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10 Films You Haven’t Seen But Should

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

I am taking a big risk with this list because I know how well versed our readers are when it comes to movies. Nevertheless, I am going to do it anyway. This is a list of films that the majority of people have not seen (and in some cases probably haven’t heard of) that are great in their own way and should be watched as soon as possible. WARNING: Some video clips contain bad language and nudity. There are also spoilers here. People with a phobia of taxidermy might want to avoid item 4.

10. Idioterne 1998, Lars von Trier

From the director of Dancer in the Dark, and Dogville, we have Idioterne, one of his most unusual dogme films. A group of perfectly intelligent young people decide to react to society’s cult of an aimless, non-creative and non-responsible form of intelligence by living together in a community of “idiots”. Their main activity becomes going out into the world of “normal” people and pretending to be mentally retarded. They take advantage of this situation to create anarchy everywhere they go and try by every possible means to make people annoyed, disturbed, miserable, ridiculous, angered, and shocked. The films start as they recruit a new lost soul and introduced her to their megalomaniac leader.

9. The Quiet Earth 1985, Geoff Murphy

This will appeal to the sci-fi lovers. A man wakes up to find himself literally alone in the world, and goes about trying to find other survivors, as well as to find out what happened. He suspects that a government research project he was involved in had something to do with the disappearance of everyone. Eventually he finds several other people, and once they begin to trust each other they try to figure out why they were left on earth.


8. Drowning By Numbers 1988, Peter Greenaway

Three generations of women, a mother, her daughter and her niece – all called Cissie Colpitts – experience dissatisfaction with their husbands and cause them to drown. The local coroner, an inveterate game player called Madgett, is drawn into a plot to disguise the murders. The story is paced by the numbers one to one-hundred, which appear sequentially through the film.

7. The Hairdresser’s Husband 1990, Patrice Leconte

Antoine, a little boy, falls in love with the local hairdresser, so he gets a hair cut every time he can. This situation causes some problems with his parents. However, when he grows up, he is still obsessed with the hair cutting, and one fine day he gets into a barber shop, meets the hairdresser (Mathilde), they fall in love at first sight, and begin a strange relationship. A typically French film that is well worth the watch.


6. Into Great Silence 2005, Philip Gröning

This is an odd man out here because it is actually a documentary, but it is too good to leave off. Nestled deep in the postcard-perfect French Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is considered one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. In 1984, German filmmaker Philip Groning wrote to seek permission from the Carthusian order to make a documentary about them.Sixteen years later they were ready for him, and sans crew or artificial lighting, Groning lived in the monks’ quarters for six months filming their daily prayers, tasks, rituals and rare outdoor excursions.

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5. Six Degrees of Separation 1993, Fred Schepisi

A surprisingly serious performance by Will Smith really makes this film (that and the always excellent acting of Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland). Flan and Ouisa Kittredge, rich NYC art dealers, are called on one night by a young man, Paul, who professes to be a friend of their kids’ from Harvard. They offer him a bed for the night; he enchants them with a home-cooked meal and magnificent conversation. The next morning, they learn that he is not all he seems to be. Their investigations are intriguing and lead them to re-evaluate their lives. This is based loosely on a true story.


4. Alice 1988, Jan Svankmajer

People with a phobia of taxidermy may want to give this one a miss. A memorably bizarre screen version of Lewis Carroll’s novel ‘Alice in Wonderland’, mixing one live actor (Alice) with a huge variety of sinister animated puppets, ranging from the complex (the White Rabbit) to the incredibly simple (the Caterpillar, consisting of a sock, a couple of glass eyes and a pair of false teeth). The original story is followed reasonably faithfully, though those familiar with this director’s other films won’t be the least bit surprised by the numerous digressions into Svankmajer territory, living slabs of meat and all. As the opening narration says, it’s a film made for children… perhaps?

3. Jubilee 1977, Derek Jarman

Recognize the boy on the floor? It’s Adam Ant. This is one of the most iconic films by Derek Jarman. Queen Elizabeth I travels to late twentieth-century Britain to discover a tawdry and depressing landscape where life mostly seems aimless and is anyway held cheap. Three post-punk girls while away their vacuous existence as best they can, from time-to-time straying into murder to relieve the boredom.


