Esotericism comes from the Greek esoteros, the meaning of the word is knowledge reserved for a few. exoteric is the word that indicates knowledge accessible to many. The characteristic of esotericism is to go beyond external knowledge to access a deeper truth, through a path of study and initiation. There are some movies that, although in appearance similar to many others, can be simple initiatory paths esotericism.
All religions, in addition to the basic knowledge of the faithful, have esoteric knowledge reserved for a few. Indeed, it could be said that esotericism is the common, hidden root of all religions. Esoteric truths are universal truths common to all ages and civilizations, which have taken different forms in different religions understandable by the mass, exoteric.
Microcosm and Macrocosm
One of the common truths of esotericism is that every manifestation of reality is identical on both the microscopic and macroscopic levels. Universal laws are the same for every object and living being, and are essentially manifestations of one universal consciousness. Small fragments of a God, of a Whole, of a Cosmic Intelligence that manifests itself in infinite forms.
Esotericism has as its objective the alchemical transformation of the soul and of the human interior. The transformation of lead into gold in medieval alchemy had to be practiced in secret, away from the inquisitive gaze of the Catholic and Protestant Church. The transformation of lead into gold is the metaphor of inner change in which the soul abandons all that is raw and heavy material to acquire the luminous and precious qualities of gold.
Choose the movie to watch today
Esotericism and Angels
Another of the fundamental characteristics of esotericism is that it recognizes the existence of a hierarchy of spiritual entities. In the esoteric tradition the physical body is the last and least important manifestation of existence. Going towards spiritual dimensions higherThe esoteric occult knowledge of all religions also recognizes the existence of an angelic hierarchy, purely spiritual beings organized according to a structure that could be defined as “military”.
Esotericism and the West
The works, authors and topics related to esotericism in the West are innumerable. Many hundreds of books have survived through the centuries to the present day. Even medieval texts such as the Malleus Maleficarum, commissioned by the holy inquisition for the witch hunt, is considered a text of esoteric interest. However, esotericism began to spread as an official discipline in Europe only at the end of the 1800s, a few years before the Cinematograph.
Among the first mystics to bring esotericism to Europe is Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, in 1875. Theosophy is an esoteric discipline that seeks the common truths of all religions, all philosophies, and all the sciences of the history of humanity. Its intent is to dig deep and find the roots that unite all these spiritual traditions.
For Rudolf Steiner, founder of anthroposophy, esotericism is a “spiritual science”, an investigation of the supersensible worlds through the faculties of clairvoyance. For René Guénon , esotericism is above all the “primordial tradition”, that is, a universal metaphysical doctrine, the transmission of which is carried out above all through the language of symbols.
Development of Esotericism in the West
Esotericism, much more developed in the East, only spread to the West after World War II, thanks to some authors who wrote amazing and enlightening texts. One of them is the Romanian historian of religions Mircea Eliade, who dealt with shamanism and alchemy in his book Shamanism and the archaic techniques of ecstasy, written in 1950. From his book Another youth Francis Ford Coppola will draw a beautiful film of the same title, starring Tim Roth in 2007.
François Secret writes the Christian cabala (Les Kabbalistes chrétiens de la Renaissance, 1964) and in the same year his book is released he will become the first professor of esoteric history to Paris, at the École pratique des hautes études. His successor, at the end of the seventies, will be Antoine Faivre: the name will become History of the esoteric and mystical currents in modern and contemporary Europe.
Esotericism and moving images find innumerable meeting points throughout history of cinema. Indeed, it could be said that cinema itself is an esoteric invention, which took place in a period in which esoteric truths recognize one of the main turning points in the history of humanity, linked to technology.
In fact, it was precisely in the years in which cinema was born, at the end of the nineteenth century, that the world known up to that moment underwent radical transformations unimaginable until a few decades earlier. Movies that have an esoteric root in a general sense are thousands.
A large part of the arthouse movies and entire filmographies by great masters of cinema are nothing more than profound esoteric reflections transformed into popular art and made more accessible. Those who know esotericism, however, find in the movies themselves much broader and deeper levels of reading than an audience who, while appreciating the work of art, is unable to access these understandings.
