This list of film gems is an essential cure for every cinephile if you’ve had to consume too many commercially popular films.
These film gems are the benchmarks much-like historical monumental figures in the history of the silver screen. Like every tourist visits history through its monumental structures, these films act exactly like that. For every cinephile, every single one of these films is an essential watch to enrich their love for cinema. Consider these as a cinematic gateway to the work of the most important filmmakers of all time. We bet with these you could get lost for days.
Take a look:
The 400 Blows– François Truffaut
This 1959 drama is the French New Wave master’s feature debut based on his childhood. It’s one of the highly-credited movies of all time and arguably his most personal film that doesn’t feel personal.
Bicycle Thieves- Vittorio Di Sica
One of the most beloved films of all time, De Sica’s 1948 Oscar winner tells the simple story of a hardworking man whose bicycle is stolen. But it does so in such a simple yet effective way that it just rewrote the rules of film grammar.
Breathless- Jean-Luc Godard
Another from the bag of French New wave cinema, this films’s narrative doesn’t really matter, it’s the tone of Godard that strikes. It was one that’s constantly aware of itself as an object of art, fashion, and sexuality. Moreover, with this film in the 1960s Godard injected art cinema with a playfulness that it hadn’t really seen before, opening the eyes of hundreds of filmmakers.
Apu Triology- Satyajit Ray
This is a three-part series, all of which stand on their own firm ground and yet they become something transcendent when viewed together. Panther Panchali, Aparajito, and Apur Sansar are perfect examples of a belief that great films are empathy machines, ways to experience lives and perspectives we otherwise could not.
Megh Dheke Tara- Ritwik Ghatak
This film makes you look for a deeper meaning of sacrifice and pain that a woman goes through for the sake of her family and how emotions within a family play a tug of war. Neeta is the beautiful daughter of a middle-class refugee from East Pakistan. She sacrifices everything for her family while they exploit her goodness and take advantage of her.
The Gold Rush- Charlie Chaplin
Silent comedies are often looked at as mere exercises in physical humor – and while that element is certainly a part – but Chaplin’s work transcended all of that and knowing looks to the camera. His best movies had more humanism and relatable emotion.
The Rules of the Game – Jean Renoir
This film is a roller coaster in terms of tone and style. One of the most revered films of all time, this is a scathing examination of class in French society. While all the people play a certain game it slowly starts to reveal the rules of class that they have to live through in society.
The pride of this nation has always been this film. We have all heard the song ‘jab payar kia toh darna kya’. From Black and White to Coloured this film has gone through ages. Salim, an emperor’s son, falls in love with a beautiful courtesan. Even though he is determined to be with her, his father decides to break them apart.
Citizen Kane- Orson Welles
Orson Welles is a largely celebrated filmmaker for his unique rules of film grammar. The investigation of a publishing tycoon’s dying words reveals conflicting stories about his scandalous life.
In the Mood for Love – Wong Kar-wai
A hypnotic story of love and longing set in Hong Kong in 1962. The two protagonists play neighbors who develop an attraction to one another in a way that feels both deeply cinematic and completely human
Rashomon- Akira Kurosawa
This film of the 1950s is perhaps the finest film ever to investigate the philosophy of justice. With action, while incisively examining the nature of truth, Kurosawa beautifully reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the story of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife.
Rear Window- Alfred Hitchcock
From the master of Cinema another thriller of the 1950s that plays with the most human quality of a person, curiosity. A professional photographer is stuck in his apartment, healing from a broken leg. Out of boredom, he begins to spy on his neighbors and comes across a shocking revelation.
Salaam Bombay- Mira Nair
This film depicts the true reality of the people of streets of Mumbai. Oscar entrant from India and the national award winner, this film is an inside perspective of the slums of Mumbai and its children. When a revengeful Krishna destroys his brother’s motorbike, his mother asks him to return home only when he earns INR 500 to repair it. In a turn of events, he finds himself in a Bombay slum.
La Dolce Vita- Federico Fellini
In Federico Fellini’s lauded Italian film, restless reporter drifts through life in Rome. This films is what they call a character-driven plot. Despite his hedonistic attitude, he does have moments of quiet reflection, resulting in an intriguing cinematic character study.
The Cyclist- Mohsen Makhmalbaf
An afghani immigrant is having a tough time making a living in his new home of Iran. His wife becomes gravely sick, and knowing that his current salary can’t provide for her treatment, he takes an odd proposition from a crooked entertainment promoter to publicly bets that he can ride a bicycle for seven days straight. As a media circus develops, he begins his harrowing journey with his son at his side. Grounded in reality the movie makes you in touch with the protagonist’s feels.
Cabaret- Bob Fosse
This film is a musical, awarded many Oscar laureates tell the story through cabaret performances. The life of a cabaret dancer, Sally, who works at the Kit Kat Klub is explored throughout the film. It is set in the time when the Nazi Party was slowly growing in power. Stark reality underlies through cabaret.
Taxi Driver- Martin Scorsese
It is a movie that is too popular and everybody’s inspiration. Grounded in reality it shows the New York in its 70s. An ex-marine and Vietnam veteran, works as a taxi driver in New York City. One day, he is driven to save an underage prostitute from her pimp in an effort to clean the city of its corruption.
Bhumika- Shyam Benegal
As the name suggests it is a story of a young girls who becomes an actress with the help of a man and ends up marrying him. However, things complicate when she indulges in affairs with prominent men in the film industry. The film explores the concept of loneliness of a woman irrespective of having partners in life.
Hope for every cinephile these films come as a breath of fresh air and gives a headstart in the world of films. For every cinephile, it is essential to know about these films, so if you call yourself a cinephile then definitely watch these.