Film The Best Surrealist Films  

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1.7k votes 241 voters 4.9k views 58 items

List Rules Vote up your which surrealist films you think are the best.

What are the best surrealist films? This list includes great surrealist movies such as Being John Malkovich, The Holy Mountain, and Wild Strawberries. Surrealist movies have origins from France in the 1920s. It is a modernist approach to film that uses shocking imagery, juxtaposition, and draws on the subconscious. The telling of evocative stories and mind-bending stories is something that draws in a curious and cutting-edge audience. Being able to tell new stories through cutting edge imagery is the reason film was invented as a medium. Often these movies can be shocking, chilling, and contemplative, they can help us understand a period we lived through, and they can make us question life and all that we know to be true. Surrealist films can be the most powerful medium, eclipsing even history books, due to the power of visual storytelling.

The best surrealist films can impart their message in a short amount of time, as some of the earliest ones were short films, rather than feature length. Vote up which surrealist film is your favorite, and if you don't see your favorite film, be sure to add it to the list.

list ordered by

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Ali Reza Shokoufandeh added Anthony Quinn, Audra McDonald, David Warner Seven Servants is a USA — Germany co-production 1996 German drama — comedy film directed by Daryush Shokof. The movie is about a man named Archie, portrayed by Anthony Quinn, who wishes to unite ...more

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Ali Reza Shokoufandeh added Daryush Shokof, Marie selva, Arash Kalani Strange Stranger is a USA, Horror - Surreal feature film produced,written and directed by Daryush Shokof. the film is a mystic journey into the world of people obsessed with sex,their outrageous ...more

92 4
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Ali Reza Shokoufandeh added Daryush Shokof, Ulrike Schirm, Taies Farzan Breathful is a 2007 gangster-comedy film directed by Daryush Shokof. Featuring an all-female cast, Breathful is meant to promote gender equality and women's rights, particularly the rights of ...more

91 4
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Ali Reza Shokoufandeh added Yangzom Brauen, Joachim Paul Assböck, Araba Walton Asudem is an American horror film written and directed by Daryush Shokof. Asudem is the reverse writing of medusa indicates a surreal story of a woman Yangzom Brauen in the woods, where she ...more

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Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Luis Buñuel, Simone Mareuil UN CHIEN ANDALOU consists of sixteen minutes of bizarre and surreal images that may or may not mean anything. In a dream-like sequence, a woman's eye is slit open, juxtaposed with a cloud ...more

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but chickens double d added Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop 2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by ...more

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Michel Piccoli, Fernando Rey, Jean-Pierre Cassel The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is a 1972 surrealist film directed by Luis Buñuel and written by Jean-Claude Carrière in collaboration with the director. The film was made in ...more

36 12
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but chickens double d added Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

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Kylie Minogue, Michel Piccoli, Denis Lavant Holy Motors is a 2012 Franco-German fantasy drama film written and directed by Leos Carax, starring Denis Lavant and Édith Scob. Lavant plays Mr. Oscar, a man not unlike an actor who ...more

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Jack Nance, Jeanne Bates, Jack Fisk Eraserhead is a 1977 American surrealist body horror film written and directed by filmmaker David Lynch. Shot in black-and-white, Eraserhead is Lynch's first feature-length film, coming after ...more

25 8
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Carole Bouquet, Michel Piccoli, Fernando Rey That Obscure Object of Desire, released in 1977, was the final film directed by Luis Buñuel. Set in Spain and France against the backdrop of a terrorist insurgency, the film tells the ...more

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Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more

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Silvia Pinal, Claudio Brook, Antonio Bravo Simon of the Desert is a 1965 film directed by Luis Buñuel. It is loosely based on the story of the ascetic 5th-century Syrian saint Simeon Stylites, who lived for 39 years on top of a ...more

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Alejandro Jodorowsky, Juan Ferrara, Letícia Robles La montaña sagrada is a 1973 Mexican-American surreal fantasy film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, who also participated as an actor, composer, set designer and costume designer on the ...more

25 16
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Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama film about an estranged couple who have each other erased from their memories, written by Charlie ...more

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Naomi Watts, Jeremy Irons, Laura Dern Inland Empire is a 2006 mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and was his first feature film since 2001's Mulholland Drive. The feature took two-and-a-half years to complete, and was ...more

25 17
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Ian Holm, Roy Scheider, Julian Sands Naked Lunch is a 1991 science fiction drama film written and directed by David Cronenberg and starring Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, and Roy Scheider. It is a film adaptation of William S. ...more

14 7
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but chickens double d added John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 British comedy film written and performed by the comedy group of Monty Python, and directed by Gilliam and Jones. It was conceived during the hiatus ...more

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but chickens double d added Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm Brazil is a 1985 British film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard. British National Cinema by Sarah Street describes the film as a ...more

15 9
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
but chickens double d added Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 American dark comedy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke and Benicio del Toro as Dr. Gonzo. It was adapted ...more

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Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Charlie Sheen Being John Malkovich is a 1999 American fantasy comedy film written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze. It stars John Cusack, Cameron Diaz and Catherine Keener, with John Malkovich ...more

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Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin Wild Strawberries is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman about an old man recalling his past. The original Swedish title is Smultronstället, which literally means ...more

16 11
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Georges Méliès, Jehanne d'Alcy, Bleuette Bernon A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's novels From the Earth to the Moon and ...more

10 5
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but chickens double d added Bob Hoskins, Bob Geldof, Joanne Whalley Pink Floyd - The Wall is a fulldome production about Pink Floyd’s album The Wall. It was screened at 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival.

