Cinema as we know it is thanks to a long list of revolutionary films. The films that broke new ground, pioneered new techniques and otherwise built an industry. If it weren’t for these classics movie making wouldn’t be what it is today. These are the most ground-breaking movies of all time and if you haven’t seen them already, see them now.
The Exorcist – 1973
The Exorcist is the sort of film that has built a mythology all of its own. There are rumours and myths surrounding the production, talking about how the project itself suffered a curse. Most of the tales are nothing more than silly chatter, of course, but stand as testimony to just how much of an impact The Exorcist had.
The story of a young girl possessed by a demon isn’t new, and won’t be anything you haven’t seen before. What you perhaps won’t have seen is how director William Friedkin handles the material. Stark, grounded, uncompromising and matter-of-fact, The Exorcist deals with the subject matter like it’s a documentary. Yes, The Exorcist is still scary, so you can watch it at a group movie night for maximum enjoyment.
The Matrix – 1999
No list of ground-breaking films is complete without mentioning The Matrix. While perhaps not as revolutionary as something like The Exorcist, the impact of The Matrix can still be felt today. Some now insist that the movie wouldn’t still be popular were it not for the special effects, but that’s vastly underestimating how impactful the story is. It’s far more than just special effects that make The Matrix a cultural phenomenon.
A Clockwork Orange – 1971
A Clockwork Orange is as unsettling and disturbing as it is laden with deeper meanings, hidden messages and cutting social commentary. To the untrained, the film may simply seem like a bizarre and disturbing look at thugs in a troubling science fiction world. To those that can look deeper the story is an exploration of violence, how violence is seen in our society, and why trying to eliminate violence in all its forms is an act in futility.
There is a reason A Clockwork Orange is a staple in film schools everywhere. Just don’t expect to watch it while browsing an online NZ casino on your phone; this is a project that deserves your full attention.
2001: A Space Odyssey – 1968
If you haven’t seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, you’re missing out on a truly unique cinematic experience. The film features incredible special effects that still hold up, and the story, while bizarre, is unlike anything you’re likely to see anywhere else. Especially in anything coming from the 60s.
It’s almost unbelievable that 2001: A Space Odyssey is as old as it is, given how unconventional it is. More so, it’s incredible that the movie was as successful as it was, given how conservative audiences were presumed to be at the time. Needless to say, this is the film that made it acceptable to deviate from the norms and try something truly unique.