5 surreal movies you can (and should) see instead of 'mother!'

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 at 5:36 PM
5 surreal movies you can (and should) see instead of 'mother!' by Britton Rozzelle
Graphic: Britton Rozzelle

If you’re tired of ham-fisted attempts at creating meaningful allegorical representations of the bible, check out these equally as affecting, much better surreal/abstract films from people other than Darren Aronofsky. 

NUMBER ONE:

MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001)  - DAVID LYNCH

When “Eraserhead” is too on-the-nose, and “Lost Highway” isn’t something that’s easily recommended, “Mulholland Drive” stands out as one of the most surreal and perplexing works from visionary director David Lynch. Featuring one of the most intense, harrowing and consistently disturbing moments in film, “Mulholland Drive” presents viewers with a look into a world both familiar and strange, full of hopes, dreams and even worse- nightmares.

NUMBER TWO:

ENEMY (2014) - DENIS VILLENEUVE

Enemy stars Jake Gyllenhaal as two different people, and forces us into this beige-colored world of mystery, intensity and a ton of spider-related imagery. This one is mostly known for its very open-ended nature, allowing viewers to draw their own conclusions about the story, which helps when it comes to art that’s abstract in nature. Even if you feel it’s not your thing, it’s worth sticking around for the ending. I’m not going to reveal anything other than the fact that it’s one of the most profoundly disturbing things that have been put into film recently. Basically, that’s code for “go see this movie.” 

NUMBER THREE:

UNDER THE SKIN (2013) - JONATHAN GLAZER

One of the most abstract works in the current decade, Glazer’s “Under The Skin” stars Scarlett Johansson in a very personal, very creative look into the life of her character. The whole affair is based on a book that is wildly different than what this movie ended up being, but it’s worth looking into if this film gets… under your skin…. like it did mine. This one isn’t for the faint of heart, but has some positively beautiful camerawork that make it worth a watch.

 NUMBER FOUR:

THE HOLY MOUNTAIN (1973)  - ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY

One of Jodorowsky’s epics, “The Holy Mountain” takes us into the incredible, otherworldly place where each of the major tarot cards have a human form. From wild factories, to intense board-room meetings, this colorful acid-trip of a film is a must-see for those looking for something more substantial to their surreal, abstract films.

NUMBER FIVE:

STALKER (1979) - ANDREI TARKOVSKY

From famed Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979’s “Stalker” presents a nameless world ravaged by war full of creative and unique characters where our main cast must brave an excursion to reach “The Zone,” where one can find a room that fulfills a person’s innermost desires. It’s simple and elegant and tells a rich story through the set design, costumes, and cinematography allowing viewers to get as much, or as little, from the film as they desire. 

Britton Rozzelle is the executive editor for The Spectator. He can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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