The world of experimental cinema has produced some of the most daring and mind-bending works of art ever created. Three films that stand out among the rest are Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “The Holy Mountain,” Jacques Rivette’s “Céline et Julie vont en bateau,” and “Liquid Sky” by Slava Tsukerman. These films challenge our perceptions of reality and explore themes ranging from identity and consciousness to gender and sexuality. Through their striking visuals, surreal narratives, and thought-provoking symbolism. These films take viewers on a journey through the innermost workings of the human psyche. Join us as we explore the worlds of “The Holy Mountain,” “Céline et Julie vont en bateau,” and “Liquid Sky,” and delve into the profound insights they offer into the human condition. So, here is the list of the best mind-bending movies.
The Holy Mountain
Dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973
Many people watch an obligatory part of countercultural education and the delightfully spectacular experiment of Jodorowsky in dubious companies in adolescence. You should definitely return to The Holy Mountain as an adult to understand how the Chilean director finds himself in the American underground through the history of theater, painting, religions, and mystical practices. Jodorowsky, who grew up in a theatrical background and was brought up in the literature of surrealism, is filming a story about the Fool – either Christ or just a man in search of justice and meaning. Who finds himself in a vicious city with fake values and a distorted hierarchy. The “Holy Mountain” breaks up into hundreds of delightful shots and tells the story of finding oneself in modern times. The present time seduces, seduces, amuses pride, and promises wisdom and immortality. Faith in meditation.
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Dir. Jacques Rivette, 1974
One of the main French films about inseparable girlfriends that defies description, which lasts more than three hours and is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and Proustian’s stream of consciousness at the same time. Brunette Selina and curly red-haired Julie are inseparable opposites, spending all their free time with each other. Julie works at an inert job in the library, and Selina learns to do tricks and tricks. During the film, Selina and Julie repeatedly change places, imitate each other’s manner and reinvent their own images: one teaches the other to dream and fantasize. And the second offers shelter and alliance in solving non-banal tasks. Rivette works with the theme of doppelgangers (which Lynch would easily pick up on later). But mostly with the way stories are told, when subjects and objects are swapped and emotions elude description.
Dir. Slava Zuckerman, 1982
One of the few films of the Soviet period with Russian roots, known in the English-speaking world – primarily because of the progressive new wave soundtrack, borrowed aesthetics of Anger, Russell, and Jarman, and fantastic fashionable youth. In the depressing neon New York City of the early 80s, little happens in the daylight. Aliens start hunting the city – they kidnap the gray matter of those people who experience the drug ecstasy. But then they find out that the pleasure of sex is much stronger. So all the junkies and orgasms in the night city evaporate into the air.
The aliens’ favorite spot is the marginal penthouse apartment where the dealer and her model friend live. In the most cheerful apartment in the city, sooner or later, the countdown of the dead begins. And the nymphomaniac Margaret is to blame for everything. “Liquid Sky” dreamed of being “Blade Runner” on its own and, bypassing the big studio films. Now looks like a hastily filmed cabal with a stunning texture – it can be imitated, but unthinkable to recreate. Dozens of fashion shoots and films a year copy what Slava Zuckerman, a Soviet documentary filmmaker who immigrated to the States through Israel in the 70s. And made one of the strangest films about the nature of parties in a big city, managed to do.
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