Even those who have never dealt with esotericism and have never read a book on the subject, unwittingly and unconsciously, face esoteric issues while watching certain movies. Many directors have made extraordinary movies with an esoteric meaning despite having no knowledge of the subject. After all, esotericism is nothing more than a deeper understanding, reserved for a few, of the world around us.
Therefore, the number of esoteric movies, among the movies to watch absolutely, is large. We will limit ourselves in this list to indicate some movies that deal with esotericism in a more direct way. That is, those movies in which the director or the screenwriter reveal a direct knowledge of the esoteric matter that they have consciously inserted into the story of the film or its images.
The main story of the film is set in the 15th century. An old beggar is accused of witchcraft. Questioned and tortured by the inquisitor friars, the woman confesses to having taken part in the Sabbath and describes all the details: the anointing of the body, the flight on the broom, the dances and banquets with demons, the sacrilegious kiss to the Devil.
The history of witchcraft through the centuries is a reconstruction made of a brilliant mix of genres: from the avant-garde movies, never seen up to that moment, to the fantastic gothic, up to the social denunciation film. One of the best movies of the history of films, full of esoteric meanings, unforgettable images and faces.
As a bloody war rages in medieval Japan where entire villages are destroyed and set on fire, a samurai tries his luck in the city to expand his terracotta pot business . The wife left alone is raped by the invaders. Meanwhile, after various misadventures, he meets a young, rich and charming woman. She is the latest descendant of a local noble family. The two begin to live together in her luxurious home and the samurai falls into a state of total oblivion: he forgets his wife who is waiting for him and his entire previous life.
Esoteric movie about demonic possession told in the form of passion between man and woman and ambition. Contrary to what can be evoked by the words “demonic possession”, in the mind of a modern horror film consumer, it is explained in the esoteric tradition as a rather common phenomenon.
These are choices and actions that anyone can perceive in a rational way. Ugetsu of Kenji Mizoguchi could very well be a common story that has nothing occult: the story of a selfish, ambitious and insensitive man who takes advantage of the meeting with a rich woman to live in comfort, abandoning the poverty of his village and his family.
A story that in a materialistic society like the contemporary one is considered the norm. Perhaps it is the parents themselves who advise their children on certain more comfortable choices. But Mizoguchi’s oriental vision takes total detachment from material events and follows the esoteric explanation. The samurai’s free will, his selfish choice is only the facade of the surface.
What happens is that there are evil entities capable of disconnecting the etheric body and take control of it. In fact, the etheric body is what connects our physical body to the higher planes, a kind of interface. Some people, entities, substances are able to disconnect this interface. It’s the same thing that happens in hypnosis, in anesthesia. To a lesser extent it also occurs in the state of intoxication caused by alcohol or drugs. One of the unmissable movies in the history of cinema.
The Undead (1957)
A woman is put into a psychic trance and sent back in time directly into the body of one of her medieval ancestors, who is doomed to die as a witch. He escapes and a real witch named Livia (Allison Hayes), who works with the devil. There is also another witch, a rogue who helps Livia, and one of the psychics who takes a trip back in time with her.
Produced and directed by Roger Corman, this is a B-movie that is a mix of scary: violence, reincarnation, time travel, comedy and cheesy fun. There are funny scenes with the witch and the elf transforming into numerous animals, most notably a pair of very fake looking bats.
The gravedigger is also funny with his rhymes and witty discussions, as when he calls the cemetery his “meat farm”. The evil one is fantastic, with his constant laughter and even a huge pitchfork. On Saturdays, he summons a trio of dead girls to climb from the grave and dance.
The film is particularly noteworthy for the appearance of the actress Hayes, her very tight dress. Hayes was likely a 1950s B-movie starlet, most notably for her appearance in Attack of the 50-foot Woman. The film was shot in six days on a $ 70,000 budget plan, in an old supermarket.
It has a cult following among fans of scary movies, drive-ins, low-budget independent films. If you like any of those, you have to check them out afterwards. If you appreciate this movie, you may also like The Mole People, Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Leach Woman, The Deadly Mantis and Premature Burial.