10 5
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but chickens double d added Miyu Irino, Bunta Sugawara, Ryunosuke Kamiki Spirited Away is a 2001 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film stars Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takeshi Naito, ...more

14 10
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Max Ernst, Lya Lys, Gaston Modot L’Age d’or, The Golden Age is a French surrealist comedy directed by Luis Buñuel about the insanities of modern life, the hypocrisy of the sexual mores of bourgeois society and the value ...more

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David Silva, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Alfonso Arau El Topo is a 1970 American-Mexican western film written and directed by and starring Alejandro Jodorowsky. Characterized by its bizarre characters and occurrences, use of maimed and dwarf ...more

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John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand Barton Fink is a 1991 American period film written, produced, directed and edited by the Coen brothers. Set in 1941, it stars John Turturro in the title role as a young New York City playwright ...more

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Silvia Pinal, Claudio Brook, Jacqueline Andere The Exterminating Angel, is the second Buñuel film of the Buñuel/Alatriste/Pinal film trilogy, written and directed by Luis Buñuel, starring Silvia Pinal, and produced by ...more

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Lee Miller, Pauline Carton, Odette Talazac Le sang d'un poète with Steven Severin is a 1930 film written and directed by Jean Cocteau.

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Ester Krumbachová, Jan Klusák, Jaroslav Kucera Daisies is a 1966 Czechoslovak comedy-drama film written and directed by Věra Chytilová considered a milestone of the Nová Vlna movement. Made with the support of the ...more

10 8
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Buster Keaton, George Davis, Kewpie Morgan Sherlock, Jr. is an American silent comedy film directed by and starring Buster Keaton and written by Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez and Joseph A. Mitchell. It features Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton ...more

10 8
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Kyōko Kishida, Eiji Okada, Hiroko Ito Woman in the Dunes is a drama thriller film directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara.

8 6
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but chickens double d added Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Swedish drama-fantasy film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in Denmark it tells of the journey of a medieval knight and a game of chess, who has come to ...more

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but chickens double d added Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more

10 9
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Monica Vitti, Michel Piccoli, Jean-Claude Brialy The Phantom of Liberty is a 1974 film by Luis Buñuel, produced by Serge Silberman and starring Adriana Asti, Julien Bertheau and Jean-Claude Brialy.

9 8
The Nightmare Before Christmas is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
but chickens double d added Paul Reubens, Catherine O'Hara, Danny Elfman Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D is a 2006 3D version of the 1993 film of the same title directed by Henry Selick and written by Caroline Thompson.

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Jean Marais, François Périer, María Casares Orpheus is a 1950 French film directed by Jean Cocteau and starring Jean Marais. This film is the central part of Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy, which consists of The Blood of a Poet, Orpheus and ...more

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Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hiddleston Midnight in Paris is an American 2011 romantic comedy fantasy film written and directed by Woody Allen. Set in Paris, the film follows Gil Pender, a screenwriter, who is forced to confront the ...more

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Dominique Pinon, Karin Viard, Ticky Holgado Delicatessen is a 1991 French film, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, starring Dominique Pinon and Karin Viard. It is set in an apartment building in a post-apocalyptic France of an ...more

8 9
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Sofiko Chiaureli, Vilen Galstyan, Medea Japaridze The Color of Pomegranates is a 1969 Soviet film written and directed by Sergei Parajanov. It made the Top 10 list in Cahiers du cinéma in 1982 and Top 100 in Time Out.

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Dimensions of Dialogue is a 1982 Czechoslovak animated short film directed by Jan Švankmajer. It is 14 minutes long and created with stop motion.

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NoSchack added Joan Bennett, Alida Valli, Udo Kier Suspiria is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento, co-written by Argento and Daria Nicolodi, and co-produced by Claudio and Salvatore Argento. The film stars Jessica Harper as an ...more

5 6
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John Cage, Maya Deren, Alexandr Hackenschmied At Land is a 15-minute silent experimental film written, directed by, and starring Maya Deren. It has a dream-like narrative in which a woman, played by Deren, is washed up on a beach and goes ...more

4 5
The Witch's Cradle is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
The Witch's Cradle Marcel Duchamp, Anne Matta Clark The Witch's Cradle is an unfinished, silent short film written and directed by Maya Deren and released in 1943.

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but chickens double d added Johnny Depp, Steve Buscemi, John Hurt This film is a 1995 American Western film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. It stars Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Billy Bob Thornton, Iggy Pop, Crispin Glover, John Hurt, Michael Wincott, Lance ...more

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Marcello Mastroianni, Ettore Manni, Dominique Labourier City of Women is a 1980 film written and directed by Federico Fellini. Amid Fellini's characteristic combination of dreamlike, outrageous, and artistic imagery, Marcello Mastroianni plays ...more

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The Seashell and the Clergyman The Seashell and the Clergyman is an experimental French film directed by Germaine Dulac, from an original scenario by Antonin Artaud. It premiered in Paris on 9 February 1928.

5 7
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The Starfish Alice Prin, Robert Desnos L'Étoile de mer is a 1928 film directed by Man Ray. The film is based on a script by Robert Desnos and depicts a couple acting through scenes that are shot out of focus.

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jonathan-guerra added Erik Satie, Marcel Duchamp, Darius Milhaud Entr'acte is a 1924 French short film directed by René Clair, which premiered as an entr'acte for the Ballets Suédois production Relâche at the Théâtre des ...more