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Favorite obscure films?


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What are your favorite obscure films? I realize that's a somewhat vague question. Basically, I mean the films that the average person has not seen but you enjoy—foreign films, indie films, cult classics, etc. And why do you enjoy them?

Here are a few of mine.

Donnie Darko

This one is probably a little less obscure than some that will be mentioned, but it's still rare that I find someone who has actually seen it. I would consider it to be probably my third favorite film of all time. It's deeply philosophical, and it's based around time travel (which happens to be my favorite subject matter for film). Plus it has great acting and great music. The only problem is that a lot of people just don't seem to "get it."

Duel

It's surprising how few people have seen this one considering that it was done by Spielberg and based on a Richard Matheson story. It's an amazing film. There is very little dialog, practically no soundtrack, and the very simplest of plots; yet somehow you're just riveted to the screen the whole way through. It manages to keep you in constant suspense. The cinematography is terrific, especially for it being filmed in 4:3 aspect ratio as a made-for-tv movie.

Primer

This is a unique time travel movie in that it comes at it from a very technical perspective. Frankly, the tech jargon is probably what keeps most people away, but it really adds to the film for me. Everything about the time travel device actually seems plausible, unlike the majority of other time travel films. The story itself is quite intriguing as well.

Following, Memento, and Insomnia

It seems like no-one has heard of Christopher Nolan's pre-Batman films, but they are every bit as good as (if not better than) his recent projects. Memento, especially, just uses an incredible story-telling technique that is totally unlike anything else I've seen.

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Big Trouble is one of mine. Jay is the only other person I know of that loves it, or has even seen it.

That the one based off the Dave Barry novel, with Tim Allen? Loved the book, only saw bits of the film on cable.

I don't think any of these are considered particularly obscure, but The Darjeeling Limited, Run Fatboy Run, and Ghost Town all seemed to slip under the radar, recently. Also, Carol Reed's Odd Man Out is a favorite, never hear enough talk about that one.

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That the one based off the Dave Barry novel, with Tim Allen? Loved the book, only saw bits of the film on cable.

Was never a fan of Dave Barry's fiction, but I miss his columns tremendously. Dave Barry Slept Here is a treasure.

Not sure that it qualifies as "obscure," but Richard Linklater's rotoscoping rambler Waking Life is bizarrely entertaining.

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The Baby of Macon

Anything by Peter Greenaway is worth investigating. My personal favourite is "The Draftsman's Contract", with Anthony (Moriarty in "Young Sherlock Holmes") Higgins. I couldn't, get on with "The Cook, The Thief, His, and Her Lover", though. "Propsero's Books", is good.

Here's an off-the-top-of-my-head list of the weird and the wonderful:

"The Last Wave",

"Night Moves",

"The Ballad Of Cable Hogue",

"Straight Time",

"The Cars That Ate Paris",

"The Day The Earth Caught Fire",

"Picnic At Hanging Rock",

"Phantom of the Paradise",

"Big Wednesday",

"The Ploughman's Lunch",

"Dreamchild",

"Local Hero",

"Cal".

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Some excellent choices, there! "The Servant" is brilliant, as is most of Joseph Losey's especially "Sunday, Bloody Sunday". John Boorman's films are always worth seeing, (yes, even "Exorcist II: The Heretic"!). "The Duelists" is above reproach... How about "The Carey Treatment", "The Internecine Project", "The Medusa Touch", "Network", "Altered States".

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Big Trouble is one of mine. Jay is the only other person I know of that loves it, or has even seen it.

That the one based off the Dave Barry novel, with Tim Allen? Loved the book, only saw bits of the film on cable.

Yep, that's the one. I've the played the DVD to death.

That the one based off the Dave Barry novel, with Tim Allen? Loved the book, only saw bits of the film on cable.

Was never a fan of Dave Barry's fiction, but I miss his columns tremendously. Dave Barry Slept Here is a treasure.

I've never read any of his books, but I agree, his columns were great.

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I don't know how obscure these are, but they generally don't get tossed around much. Generally older and/or foreign- I can't think of a great deal of modern mainstream films that apply:

Midnight - one of my favorite romantic comedies

Kind Hearts and Coronets- a wonderful black comedy, my favorite Ealing film by far

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp- well known to film buffs, but all I've gotten is blank stares by your average film-goer...a remarkable film, possibly my candidate for best English film

California Split- not really obscure, but not nearly as widely seen as Altman's most famous pictures, when it's one of his absolute best (I'd take it over Nashville)

The Spider's Stratagem- one of Bernardo Bertollucchi's early films, a great, haunting film

Five Graves to Cairo- An early Billy Wilder film (his second, I think), it's a terrific WWII thriller

Moonlighting- Jeremy Irons as a Polish worker creating a Communist microcosm in a British flat...also The Deep End, both from director Jerzy Skolimowski

The Train- John Frankenheimer's best film, a great, great, great thriller than inspired action movies for decades

Hope and Glory- With the exception of Delivarence and Excalibur -two films I didn't really connect to- John Boorman rarely gets the praise he deserves (Quint already picked Hell on the Pacific, which I've yet to see, and Richard gave him props, as well). This joyous film was overshadowed by the somewhat similar outline of Empire of the Sun- it's well worth checking out (as are Boorman's The General, The Tailor of Panama and the insanely cool Point Blank.

