Looking at all the films that have garnered huge attention this awards season, some commonalities between these titles are starting to emerge. When we look at the films contending for the most prestigious awards in the film world, we see that most of them are maximalist films as a choice. Some of this year’s award-winning films are from RRR to Babylon and Everything Everywhere at Once; uses high-level cinematic storytelling. So what are the characteristics of maximalist films? In this list, we answer your questions along with movie samples.
Why is 2022 the year of maximalist films?
Realities that are different from each other, scenes that make us feel like there is so much more to us than we know, parallel universes, a huge cast, etc. This trend was also picked up by the audience and began to achieve big box office. With all these features combined, we can’t help but wonder why audiences are suddenly so fond of maximalist cinema in 2022.
Of course, the cinema of 2022 did not suddenly start creating maximalist films. This genre, which began to occupy a place in popular cinema with old science fiction musical films, has always been a trend. However, its importance in mainstream cinema has waxed and waned at certain periods depending on the understanding of the entertainment of the period.
Post-pandemic and maximalist films
For the masses hungry for cinema and more in the post-pandemic era; Maximalist films were also incredibly appreciated by modern moviegoers for their atmosphere, which was consistent with the idea that anything could happen. The era of COVID-19 has turned everyone’s view of what is “normal”, the presence of surprises has now become the norm in our lives.
Maximalist films accompany this lack of stability we experience with a semi-relaxing cinematic universe. Watching these films; It offers you the opportunity to see that everything is going wrong and that you are not the only one who feels like the nail of the world has come off.
Characteristics of maximalist films
When maximalist films are mentioned; it is dense in our minds, accommodating different genres at the same time; There should be films depicting different dimensions, universes and realities. We can also think of it as sort of the opposite of minimalist cinema.
Today we have collected for you 9 strong films of this genre. Let’s take a look at the universes presented to us in these 9 short films.
You can also review this article before viewing our article on maximalist films: 13 most competent examples of minimalist cinema that stands out for its simple and realistic aspects.
1. It’s Hard to Be a God – It’s Hard to Be a God (2013) – IMDB: 6.6
It’s Hard to Be a God is a 2013 science fiction film directed by Alexei German, who co-wrote the screenplay with Svetlana Karmalita. This is the director’s last film based on the 1964 novel of the same name by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
A group of scientists is sent to the planet Arkanar to help advance the local civilization, which in its history is located in the Middle Ages. The most important rule of this difficult task is the prohibition of violent interference. When they try to save the local intelligentsia from punishment, they are clearly forced to take a stand against the government. Following scientists for a long time, the main question of the film is: “What would you do if you were in the place of God?”
2. Bardo: A false chronicle of a handful of truths – Bardo
Bardo is a 2022 black comedy and drama film written, directed and produced by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The film, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography, was also nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. It is currently also available on Netflix.
Silverio Gama, a well-known Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker from Los Angeles, returns to his hometown with his family to receive a prestigious award. But as Silverio reflects on his career and accomplishments, he is faced with a deep existential crisis. The result is a series of introspections about oneself; For Gamma, this blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. And on this memory-filled journey into a surreal world; Silverio will have to reconcile the past with the present, find his place in Mexican culture and embrace its values.
3. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus – Dr. Parnassus (2009) – IMDB: 6.8
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam and Charles McKeown. The film grossed approximately $65 million, double its $30 million budget.
in London, the performing troupe of Dr. Parnassus; promises viewers a journey into the Imaginarium, an imaginary world ruled by the mind of Dr. Parnassus, where dreams come true. In the stories Dr. Parnassus tells his daughter Valentina, the dwarf Percy, and his assistant Anton, Dr. On states that Parnassus lived for over a thousand years. But when he falls in love with a mortal woman, he decides to trade his immortality for youth by making a deal with the devil. As part of the deal, the sixteenth birthday of a son or daughter would also be the day of death. With the imminent death of his daughter Valentina, Dr. Parnas makes a new bet with Mr. Nick.
