It is not a secret my passion for European and independent cinema whose low budgets do not allow the visibility that their blockbuster (distant) relatives enjoy, and so they remain unknown, but not less worth-while to be seen, appreciated and loved - as also LS pointed out. What I really like of those films is their attention to real feelings and their detour from conventional morals, predetermined patterns and standard paces whilst staying true to the milestones of art-cinema. Also, although filtered through the eyes of their specific culture and costumes, they are able to convey universal messages and profound reflections. Their obscure quality is certainly an added value for cine-phile like me. There is nothing more rewarding for a cinema afecionado, in fact, than to casually bump into an unexpectedly enthralling *film of substance*. It is not exactly the same with books, where, for me, word of mouth is essential for I do not have time and patience to experiment random literature. In the case of cinema though you can be more daring without too much damage and the reward is great. It is a bit like when you spot a talented unknown actress and then you start losing interest when you know everything about her through interviews, critics and gossips as it becomes more difficult to identify her with her character or you focus your attention more on her acting skills than on the final result.
1- Amores Perros (Mexico) -- Violence and death, life and destinies. 2- Belleville Rendevous (France) -- Stylish animation, inventive story evoking la Belle Epoque, and the grandma reminding me my nonna Lina! 3- Black Cat White Cat (Serbia) -- The infinite resources of men! 4- Bombón: El Perro (Argentina) -- How a dog can change your life - sweet sweet sweet! 5- Buffalo 66 -- a psychological portrait of a criminal and an artful minimalist photography. 6- Cruel Joys (Czech Repubblic/Slovakia) -- I casually watched it at the 2005 London Film Festival, it was certainly a nice surprise. 7- Everything is illuminated (Ukraine) -- Parallels, coincidences, secrets and an improbable friendship. 8- Me and You and Everyone we Know (America) -- An introverted man and an imaginative woman meet. 9- My Life as a Dog (Sweden) -- World seen by a child - uplifting and moving. 10- Together (Sweden) -- a woman with a conventional family finding shelter and support in a commune. 11- Train De Vie (French) -- Historical fairy-tale about holocaust. 12- Wait Until Dark (America) -- One of Helpburn's finest interpretations. 13- What's eating Gilbert Grape -- A joung Jonny Depp in an extremely sweet. I have many more up my sleeve, but I need to go to bed now. So good night, and good luck. ; )
So, following the footprints of a devoted blogger, Lovely Salome, I dusted my memory and uncovered some well kept secrets: 13 relatively obscure films, which I shall call my *13 quirky little gems*. With a Kubrik-style accuracy I tried to touch all macro-genres and balance the country of origin. All for your full enjoyment.