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Mind-Bending Movies

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Mind-Bending Movies

One of Hollywood’s most surprising success stories in recent years has been 2023 Best Picture Oscar winner Everything Everywhere All At Once (which we’ll be screening this Saturday at 1:30 PM). It’s a powerful, emotional story about a family fracturing under extraordinary stress, and it also takes the audience on a wild odyssey through countless parallel universes. Of course, it’s far from the first film to take pleasure in subverting viewers’ ideas of reality. For more mind-bending movies you can watch using your Livingston Library card, check out the list below…

(Descriptions taken from Kanopy & Hoopla)

holy motors

Holy Motors – 2012, directed by Leos Carax

Join Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant) on his rollicking, soulful journey by limousine through the streets of Paris as he transforms into multiple characters for a series of mysterious “appointments.” Director Leos Carax melds monster movie, film noir, romantic drama, musical, crime thriller, and anime in his mirthful, mind-bending masterwork, featuring new original music performed by Kylie Minogue. Holy Motors is a ravishing fever dream of becoming, unraveling and starting all over again.

Mother! – 2017, directed by Darren Aronofsky

Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem deliver unforgettable performances in Mother!, director Darren Aronofsky’s praised opus. Experience the visually arresting psychological thriller that will leave your heart pounding and your mind blown!

Annihilation – 2018, directed by Alex Garland

A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.

Crimes of the Future – 2022, directed by David Cronenberg

In the not-too-distant future, humankind is adapting to its toxic environment via mutation or surgery. Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) and his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux) present his mutations as performance artists, while Timlin (Kristen Stewart), a government investigator, tracks their movements. Saul’s notoriety incites a mysterious group to unveil the next phase of human evolution.

donnie darko 1

Donnie Darko – 2001, directed by Richard Kelly

Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a disturbed adolescent from a semi-functional, upper-middle class family, gifted with a sharp intellect and vivid imagination – but he’s also a bit weird. Donnie’s off his medication and when his boredom is obliterated by a falling airline engine, he becomes increasingly delusional and convinced the world will end in 28 days. Aided by an imaginary friend, he embarks on an increasingly crazed series of actions, which horrify his teachers, scare his parents and amaze his friends.

Neptune Frost – 2021, directed by Anisia Uzeyman and Saul Williams

Multi-hyphenate, multidisciplinary artist Saul Williams brings his unique dynamism to this Afrofuturist vision, a sci-fi punk musical that’s a visually wondrous amalgamation of themes, ideas, and songs that Williams has previously explored in his work. The film takes place in the hilltops of Burundi, where a group of escaped coltan miners form an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective. From their camp in an otherworldly e-waste dump, they attempt a takeover of the authoritarian regime exploiting the region’s natural resources – and its people. When an intersex runaway and an escaped coltan miner find each other through cosmic forces, their connection sparks glitches within the greater divine circuitry.

Jacob’s Ladder – 1990, directed by Adrian Lyne

Director Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction) and Oscar-winning actor Tim Robbins (Mystic River, The Shawshank Redemption) push the boundaries of psychological terror in this suspense-laden thriller in which a Vietnam War veteran, now a New York City postal worker, struggles with flashbacks and hallucinations. With the help from his new bride, he fights to keep sane while his brain fluctuates between reality and delusion.

Altered States – 1980, directed by Ken Russell

A terror spectacle by visual wizard Ken Russell about a research scientist whose experiments unlock the horrors of his mind.

Arrival – 2016, directed by Denis Villeneuve

When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – led by expert translator Louise Banks (Academy Award nominee Amy Adams) – races against time to decipher their intent. As tensions mount between fearful governments, Banks discovers the aliens’ true purpose and, to avert global war, takes a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner and Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker co-star in this mesmerizing masterpiece with a mind-blowing ending.

Joe, Adult Services & Acquisitions

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