With so much mindless, forgettable entertainment gunking up our mainstream media, we are proud to present to you 8 mind-bending movies you’ll talk about afterwards. Blister your thinking caps and bust out the UV protection for your third eye, for we look now at movies that melt the very cortex of your brain!
“Le Sang d’un Poete (The Blood of a Poet)”
Sure, Cocteau made this as a commentary on the dominance of Catholicism in Europe, but he probably could have employed way less mind-bending methods of delivering his message. How can a movie that showcases a guy falling into a mirror made of water after a mouth grows out of his hand not make the average person scratch their head and say “You, know, I think that Pope guy is a jerk”?
There had to be a Nolan movie on this list, and “Inception” is far too direct of a mind-bender for these circumstances. For those of you who haven’t seen it, “Memento” is a movie that is literally backwards. Purists appalled by this have demanded refunds, contacting over 32 interns at Sony Pictures and requesting that they tell their intern bosses that the name of the movie be appropriately changed to “Warning, CONSTANT SPOILERS AHEAD.”
“2001: A Space Odyssey”
After tripping their faces off in the ending, viewers have debated about whether or not the protagonist evolved into part of a cosmic embryo in space. In other words, this film possesses the artistic merit and charming ambiguity that “Prometheus” flails its arms like an attention-starved moron trying to achieve.
Monty Python alum Terry Gilliam has concocted numerous films that are too ridiculous not to talk about afterwards. A nearly indecipherable plot sees an everyman caught in the middle of the cogs of bureaucracy, struggling for his identity while dodging the ridiculous whims of plumbers, terrorists, and the bourgeoisie. What makes “Brazil” such a mind-bending delight is that Gilliam has a complete grasp on production design and delivers the future with style.
This is a mind-bender that you talk about afterwards because it’s the action movie equivalent of “Groundhog Day.” The sequences become more taut as the momentum gains, spiraling into a slight-of-hand ending that a horrible director could have ended with Stone Temple Pilots “Half the Man I Used to Be.”
Like Lynch and Cronenberg, you can’t make a mind-bender list without ol’ Charlie Kaufman in the mix. Any number of Kaufman’s works, from “Synecdoche, New York” to “Being John Malkovich” belong on here, but “Adaptation” hits the mark dead in the center between entertainment and giving you a headache. There has never been another drama that pokes fun at action/romance stereotypes in the first act and then sneaks the viewer into participating in this process by the third act. As a movie, the structure evokes M.C. Escher, a piece of genius that contorts back in on itself, mirroring the career choices of star Nicholas Cage.
“Twin Peaks (Pilot)”
“Fire Walk with Me” is a fine piece of work, but often views David Lynch wringing the series out for what few good parts remain. The pilot of this series raises far more mind-bending questions for being a mere television show. What begins as a straightforward murder mystery slowly unravels an underbelly of a Northwest town possessed by drug abuse, adultery, and black magic. Stranger yet: Courtney Love wasn’t even involved.