The 10 best European movies are a mishmash of different genres and styles. People from other parts of the world may not be aware of these films, but they are among the best movies ever created. Some of them may be stylistically different than what you’re used to, but that uniqueness helps make them especially rewarding.
- “The Lady Vanishes” is a film directed by the great Alfred Hitchcock when he was still working out of the United Kingdom. It is his best British film and the mystery will keep you guessing till the end. The movie has everything from comedy to surrealism and suspense.
- “Alphaville” is a science fiction film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. This French movie is almost a parody of the science fiction genre and it manages to create the illusion of a futuristic society without ever using any obvious special effects or overt tactics.
- “Au hasard Balthazar” is a French film by the director Robert Bresson. This devastating film follows the miserable life of a donkey as his owners mistreat him. It’s the sort of movie that has the potential to change someone’s life.
- “That Obscure Object of Desire” is a film created by Spanish Director Luis Buñuel. He was basically the father of surrealism in film and made many innovations to cinema starting in the 1920s. This movie was actually made in the 1970s, very late in the director's career. It’s about an older rich man chasing a younger woman. Inexplicably throughout the film, the actress playing the woman changes from scene to scene.
- “Aguirre: The Wrath of God" is a German film directed by Werner Herzog. The movie follows a set of conquistadors trying to travel the Amazon and deals with the constant struggle of man against nature.
- “The Virgin Spring” is a Swedish film directed by Ingmar Bergman. He made this film relatively early in his career and is his best work. The movie deals with a kidnapping set during medieval times and was the inspiration for the American film “Last House on the Left.”
- “The Golden Age” is another film by Director Luis Buñuel. This one was made in 1930 and is probably the most pure and unbridled example of surrealism in the history of cinema. This film runs 60 full minutes and it was so shocking at the time it came out that it created pure outrage and was banned. Now we can watch it in all its glory.
- “Black Narcissus” is a film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in the United Kingdom that deals with nuns living in an exotic location and the difficulties of maintaining their vows. The film is incredibly well-made and the beautiful use of Technicolor is shocking to see.
- “Stroszek” is a German film by Werner Herzog about an unusual man who suffers many hardships who decides to leave Germany and come to America. The film is beautifully made and it has moments that are so unique that it can’t really be compared to any other movie.
- “Band of Outsiders” is a crime movie by French director Jean-Luc Godard. It is a heist film on the surface, but it also manages to be a comedy and a deconstruction of a heist film at the same time. The movie is brilliantly made and virtually every moment works.
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