2. Beau Travail 1999, Claire Denis

The video above is from the end of the film where Denis Lavant busts a move or two. It is quite an amusing scene though the film itself is very serious. This film focuses on ex-Foreign Legion officer, Galoup, as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in the Gulf of Djibouti. His existence there was happy, strict and regimented, but the arrival of a promising young recruit, Sentain, plants the seeds of jealousy in Galoup’s mind. He feels compelled to stop him from coming to the attention of the commandant who he admires, but who ignores him. Ultimately, his jealousy leads to the destruction of both Sentain and himself.

1. Death in Venice 1971, Luchino Visconti

I finally managed to find a trailer for this masterpiece film by Luchino Visconti. It is the final scene so it contains spoilers, however it is also one of the most profound moments in film, so it is worth watching. The entire film is filled with breathtaking images. The music you hear is Mahler’s Adagietto from his 5th symphony. It plays a lot through the film. In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period of artistic and personal stress. But he finds no peace there, for he soon develops a troubling attraction to an adolescent boy, Tadzio, on vacation with his family. The boy embodies an ideal of beauty that Aschenbach has long sought and he becomes infatuated. However, the onset of a deadly pestilence threatens them both physically and represents the corruption that compromises and threatens all ideals.

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Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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  • Somecanwhistle

    I've seen "Six Degrees," but I may have to check out some of the others. One of my favorites that I bet a lot of folks haven't seen because it sort of dropped off the face of the earth after it was realeased is "Joe Versus the Volcano." Fabulous film

    • charles116

      Smith was too chicken to kiss another guy on screen.
      His image you know.
      I haven't taken him seriously since.

      • Bill

        Will Smith wasn’t too “chicken” to kiss another guy on screen, he just isn’t gay. If you were straight, you would understand.

        • lexx

          Bill, that is the lamest comeback I’ve read in a while. Are you in middle school, perhaps?

          That aside, pretty good list…

        • adx

          This person clearly does not understand what acting is; what a laughable comment, worthy of nothing but scorn. If you won’t do what the role requires, YOU DON’T TAKE THE ROLE, period. You don’t take a role as a long-distance runner and then whine, “Oh I don’t wanna run, can you just CGI it?” Smith almost single-handedly ruined this film; it is a testament to the REST of the cast that he did not.

  • JT

    I would add to this Korean film Spring, Summer Autumn, Winter and Spring. It’s the most beautiful film I’ve ever seen, and I would go so far to say that it is alos the best film I’ve ever seen. I strongly recommend it to anyone with a love of cinema.

  • Gryphon

    Wow actually seen one. The most out of the box role Will Smith has ever played.

  • JT: great – thanks for the addition – I will see if I can get a copy.

    Gryphon: Totally – he went up in my estimation for that role.

    Somecanwhistle: I haven’t heard of it – what genre?

  • heavybison

    Joe Versus the Volcano: Tom Hanks, mid eighties. A little dated, strictly for kids. Bachelor Party(another early Tom Hanks) is more fun..

  • heavybison

    jfrater: Dude, how about a 10 best horror movies list(i.e if you don’t have one up already)? I can think of a great one right now… The Entity(1980-81)…based on a true story…loved it!!

  • somecanwhistle

    Joe vs. the Volcano came out in about ’87 or ’88. It’s on DVD. It’s not strictly for kids. It’s a kind of darkly comic look at a man trying to find himself. It’s full of symbolism, repeating themes, and is, in its own way, a deconstructionist look at society. The absurdities of life are laid out to see and made even more absurd because they are mostly completely mundane. It has Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges, Ossie Davis, Nathan Lane shows up for about 2 seconds and Abe Vigoda shows up for a bit. I would say you have to see it maybe twice to start getting all the little bits to fall into place.

  • heavybison

    somecanwhistle: hmmmm…maybe i’ll give it a second look then..

  • heavybison

    jfrater: oops…i just saw ur top 10 horror page. You have a great thing goin’ here mate. Keep at it!!

  • JOE ROSSON

    A good movie that not many know about is Naked lunch. It is Cronenburg at his best.Another good sleeper is Mirrormask by the late Jim Henson. The Entity is quite disturbing, it is about a woman that gets sexually assualted by an invisible demon, it has Barbra Hersey in it and she is pretty hot.

  • JOE ROSSON

    I recently watched an interesting movie called Elephant about a couple of troubled highschoolers that plan a massacre at their school. It’s pretty intense near the end.

  • Hannah

    Somecanwhistle- I just watched Joe Versus the Volcano again this week! It really hasn’t dropped off the face of the earth, and more people know and love it than you realize.
    Good list on movies. I haven’t heard of most of these, nor have I seen any of them. How about a list of great documentaries that most haven’t seen? I’m a total sucker for documentaries.