Night of the Demon (1957)
The paranormal psychologist Dr. John Holden (Dana Andrews) travels to England to investigate and deny the existence of Satanism and its use by the devil, The leader of the sect, Dr. Julian Karswell (Niall Macginnis). Holden is expected to meet many other professors, first and foremost Professor Harrington.
When he arrives he finds out that Harrington was actually killed when he crashed his car into an electric pole and was electrocuted. Holden does not know that a demon invoked by Karswell has eliminated him. Holden meets Karswell and also makes him have a scroll which is a fatal curse, a fiery devil used to destroy opponents.
Holden also meets Joanna Harrington (Peggy Cummins), the dead professor’s niece, and they investigate the details surrounding her uncle’s death and whether the paranormal aspects are real. Eventually a series of strange events lead Holden to believe that he must return the scroll within 2 days to avoid the curse.
This is a leading psychological thriller created in Britain with a fantastic cast and script that focuses on the atmosphere with scary scenes. The three main stars are all superb. Andrews plays the hesitant teacher who only relies on reasoning and what can be seen, ultimately believing in the demonic curse and even witchcraft before it’s too late.
Macginnis is definitely notable in the role of Karswell, playing the evil leader of the cult. He is confident and wishes Holden to understand that witchcraft is real, giving a series of demonstrations of his powers throughout the film.
His character is a representation of the real-life Satanist Aleister Crowley. Cummins is also outstanding playing the character of the believer trying to persuade Holden that something evil is happening and that he is in danger.
There are two versions of this movie. The British version is called Night of the Demon and has a duration of 96 minutes, while the American variation was launched as Curse of the Demon and had a duration of 81 minutes. There were a lot of concerns about the production between the director and the producer, particularly whether to reveal the true satanic sect. Most of the filming of the demons was done after the director finished production.
In an interview with director Jacques Tourneur, he stated that “The scenes where you really see the demon were shot without me. All but one. I shot the sequence in the woods where Dana Andrews is being chased by a species.Tourneur
clarified: “I wanted, at the very end, when the train passes, to include only 4 frames of the beast … yet after completing the film, back in the United States, the British producer made that horrible thing: the monster. If you like mental horror, or devil and witchcraft movies, then you definitely need to see this one.
Black Sunday (1960)
In 1630 in Moldavia, the witches Asa Vajda (Barbara Steele) and Javuto are sentenced to death by Asa’s brother and the Inquisition. They are tortured, branded with Satan’s letter “S” and an iron mask nailed to my face is placed.
200 years later, they return from the realm dead, when a group of medical professionals discover the burial site and accidentally damage the cross and glass panel. One of the medical professionals cuts himself on the glass and his blood brings the witch back to life. Summon Javuto with the strategy of draining the blood of his relative, Princess Katia (also played by Steele), in order to gain eternal life.
This is a gothic horror created in Italy which is considered to be one of the outstanding works of art of the horror cinema. It uses a mix of atmosphere, sound, blood and its gothic surroundings to create a scary movie. It is reminiscent of the excellent black and white horror films of the 1930s like Dracula, and it would also have place to influence the scary Hammer movies that it sure is inspired by.
It is notable for being the directing launch of Mario Bava and actress Barbara Steele, both mostly associated with the horror style. Bava would later direct notable films Black Sabbath, The Body and the Whip, Blood and Black Lace, Kill Baby, Kill, A Bay of Blood, Lisa and the Devil.
Steele ended up being recognized for her striking charm, big eyes and dark hair and has appeared in numerous horror films, from Pit and the Pendulum, The Horrible Dr. Hichcock, The Ghost, Castle of Blood, An Angel of Satana. and the curse of the red altar. Steele succeeds in his portrayal of conflicting personalities, changing faces from the innocent princess to the evil witch.
There are many notable scenes, consisting of the opening where the witch is tortured and killed. There are great close-ups of the iron mask and the nails inside it, as you return to shots of the witch as the mask approaches her. Then there is a scene as they hammer the mask on her face and the blood comes out.
There are also a number of impressive scenes where her mask is removed and scorpions appear from her empty eyes, then a series of scenes that reveal her regeneration. There is also a large scene where Javuto comes out of the grave where he is hiding, with the mask still nailed to his head.
