Quite often, I indulge by grabbing a tub of popcorn and binge my way through Hollywood productions. This habitual process of non-stop viewing has engendered in me, a sense of religious piety – one that has only grown with passing age. And lo, we proceed to Headscratcher Movies.
As you progress through a barrage of content, you encounter a variety of – Quintessential blockbusters, passionate indies, critically acclaimed cinematic stand-outs, fan servicing- cult classics, and….
“Mind-boggling sometimes outright zany advances” in the field of cinema.
I call ’em Headscratchers.
Headscratcher Movies stick out and defy convention by effecting a potent surge of idiosyncratic dispositions. As a result, You find yourself sitting stoned through the run time of these eponymous fares, only to come out bedazzled, or sometimes winded! So mystifying… Above all, takes its toll on the psyche.
It all began on a popcorn-munching day, one cold winter night, when my mom and I tuned into watching David Lynch’s renowned piece of work, Mulholland Drive. (And on hindsight, clearly something that you don’t watch with your parents).
Mulholland Drive is outright ambiguous. It boasts of a convoluted plot that unfolds little by little over repeated watchings (that never seem to bore). I first got transfixed by it eight years back, and even as of today, the fascination with the wacky plot hasn’t dwindled the slightest.
Mulholland Drive doesn’t have a methodical plot structure. There is no quantifiable beginning, a middle, or an end! It works amazingly well as relies on its colorful characters, enigmatic storyline, and the weird zeal. All of which I have come to associate with Headscratcher Movies.
Lynch’s oeuvre lies in the tasteful creations of “kooky” characters. His contribution to the oddball TV Show, Twin Peaks, alongside co-creator Mark Frost necessitated the idea of fostering visually bewitching serials that we have come to adore. Lost. Fargo. Broadchurch. Should I even go on?
Headscratcher Movies - Flamboyance and inadvertent presumptuousness
Headscratchers as films, are very volatile. As a consequence, the unpredictability quotient is nigh high and can be quite off-putting to puritans who want a simplistic viewing experience. Owing to these trying factors, Headscratchers are a hard sell when it comes to the box office.
Often dismissed as pretentious movies that aspire to be something much more than they deserve to be!
Darren Aronofsky might be synonymous with the aforementioned characterisation. His movies have oft been neo-noirs shot inexplicably well with aesthetics that are a delight to watch. The man behind Requiem For A Dream, PI and Black Swan amongst other bests, has a slew of controversies to his name. 2017’s Mother!, is the prime benefactor of it all for its askew rendition of a tale that allegedly claims to be an artistic reference to biblical allegory. Yes, I did watch Mother!. By the time credits were rolling, I was left feeling jarred.
J law and Javier Bardem churn out terrific performances as metaphorical representations of Mother Earth and God. However, the movie was a freakish numb ride that left average cinemagoers disillusioned with an overdose of vociferous exhibition. In short, Mother! Is a well-made movie that gets too eldritch!
Why Headscratcher Movies?
Headscratchers needn’t always be right on track. That is to say, encompassing the right sentiments over delivering a palatable experience. But when done right and handled with dexterity, they can transcend cinematic milestones and can fit elegantly with diverse genres.
Psychological thrillers with elements of horror have this massive scope of experimenting with their storylines. Be it a Lovecraftian horror movie, or a gothic tale of suspense, or to invoke social commentary. There are seemingly endless possibilities to endow the movie with rambunctious creativity. Meaning, elevating the status of an ordinary horror movie, into something much more fleshed out. For instance, think Get Out, American Psycho.
The unrelenting passion for cinema oozes through Headscratcher Movies. And therefore, there is something for everyone, irrespective of the genre it’s based on. And throughout movie history, headscratchers have always found their place. They’d live on for centuries of movie making to come. Above all, they are unique and damn unapologetic!
Try Synecdoche New York.
Mulholland Drive is my favourite amongst these.