The sci-fi genre has come up with some of cinema’s most iconic characters, monsters and, of course, story. Mark Hamill will always live side by side with his on-screen alter ego, Luke Skywalker. That acidic blood, Xenomorph’s skeleton design from Alien Franchising can still create nightmares. But what about international sci-fi films that don’t permeate popular culture?
From Norway to Spain, the following places have crazy scientists, erroneous experiments and strange creatures. But what can make these entries unique and weird is how those genre elements aren’t necessarily at the forefront. The human characters, their relationships or their absence, take up more time, along with complex themes not commonly found in Hollywood blockbusters. The true sci-fi genre is about people, flaws and all. The movies below use this genre to peel back the layers of people’s motivations, the good and the bad.
Russian filmmakers Andrei TarkovskyThe film received little positive response when it was initially released. It’s a mellower, more philosophical movie than a lot of people might be used to but in the end, it’s well worth it. The story follows trespassers in a confined location where the laws of physics are ignored. Those who cross these restricted areas are simply referred to as “stalkers”. It remains an influential film of the genre, as recently as 2018, proving it with the release of Destruction.
This is the last movie Andrei Tarkovsky produced in the Soviet Union before self-imposed exile. Too many struggles with those involved in Soviet film policy, led to his decision. But before he did, he did this. It’s a tiring, dangerous production job from the positions used. Tarkovsky’s death from cancer at the age of 54, along with the cancer deaths of several other crew members, were attributed to dangerous conditions. Much more shocking and unknown to many, was the film that was finally edited together from completely re-shot footage after half of the original material was misdeveloped.
I’m a robot but it’s okay (2006)
Korean director Park Chan-wook step out of revenge movies like Oldboy to create this weird, dark rom-com. A young woman with helmeted hair and bleached eyebrows looks completely gone, hospitalized after she became completely convinced she was a robot. While there, a fellow patient has a crush on her. The mental health facility, a prime location for the sci-fi genre, took on a unique look around this time.
That’s thanks to Chan-wook, whose visual style is famous, calling for something different in the set design. Instead of the traditional gloomy decor and horrible fluorescent lighting, the film offers a pastel tone. As for why the dramatic change from those dark entries on his movies was made, Chan-wook simply wanted to make a movie. his daughter will be able to see.
Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)
Via Canada, director Panos Cosmatos made her feature film debut with this wild-styled recall of ’70s and ’80s movies. A woman named Elena has ESP abilities, and she knows what many characters do. made in these types of movies. Psychic powers are not a gift but more of a curse. Especially if you’re in Elena’s shoes, trapped in a research facility with a founder who wants to use her to find common ground between New Age science and spirituality. A different mood and an atmosphere, the psychedelic score pushes the plot forward like never before with dialogue.
Through film grain from a vintage Panavision camera, it achieves the desired look of Cosmatos Beyond the black rainbow is said to be missing compared to the time period in which the film begins. But there’s another reason why the movie might just slide right onto the shelf alongside movies from decades past. Cosmatos spent time as a child in Video addicts, a rental store, where he was not allowed to see the horror films on display. He did the next best thing, read the plot synopsis, looked at the cover art, and created the movie in his head.
The skin I live on (2011)
Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar brought one of his favorite acting collaborators, Antonio Banderas, Join as a crazy surgeon, Dr. Ledgard. In this role, Banderas has gone to great lengths to create a flawless synthetic leather that cannot be damaged. To do so, he uses a human subject, a young woman imprisoned in his home. As usual in Almodovar movies, there are dramatic plot twists, many of which reveal just how bad the movie really is.
In a story ostensibly about revenge, it turns to gender themes and talks about forced identities, making for a provocative and controversial watch. With all that said, director Pedro Almodovar still delivers his autograph flourish decoration. Obviously with the house where much of the story takes place, purposefully designed to be purely clinical, styling and using its own furniture to the desired effect.
This French film is a mix of dark folktale, science fiction, and horror. Also, there is a good inclusion of the arthouse aesthetic. On an island inhabited only by women and boys, a child begins to believe that something sinister is being done by adults. Red starfish can be found along the coast, carrying a dark symbolism that could change your view of those sea creatures for a long time to come.
Evolution come and go, but it’s worth re-searching if, for no other reason, than its director’s struggle to make the film a success. Like her first movie, Innocent, the audience experiences a strange world through the eyes of a young character. Ideas for Evolution to the director Lucile Hadžihalilović before her feature film debut. After more than a decade of hiatus since its launch in 2004, Hadžihalilović has finally secured the necessary financing to bring this project to fruition.
The Untamed (2016)
A Mexican film about a couple who discover aliens, turning the couple’s unhappy relationship into a quest for erotic passion and destruction. While most stories about encounters with aliens are centered, this film chooses to put domestic issues first. However, the director Amat Escalante bring two real accounts violence into his films before even thinking about adding elements of horror and sci-fi.
The first happened when Escalante read a local newspaper with a headline about a gay man using profanity. It was part of an article about the drowning of a gay man. The second is the frequency with which women are murdered. From examples of homophobia, sexism and violence, Escalante produced his original drafts of the script. The inclusion of the aliens allowed the director to navigate the film in a different direction, which is told through visual metaphors.
This Norwegian entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards did not receive a nomination, and that is a pity. This is a horror movie, dark tones and cold setting, including the main sci-fi element of the latent psychic abilities that the protagonist has. Repress and go to college, Thelma (Elli Harboe) realizes the danger she poses to Anja, a classmate she falls in love with because of these abilities.
Manager Joachim Trier explain bigger effects for supernatural elements derived from Japanese comics and Norwegian fairy tales. However, for many people, King Stephen-his literary works and the films adapted from them — may come to mind. But Thelma take a very different path after that Carrie and Fire starter and that’s mainly because of what the main conflict is. No prom night hell or government agency. What the film does have, is a complicated relationship between Thelma and her father. The latter could be the root cause of the persecution Thelma is reeling from, one that could destroy Anja’s very existence.
Let’s head to the universe.
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https://collider.com/best-weird-sci-fi-movies-international/ 7 weird sci-fi movies from around the world