The film was loosely based on a Russian short story called The Viy, which would later receive a Russian adaptation titled Viy (1967) that was faithful to its reference material. The external scenes and some internal scenes were shot by the Scalera Film studios, while the internal scenes were shot in a castle in the municipality of Arsoli, in Italy. The film had some success in Italy and also in the United States, but it got very positive reviews and also has a strong cult among horror fans.
Manos, The Hands of Fate (1966)
“It’s shocking! It’s beyond your imagination!” He’s incredibly bad, the king of bad movies. It is considered to be the most horrifying film ever made, making Plan 9 From Outer Space look like an epic masterpiece. It has everything that will please fans of negative films: terrible acting, bad lighting, laughable and bad discussions, jaw-dropping situations, bad lighting, and poor special effects.
The story involves a family member who gets lost during the holidays and ends up staying in a residence that houses a hellish cult, including a cult leader Freddy Mercury look-alike, and a villain henchman named Torgo who has huge knees.
The film was shot on a budget of $ 19,000. Sometimes it feels like a quiet movie, with only the music from the soundtrack playing. Editing is rough due to the fact that it was shot using a 16mm Bell & Howell film camera, which can only have 32 seconds of footage at a time. Lighting is bad. There is also a scene where you can see the microphone from the film on the right side.
He managed to get circulation but actually did nothing as he was virtually neglected until his appearance in the Mystery Science Theater 3000. That episode composed by Manos is considered to be one of the most effective in the collection as well as transforming into cult movie this incredibly bad movie. So, if you are a fan of shoddy movies, this is for you.
The Witches (1966)
Gwen Mayfield (Joan Fontaine) is on a missionary trip to Africa when she encounters a voodoo event and suffers from a nervous breakdown. He returns to England and takes a teaching position in a small town, hoping to recover from his traumatic experiences.
Begins to find unusual events happening in the city; a woman with a mangled hand, a domestic cat following her around, a child in a coma, a voodoo doll with pins, the boy and his mom died after a conversation with one of the elderly women, the baby’s dad drowns , is trampled by a group of sheep, regresses after seeing the voodoo mask that was in Africa. All these events lead her to discover that there is a coven of witches who intend to have a virgin among their rituals.
The film is a British horror film produced by Hammer Films, which became famous for its scary films from the 1950s to the 1970s. It is based on Norah Lofts’ exclusive The Devil’s Own. The film is much more plot-based and is slow-burning, as strange things slowly happen to the teacher in her new environment and she begins to piece the puzzle together.
The last twenty minutes of the film are unforgettable: let’s find out what is happening in this community. Fontaine provides a solid performance in her latest appearance in a starring role. She is known for appearances on Rebecca, Suspicion, This Above All and The Constant Nymph.
There are images that stand out in the film. The great voodoo mask Mayfield initially sees when he’s in Africa, when Africans break into the city. He then re-emerges in a scene where he is in England and also forces her to return to a health facility.
There is also the scene where she is trampled by sheep and falls into the mud, which is unusual to see a celebrity doing such a feat for a film. It is also significant for the presence of a female antagonist and a female lead, with the main male role playing a weak and vulnerable role.
This is a rather forgotten treasure from the Hammer archives, often overlooked for the Dracula collection and other films. You should watch this if you are a fan of Hammer Films, horror or witchcraft.Man.
Something Weird (1967)
A man injured by a power failure negotiates with a witch to recover his appearance; in exchange he should agree to become the witch’s lover. He too has psychic powers.
They travel from town to town, facing crimes, which consist of getting rid of a ghost and also discovering a serial killer. Likewise, this insane film consists of an unusual mix of sex, murder, LSD, psychedelic lights, martial arts, séances, federal agents, and jazz. Include the mix of bad performance, over-the-top, low-cost clothing, and you’ve got an excellent low-budget movie too.
Something Strange was directed by Hershell Gordon Lewis, who was recognized for unscrupulous low-budget films like Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, The Wizard of Gore, Color Me Blood Red, and The Gruesome Twosome. If you like exploitation movies, scary, gory or cheap, then you should see it.