  • Dan

    The best film I’ve ever seen that no one else has is Best of Youth, an Italian film that follows a family through multiple generations. It’s 6 hours long, but is so well crafted that it only seems to last 2-3 hours.

  • Kristen

    Two of the best and probably my most favorite films:

  • Borg

    It’s too hard for me to gauge what people have or have not seen so I won’t try to recommend anything. However, a film website I really enjoy, Pajiba, posted a similar list a while back with some very good movies. It differs from this list in that more of the films are American films.
    http://www.pajiba.com/the-best-movies-youve-never-seen.htm
    Another great topic, Jamie. I’ve already added a few to my netflix queue.

  • Kristen

    whoops!

    1) Love Me If You Dare

    2) The Princess And The Warrior

  • Ian

    I love Six Degrees, but in a way feel it doesn’t count because it is almost verbatim from the play by John Guare (in which Stockard Channing also played Ouisa).

  • patricia

    ‘Death In Venice’ has one of the most heart-wrenching endings of any film i’ve ever seen.

    i believe that everyone should see ‘Black Orpheus’ (1959); that film is gorgeous, poignant, and also has an ending that will break your heart as well as uplift it!

  • Okay, you got me. I’ve never seen any of these, and have only heard of one. I’ll have to check them out.

  • Wow – It is entirely unintentional that only one of the movies on this list is American. I bet it is the one most have heard of too :)

  • Chris Barts

    I’ve heard of Alice and can recommend it to people who like obscure and bizarre films. I would add La Jetée, the 1962 short film Twelve Monkeys is based on. Eraserhead is good and fairly obscure, but probably not obscure enough.

  • MojoRisin

    How about a film by Jacques Tati such as Mon Oncle or Playtime? They are both incredible films that everyone should see.

    They are both hilarious, and present important comments on consumerism and technology. I suppose maybe they are too well known to be included in the list. Here is a link to a scene from playtime, everyone should check it out.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=3VmbrKLV_AQ

  • Megan

    2 excellent films everyone should see…

    Effroyable Jardins, and Bye, Bye Lenin.

    watch them both, first one is on french, and the second is in german, subtitles are available on both, but PLEASE, all i ask is watch them with the original voices. the actors are amazing!!

  • Megan: Goodbye Lenin is an excellent film – I have a copy on DVD.

  • sarah

    I know this might not have anything to do with any of this but i read it up top…

    what is the fear of taxidermy?
    what IS taxidermy?

    Im 12 i dont know any of this :p

  • StewWriter

    Taxidermy is what happens to animals after they’ve been hunted… besides being eaten, that is. It’s being stuffed and mounted. I’m not sure what the fear is called though.

  • ChrisG

    I actually saw The Quiet Earth several years ago and thought it was a really neat movie. I believe it was made in New Zealand so not very many North Americans have seen it. I have certainly never met anyone who has, so I am delighted to find it mentioned here. Six Degrees of Separation is also outstanding, and Will Smith plays against type as a very disturbed young man. A pleasant change from his usual “Aw hell naw!” type roles.

  • ChrisG: I am glad you liked the Quiet Earth – Bruno Lawrence (the main guy in it) was a great actor and was also a very accomplished drummer in a band called Blerta.

  • ed9362

    i havent seen any of these movies but one that springs to mind that im guessing people might have not seen is chopper, it is about an australian criminal icon of the 80’s and 90’s staring eric bana it is verry good and not all artsy and stuff

  • ed9362: Eric Bana is one of our other lists for his transformation in that film :)

  • ed9362

    so it does. great film i guess it was bigger than i thought. Eric bana is one of the icons i grew up with i watched him change from being a guy on the local comedy show to hollywood star.
    I love all of his films but chopper is the best.

  • Alexandra

    You were right, I haven’t seen them, ha ha.

    I haven’t even heard of them. I might go check them out now. Ty!

  • Stereo Mike

    This is a very late edition, but I agree with the first comment! And good job including Svankmajer on the list!

  • Sam

    I can’t believe you put Alice on here. I thought I was the only one who really enjoyed it =]

  • Dave

    Alice was kind of freaky, but was a film to remember because of the plot.

  • Joey

    I have actually seen alice, i liked it. Glad to see it on this list

  • Bobby the K

    I would say ‘Withnail & I’ – great film!

