Movie Request: Stylized Movies


That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
Yet another request for you folks in the (OMG I can't even type this first half of ONE sentence without three four typos) interweb worlds.

I'm getting a restless energy again and a few thoughts have crossed my mind. But before I create a post for that, I think I need to do some would be research. I've got a short list of movies that I'm going to be watching over the next few weeks and I would like any additions that you could throw my way.

Hopefully, after sharing the list here, you should have a decent idea of what type of aesthetics I'm looking for. Very broadly, I want something that I would describe as stylized. I see this list as one of those school tests you get where I give you an example of "apple is to orange, as pencil is to..." and you might reply, "pen." Logical relationships, I mean. Not that I expect the answer "pen," but in context of what's being provided I would NOT expect the answer to be, say, "dump truck." I hope that makes sense!?

Last week I finished Mystic River again. I actually really enjoy this movie's pacing and multiple narratives that play out. The climactic ending #1 (there are like three endings which, arguably is either overkill or ego, still play well and feel necessary, if inefficient) had a wonderful pace, building tension by jumping between two parallel closing story arcs. This pace is very similar to something I've written in the past and I just never noticed how this specific plot device played so well until this re-watch. That excited me very much. That and the callback to when young Dave Boyle drove off in that car as a kid, when getting into the car with the Savage Brothers. Nice stuff, IMO.

Anyway. That experience nudged me a bit more to dig around and revisit a few familiar movies, searching for details that I might have missed during the first 10 or so viewings of each, or what of these movies I've simply forgotten.

All that out of the way, here is my current watch list and the things I intend to pay the most attention to for each:

Solaris (2002)
(composition, soundtrack, narrative and color use)

The Outsider (HBO Series, 2020)
(beats, depth of field and framing)

Mystic River
(pacing, cuts and callbacks)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
(pacing, lighting, soundtrack)

Stay (2005)
(pacing, narrative and visual layering)

(color, soundtrack and composition)

Slipstream (2007)
(wtf ever I can glean from this, but this is pretty extreme for what I'm aiming at. i just want to rewatch it)

Michael Clayton
(audio transitions and soundtrack)

In the Mood for Love (2002)

I guess I mean to narrow this down more to the audio/visual techniques and less about the scripting itself, though I did mention narrative and pacing. I suppose, for me, there's some undercurrent of similarity through this list that I can't quite put my finger on to translate here. I'm looking for other movies with similar vibes. I don't want some obscure title just for the sake of obscurity. I HOPE that this string of titles is enough to go on. If not, maybe I'll just add to the list as work through these movies. I'm already thinking to add The Phantom Thread for its soundtrack score.

So yeah. Thoughts?
"My Dionne Warwick understanding of your dream indicates that you are ambivalent on how you want life to eventually screw you." - Joel

"Ever try to forcibly pin down a house cat? It's not easy." - Captain Steel

"I just can't get pass sticking a finger up a dog's butt." - John Dumbear

The trick is not minding
The Assassin (2015)
Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Pay attention to the pacing , the acting (mostly visual, little dialogue) the cinematography. Especially the scene towards the end where Shu Qi stands alone, overlooking a cliff, in quiet contemplation having made her decision.
Seriously. Itís amazing. is my current watch list and the things I intend to pay the most attention to for each

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
(pacing, lighting, soundtrack)

So yeah. Thoughts?
My thoughts are 'Jesse James' gets a 5/5 rating from me but if you're watching it with a focus on (pacing, lighting, soundtrack) then you're missing the most amazing aspect about it and that would be: its time period correct vernacular. SO many period piece movies have the characters speaking in modern phrases with current slang & curse words. In 'Jesse James' they speak and swear like 19th century roughens. It's amazing, if one just listens and thinks about what you're hearing.

Oh and the cinematography is so sublime that its left/right panel 'gauze effect' is still being used today. Hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did!

Professional horse shoe straightener
These films are all stylized, but some in very different ways from each other:

Tokyo Drifter (amazing use of colour)
The Cook, The Thief, His wife and her lover
Let the Corpses Tan
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
The Ballad of Narayama (1958)
Souzhou River
Ashes of Time
The Reflecting Skin
Only God Forgives
Wild Goose Lake
Beau Travail
Le Samourai
Kaili Blues
Long Days Journey into Night (2018)
Waves (2019)
Kitano films like Fireworks, Sonatine and Dolls
Vigil (1984)
Antiporno - watch it just for the colours if you don't like the film. Some shots towards the end are mesmerizing.

Wild Card: 'Age Out' (2018)

Registered User
Thanks for sharing


Uses soundtrack to create the pace of the film. Switches between points of view.
Speaking of films that use creative soundtracks: American Graffiti...
This was one of the first major features to do away with a musical score altogether and just use popular songs. The technique has been used by Martin Scorsese for GoodFellas and Quentin Tarantino for the majority of his movies.
A cool thing about American Graffiti soundtrack is that the songs we hear are being 'played' by the various cars and fast food joints, the sound and volume can change as the scene progresses.