A to Z Challenge Theme

During the month of April this blog will feature some of my favorite films that are surrealistic or dreamlike as well as movies about dreaming or that have dream sequences that are essential to the film. I hope you will join me here and maybe find some films that will interest you.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Pulp Fiction #atozchallenge

Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

         The first time I went to see Pulp Fiction (1994) in the theater I left at the end feeling confused and even a bit angry.  I had heard so much about this film prior to seeing it that I was expecting to be blown away by it.  As the days passed I kept thinking about the film.  This is always a sign to me that the film was better than I thought and it needed repeated viewings for me to fully understand.   So I went back to the theater to see it again.  There are not many films that I am willing to go to the theater more than once to see.

         I have seen this film many times since and have gained a great appreciation for what Tarantino did with the film.  The story is presented in an unorthodox timeline that is confusing on first viewing.  There are a series of vignettes and interconnected stories that at times seem to be unconnected.  The film is multilayered with an array of interesting characters.  The end result is a film that is almost dreamlike in a sense.  There is a certain surrealism  and absurdity to much of the movie.

         Tarantino's clever manipulation of time and story is considered gimmicky by some, but I think it has an element of creative genius.  Pulp Fiction has been highly influential while Tarantino has established himself as a screenwriter and director of great significance in the world of film entertainment.  Violent?  Yes, but in a crazy sort of way not unlike the violence in the films of David Lynch.

           This is not a film for everyone, but those who can deal with a bit of roughness in a film can handle this one easily.  There are far more violent and gruesome films out there.  It's mature entertainment, but not particularly offensive by general standards.  For those who can deal with the thematic material in this film, this is a film that can bear repeated viewings.

            Have you seen Pulp Fiction?   If so, did the film confuse you?   Do you like movies where events are presented out of the sequence of the actual story timeline?


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

On the Beach #atozchallenge

Cover of "On the Beach"
Cover of On the Beach

         On The Beach (1959) is another one of those moody black and white films that moves at a leisurely dream-like pace.  They don't make too many films of this nature now because a lot of audiences would probably get too impatient sitting through them.   I find this film to be a wonderful viewing experience.

          The top notch cast includes the likes of Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, and Anthony Perkins.   It's a somber post apocalypse story.  In the aftermath of world wide nuclear devastation, the last remnant of humanity lingers on in Australia.  Death is coming for all.  The film follows the final days until the end.

        It's a bleak film, but outstanding in every way.  This is among my favorite films and I highly recommend it.   There's no graphic horror or special effects to speak of, but it's a touching story of friendship, love, and loss.

         Have you seen On The Beach?    Do you like dramas that focus on acting more than action?   Is the world headed for nuclear destruction?  


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nebraska / Night of the Living Dead #atozchallenge

Movie poster for the 1968 film Night of the Li...
Movie poster for the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

           Now for a post tax day double feature:

         The pacing, tension, and utter strangeness of Night of the Living Dead (1968) gives this film a very dreamy quality.  Also this version is in black and white.  For me all black and white film has a strange almost surrealistic quality.  Perhaps it also reminds me of my days in childhood when we only had a black and white television.   The original version is the best one, but the color remake of 1990 puts an interesting spin on the story.

         Academy Award nominee Nebraska (2013) is another film in black and white.  I see a lot of similarities between this film and Night of the Living Dead aside from the horror aspect and I suppose one could derive an element of horror in the relationships among the characters in the story. It's one of those thoughtful films that makes for a laid back night of reflective entertainment.

          Have you seen the original 1968 version of Night of the Living Dead  or Nebraska?   Do zombie movies appeal to you?    Do you like films about family relationships and aging?

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive (film)
Mulholland Drive (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

          Whether Mulholland Drive (2001) is stranger than the film discussed in my previous post is fairly difficult to say.   Both films have characters who become different people, depictions of evil, strange music sequences, and very ambiguous endings.   Those aspects make this film very dreamlike.

          Mulholland Drive is divided into two parts and one seems like the dream.  Or maybe each part is a different dream and we still don't know who the dreamer is.   It's a strange world depicted that might make you want to watch this film several times like I have done.

            Definitely an adults only film so if you're easily offended you might want to avoid it.   It's a trip worth taking if you can handle it.  After it's over you might think that you were dreaming.

             Have you seen Mulholland Drive?     Does it bother you when movies have weird shifts in character and story?   Are there any other films that you can think of that have ambiguous or peculiar endings?

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Lost Highway #atozchallenge

Lost Highway (soundtrack)
Lost Highway (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


         In this post and my next post I feature two more films by surrealistic director David Lynch.  The first film is the male counterpart of the pair, a very strange film called Lost Highway (1997).   This head-scratcher has a rather peculiar dream like story with events that make no sense to the extent that they might make you laugh in a nervous sort of way.

       The film gets a very hard R rating and is definitely not for kids or the easily offended.   If you're able to get past that then you'll have an interesting mind trip experience into the world of weirdo filmmaking.  This is one of my favorite films.

         Have you seen Lost Highway?    Does it bother you when weird things that make no sense happen in a movie?   What is a film that you consider to be really weird?

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