Land Without Bread (by Luis Buñuel) (1928): Often doubled with Un Chien Andalou, this is documentary about Las Hurdes, a small village lost roughly somewhere in Spain’s rough Extremadura region. The harshness of the villagers’ lives takes on an almost comic dimension in its unrelentlessness. This isn’t your usual “look at the poor starving villagers” documentary; what makes it extraordinary are the unexpected and ridiculous routine hardships that are a part of life in Las Hurdes.
Ashik Kerib (1988): Really freaking weird Russian dramatization of an old folk tale.
Twin Peaks (by David Lynch) (1990): I had never seen the pilot and series, filmed in North Bend and Snoqualmie, East of Seattle. It’s magnificent – incredibly weird and creepy and suspenseful, with wacky characters and mindnumbing plot twists. Best seen in four or five hour chunks, but see it any way you can.
The Kingdom (by Lars Von Trier) (1994): Like Twin Peaks crossed with ER. A dark and totally weird Danish tv series about a ghost-ridden hospital filled with zany personnel. Some of the many weird elements in the mix are an egotistical visiting Swedish doctor who abhors the Danes, a haunted ambulance, and a Masonic cult in the basement. Really funny AND really disturbing. From the director of Breaking the Waves and Zentropa.