The Conqueror Worm (1968)
In 1645, England was going through a civil war and there were social and political upheavals. This is causing conflict in local towns as men take advantage of it and are able to gain power by exploiting the superstitions of witchcraft.
One of these men is the witch hunter Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price), who roams the small towns of the countries abusing the admission of the alleged witches. Likewise, he abuses his powers for sexual acts and financial gain. When a pastor is mistreated and hanged by Hopkins, his niece’s boyfriend promises to track him down and kill him.
The film is a realistic and grim take on what happened during that time, with numerous scenes of violence, torment, murder and rape. The film is noteworthy for numerous factors. It features a nice interpretation of Price as the evil Hopkins acting as if he recognizes that his weird witchcraft exams are fraud, but does the job for the gains rather than a conviction of moral justice.
Price said that all the actors on the set had a difficult time with the director, Michael Reeves, unable to communicate with the actors. The film’s name was changed for American circulation to The Conqueror Worm, to coincide with Price’s Edgar Allen Poe films. He grossed about $ 1,500,000 in America.
It has retained a cult following due to the director’s unfortunate death, followers of horror, followers of witchcraft and even Vincent Price fans. If you like any of these then you should check it out, it’s considered a British horror classic.
The Holy Mountain (1973)
A wanderer who looks a lot like Jesus Christ wanders through a large city until he climbs to the top of a tower where he finds an alchemical laboratory. The alchemist who runs the laboratory, played by the director himself Alejandro Jodorowsky, introduces him to seven powerful characters who dominate the main commercial sectors of the planet Earth. They represent venia gramma of the 7 parts of the personality. Jesus, The Alchemist and the 7 powerful characters embark on a journey to the holy mountain to seek the secret of immortality.
Film full of esoteric and kabbalistic meanings, shot with a bizarre and grotesque style. Alejandro Jodorowsky, influenced by the study of tarot cards, brings attention to the figurative composition of the images to the point of excess: even in shots that last a few seconds it is possible to find many details with a symbolic meaning, not easily understandable at first glance. It is a colossal film with amazing sets and costumes, thousands of extras, conceived as a film show and entertainment only on a very superficial level. In fact, you could spend a lot of time looking at it and re-watching it, discovering new esoteric meanings each time.
The Tenant (1976)
“The Tenant” (original title: “Le Locataire”) is a 1976 film directed by Roman Polanski. The film is an esoteric psychological thriller and is part of an unofficial trilogy together with “Repulsion” (1965) and “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968), both directed by Polanski himself and with similar themes of alienation and paranoia.
Based on the novel “Le Locataire chimérique” by Roland Topor, the film tells the story of Trelkovsky, played by Roman Polanski himself, a young Polish employee who moves into an empty apartment in Paris. As he adjusts to his new home, Trelkovsky discovers that the former tenant, a young woman, has attempted to commit suicide by jumping out of the window. This event triggers a series of strange and disturbing events, and Trelkovsky begins to feel obsessed with the figure of the woman and the neighbors who seem to be acting more and more strange.
The film explores the themes of social alienation, personal identity, and takes place in a disturbing and claustrophobic atmosphere. As Trelkovsky’s paranoia grows, the line between his reality and his imagination becomes increasingly blurred, causing him to question his sanity.
“Third Floor Tenant” has been praised by critics for its impeccable direction by Polanski, his magnetic performance and his unique style. The film offers a reflection on human nature, the obsession and fear of the different. It is a disturbing and immersive vision that captivates viewers with its psychological and symbolic complexities.
However, it is important to note that the film was also the subject of controversy as Polanski, the director and lead performer, was embroiled in a legal scandal related to sexual offenses in 1977, shortly after the film’s release. This had an impact on how some people interpreted and judged the film in later years. Despite this, “The Tenant on the Third Floor” remains a cinematic work of great relevance and artistic value.
Wings of Desire (1987)
Two angels named Damiel and Cassiel roam the city of Berlin invisible: they observe the Berliners and listen to their thoughts. We are in the mid-1980s, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The angels meet some men on their path. For example Homer, who like the Greek poet Homer dreams of peace and looks for Potsdamer Platz, a square that was one of the most beautiful in Europe before the Second World War. In its place, it finds a run-down place, a no-man’s land, and the Berlin Wall covered in graffiti.