  • Deliciousdanger

    I have actually made it one of my many whacky life goals to see all of these. :)

  • SnowKid32

    Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers
    Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers
    Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers LangoliersLangoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers
    Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers
    Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers
    Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers
    Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers

    BY THE WAY
    Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers Langoliers

  • Cyn

    SnowKid32 –
    any particular reason you felt compelled to repeat yourself? wouldn’t once suffice?

  • Bengeo

    A French film

    Cible émouvante / Wild Target (1993), Pierre Salvadori

    A black comedy.

    See

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106573/

  • lena

    has anyone seen life is beautiful? its a wonderful movie even though its in a different language(italian) and its plot is so beautiful and moving. have lots of tissues near by if ur going to watch it. the ending is one of the sadest things ive ever seen in a movie. but what do i know of the world of movies? im only a teenager. but seriosly. watch it. and i DARE you not to cry at some point.

  • lena

    oh and by the way, before you go off and watch the movie in english ‘cuz you dont wanna read” PLEASE just try and watch it in italian with the subtitles on english. it just adds so much more to the movie(i dont know why)

  • andy

    1. taking off
    2. dillinger is dead.
    3. celine and julie go boating.
    4. they might be giants.
    5. meantime.

    6. american movie(ok a documentary, but you’ll wonder how you missed it)

  • Wile

    Have any of you seen Reconstruction by Christoffer Boe? If not, you should; it’s amazing.

  • kosmos

    Apart from the list, I would reccomend Ghosts… of the Civil Dead with memorable Nick Cave’s appearance.

  • valerie

    that Alice films is one of the creepiest things i have ever watched.
    however, my two younger sisters and i would watch it religiously if it was played on tv.
    it’s just brilliantly insane.

  • G.C

    Good list, only seen four of these. Reminded again that I need to see Quiet Earth- I love Murphy’s other film “Utu”. Like a spaghetti Western, except in New Zealand!

  • Shaniqua

    I’ve only seen one—Alice, which I’m really quite surprised that you included, if it’s what I’m thinking of. I found it to be incredibly lacking and boring, nearly fell asleep.

  • gorgon

    I’ve seen The Quiet Earth. In my Technology and Human Values class (at Yavapai College) Sam Waterson actually gave a lecture to the class. Sam was writer for the film, and I believe he has a a vineyard in Sedona. He swore quite a bit.

  • Signe

    42.Lena: YES, everybody has to see La vita é bella, it is just wonderfull, and the ending makes you cry and smile at the same time. And you have to see it in Italian of course – didn’t even know there was an English version!
    But it is the best/saddest/happiest movie ever made!

  • seinfan01

    I saw The Quiet Earth in the mid-90s. I remember it being a really good film. It’s probably time to see it again.

    As mentioned by #39, Langoliers is a movie I really really like. Awesome story with wonder instead of horror (it could have easily swung the other way seeing as it is a Steven King story).

    Another one I found….interesting was Motorama. I saw that one cable (TCM?) back around 1997.

  • writergal

    “The Legend of 1900” is another awesome movie. Just beautifully simple, magical reality type stuff – incredibly touching without being sappy. It’s high on my list of favourites but sadly, I have NEVER met anyone else who’s seen it!

  • bait

    Hi all, my first post. I will start off by saying I love the lists, and the comments that follow.
    Now onto the topic I would love to get my hands on a copy of Into Great Silence as that movie looks to be very very interesting. There is no opportunity for me to rent this in my small market location, where would I be able to purchase online – I live in Canada

  • deviantmiss

    eh no thanks

  • CatChick1964

    You’re right, I haven’t seen them.

    You’re wrong, I don’t think I should.

  • TitainiumBlack

    Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky is well worth a look.

  • leon_arlott

    A film I’d recommend as about 99% of the world have (unfortunately) not seen it is Repo: The Genetic Opera. A very original and entertaining film. Don’t let the fact it has Paris Hilton in it throw you! It’s a really great film, and I think you should all watch it.

    Also, it’s directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, of Saw fame.

  • EJ

    alice in wonderland was actually made by jan svankmajer hence looking like his work

  • kennypo65

    A film that I really enjoyed was A Midnight Clear. It’s the story of a squad of American soldiers who get separated from the rest of the army in the Ardenne on Chrismas eve. They encounter a German squad in the same situation. Both sides decide to call a truce over the holiday. Includes a great performance by Gary Sinise as “Mother”, a soldier suffering from shell shock.

  • fisher

    @writergal
    well I have seen “the legend of 1900”. have also read the book. its originally italian.
    preferred the book, but the film’s good too. i love tim roth…

  • tranceaddicted

    THE LANGOLIERS IS A REALLY SHOCKING MOVIE. BLOODY WORTH A LOOK!!!!!

