Sleepers: 10 more movies you’ve never seen, but should

Link to first list: 10 movies you’ve never seen, but should

Some of these movies are sleepers; some are beloved ones that you may have forgotten. Here are 10 more movies you’ve never seen, but should:

  • one all-time favorite movie
  • two great rock music documentaries
  • three miscellaneous gems
  • four foreign films

10 movies you've never seen, but should

1. Magnolia

Many characters’ lives overlap in a frenetic day in Los Angeles in this great movie full of great scenes. Some of my favorite scenes:

  • the opening title sequence introduces all the main characters in a rapid-fire seven minutes set to Aimee Mann’s “One,” including everything from a pickup in a bar to a zoom into a cell to reveal a character’s cancer
  • Coke-head Claudia meets a dorky, earnest cop when the music’s too loud
  • a former Quiz Kid crushes on a bartender while Supertramp booms
  • a frighteningly misogynistic Tom Cruise delivers a self-help seminar to lonely men
  • and frogs, lots of frogs

The opening title sequence:

Also check out director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights — a movie about the porn industry with a heart of gold. How often do you hear that?

2. Festival Express

This movie tells an amazing story in the history of rock and roll. In 1970, a businessman put together a series of festivals in Canada and put the musicians on a train to hang out and play together. Janis Joplin, the Band, the Grateful Dead, and many others had a blast jamming together on the train. The music flowed day and night, and the warmth and joy shown by the musicians came through in the music, with excellent performances both on and off the train. My favorite moments:

  • Joplin belts out a powerful performance of “Cry Baby” interspersed with her playful now-talking/now-singing storytelling of the “cats” who had taken off on her through the years.
  • Rick Danko, Jerry Garcia, Joplin, and others sit in a circle on the train while Danko leads a call and response of “No More Cane.” It’s great to see these legendary musicians hanging out together and goofing around.
  • The protesters’ demands to be let into the concerts for free are so outrageously ridiculous that they have the liberal, hippie musicians sticking up for the cops and the businessmen. In this era of corporate greed and the commercialization of everything, it’s mind boggling to consider how different things were not that long ago.

“No More Cane”:

3. The Last Waltz

I have seen this documentary of the Band’s final concert performance several times, but every time I feel like I see something new. It features the Band playing alongside many honored guests, including Muddy Waters, Neil Young, Van Morrison, and Eric Clapton. It’s not just a concert; it’s a documentary that shows the various influences that made up the Band’s eclectic sound. It’s also more than that: it shows the ingredients of the musical stew that is rock and roll.

The trailer:

(Related post: Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble)

4. Catfish

Like Facebook? Like meeting friends through social media? Try to avoid hearing too much about this movie before you see it, and the twists and turns will completely unsettle you.

The trailer:

5. After Hours

This funny, uncharacteristic Martin Scorsese movie stars Griffin Dunne as a New Yorker who goes out for a drink in Manhattan and spends the whole night trying to get back home. It’s very quirky and funny with great performances. “Surrender Dorothy!”

The trailer:

6. How to Get Ahead in Advertising

An advertising executive suffers from writer’s block while trying to write an ad for pimple cream; it’s bad enough when a giant boil forms on his shoulder, but when it starts talking to him, things get really strange.

The opening scene:

7. The Celebration

In this Danish film, a family gathers for a father’s birthday celebration; one son makes a disturbing, shocking toast that the rest of the family is determined to ignore. He’s sure persistent, though. This movie had me riveted.

The trailer:

8. The Nasty Girl

Do you ever feel like everyone around you is in on a secret that you don’t know? No? Maybe it’s just me. In The Nasty Girl, an innocent German schoolgirl sets out to write an essay on her beloved hometown’s brave resistance to the Nazis. As she digs deeper, though, she finds that the resistance is against her effort to uncover the truth. This movie begins in a documentary style that has moments of surrealism as the girl digs deeper into her town’s past, and she and her family are threatened.

IMDb: The Nasty Girl

9. Delicatessen

This movie mixes extreme sweetness and tenderness with a dark edge. Think Amelie (by the same director) meets Eating Raoul. The visual inventiveness will delight you. Check out the risque scene of the various residents of an apartment getting in synch with some squeaking bed springs.

