Following on from June’s post 5 Movies You May Have Missed, here are 5 more films from recent years that were underrated or under-publicised and which might have slipped past you unnoticed.
Kokuhaku (Confessions) (Tetsuya Nakashima, 2010)
This Japanese film is a tense psychological thriller, set mainly in a junior high school classroom, focussing on a young teacher and her dark quest for vengeance. Visually impressive and interestingly structured, this is subtler and ultimately more disturbing than better-known Japanese high school horrors such as Battle Royale.
Stoker (Chan-wook Park, 2013)
Stoker is an English-language psychological thriller from Chan-wook Park, the director of the original Korean Old Boy. It is a stylish and gothic tale centred around a teenage girl and the arrival of her Uncle Charlie following the death of her father. The film is Hitchcockian, not only in its nod to 1943’s Shadow of a Doubt, but in its atmosphere of perversion and immorality lying shallow below respectable society.
Tim’s Vermeer (Teller, 2013)
This documentary is an intriguing and intimate insight into one man’s obsessive attempt to prove that lenses were used in the creation of 17th century Dutch artworks. Almost as a byproduct of this experiment, Tim Jenison also succeeds in creating his own sumptiously beautiful painting. It’s a thought-provoking investigation into what constitutes a ‘masterpiece’, raising questions around the ways in which we define ‘great artists’.
Fed Up (Stephanie Soechtig, 2014)
Fed Up is an investigation into the medical and societal consequences of a diet laden with added, and hidden, sugars. It attempts to highlight the damaging physical and psychological effects of sugar and the importance of tackling this in the battle against obesity and diabetes. Meanwhile, the documentary also exposes how the powerful sugar lobby uses its political influence to highjack any attempts to limit consumption of their products.
Frank (Lenny Abrahamson, 2014)
Frank is a quirky and surprisingly touching tale of a group of musicians balanced between their art as an expressive pursuit with that of music as a commercial means to gain fame and riches. It highlights the dangers involved in the exploitation of artists, often fragile and vulnerable people, by less talented fame-seekers. The cast played all the film’s music live on set and Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Michael Fassbender give excellent performances; no mean feat in Fassbender’s case, who spends most of the film encased in a papier mâché head.
Posted 10th September 2015