Naked is a 1993 British black comedy drama film written and directed by Mike Leigh and starring David Thewlis as Johnny, a loquacious intellectual and conspiracy theorist. The film won several awards, including best director and best actor at Cannes. Naked marked a new career high for Leigh as a director and made the then-unknown Thewlis an internationally recognised star.
Derek Malcolm of The Guardian noted that the film “is certainly Leigh’s most striking piece of cinema to date” and that “it tries to articulate what is wrong with the society that Mrs Thatcher claims does not exist.” On the character of Johnny, he notes: “He likes no one, least of all himself, and he dislikes women even more than men, relapsing into sexual violence as his misogyny takes hold. He is perhaps redeemable, but only just. And not by any woman in our immediate view.” He praised the directing and performances, singling out David Thewlis, mentioning that he “plays [Johnny] with a baleful brilliance that is certain to make this underrated, but consistently striking, actor into a star name … [Johnny] is, at his worst, a cold, desperate fish. His redeeming feature is that he still cares.”
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four out of four stars and analysed the message behind the title, saying it “describes characters who exist in the world without the usual layers of protection. They are clothed, but not warmly or cheerfully. But they are naked of families, relationships, homes, values and, in most cases, jobs. They exist in modern Britain with few possessions except their words.” He praised the directing, noting: “[Leigh’s] method has created in Naked a group of characters who could not possibly have emerged from a conventional screenplay; this is the kind of film that is beyond imagining, and only observation could have created it.” He concluded: “This is a painful movie to watch. But it is also exhilarating, as all good movies are, because we are watching the director and actors venturing beyond any conventional idea of what a modern movie can be about. Here there is no plot, no characters to identify with, no hope. But there is care: The filmmakers care enough about these people to observe them very closely, to note how they look and sound and what they feel.”
Irréversible (French pronunciation: [iʁevɛʁsibl]) is a 2002 French experimental psychological thriller drama film, written and directed by Gaspar Noé and starring Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, and Albert Dupontel. The film employs a reverse chronology and follows two men through the streets of Paris as they seek to avenge a brutally raped girlfriend. Much of the film’s soundtrack was composed by Thomas Bangalter, one half of the electronic music duo Daft Punk.
Irréversible has been associated with a series of films defined as the cinéma du corps (“cinema of the body”), which according to Palmer share affinities with certain avant-garde productions: an attenuated use of narrative, assaulting and often illegible cinematography, confrontational subject material, and a pervasive sense of social nihilism or despair. Irréversible has also been associated with the New French Extremity movement.
The film was particularly controversial upon its release for its graphic portrayal of violence, specifically the scene where a man is savagely bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher and its 10-minute long take rape of Alex (Monica Bellucci), who is then brutally beaten into a coma. It had accusations of apparent homophobia as well. American film critic Roger Ebert called Irréversible “a movie so violent and cruel that most people will find it unwatchable”.
Tokyo Decadence (トパーズ, Topāzu) is Japanese pink film. This erotic film was directed by Ryū Murakami (村上 龍 Murakami Ryū) with music by Ryuichi Sakamoto (坂本 龍一 Sakamoto Ryūichi) and the film was shot during 1991, then later released in 1992. It stars Miho Nikaido (二階堂 美穂 Nikaidō Miho) and is known by two alternate titles, Topaz and Sex Dreams of Topaz.. Because of the cruel and graphic nature of this film, it has been banned in several countries such as Australia and South Korea. Shimada Masahiko (島田 雅彦 Shimada Masahiko) also makes an appearance in this film. The story follows Ai (愛, lit. “love”), the submissive and lovesick prostitute who goes about her trade with misery and is being abused by hedonists and criminals while trying to find some sort of appeasement away from the fact that her lover is currently married.
Ryū Murakami (村上 龍, Murakami Ryū, born February 19, 1952 in Sasebo, Nagasaki) is a Japanese novelist, short story writer, essayist and filmmaker. His novels explore human nature through themes of disillusion, drug use, surrealism, murder and war, set against the dark backdrop of Japan. His best known novels are Almost Transparent Blue, Coin Locker Babies, Audtiion and In the Miso Soup.
