Okay, I started making a list for friends called 13 great movies that you probably never heard of. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
1. Leolo (Canadian) Young French-Canadian kid named Leo believes his mother was impregnated by a Scilian tomato which is why he only answers to Leolo. And he’s the sanest member of his family. The filmmaker Jean-Claude Luzon died at 43 with his girlfriend when the Cessna he was piloting crashed but he lived long enough to tell Norman Jewison to go fuck himself when offered the chance to direct a Gene Hackman thriller and to tell Jamie Lee Curtis, a judge at Cannes, that he wanted to chew her up like a piece of liver.
2. Lovers of the Arctic Circle (Spanish) Directed by Julio Medem. Otto and Ana fall in love as children, become accidential brother and sister, become lovers, fall apart, and never quite find each other again, despite heroic efforts to that end. I’ve watched it six times and it breaks my heart every time.
3. Off the Map (American) Inept IRS man tracks down deliquent family in desert, falls in love with wife (who is standing naked in the garden) at first site, comes down with a fever, bonds with depressed husband, takes up painting and becomes famous at it although he doesn’t really care. Told from the perspective of the young daughter of the family.
4. Last Life in the Universe (Thai) Directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang. Suicidal Japanese librarian on the run from Yakuza moves in with Thai prostitute because there are two dead guys in his apartment.
5. Morvern Caller (Scottish) Lynne Ramsey’s second film (the first was the equally extraordinary Ratcatcher) stars the incredible Samantha Morton as a grocery store clerk who wakes up on Christmas morning to find that her boyfriend has killed himself in the kitchen, leaving behind the manuscript of a novel and the addresses of some publishers. She changes his name to hers and sends it in and then heads off to Spain with her girlfriend for a holiday.
6. Barbarian Invasions (Canadian) Directed by Denys Arcand. A fairy tale about dying not simply with diginity but with joie de vive.
Who has something to add to the list?