There is a certain kind of film out there that is just plain captivating, in a way that I’m not sure I can accurately describe (although not for lack of trying). They are completely unexpected, explosively energetic, and occasionally just plain insane.
What makes a movie Crazy Cool? Jesus, I wish I knew. The only common uniting trait among the films I list here is that they are amazing in unexpected ways. These are not necessarily my absolute favorite movies, but they all have that certain je ne sais quoi (French for “really awesome movie”) that sets them apart from other films and makes them into almost an entirely different breed of cinema. Here are all the Crazy Cool movies I can think of, in no particular order:
- Southland Tales
- The Manchurian Candidate (the original)
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
- The Fifth Element
- Mulholland Drive
Keep in mind that this is a different list from movies that are “too cool for school,” which are a less intense, more self-assured, but equally impressive shade of cool. The movies that spring to mind are outlined below:
- No Country For Old Men
- A Place in the Sun
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (semi-frightening aside: last night I was in the studio helping Parker out with a photo shoot and I picked up a dime, flipped it into the air, and caught it. Heads. I thought, “Heh, I’m gonna keep saying ‘heads’ and see if anyone gets the reference.” So I continued flipping the coin and I kept getting heads. I didn’t start out counting them, but I got somewhere between 9 and 12 in a row, and really freaked myself out. Am I dead?)
- The Godfather (For whatever reason, I just wasn’t that taken with this film. But it most definitely is the epitome of a movie that is too cool for school.)
- The Fountain
It is interesting to note that in my experience, Crazy Cool movies are the rarer of these two categories. The “too cool for school” list is by no means exhaustive and could very easily include everything Wes Anderson has ever made, a bunch of films by Altman and Lynch and undoubtedly non-Americans like Fellini and Kurosawa (although I don’t have much knowledge of their work). Conversely, the list of Crazy Cool movies above is quite honestly every film I can think of that I would describe in those (vague) terms. Am I missing any?