The word “bold” could be defined as the willingness to take risks. What has this got to do with cinema, or for that matter, any form of art? The fact that great works of art have all endured a great deal of pain and anguish is what makes them so profound and powerful. And all great works of art, I believe, have come at the cost of a harrowing sacrifice made by an artist in a fervent endeavor to break free from the shackles of artistic traditions and norms, thereby, liberating the art into spaces devoid of control and regime. In the context of cinema, bold is a word that any ardent cinephile would instantly associate with names like Kubrick, Godard and Akerman.
This article attempts to honor some of the boldest pieces of cinematic art that have captivated the fascination of film connoisseurs around the world; some of which are now widely revered and celebrated by film zealots and some of which have been sadly overlooked over the years for their sheer audacious and experimental approach that have incidentally changed the course of cinema and shaped it the way as we know it today. So here is a compilation of bold films that, in my opinion, have been pushed the boundaries of cinema.
10. ‘Eraserhead’, David Lynch
In one of the greatest directorial debuts ever in cinema, David Lynch spawned a new genre of surrealist body horror films with a cinematic nightmare that transcends earthly emotions and feelings into his world plagued by surrealistic nightmares and ensnared in a sense of utter mystification. ‘Eraserhead’ was exposed to much hatred and loathing during its initial release due to its bold use of visuals and strong sexual undercurrents that permeate the film with an inexplicable sense of horror and psychological discomfort. The film slowly garnered a cult following among midnight movie circles and is now a highly revered piece of cinematic art among hardcore film fanatics and Lynchians. Heavily influenced by the likes of Ingmar Bergman and the European style of surrealistic filmmaking, Lynch crafted a seminal piece of art that would later influence the works of many contemporary directors including Darren Aronofsky and Anurag Kashyap.
9. ‘The Tree of Life’, Terrence Malick