    The most romantic movie for me is ‘the beach’ ,i mean, by danny boyle.

    yessss

  • tranceaddicted

    awesomatic self pants poopage poo stinky shtuff

  • dalinean

    bad boy bubby

  • blah

    I can’t believe that ending for Death in Venice. I’ve never seen the movie before, but I read the description, and had a yen to see a hot guy ; )

    But holy f’in shit, if that wasn’t the most intense thing I’ve seen in a while…

    It’s like in those last few moments, I could feel wrenching in my gut the feeling of intolerable anxiety, depression, heartache, and lust that man must’ve been experiencing at the vision of the beautiful silhouette of the object of his heart and soul’s desire, living and basking in a beautiful ocean, knowing that he simply can’t have it.

    If i’m wrong about this in any way, please tell me cuz i’m actually afraid now to watch this movie as i have tummy cramps!

  • Chris

    Waking life, once were warriors, chopper, two hands, boys in the hood, crank…so many

  • Chris

    Oh oh oh, I almost forgot ‘Trucks’. Gruesome for the sake of it and a little bit funny. Possessed trucks taking over the town, running down small children etc. One truck went through a playground and came out the other side with bits of kids in the grill. Toxic Avenger is another one.

  • celsus1

    Speaking of The Quiet Earth, has anyone seen The Noah? If not, definitely should. Still an almost total obscurity but light years ahead in post-apocalyptic films.

  • chee

    The only movie I’ve seen on this list is Death in Venice, which I watched in an english class in college. It was very unusual, as were most of the movies we watched in that class.

  • thorlite

    French film, Entre les Murs (The Class) won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, fantastic film.

  • Aaron Y

    I’ll give you the biggest reason I haven’t seen any of these films.

    Because I’m a fucking dude!!!

    I’ll be busy watching The Godfather and The Terminator for the umpteenth time rather than seeing any of this weak, indy shit.

  • MrCook

    @Aaron Y [71]:

    “Fucking girls is for poofs”

    –10 points

  • victor

    Nº 5 its a great movie

  • Will Trame

    I haven’t heard of any of these movies on this list. The closest approximation was a TV movie I saw back in the early 70s called “Go Ask Alice”.

    I agree with the mention of “The Legend of 1900”. That was an excellent movie. Two sequences stand out in my mind: the mobile piano which culminates with a crash into the captain’s cabin and the piano duel between 1900 and Jellyroll Morton.

  • dan

    just finished watching six degrees. will smith's best acting

  • Emily

    You must see Ashes and Snow. It is the most beautiful cinematography I have ever seen. It was so beautiful I nearly cried.

  • Films you should see:

    1) Irreversible

    2) The Edukators

    3) Adam

    4) The Science of Sleep

    5) The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

    6) Orca

  • Gopher

    A Brand New Life, Aftershock, Boot Camp, Patch Adams, Les Choristes, are one of the underrated movies that are GREAT.

  • Alucard

    Gummo should be on the top of the list. It is one -possibly the worst, films ever made. It is so bad I wish I never saw it.

  • marcus

    Russian movie…The Barber of Siberia!

  • WendyBird

    Was great to see Alice in that list is one of my favorite movies! There are a few i haven’t seen, will go and hunt them down. Great list!

  • bob

    you dont know what movies i watch

  • Mass Profit Formula

    It really hasn’t dropped off the face of the earth, and more people know and love it than you realize.
    Mass Profit Formula

  • Andy Smith

    Maybe you should watch a good Tom Hanks movie instead.
    http://www.squidoo.com/top-10-best-tom-hanks-movies

  • Henry

    excellent list.

    How about ‘The Bed You Sleep In?’

  • Ery

    death in veniece is my favourite film. glad to see it here

  • Michael McConnell

    Liquid Sky
    Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
    At Play in the Fields of the Lord

  • greg

    London – one of the most underrated movies ever – this movie is on some real sh it – great ending, keeps it 100

  • pj

    The Man from Earth.

  • Zombiegirl

    I’ve watched the beginning of Alice and never got to finished it, but I’m still planning on it… I like strange things like that and I really love Alice in Wonderland which I guess is a weird thing haha

  • Phoenix Strippers

    That is very interesting, You’re an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your feed and sit up for in quest of extra of your great post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks

  • John son of John

    Into great silence
    Is a great film

    Very inspiring !!!

  • Pöpö

    Between Two Women, simple and beautiful

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