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Five Movies that are Just Way Too Smart For All of Us

If you don't quite understand a movie, it may be because it went just above your head or maybe it's really just a confusing mess. If you liked the movie, a second or third showing may reveal all. Or you can read the reviews and get an explanation -if there is one. Then there are movies where you think, "LOL, I know this makes sense but I don't want to work too hard at it, so I'll just take their word for it." Which of those categories does Primer fall into for you?

Shane Carruth delivered high on complexity with his film about a pair of scientists who build their own version of a time traveling machine. What was so amazing about this film is that it was created with the low budget of seven thousand dollars. The film contains a plethora of minor details that are important in moving the story forward. Complex doesn’t even begin to describe its intense intellectualism and facts with which it is packed. In fact, discussions are still taking place about this intellifilm and people are just starting to figure it out after twelve years time. It is a brilliant film

If you like mind-expanding movies that force you to think and notice clues and keep up with subplots, you'll want to check out the film suggestions featured at Unreality.

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For my money, the smartest person in film was Hannibal Lechter in "Silence of the Lambs."

While I could follow most of his thinking, I was also taken by his very human desires. He did not need to prove anything, just get free and let others win on his way there.
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I've been a fan of Pi since first seeing it years ago. Unfortunately, I've noticed the versions I've found on streaming seem to be missing a few little bits and pieces, a line here, a shot there. While we're speaking of simply seconds of the movie that are missing, it changes the whole dynamics of some scenes. Thus this changes the feel of the film.
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I think Primer and Pi suffer a bit from the desire to WANT them to be so 'heady.' I watched Pi twice and just couldn't even get through Primer (made it about 80%). And it wasn't because of the concept or story it's just that they aren't particularly well-made films. Yes, they try stuff that seems/feels different. Yes, they're provocative. But these things still don't overcome their short comings for me. What I DO think they show is the potential that these two filmmakers have. Aronofsky has obviously proven his unique vision with much better films: Requiem (film still makes me shudder and I don't know if I can ever bring myself to watch it a second time), Black Swan and I'm very much intrigued by Mother. Carrurth has yet to though I have not yet seen Upstream Color which is his only other directorial venture to date.

The other three. Well, Lynch, Malick and Kubrick are names that still get bantered around for their vision after 40 years so they test of time has definitely held for them. I do think all three of these films are very strong contenders for showing the 'intelligence' of the directors. Malick's Tree of Life in particular is one that I like to contrast with another 'heady' film that came out around the same period, Lars Von Triers Melancholia. While vastly different in tone, thematically they deal with very similar concepts. I couldn't stand Melancholia. I thought it was overwrought, derogative and boring. However, Tree of Life was refreshing, hard, cerebral and provocative in a way that allowed me as the viewer to engage with it.
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