weren’t a genre in itself! While it’s been twenty five years since the movie released the brilliance of the movie is worth mentioning even now. Probably the best work by Quentin Tarantino, ‘Pulp Fiction’ reserved its place in the classics genre owing to its unconventional sense of narration. ‘Pulp Fiction’ follows the story of two hit-men, a gangster and his wife, a boxer, two part time criminals and the choices they make, but the narration is not done in chronological manner. The real genius of Pulp Fiction is in the fact that it leaves it up to the audience to sum up the events and then experience its emotional impact. This is a gem of a movie for the movie geeks. Pulp Fiction was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won in the best screenplay category.
07. Sin City (2005)
A crime drama about four individuals crossing path in Basin City, ‘Sin City’ achieves stunning visuals of black and white with occasional flashes of colour. Something which Schindler’s List was able to achieve by using black and white even though colour movies were already in existence, Sin City uses its black and white colour with different motives, to create a rather stylish world. The use of black and white makes it look like something out of comic book world which adds more thrill to the story. This is used cleverly throughout the movie to add to the drama and make it darker.
08. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Shot in a documentary style with actors’ portraying as if people going through real experience it seems like this style was made for the horror genre. The movie seems to be made out of real life footage at first and this makes it even scarier. This movie may be compared to The Paranormal Activity at first but the fact that The Blair Witch Project looks like been made out of handcam footage rather than the cctv footage this makes it look more unsettling. This movie abandons itself out of one of the most important weapons while making a horror movie, the music. But still the real life sounds seem to compensate for the instrumental sounds.
09. The Double (2013)
Don’t confuse it for Richard Gere’s The Double released in 2011. That one doesn’t deserve your attention, this one does. The Double follows the story of Simon played by Jesse Eisenberg who works as an office clerk. His life changes when he finds that his lookalike has been robbing his identity. It is one of the movies where you question the timeline and the atmosphere of the movie. In case of The Double the use of colour gives it an eerie vibe. But all of this becomes secondary when the plot moves forward and you notice that’s alienation from the usual only made it better. By the end of the story you will appreciate the satisfying ending rather than brainstorming around the questions about its authenticity that it raised first.
10. Enter the Void (2009)
Honestly, I can’t guarantee if you will be moved by this one, such is the uniqueness of this movie. This movie makes it to the list owing to its experiments with visuals which seems appropriate since it tries to capture something which is hard to put in words. It tells the story or more precise to say it takes us through the tour of the life of Oscar, a drug addict played by Nathaniel Brown who has been killed by the police during a bust. It is hard to say that it is entertaining, but it is really thought provoking. It gets mixed reaction from viewers because it attempts to achieve the depth of the emotions with its visuals and its slow pace and wants you to be engrossed in it rather than looking for conclusions.