Five film recommendations from FilmFella Henry – Part 3

‘This film’s crap, let’s slash the seats’

So claimed David Holmes on his 1995 album. But luckily for you, I have rounded up another five films worth watching, from the semi-functional database that is my brain.

So before the likes of The Last Airbender makes you give up on cinema altogether, check out the below and hopefully, your faith will be restored.

Greedy Guts, aka: Little Otik (2000)

Director:  Jan Svankmajer

Staring:  Veronika Zilkova, Jan Hartl, Jaroslava Kretschmerova

Why you should check this out: Any fans of Svankmajer’s work will be right at home with this bizarre, surreal and creepy drama. Part animation, part live-action, it tells the tale of a childless couple faking a pregnancy by adopting a wooden log as a surrogate baby. When the log miraculously comes alive, the couple are filled with joy… until it begins to develop an appetite.

The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001)

Director:  Takashi Miike

Staring:  Kenji Sawada, Keiko Matsuzaka, Shinji Takeda

Why you should check this out: A unique and bizarre gem from Japan’s home grown madman Takashi Miike. A family builds a remote guesthouse in Japan’s backwaters, hoping to profit from a proposed new road. But things begin to fall apart when the guests begin to die and the only tenants are a heap of corpses. Fusing horror and comedy within a musical backdrop oddly works, making THOTK a watch you aren’t likely to forget.

Slipstream (2007)

Director:  Anthony Hopkins

Staring:  Anthony Hopkins, Lana Antonova, Stella Arroyave

Why you should check this out: A highly original and surreal piece, Hopkins attempts to deconstruct the filming process and ideas of a man’s final mortal moments in this avant garde film. Heavily stylised, Slipstream will certainly spawn post-film debate and make you hope in earnest that the guy decides to direct again.

Paprika (2006)

Director:  Satoshi Kon

Staring:  Megumi Hayashibara, Toru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori

Why you should check this out: When dreams fuse with reality and a madman is at the controls, only a young female dream-therapist stands in the way of global insanity. From the director of acclaimed animes Perfect Blue and Tokyo Godfathers comes this fresh, captivating visual feast. Not to be missed.

Pi (1998)

Director:  Darren Aronofsky

Staring:  Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman

Why you should check this out: With Aronofsky finally starting to receive the acclaim he rightfully deserves, I figured I’d highlight his first feature to all those who may have missed it. And what a debut: in stark, grainy monochrome, Sean Gullette plays an eccentric maths genius obsessed with cracking the stock market through code and patterns. As his research accelerates, so does his paranoia, with angry corporate thugs and Hassidic Jews greedy for the contents of his mind. Pi is a harbinger of future greatness: a high concept, uncompromising affair that exhibits detailed characterisation coupled with tense atmosphere that permeates throughout. Haven’t seen it? Correct the mistake and buy a copy now.

Thanks for reading.  You can follow my tweets here @filmfellahenry

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About filmfellahenry
Film reviewer, script writer and occasional painter. Fan of Lumet, Aronofsky and Kubrick, with a good measure of early John Carpenter thrown in. Particularly like post-apocalyptic sci-fi, horror and fantasy film genres.

2 Responses to Five film recommendations from FilmFella Henry – Part 3

  1. Nostra says:

    Nice to see Paprika in there, really an amazing film. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Pi, but remember it being good. Will need to check out the other ones.

    • Yeah, Paprika is great, I’m looking forward to The Dreaming Machine which the director is filming at the moment. Another good one he’s done is Tokyo Godfathers – definitely worth checking out.

      Thanks for reading!

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