The Film Guide: Four Films That Will Leave You Questioning

Chungking Express Movie Poster
Chungking Express Movie Poster
Chungking Express Movie Poster
Chungking Express Movie Poster

There are films out there that defy explanation of why they are enjoyable. Such films may have interesting characteristics that make it stand out, such as tone, trippy effects or an insane plot. Here is a list of films that grabbed me for some pretty unique reasons. They may not be for everyone, but there is something hard to define about them that make them enjoyable.

The Fountain takes a love story and spreads it across many generations. Birth, death and even creation are all discussed as avenues for love. The scope of this movie is huge and the visuals are appealing. It swirls and spins as it tells an ethereal tale that is equal parts confusing and intriguing. It's a gorgeous movie that doesn’t always tell a coherent story, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

If you want to take a strange trip with a movie, Blue Velvet takes you on a weird journey. Follow along with the weirdness that is Dennis Hopper and a severed human ear. A mysterious tale that involves a singer and her kidnapped child weaves with some inexplicable singing and drug use. Not for the average viewer, but worth watching for the crazed performances.

A more recent film that weaves a lyrical story is The Tree of Life. Terrence Malick works on films ranging from discovering America to World War II, but all cover topics such as life, death, and the universe. Told in poetic language and with only about 20 lines of dialogue, this movie is best appreciated while relaxing and experiencing its dreamlike nature. This movie is not for anyone that wants a fast experience or will not appreciate long stretches of contemplative silence. This movie reminds me that life is more about the journey than each individual moment.

Here is a bonus recommendation for anyone who has never seen a movie by Chinese born director Kar Wai Wong: see Chungking Express as a starter. Dreamy like a Malick film, but with a different tone, this director focuses on relationships of two different cops. Showing how people react to relationships falling apart and coming back together, this is a gorgeous vision of Hong Kong and a great introduction to Wong’s directorial style. Look for 2046 for a more science fiction-based love story.

Leave a comment below with movies that you love, even if it leaves you questioning.