Squeaking bed springs:

10. 1900

Got five hours to kill? I watched this movie many years ago at a college theater in one sitting–it’s five hours long. While I am not prepared to watch it again any time soon, certain scenes are still vivid in my memory: the whistling of villagers as they fight the fascists, the creepy old man in the barn, the two drunken men between the young woman who should never drink, Donald Sutherland and the cat–a deeply disturbing scene. This epic tale of a rich man and a poor man born on the same day in 1900 traces the history of Italy in the 20th century.

IMDb: 1900


What movie should be added to this list? Did you like any of these? Let me know in the comments.

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

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27 Responses to Sleepers: 10 more movies you’ve never seen, but should

  1. Great recommendations, Marcy! I have seen Magnolia, How to Get Ahead in Adversting (awesome), and Delicatessen. Can’t wait to check out the rest.

  2. You’re a little sleeper yourself, Marcy with these selections. How about Wings of Desire (the good one, by Wim Wenders), Trees Lounge, Down by Law? Wait a minute, I could write my own blog on sleepers. Thanks for the couple of these I haven’t seen!

    • Marcy says:

      I really liked Wings of Desire. I think I saw Trees Lounge long ago, but I don’t remember it that well. I will have to check out Down by Law. Thanks!

    • Since you mentioned Wim Wenders’ “Wings of Desire,” you should defiantly consider (his stated favorite movie): “Until the End of the World.” But get the so-called “trilogy” (5 hour) version, not the edited for mass-cinema 2 hour version.

      It was done in 1989, depicting what 2000 would be like. It’s amazing how close his vision came to reality.

  3. I can’t believe it, I haven’t seen any of these! Thank you for the great recommendations – I will look forward to adding some of these to my list of movies I want to see!
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  4. Paula says:

    Just letting you know I’ll be pinning this on pinterest!
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  5. I haven’t heard of any of these. There’s a couple I’d like to check out though! Thanks!! 😀
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  6. Lisat says:

    The only one I’ve seen is Magnolia many years ago. I loved Amelie and some of the others you compare. I will try Delicatessen and Nasty Girl. Thanks for the interesting recommendations!
    Lisat recently posted..Road Trip!My Profile

  7. Not much of a movie-watcher, so generally one of these lists leave me feeling left out, like the girl standing last in line to be picked for the volleyball team.

    This time, I’ve actually SEEN the first 3 movies on your list – 4 if you count Boogie Nights, which I loved. I’m not a big Tom Cruise fan, but I loved his creepy performance in Magnolia. Festival Express was a great docu that made me feel like *I* was on the train – good grief, they were partying hard! The Last Waltz is foggier, but I remember really liking it.

    The other movies… [sheepishly gets back in line] I haven’t seen.
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  8. What a fascinating list! I’ve only seen Magnolia and Catfish. I’ll have to check out the others. Thanks!
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  13. I love hippocracity says:

    “In this era of corporate greed and the commercialization of everything, ”

    In spite of your mock protest and holier than thou snarkiness, I couldn’t help but notice the ads all over the page… Why are they there again?

    Honestly, not a very good list and about as far from cohesive as one can get. Better luck next time.

  14. TNKerr says:

    Seen “Magnolia”
    Seen “Advertising”
    Own “The Last Waltz” DVD and two copies of the soundtrack (both vinyl and CD)
    I’ve got a pretty bad average – only three but “The Nasty Girl” sounds intriguing and if “Delicatessen” is like “Amelie” I will enjoy it as well.
    I think I need to watch “Festival Express”

    Thanks Marcy

    • Marcy says:

      I get the itch to watch “The Last Waltz” again every now and then. I had the soundtrack as one of my favorite albums when I was first getting into rock music. I hope you like the others if you check them out. Give “Festival Express” a try–not only a lot of great music, but a cool story as well.

  15. I used to go to the discount theater every Sunday. One week I saw “Magnolia.” An older gentleman walked out during the scene where the daughter keeps yelling eff you. I thought it was a shame that the language upset him so much to miss such an intricately assembled story.
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    • Marcy says:

      It does have disturbing scenes. That is too bad, but I can see that it’s not for everyone. I think it’s one of those “love it or hate it” movies.

  16. Daniel Nest says:

    Damn. I must admit I didn’t even know about the existence of most of these. Well, off to hit the Blockbuster store for that VHS I go!
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  17. Wow what a collection. I haven’t seen that many of them, but love film. Thanks.
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