15 mind-expanding movies

The view is sometimes expressed that you can measure a movie’s contribution to cinema by the amount of times you can watch it. We’re convinced that even if you watch each of the films in the list below multiple times, with each viewing you’ll have the pleasure of picking out new, interesting subtexts and details which you didn’t notice before.

Another Earth

’Another Earth’ isn’t really about planets, identical selves or broken mirrors at all. Instead, it reminds us that there are certain people out there who spend their lives trying to become someone else, sometimes in order to forget a terrible past. But they can never quite manage it.

A Beautiful Mind

A candid story based on real life events, ’A Beautiful Mind’ boasts some exceptionally stirring performances. It is a tale of agonising choices, broken spirits and personal sacrifice for the sake of a chance at an ordinary life. At the same time, it reminds us that, without love, we have nothing.

K-PAX

A mysterious arrival from the planet K-PAX suddenly appears at a busy train station: a seemingly unremarkable man, whose dark glasses and easy smile surely wouldn’t set him apart from the crowd. Soon we learn that his name is Prot, and he can travel through the universe with the help of the energy contained in rays of light. Unsurprisingly, he takes up permanent residence in a New York psychiatric hospital.

Dogville

Shot from the film ’Dogville’

A great movie about human nature. Or rather, about the impossibility of changing humankind’s dubious moral makeup. This brutal film from director Lars von Trier will leave you with little hope that the world can change for the better.

Trance

A high-quality, intriguing and thoroughly unusual film, which masterfullly leads the viewer along by the nose for the whole duration. You’ll enjoy the fantastic acting, captivating visuals, and mesmerising atmosphere.

Inception

’Inception’ blurs the delicate boundary between dreams and reality, submerging you in its confusing alternate world without letting you go for a second. A movie which — perhaps more than any other — pushes your imagination to the limit.

Melancholia

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Going over that rickety bridge to the next village won’t help either. How do you escape from a doomed planet? You can’t — you only have one choice, and that’s to make peace with the world and enjoy it while it lasts. We all die someday, and everyone goes alone. So let’s go hand in hand if we can.

Peaceful Warrior

A film which will inspire you to strive for more and to be a better person. Occasionally, having become caught up in our own petty concerns, we forget how infinitely wonderful the world is. We forget that every second has meaning, and every moment in and of itself is a reflection of a unique and amazing phenomenon we call ’life’.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

A sparkling romantic tragicomedy, which builds to an atmospheric and thrilling finale. With ’Eternal Sunshine’, you have a masterpiece on your hands. Highly recommended.

Solaris

A film by Andrey Tarkovsky. It’s not, in fact, about outer space, but about people. The planet Solaris is not the subject of the narrative, but merely a way to make you look at yourself and at your conscience — to think about your life, the mistakes you’ve made, and ultimately, repent for your sins. As the protagonist says, ’shame is the one feeling which will save humanity’.

Stay

A student called Henry, finding himself on the edge of a nervous breakdown, visits a psychologist to declare that he will kill himself in three days’ time, on Saturday at midnight. This is where the movie begins. One of the saddest and at the same time most beautiful films made in any language.

Vanilla Sky

’Vanilla Sky’ depicts the meaning of real love — the kind which flares up suddenly out of nowhere, becoming the most powerful feeling you’ve ever experienced. But this isn’t the kind of love you’re expecting. It should be remembered that this film is a treacherous, mind-bending puzzle from the very start.

Awakenings

An unbelievably powerful, but also deeply sad film. This is precisely the kind of older piece of cinema which should be watched in these times when vampires, miracles, magic and action dominate the silver screen. ’Awakenings’ depicts real people, with real problems and concerns.

Dead Man

An allegorical movie full of hidden images and symbols. It’s not a western, nor a drama, but in fact a real philosophical parable about life and death. The film has magnificent performances in every scene, as well as a fantastic soundtrack from Neil Young, which along with the black and white cinematography, creates a truly unique atmosphere.

The Man from Earth

This is one of those movies which few people have heard of, but sticks in the brain of every person who sees it. It’s not the kind of film which you can watch in the cinema. Instead, you should watch it at home, if possible in the evening after work or study. You won’t see any special effects, or even a change of scenery; the entire story plays out in one house, and more or less in one room.