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Films that make you feel like you've gone insane after you've seen them


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I remember the first time I saw Naked Lunch in the cinema the dubbed voice scene caught me off guard, but the film is by and large quite reasonable and linear if you're familiar with Burroughs' originals. I love Cronenberg to bits but I don't think I'd put any of his films in this category. Videodrome would certainly come closest.

Lynch is a master here for me and I think Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me contain many of his finest mind-melting moments, the latter especially. I don't think anything in cinema gives me such a palpable feeling of dream dread as Laura's discovery of Bob reading her diary, and that gets more effective every time, like a recurring nightmare. You know what's coming and you don't want to see it but you can't stop the camera's steady, slow progress. I get the same feeling in several parts of Mulholland Drive, with all those POV corner-turning shots.

I don't think anyone's mentioned Don't Look Now yet - apologies if you have and I missed it, but the final montage from that weirds me out every time with its technique and its implications.

First time through Funny Games was a memorable experience, the way Haneke refuses to let you settle anywhere comfortable for more than a minute or so and the process of learning that you can't get a grip on it. It exposes the worn grooves of habit that the viewer brings to the film as much as it mocks the conventions of the genre. I think watching that is a good mental exercise, but it only works fully the first time. That's the original, I haven't seen the remake yet.

Various Herzog, possibly all Herzog but certainly the exhaustion and mania of Aguirre and the dislocation, for want of a collection of better words, of Fata Morgana

And a tip of the hat to good old Visitor Q, which through sordid excess arrives at a place of wonderful beauty in an unexpected and disorienting manner.

I shan't subject you all to yet another essay on the hallway spell scene from Suspiria, but that too and possibly foremost, because it makes me feel like I've been put under a spell.

Loads more for sure.

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Various Herzog, possibly all Herzog but certainly the exhaustion and mania of Aguirre and the dislocation, for want of a collection of better words, of Fata Morgana

You've just reminded me of another one - Herzog's "Even Dwarfs Started Small".

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Waking Life really screws with my brain, I think it's the way the art style fluidly changes to reflect the ideas being talked about by the characters, and the way the scenery has a tendency to move, I just keep thinking stuff is doing that after watching it.

Songs From The Second Floor doesn't exactly make me go mad, but it does make you view the world in a very darkly humorous way for a few hours.

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I love Cronenberg to bits but I don't think I'd put any of his films in this category.

S'okay, he wouldn't have included any of your output here either.

I was reminded this morning that watching all of the first season of Curb your Enthusiasm in one sitting had a much more profoundly disorientating effect on me than any feature film I can think of.

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Inland Empire in cinema. An incredible experience that just sucks your brain out before it ends with that bizarre end sequence. I don't really know yet whether or not it's really a great film, since it's nowhere as straightforward as Mulholland Dr., but on the other hand I've never seen a film that evokes that feeling of being in a dream that well.

I had the most bizarre cinema experience when I went to see that. I've never seen more people walk out, and I've never seen so many people stay 'til the end of the credits. I just sat there kind of stunned throughout the whole thing. Then as I was walking out someone said loudly, "I loved Lynch's use of linear plot narrative" and I had a fit of giggles.

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  • 1 year later...

I felt a bit mental for a while following After Hours. It ought to feel like a screwball comedy, but it leaves you feeling a bit hollow - no matter what happens to you, you're doomed to be stuck in a cycle of mundanity. It's a little Kafka-esque too; a real original but not an easy 'sell' and leaves you feeling unsettled.

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Casshern.

Crazy shit.

Keyword being shit! It was such an effort trying to watch that film.

I remember Perfect Blue making me feel very disorientated when I watched it, but that might have had something to do with the Sci-Fi channel's ridiculous late night anime schedule.

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Not quite insane, but decidedly odd.

Tetsuo - highly squeamish at cyborg body horror.

Hellraiser - that fim just makes me feel grimy every time I watch it. Like my soul has taken on the texture of the floorboards in Frank's room.

Manhunter - didn't enjoy Red Dragon much, but the original is unsettling in quite a nice floaty way. Must try to see it again soon.

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