Proud and happy to have been listed as one of the "20 most daring films of 2019" in Rotten Tomatoes.
THESE GEMS REPRESENT SOME OF THE BOLDEST WORK FROM AROUND THE WORLD THIS YEAR, BUT YOU MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SEE THEM.
Tense and cathartic, Pause announces the arrival of an unassumingly thunderous voice in international cinema: Cypriot first-time director Tonia Mishiali. Distressed by her body’s changes as she enters menopause, Elpida (Stella Fyrogeni) tries to keep her sanity despite her abusive husband’s attacks. “Mishiali shoots the film like a horror movie,” Katie Walsh wrote in the L.A. Times, noting Fyrogeni’s “bravura performance of a woman at her wit’s end.” It’s only in her most intimate thoughts that Elpida finds her desired revenge, daring the audience to wonder if imagination could cross into reality, or if it already has.
2019 has been an exciting year at the movies for fans of innovative, envelope-pushing filmmakers from across the globe, from Colombian indigenous crime saga Birds of Passage to Gaspar Noé’s dazzling dance-horror Climax to Carlos Reygadas’ existentialist marriage drama Our Time.
But you could be forgiven for not knowing that. With the saturation of the market – tons of movies are released each week in theaters and on VOD – and the public’s pervasive fear of subtitles, as well as the lack of access to art house and indie offers, these visions have a harder time breaking through today, even with the advent of streaming services. Without consistent championing from critics or costly marketing campaigns, which most small distributors can’t afford, scores of fantastic works go unnoticed soon after their one-week theatrical runs – often in just a handful of theaters in L.A. or New York.
To help you unearth these treasures, we’ve put together a list highlighting some of the most audacious features from around the world, selected from a long list of uncompromising releases that landed on American screens, big and small, this year so far. These 20 recommendations exemplify the refreshing, eye-opening, and empathy-inducing stories that can be discovered when we look beyond known faces and familiar storylines. These titles may not ring a bell right now, but if you see them, you won’t be able to stop thinking about them.