We are talking this week about what films do culturally, and today we were reviewing movie genres. As part of our discussion, I asked the class to each name a movie that he or she had seen, but think most of the people in the class have not seen. It had to be a movie that the student recommends, and then the student briefly discussed it.
It was interesting, partly because the descriptions were almost all character driven—that is, the way we described a movie was basically what happened form the point of view of one or two main characters.
The movies that the class named included:
- Kramer vs. Kramer (actually, that was my example).
- Stuck in Love.
- Hotel Rwanda.
- American History X.
- Full Metal Jacket.
- Inglourious Basterds.
I can’t vouch for all of them, I’ve only seen about a third of them, but I thought it was an interesting list.
I also suggested four more movies that I thought are worth watching, and that I assumed most students had not seen:
My Cousin Vinny. Two New York college students are charged with murder in Alabama, and Joe Pesci plays the lawyer in the family who comes to their rescue. While Pesci is the main star, his co-star Marisa Tomei steals the show. It’s not a great movie, but it’s an interesting juxtaposition of cultures and courtroom drama. Night Court meets The Dukes of Hazard.
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Pieces of April. Several students had seen “My Cousin Vinny,” but none had heard of this movie, in which April, who has run away to New York City as a young adult, invites her family to her first attempt to cook Thanksgiving Dinner. It’s a genuine movie about people who seem “real.” I think Katie Holmes is great as April Burns.
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I also suggested a pair of British comedies. We probably covered too many American movies anyway, and British comedies often seem to aim at more dialogue and character driving humor than their sometimes juvenile American counterparts. Anyway, the two British movies I described in class were:
The World’s End. Directed by Edgar Wright and written by him and the film’s star, Simon Pegg. A mix of apocalyptic science fiction and buddy drinking movie, it is the third of the “Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy,” which includes Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
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Keeping Mum. Maggie Smith is a murderous housekeeper, secret mother, who solves all of a families problems through blunt force trauma. It’s not a perfect movie, and it is rather dark, but it’s also wickedly funny.
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Those four are not intended to be, by any means, my best loved or favorite movies—the premise was movies that are obscure enough that others may not have seen them.
What movies would you recommend that most people reading this will not have seen? Name the movie, briefly explain it, and maybe link to a trailer in your comment.