Thought Catalog

5 Films That Make You Feel Smart

  • 0

Blow Up (1966, Michelangelo Antonioni)

Filled with silences, long-takes, and metaphysical gestures, Antonioni’s only box-office hit is a must see that demands erudition and serious contemplation. David Hemmings plays a vapid, nihilistic, and disaffected fashion photographer who discovers a startling secret when he blows up a series of his photographs. In describing the movie, you can use words like “alienation.” It is based on a short story of the same name by Julio Cortázar, an author who smart people read. The final scene, a mimed tennis match, goes down as one of the best in cinema history.

Powered by Revcontent

Poetry that will change you

This is for the women who are first to get naked, howl at the moon and jump into the sea. This is for the women who seek relentless joy; the ones who know how to laugh with their whole souls. The women who speak to strangers because they have no fear in their hearts. This is for the women who drink coffee at midnight and wine in the morning, and dare you to question it. This is for the women who throw down what they love, and don’t waste time following society’s pressures to exist behind a white picket fence. The women who create wildly, unbalanced, ferociously and in a blur at times. This — is for you.

“When Janne has a new poem written, I shut my life down to do nothing but read it, and then when I turn my life back on, everything is better.” — James Altucher

You’ve never read poetry like this before

More From Thought Catalog

  • Jonah Matthews

    thank for webpage

  • Adam Mayes

    No love for Solaris?

    • Dan Hoffman

      Yeah of course that is another one. “Sans Soleil” constantly makes references to Tarkovsky; his narrator frequently refers to “the zone,” which is a clear allusion to “Stalker.” Marker was an admirer of Tarkovsky, and even made a documentary about him that is rare and hard to find.

      • extremeith

        rare AND hard to find?

      • Hugh Lilly

        It's really not hard to find at all:

      • Dan Hoffman

        Thanks. When something's not on DVD I consider it hard to find.

  • Michael Koh


  • extremeith

    antonioni was the greatest fraud since yimasabi

    • uhnonnymus

      Really? Even L'avventura? La notte? L'eclisse? Il Deserto Rosso?

    • Joseph Ernest Harper

      That final shot in The Passenger.

  • Julian Tully Alexander

    These are all great films, and a great list. I expected less for some reason.

  • Declan Tan

    for some reason I am glad you left out Bergman. but for many reasons I am glad I didn't see David O. Russell.


    Watching these movies will mitigate the 17 you got on the ACT or whatever the comparable score to that is on the SAT.

  • misskimball

    despite it's aesthetic advances, in it's policing of the sexuality of public space antonioni's film perpetuates misogyny and homophobia.

    agree re tarkovsky but I can't watch solaris without thinking of george fucking clooney the whole time

  • erin

    am i still smart for being familiar with these directors, but only seeing one of the films on the list?

    • Joseph Ernest Harper


  • Joseph Ernest Harper

    Great list Dan. La Jetee was a sort of 'big moment' for me.

  • Nick

    Are you sure Willem Dafoe narrated 'Tokyo-Ga'? It doesn't sound like him, and yours seems to be the only article on Google that links to the claim.

    • Dan Hoffman

      Actually, I'm not sure, and I haven't been able to verify my claim. To me it sounds a lot like him, and I know that Wenders and Dafoe worked together on another film (Faraway, So Close). Since no narrator is credited at all, there's no way to really tell. It might be Wenders himself narrating, but if you've ever scene Lightning Over Water, (which is officially credited with having Wenders as the narrator) you'll hear Wender's voice/accent and see that it doesn't sound like whoever is narrating Tokyo-Ga.

      • Naked&Famous

        The wikipedia page claims Wenders as the narrator
        Check the right side bar under 'starring'

      • Dan Hoffman

        I have changed the post to reflect this, but I still have an inkling that it might be Willem Dafoe because Wender's german accent is really quite strong.

      • Dan Hoffman

        I have changed the post to reflect this, but I still have an inkling that it might be Willem Dafoe because Wender's german accent is really quite strong.

  • ivy

    These made me like watching movies again, I had almost abandoned the things.

blog comments powered by Disqus