And Barry Lyndon is probably the least seen of Kubrick's post Paths of Glory career, even though I've come to the opinion that it is his best.

Morlock- who likes this thread

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Following, Memento, and Insomnia

It seems like no-one has heard of Christopher Nolan's pre-Batman films, but they are every bit as good as (if not better than) his recent projects. Memento, especially, just uses an incredible story-telling technique that is totally unlike anything else I've seen.

It's because of Memento I know about this director and I've seen it somewhere around and since that time I follow his career. I've seen Following much, much later. When they announced he's doing Batman I was like WTF? And I thought it was going to be a massive flop. It didn't seem like a resurrection of the series at all. Even when the trailer appeared I was rather underwhelmed. Indeed this is one of these films that could have been literally destroyed by its poor advertising campaign.

51PJDP78ADL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Titus is obscure?

Karol

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I went to see it, because of Nolan. Not because of Batman. And I thought: this film is different from previous ones. There's barely any gimmick in it or CGI. It felt weird for a movie like this. And there was a plot! I liked it quite a bit.

Karol

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51PJDP78ADL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

:P

Titus is obscure?

Karol

I think so. It's a much lesser known work of Shakespeare's to begin with. With the addition of Taymor's extremely strange direction and the film's mostly unheard of status, you've got a pretty obscure film. Then you throw in Alan Cumming and you've got a whole new level of obscurity.

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The Batman Begins trailer was awful. It made me want to actively avoid the film.

When I finally caught it on DVD I was disappointed I didn't get to see it on the big screen.

Ditto for the first part. I laughed at the lame title, but I don't think I knew Nolan was directing back then. I ended up seeing it because of Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson.

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The first film that came to mind here may not be as obscure as others--but then again, it might. The Changeling was one of the scariest movies I ever saw during my high school years, especially since there's no appreciable violence or bloodletting in it. Brilliant "haunted house" movie.

- Uni

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The Baby of Macon

Anything by Peter Greenaway is worth investigating. My personal favourite is "The Draftsman's Contract", with Anthony (Moriarty in "Young Sherlock Holmes") Higgins. I couldn't, get on with "The Cook, The Thief, His, and Her Lover", though. "Propsero's Books", is good.

Here's an off-the-top-of-my-head list of the weird and the wonderful:

"The Last Wave",

"Night Moves",

"The Ballad Of Cable Hogue",

"Straight Time",

"The Cars That Ate Paris",

"The Day The Earth Caught Fire",

"Picnic At Hanging Rock",

"Phantom of the Paradise",

"Big Wednesday",

"The Ploughman's Lunch",

"Dreamchild",

"Local Hero",

"Cal".

OMFG The Cars That Ate Paris???? Wow. I thought only Aussies knew of that one, a very early Peter Weir film. Definitely obscure but Picnic At Hanging Rock isn't. A beautiful film with very haunting pan pipes.

My fav is:

The Quiet Earth, a little sci-fi film from New Zuland.

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I have to do this... and NO I don't really think it's a good movie... but it has merits all on its own...

WEREWOLF (1996)... "best of" clips... with MST3K...

That was one of my favorite episodes. One of the best MST3K lines ever: "Yeah . . . I'll take a walk." "To Kirk Douglass's house." (Although the "butterfly kisses gone horribly wrong" line is another classic. . . .)

I'm gonna follow suit here, because this movie--although obscure and cheesy beyond all reason--is one I actually saw back in the 70's, and was thrilled when they gave it a proper roasting on MST3K: The Pumaman (I guess it's good they didn't call it Pumaman: The Movie):

"You will believe a man can rear-project"

- Uni

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Hound of the Baskervilles. Sherlock Holmes Basil Rathbone, I doubt many here have seen it.

