Freaks, 1932, Tod Browning

This a totally unique and very powerful old gem which almost ended Tod Browning’s carrier and fame earned with his Dracula movie. He had the guts to cast actual deformed people to play circus freaks, and thus he immediately was coined tasteless. But again, as always, the stones were thrown by those who did not actually watch the film and didn’t get to witness the absolutely breathtaking performances and the very natural, not-freak-show-like take on friendship, loyalty and revenge.

Aaltra, 2004, Gustave de Kervern, Benoît Delépine

The two writers who also directed this film are obviously lack a few screws in their head. Nobody in their right mind would dare to make such an offensive film in the age of political correctness. But they are absolutely right, and the result is so brilliantly funny and so uncomfortable at the same time, that you will be laughing with tears, looking at others from the corner of your eye and hoping, for the sake of your friendship, that you are not the only one laughing. And don’t worry, everyone else will laugh ad feel just as guilty about it as you. Who says all disabled people are nice? Obviously, there have to be some that are just lazy, irritating, mean and obnoxious. After all, as the slogan goes, they are people too, right?

Crash, 1996, David Cronenberg

This is a fascinating and kind of sexy film about car-crash victims who get their kicks from crashed cars and bones, to offer a bizarre stance on a sensitive issue: the links between sexual pleasure, pain and death, and technology. Cronenberg, as usual, makes no attempt to convince his audience of anything, neither to make us relate to his characters, he just points out something weird and he creates an unforgettable atmosphere.

+ a much less controversial one: Le scaphandre et le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), 2007, Julian Schnabel.

This is the true story of a man who suffers a stroke, gets completely paralyzed and manages to communicate (actually, to write a novel) with his left eye. The director is THE Julian Schnabel, the artist/painter, unfortunately and obviously much more interested in panting-like images (art direction) than the actual story, although he always chooses to make biographical films about fascinating people. Nevertheless, just as his previous adventures into film (Basquiat, Before Night Falls), this one is also definitely worth watching.

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