Melancholia is a 2011 science fiction drama film written and directed by Lars von Trier and starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kiefer Sutherland, with Alexander Skarsgård, Brady Corbet, Cameron Spurr, Charlotte Rampling, Jesper Christensen, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgård, and Udo Kier in supporting roles. The film’s story revolves around two sisters, one of whom is preparing to marry just before a rogue planet is about to collide with Earth.
Von Trier’s initial inspiration for the film came from a depressive episode he suffered. The film is a Danish production by Zentropa, with international co-producers in Sweden, France, Germany and Italy. Filming took place in Sweden. Melancholia prominently features music from the prelude to Richard Wagner‘s opera Tristan und Isolde (1857–1859). It is the second entry in von Trier’s unofficially titled “Depression Trilogy”, preceded by Antichrist and followed by Nymphomaniac.
Melancholia premiered 18 May 2011 at the 64th Cannes Film Festival—where it was critically lauded. Dunst received the festival’s Best Actress Award for her performance, which was a common area of praise among critics. Although not without its detractors, many critics and film scholars have considered the film to be a personal masterpiece, and one of the best films of 2011.
The Man Who Fell to Earth is a 1976 British science fiction film directed by Nicolas Roeg and written by Paul Mayersberg. Based on Walter Tevis‘s 1963 novel of the same name, the film follows an extraterrestrial who crash lands on Earth seeking a way to ship water to his planet, which is suffering from a severe drought. It stars David Bowie, Candy Clark, Buck Henry, and Rip Torn. It was produced by Michael Deeley and Barry Spikings, who reunited two years later to work on The Deer Hunter. The same novel was later adapted as a television film in 1987.
The Man Who Fell to Earth retains a cult following for its use of surreal imagery and Bowie’s first starring film role as the alien Thomas Jerome Newton. It is considered an important work of science fiction cinema and one of the best films of Roeg’s career.
Although David Bowie was originally approached to provide the music, contractual wrangles during production caused him to withdraw from this aspect of the project. The music used in the film was coordinated by John Phillips, former leader of the pop group The Mamas & the Papas, with personal contributions from Phillips and Japanese percussionist-composer Stomu Yamash’ta as well as some stock music. Phillips called in former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor to assist with developing ideas for the soundtrack. The music was recorded at CTS Lansdowne Recording Studios in London, England.
Mulholland Drive (stylized as Mulholland Dr.) is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, Mark Pellegrino and Robert Forster. It tells the story of an aspiring actress named Betty Elms (Watts), newly arrived in Los Angeles, who meets and befriends an amnesiac woman (Harring) recovering from a car accident. The story follows several other vignettes and characters, including a Hollywood film director (Theroux).
Originally conceived as a television pilot, a large portion of the film was shot in 1999 with Lynch’s plan to keep it open-ended for a potential series. After viewing Lynch’s cut, however, television executives rejected it. Lynch then provided an ending to the project, making it a feature film. The half-pilot, half-feature result, along with Lynch’s characteristic style, has left the general meaning of the film’s events open to interpretation. Lynch has declined to offer an explanation of his intentions for the narrative, leaving audiences, critics, and cast members to speculate on what transpires. He gave the film the tagline “A love story in the city of dreams”.
Categorized as a psychological thriller, Mulholland Drive earned Lynch the Prix de la mise en scène (Best Director Award) at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, sharing the prize with Joel Coen for The Man Who Wasn’t There. Furthermore, Lynch would also earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. The film launched Harring’s career, boosted Watts’ Hollywood profile considerably, and was the last feature film to star veteran Hollywood actress Ann Miller.
Mulholland Drive is now widely regarded as one of Lynch’s finest works and one of the greatest films of the 21st century, ranking 28th in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics’ poll of the best films ever made and topping a 2016 poll by BBC Culture of the best films since 2000. A. O. Scott of The New York Times writes that while some might consider the plot an “offense against narrative order … the film is an intoxicating liberation from sense, with moments of feeling all the more powerful for seeming to emerge from the murky night world of the unconscious”.