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The Best Surrealist Films

Updated April 17, 2020 2.1k votes 287 voters 5.5k views58 items

List RulesVote 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.

 

 

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  • 1
    Seven Servants is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    122
    10

    Seven Servants

    Anthony Quinn, Audra McDonald

    Released1996

    Directed byDaryush Shokof

    Seven Servants is a USA — Germany co-production 1996 German drama — comedy film directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 2
    Strange Stranger is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    101
    15

    Strange Stranger

    Daryush Shokof, Marie selva

    Released2012

    Directed byDaryush Shokof

    Strange Stranger is a USA, Horror - Surreal feature film produced,written and directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 3
    Breathful is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    99
    15

    Breathful

    Daryush Shokof, Ulrike Schirm

    Released2007

    Directed byDaryush Shokof

    Breathful is a 2007 gangster-comedy film directed by Daryush Shokof. Featuring an all-female... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 4
    Asudem is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    97
    15

    Asudem

    Yangzom Brauen, Joachim Paul Assböck

    Released2006

    Directed byDaryush Shokof

    Asudem is an American horror film written and directed by Daryush Shokof. Asudem is the... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 5
    An Andalusian Dog is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    59
    14

    An Andalusian Dog

    Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Luis Buñuel

    Released1929

    Directed byLuis Buñuel

    UN CHIEN ANDALOU consists of sixteen minutes of bizarre and surreal images that may or may not... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 6
    A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    42
    14

    A Clockwork Orange

    Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke

    Released1971

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    44
    17

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter

    Released1968

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    A Trip to the Moon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    37
    14

    A Trip to the Moon

    Georges Méliès, Jehanne d'Alcy

    Released1902

    Directed byGeorges Méliès

    A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    The Discreet Charm of the Bour is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    40
    18

    The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

    Michel Piccoli, Fernando Rey

    Released1972

    Directed byLuis Buñuel

    The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is a 1972 surrealist film directed by Luis Buñuel and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Holy Motors is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    33
    17

    Holy Motors

    Kylie Minogue, Michel Piccoli

    Released2012

    Directed byLeos Carax

    Holy Motors is a 2012 Franco-German fantasy drama film directed by Leos Carax. Dennis Lavant... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Brazil is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    23
    7

    Brazil

    Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins

    Released1985

    Directed byTerry Gilliam

    Brazil is a 1985 British film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam, Charles... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    The Blood of a Poet is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    27
    12

    The Blood of a Poet

    Lee Miller, Pauline Carton

    Released1930

    Directed byJean Cocteau

    Le sang d'un poète with Steven Severin is a 1930 film written and directed by Jean Cocteau.amazon_watch buy button
  • 13
    Being John Malkovich is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    34
    21

    Being John Malkovich

    Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt

    Released1999

    Directed bySpike Jonze

    Being John Malkovich is a 1999 American fantasy comedy film written by Charlie Kaufman and... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    That Obscure Object of Desire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    24
    9

    That Obscure Object of Desire

    Carole Bouquet, Michel Piccoli

    Released1977

    Directed byLuis Buñuel

    That Obscure Object of Desire, released in 1977, was the final film directed by Luis Buñuel.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Sherlock, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    24
    11

    Sherlock, Jr.

    Buster Keaton, George Davis

    Released1924

    Directed byBuster Keaton

    Sherlock, Jr. is an American silent comedy film directed by and starring Buster Keaton and... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    The Holy Mountain is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    29
    18

    The Holy Mountain

    Alejandro Jodorowsky, Juan Ferrara

    Released1973

    Directed byAlejandro Jodorowsky

    La montaña sagrada is a 1973 Mexican-American surreal fantasy film directed by Alejandro... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 17
    Naked Lunch is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    24
    12

    Naked Lunch

    Ian Holm, Roy Scheider

    Released1991

    Directed byDavid Cronenberg

    Naked Lunch is a 1991 science fiction drama film written and directed by David Cronenberg and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    28
    19

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst

    Released2004

    Directed byMichel Gondry

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Eraserhead is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    47
    48

    Eraserhead

    Jack Nance, Jeanne Bates

    Released1977

    Directed byDavid Lynch

    Eraserhead is a 1977 American experimental body horror film directed by David Lynch. Henry... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    19
    11

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz

    Released1998

    Directed byTerry Gilliam

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 American dark comedy film co-written and directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Simon of the Desert is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    17
    9

    Simon of the Desert

    Silvia Pinal, Claudio Brook

    Released1965

    Directed byLuis Buñuel

    Simon of the Desert is a 1965 film directed by Luis Buñuel. It is loosely based on the story... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    20
    14

    Donnie Darko

    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale

    Released2001

    Directed byRichard Kelly

    Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    Barton Fink is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    19
    12

    Barton Fink

    John Goodman, Steve Buscemi

    Released1991

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    Barton Fink is a 1991 American period film written, produced, directed and edited by the Coen... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    The Exterminating Angel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    17
    10

    The Exterminating Angel

    Silvia Pinal, Claudio Brook

    Released1962

    Directed byLuis Buñuel

    The Exterminating Angel, is the second Buñuel film of the Buñuel/Alatriste/Pinal film trilogy,... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Orpheus is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
    12
    5

    Orpheus

    Jean Marais, François Périer

    Released1949

    Directed byJean Cocteau

    Orpheus is a 1950 French film directed by Jean Cocteau and starring Jean Marais. This film is... more on Wikipedia
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