Wim Wenders’ masterpiece and probably one of the most explicitly esoteric movies. It is quite clear from the plot and world view that the director was familiar with many aspects of esotericism before making the film. The topics covered are in fact among the fundamental ones of occult knowledge: the invisible bodies and entities of different planes of reality, the angelic hierarchies, the attraction towards the incarnation and matter.
The Eighth Day (1996)
“The Eighth Day” (original title: “Le Huitième Jour”) is a 1996 film directed by Jaco Van Dormael, a Belgian director known for his poetic and surreal style. The film is a comedy-drama that deals with themes of friendship, tolerance and diversity.
The story follows two main characters, Georges (played by Daniel Auteuil) and Harry (played by Pascal Duquenne). Georges is a successful, stressed and work-obsessed businessman, while Harry is a young man with Down syndrome. Their lives intersect by chance when Georges runs away from a business meeting and ends up meeting Harry, who is escaping from an institution for the disabled.
A special and surprising friendship is born between the two. Georges decides to take time off from work and spends a week-long spontaneous fling with Harry, seeing every moment as an opportunity to appreciate life and discover the innocence and joy that can be found in the little things.
The film is notable for its authentic portrayal of Pascal Duquenne, an actor with Down syndrome who won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for Best Actor for his performance. His screen presence and emotional performance touched the hearts of the audience and helped make the film a hit both domestically and internationally.
“The eighth day” is an engaging film that addresses themes of empathy, humanity and acceptance of diversity. With a balance between comedy and drama, the film invites viewers to reflect on the priorities of life and the beauty of human connections. It’s a tender celebration of life and an ode to seeing the world with new eyes.
Lost Highway (1997)
“Lost Highway” is a 1997 film written and directed by David Lynch, known for his surrealist style and disturbing atmospheres. The film is considered a psychological thriller and a neo-noir mystery, characterized by a complex and symbolic plot.
The story focuses on Fred Madison, played by Bill Pullman, a successful saxophonist. Fred and his wife Renee, played by Patricia Arquette, begin receiving mysterious videotapes showing their home from different angles, hinting that someone is spying on them. In the course of events, Fred finds himself involved in a series of murders, including that of his wife Renee.
Following Renee’s murder, Fred is arrested and convicted of the crime, but appears to undergo a metamorphosis experience in prison. While in jail, he magically transforms into a young mechanic named Pete Dayton, played by Balthazar Getty. Pete begins to live a completely different life than Fred’s, with no memory of his past.
As the plot develops, the line between reality and illusion becomes increasingly blurred. The film features a number of dreamlike elements, duality of characters and enigmatic symbols, characteristic of Lynch’s style. The soundtrack by Angelo Badalamenti helps to create a disturbing and surreal atmosphere that envelops the viewer in a labyrinth of mystery and ambiguity.
“Lost roadswas met with mixed reactions from critics, but has become a cult film for fans of David Lynch and has gained a following of fans of the director’s surreal and psychological style. The film offers a non-linear narrative, an emotional journey and a series of ambiguous interpretations and theories, leaving viewers free to draw their own conclusions about what is real and what is fantastic.
Donnie Darko (2001)
“Donnie Darko” is a 2001 film directed and written by Richard Kelly. This movie is a blend of genres, including drama, psychological thriller, sci-fi, and black comedy. It has become a cult movie thanks to its complex plot, well-developed characters and uniquely addressed existential themes.
The story follows Donnie Darko, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, a troubled and introspective teenager who begins experiencing visions of a giant rabbit named Frank. This strange figure predicts him the end of the world in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. Frank’s apparitions push Donnie on a complex and bizarre journey in which he begins to investigate the meaning of his visions and the reality in which he lives.
The film explores themes of time travel, destiny, alternate reality and the struggle against a sense of alienation and social incommunicability. As the story unfolds, Donnie discovers shocking secrets involving his family members, his friends and the community in which he lives.