4. Weekend – Weekend (1967) – IMDB: 7.0
The Week End is a 1967 black comedy film written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard, starring Mireille Darc and Jean Yann, both leading French television stars. Ranked #3 on Cahiers du Cinéma’s 10 Best Films list of 1967, this film is a standout among French New Wave classics.
One Saturday, Roland and Corine Duran leave their hometown for Oinville to visit their dying father. This duo, who systematically poison their father for several years in order to obtain an inheritance; They are sure that their father will die this weekend, and they must be with their father at the time of his death to make sure that their mother does not change the will in her favor. This cheating couple is unaware they’ve been cheated on. Unbeknownst to Korine, Roland plans to kill her so she can share the money with her mistress. What happens on their way is a satirical commentary on bourgeois values.
5. At the Silver Globe – Silver Globe (1988) – IMDB: 7.2
Adapted from Jerzy Zulawski’s The Moonlight Trilogy, this is a 1988 fantasy sci-fi film written and directed by Andrzej Zulawski. This work, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, can be considered a classic among maximalist films.
A small group of space explorers, including a woman, leave Earth to find their freedom and found a new civilization. They do not realize that they carry the end of their dreams. They eventually die one by one, but their children return to the primitive local culture, creating new myths and a new god. Some time later, a broken-hearted cosmic bureaucrat arrives and discovers that the explorers’ descendants have been enslaved by monster birds called Cernys. Society is divided into many classes and everyone is waiting for the coming of the Messiah. The new candidate is deemed fit for the role and begins to live like a god for a while.
6. The Adventures of Tintin (2011) – IMDB: 7.3.
The Adventures of Tintin, a 2011 animated and adventure film based on the comic book series of the same name by acclaimed cartoonist Hergé, is a massive $135 million production directed by Steven Spielberg. The $374 million production was critically acclaimed and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Score.
Buying a ship called the Unicorn from a market stall for one pound, Tintin is unaware that Mr. Sakharine is eager to buy it from him. To do this, Sakharin, who is ready to commit murder and kidnap Tintin with his magnificent dog Snowy, sails to Morocco on an old cargo ship, and Tintin must get rid of him and reunite with his ship.
7. Wizard – The Price of Horror (1977) – IMDB: 7.7
The Magician is a 1977 thriller film directed and produced by William Friedkin, starring Roy Scheider, Bruno Kremer, Francisco Rabal and Amido. The film also received an Oscar nomination for Best Sound.
A group of outcasts of various backgrounds and nationalities are forced to work on oil wells in South America. When the rig fire got out of control, four of those people; Transporting six cases of unstable dynamite through miles of forest in two old trucks, he has the opportunity to earn enough money to go outside.
8. Holy Mountain (1973) – IMDB: 7.8.
The Holy Mountain is a 1973 historical fantasy film directed, written, produced, co-edited and starred by Alejandro Jodorowsky, who is also the film’s set and costume designer.
A Jesus-like figure floats in a strange, grotesque atmosphere filled with religious and sinful imagery. He then meets a mystical guide who introduces him to seven rich and powerful people, each representing a planet in the solar system. Deprived of worldly pleasures, these seven, together with the hero, the guide, and the assistant guide, form a group of nine who will seek the Sacred Mountain in order to drive out the gods living there and become immortal.
9. Mad Max: Fury Road – Mad Max: Furious Roads (2015) – IMDB: 8.1
Mad Max: Fury Road; This is a 2015 dystopian action film written, co-produced and directed by George Miller. Despite a huge $180 million budget, the film grossed over $400 million worldwide. The film, which won 6 Oscars and was nominated in many categories, received almost 250 film awards and a total of more than 230 film award nominations.
This movie; This is an apocalyptic story set in the farthest corners of our planet, in a barren desert landscape where humanity is broken and almost everyone is desperately fighting for the necessities of life. There are only two people in this world who can clean up the mess. The first is Max, a quiet man who seeks inner peace after losing his wife and child in chaos. The second is Furiosa, a woman who believes she can cross the desert and return to her homeland, continuing on the path of survival.
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