Love it! ....but then again, I love Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce :)

rathbonebruce.jpg

A few films for me would be -

Audition________________________Tesis__________________________The Piano Teacher

auditiona.jpgtesis.jpgthepianoteacher.jpg

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I don't know how obscure these are, but they generally don't get tossed around much. Generally older and/or foreign- I can't think of a great deal of modern mainstream films that apply:

Midnight - one of my favorite romantic comedies

Kind Hearts and Coronets- a wonderful black comedy, my favorite Ealing film by far

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp- well known to film buffs, but all I've gotten is blank stares by your average film-goer...a remarkable film, possibly my candidate for best English film

California Split- not really obscure, but not nearly as widely seen as Altman's most famous pictures, when it's one of his absolute best (I'd take it over Nashville)

The Spider's Stratagem- one of Bernardo Bertollucchi's early films, a great, haunting film

Five Graves to Cairo- An early Billy Wilder film (his second, I think), it's a terrific WWII thriller

Moonlighting- Jeremy Irons as a Polish worker creating a Communist microcosm in a British flat...also The Deep End, both from director Jerzy Skolimowski

The Train- John Frankenheimer's best film, a great, great, great thriller than inspired action movies for decades

Hope and Glory- With the exception of Delivarence and Excalibur -two films I didn't really connect to- John Boorman rarely gets the praise he deserves (Quint already picked Hell on the Pacific, which I've yet to see, and Richard gave him props, as well). This joyous film was overshadowed by the somewhat similar outline of Empire of the Sun- it's well worth checking out (as are Boorman's The General, The Tailor of Panama and the insanely cool Point Blank.

And Barry Lyndon is probably the least seen of Kubrick's post Paths of Glory career, even though I've come to the opinion that it is his best.

Morlock- who likes this thread

"...Colonel Blimp": best English film? What, better that "A Matter Of Life And Death", "The Red Shoes", and "Black Narcissus"?

I'm with you on "Moonlighting", though, Morlock! Try checking out "Turtle Diary", "Comfort And Joy", "Local Hero", and "The Shout".

The Baby of Macon

Anything by Peter Greenaway is worth investigating. My personal favourite is "The Draftsman's Contract", with Anthony (Moriarty in "Young Sherlock Holmes") Higgins. I couldn't, get on with "The Cook, The Thief, His, and Her Lover", though. "Propsero's Books", is good.

Here's an off-the-top-of-my-head list of the weird and the wonderful:

"The Last Wave",

"Night Moves",

"The Ballad Of Cable Hogue",

"Straight Time",

"The Cars That Ate Paris",

"The Day The Earth Caught Fire",

"Picnic At Hanging Rock",

"Phantom of the Paradise",

"Big Wednesday",

"The Ploughman's Lunch",

"Dreamchild",

"Local Hero",

"Cal".

OMFG The Cars That Ate Paris???? Wow. I thought only Aussies knew of that one, a very early Peter Weir film. Definitely obscure but Picnic At Hanging Rock isn't. A beautiful film with very haunting pan pipes.

My fav is:

The Quiet Earth, a little sci-fi film from New Zuland.

Yeah, I've been a fan of Aussie cinema since "...Paris", but I also like "A Town Like Alice", "An Angel At My Table", "They're A Weird Mob", and "The Mosquito Coast". It never ceases to amaze me how a country can have such an outstanding film industry, and, yet, produce such crap T.V. ("Phoenix 5", anyone?).

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haha yea, I think I do remember a lengthy conversation about that movie in one of the threads here last year or the year before :)

:lol: by 'here' i meant Spain, not these forums

Ohhhhhhhhh right lol

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tesis.jpg

I've only seen it once, years ago, but I remember being quite impressed. I also liked Abre los ojos a lot (Amenábar's next film), unlike its far too hollywoody Hollywood conversion Vanilla Sky.

Some possibly obscure (what a relative term) films that made a lasting impression to me:

La fille sur le pont

La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano

Living in Oblivion

Mute Witness

Compared to this, La Haine is a comedy.

I've only seen Haneke's Funny Games (the 97 original). It was very good, but I haven't been able to bring myself to watch another movie of his since.

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I think we've all seen Cube. Heck, I've even seen Cube 2 and 3.

I've only seen Haneke's Funny Games (the 97 original). It was very good, but I haven't been able to bring myself to watch another movie of his since.

You really should put Caché on your list. It mostly plays as a mysterious thriller.

chache.jpg

Alex

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yea I really want to see Cache

Cube was a GREAT concept but was marred by horribly written characters, and the sequels/prequels are best avoided altogether

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That's the darkest, grimmest film I've ever seen!

Ha, it is pretty dark indeed but I do find something disturbingly beautiful about it .....and it certainly made me consider formal piano lessons!

In fact, I think it could be on tonights viewing menu :)

I've only seen it once, years ago, but I remember being quite impressed. I also liked Abre los ojos a lot (Amenábar's next film), unlike its far too hollywoody Hollywood conversion Vanilla Sky.

Yeah, I really like Abre Los Ojos and I'm certainly a fan of Alejandro Amenabar and Eduardo Noriega.

Vanilla Sky was huge disappointment compared to it. They seemed to almost take the ideas that were implied in the original and make a film around that. If I hadn't saw 'Abre' first, perhaps I would of enjoyed it more but I felt there was too much Hollywood spoon feeding going on.

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