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Music video blog that also includes video, audio, and interactive media. You'll find some reviews and recommendations from the underground of the entertainment world, covering music, film, gaming, and more.
Rummaging through the interweb since 2010

08 July, 2011

Alternative Fantasy Films: Chapter One

Fellow film fiends, in an attempt to shed light on a frequently overshadowed aspect of fantasy cinema, we (Heavy G and myself) have compiled a list of our favorite alternative fantasy films. To clarify further, we would like to point out that our definition of the term "alternative", for the sake of this post, will be films that do not necessarily adhere to mainstream conceptions of fantasy. Basically, you won't be finding too many dragons, giant spiders, or magical weapons here (not that we don't completely love all three of those things)
In no particular order, we present to you our list. Use it wisely.

Director Terry Gilliam contemplated naming this film 'Nineteen Eighty-Four and a Half' because it brings together the allegorical aspect of Orwell's dystopian vision and Fellini's ode to dreams, memory and escapism. Complete with winged humans and giant samurai robots.

Naked Lunch                                                                                     
William Burroughs' demented vision of Interzones where cosmic "agents" conspire to control an ever-decaying and corrupt human world. A mutant of a film that warps together a world of drug-induced hallucinations, intraplanetary creatures, and weird sexualities.

Pan's Labyrinth                                                                                   
Fantasy goes hand in hand with harsh reality in this polarized view of a historical era. Through the eyes of a child, we delve beneath the surface of man's insane war machine and deep into a dying world of nature and magic.  
Dead Man                                                                                           

Kafka meets the wild west in an estranged man's journey through the hallucinatory heart of the American frontier. The fantastic element in Dead Man is inwardly projected rather than ostensibly expressed. Also, you really can't go wrong with a main character named after William Blake.

Deconstructing Harry                                                                         
As is the case with most Woody Allen films, Deconstructing Harry is a comedy. However, this particular film is penetrated by certain out-of-this-world twists which make for a thoroughly interesting take on the life of a writer, and the seemingly independent lives of the characters in his stories.

The Adventures of Mark Twain                                                          

This 1986 clay animation is based on the writings of Mark Twain (obviously), but only loosely, so that American literature enthusiasts and fantasy film fans alike will find it quite enjoyable. It may seem like a playful animation at first glance, but the film does have a slightly darker aspect.

Being John Malkovich                                                                        

A mindf*** if there ever was one. This film is the work of one of our favorite writers, Charlie Kaufman, and director Spike Jonze. The transfer from reality to fantasy is abrupt but smooth, and the plot is engaging to say the least.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie                                           
If you are looking to watch a film that makes sense, this is not the one for you. Hardly any part of Luis Bunuel's 1972 masterpiece can be described as "average", from the ever-changeable plot line to the unsuspecting characters. One thing we can say for sure is that the film captures the dream state beautifully.

1 comment:

  1. Would've been very disappointed if Being John Malkovich wasn't on this list :)

    And the only thing I remember from Mark Twain is crapping myself at the encounter with Satan scene... *shudder*