Popularity shouldn’t be a factor to determine a movie’s value and potential; by all means, it should be one of the rearmost of factors to be considering whilst assessing a movie. Nonetheless, matters are almost always the opposite; movie tickets sold in bulk almost always announce a blockbuster – it is the fault of consumerist ideology. The type of movie which appeal to a wide range of audience is a sure moneymaker. Some of its constituents, as observed from the sizeable list of blockbusters which have enmeshed moviegoers for decades are:
– special FX and/or action-fueled scenes
– speedy frame rates
– character-driven scripts
– according to a statistic registered by Statista concerning the Most popular movie genres in North America by total box office revenue from 1995 to 2016, genres ranked as following:
Plenty of Indie and low-budget movies fall on either one or the other side of the horse, rarely remaining on the saddle – whether they remain obscure or gain acclaim, that is an aspect pertaining and having to do with the overall ingenuity of the movie and the involvement and dedication of the producers.
This said, continuing the list of 20 Movies You’ve Probably Missed the Past Year, we’re down to top 10 (fasten your seatbelts, cause it’s going to be one heck of a ride!)
The underrated black-and-white debut of Mexican director Alonso Ruizpalacios – a coming of age story about the young Tomas who gets sent to Mexico City, after being told that he is too much of a burden to carry by his single mother. Delivering a promising voice for Latin American Cinema, the movie scintillates both as a visually alluring picture, artistic and dramatic.
#9 What We Do in the Shadows
Featuring Jemaine Clement (Benicio Del Toro’s long lost twin), Taika Waititi and Jonny Brugh, the side-splitting comedy tells the unlikely story of a group of vampires living together as flat buddies. Dealing with the everyday struggles of sharing a space together (e.g. paying rent and utilities, attending nightclubs, overcoming conflicts, etc.), the stupendous parody is a mock of Goth and creatures of the night. What We Do in the Shadows won seventeen awards, among which a People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival.
#8 Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
Bearing an atmosphere similar to the Swedish Låt den rätte komma in (US version Let Me In), the drama depicts the tedious days of Kumiko, a young woman who stumbles upon a hidden copy of the 1996 Fargo, mistaking the details shown in the movie for something plausible. Setting aside her jaded life in Tokyo, she ventures across the tundra of Minnesota, in an attempt to find a mysterious satchel of money, as shown in the movie. Uncanny, yet entrancing, Goliath director David Zellner managed to offer viewers an impactful and unforgettable piece of refined cinema.
In case you haven’t heard about Bill Plympton yet, you should definitely look over some of his works, including Idiots and Angels, Your Face or I Married a Strange Person!. A prolific animator and inspired artist, he has directed, written and produced numerous worthwhile works, of which we mention Cheatin’, relevant for the 2015 top, given its national USA release. Although the movie in question does have a palpable script, it is still phantasmagorical and entrancing, to such an extent that it is better not to spoil anything and enjoy the experience.
In the fashion of Hesher and Gummo, Buzzard delivers the irksome and highly irritating mishaps of Marty (Joshua Burge), a paranoid, filthy scam artist who decides to move to Detroit. Punk rock, heavy metal, bad temper and plenty of shouting permeate this dramatic comedy directed, written and acted by Joel Potrykus.
#5 Diary of a Teenage Girl
Starring Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård and Kristen Wiig, the movie reveals the love triangle between a 15-year old girl and her Mother’s boyfriend. Provocative and original, the story unfolds in 1970s San Francisco, focusing much attention on sexual awakening, teenage drama and its associated daftness.
#4 Infinitely Polar Bear
Mark Ruffalo gives his best as a manic-depressive father of two girls, further enhancing the melodramatic and disgraceful qualities exhibited and developed in the 2013 Begin Again. Trying to win back his estranged wife, the man takes full responsibility of his energetic daughters, in the process winning both joy and affection. A touching comedy, blending romantic and dramatic elements, conferring viewers a delicious and pleasurable experience.
#3 Heaven Knows What
From Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie comes an R-rated drama about the heartfelt passion of a couple living a life riddled with vices and all-consuming habits. An explicit, yet riveting production bringing forth the downfall of society, the suburbs and the destructive addictions which ultimately bear the chance of reshaping anyone’s life. Among countless of unhealthy addictions, love often falls into the category, due to its familiarization with naiveté.
#2 A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Also known by its Swedish title, En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron, the drama is an interesting compilation of various peculiarities and meditations on the nature of man and his condition, amid a surfeit of fantastical and surreal elements, bit by bit disclosing an absurdist reality.
An intricate drama highlighting the laborious tasks undertaken by the investigative reporting unit of Boston Globe, Spotlight. Set in the 1970s, the movie details the aftermath of the child molestation scandal which took place in the local Catholic Archdiocese, focusing on the convoluted and mind twisting methods needed to be thoroughly analyzed and consider in order to make the story surface worldwide.