Luis Buñuel directed the dinner party that never ends in 1962’s The Exterminating Angel. The Spanish filmmaker reveals his familiar disdain for bourgeois society in the subversive satire by putting wealthy party guests through an existential hell. Once the niceties wear off, the facade crumbles, and weeks later — unable to bring themselves to leave the gathering — the guests succumb to hysteria, starvation, and begin tearing the walls apart for food and water in the pipes beyond.
The Great Land of Small
The 1987 movie is worth a peek for fans of Twin Peaks’ Man From Another Place, Michael J. Anderson. This was his first major film role. If you can appreciate the surreality of a low-budget children’s movie about fantasy kingdoms in an alternate dimension, acrobat moms, gold dust, and hobo types hunting children in the woods, you’ll have a blast.
Luc Besson’s 2010 adaptation of Jacques Tardi’s French comic book takes audiences through 20th-century Paris and the tombs of Egypt. The magical realism of Amélie meets the intrepid spirit of Raiders of the Lost Ark as a writer contends with mummies, a newly hatched Pterodactyl, and a villainous Mathieu Amalric (Quantum of Solace). Louise Bourgoin makes a charismatic, skillful, and quick-witted heroine.
Fritz Lang’s 1921 silent film has drawn the attention of major directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Luis Buñuel for its visual artistry and imaginative special effects. The frame tale finds a woman confronting Death personified in order to save her lover. She’s offered three chances to bring him back, and the episodes follow her to exotic lands for fantastic adventures. Lang demonstrates that love isn’t necessarily stronger than death, but even the cloaked figure can regard it with awe.