“Donnie Darko” is known for its non-linear storytelling, intricate subplots, and complex connections between characters. Its enigmatic and open-to-interpretation storyline has generated numerous theories among fans, fueling extensive online discussion and analysis.
The film garnered critical acclaim for its originality, Kelly’s direction, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s impressive performance. Even though it didn’t have a big box office success upon release, “Donnie Darko” has over time become a cult movie loved by many, especially among fans of films with philosophical themes and narrative complexities.
Mulholland Drive (2001)
“Mulholland Drive” is a 2001 film directed by David Lynch. Considered one of the director’s masterpieces, the film belongs to the genres of psychological thriller, mystery and drama, characterized by the typical surreal and dreamlike atmosphere that distinguishes Lynch’s works.
The plot follows the story of a young woman with no memory, played by Naomi Watts, who is found injured and in a daze on the street of Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. The woman is renamed “Rita” after seeing a poster for the film “Gilda” starring Rita Hayworth. Looking for help, Rita takes refuge in the apartment of Betty Elms (again played by Naomi Watts), an aspiring actress who has come to Los Angeles to seek her fortune.
Together, Betty and Rita try to discover the identity of the injured woman and the reason for her involvement in a mysterious murder story. During the research, a series of enigmatic events and encounters with strange and disturbing characters follow one another, leaving room for a multiplicity of interpretations and meanings.
“Mulholland Drive” is known for its complex and non-linear plot, which winds its way between reality and dream, between light and darkness, challenging the viewer to navigate different time planes and seemingly disconnected scenes. The film uses David Lynch’s signature disturbing visuals and haunting soundtrack, helping to create an enveloping and hypnotic atmosphere.
The film received rave reviews from critics and won the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001. Although it was not commercially successful at its release, ‘Mulholland Drive’ has developed into a cult film over the years and is considered one of David Lynch’s best works. It is one of the most analyzed and discussed films in the history of cinema, appreciated for its narrative complexity and ability to stimulate the viewer’s mind.
The Fountain (2006)
“The Fountain” is a 2006 film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. This film fits into the genres of drama, science fiction and philosophy, and is known for its non-linear storytelling and the existential and metaphysical themes it addresses.
The film’s plot revolves around three interconnected timelines that follow three main characters:
- In the 16th century, Spanish conquistador Tomas Verde (played by Hugh Jackman) sets out on a quest to find the Tree of Life, believing it could grant Queen Isabella (played by Rachel Weisz) immortality.
- In the 21st century, Tommy Creo (again played by Hugh Jackman) is a brilliant scientist who seeks a cure for the cancer of his beloved wife, Izzi (again played by Rachel Weisz), who is dying. Izzi, meanwhile, is writing a story called “The Fountain,” which reflects themes of immortality and rebirth.
- In the distant future, a man nicknamed “Bubbolo” (again played by Hugh Jackman) travels through space with a tree containing Izzi’s DNA, hoping to plant it on a dying planet to give life to a new tree.
The three plots intertwine between past, present and future, and chase each other through themes of love, death, rebirth and acceptance of the finiteness of life. The film explores the quest for eternal life and the human struggle against death, offering a philosophical reflection on the nature of existence and mortality.
“The Fountain” was praised for its artistic vision, performances by Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, and emotionally engaging score by Clint Mansell. However, the film was met with mixed reactions from critics and audiences, due in part to its intricate plot and the complex themes it tackles. Over time, the film has gained a passionate following of fans who appreciate its philosophical depth and unique aesthetic.
First Bite (2006)
Gus is a charming man who works as a cook in an oriental restaurant in Montreal. His boss sends him to a remote island in Thailand to meet a Zen cooking master and improve the quality of his dishes. There he meets a strange woman named Lake who lives in a cave and informs him that the Zen cooking master is dead. Gus goes to live in the cave and begins a romance with Lake. Lake doesn’t want Gus to leave, but Gus feels he needs to escape the island and his life is in danger.
Bite is an extremely original Canadian indie film that crosses various cinematic styles in its storytelling, suddenly shifting from romance to thriller to horror. Between black magic, love stories and tropical islands, Primo bite is the odyssey of a man who is held in a trap from which he can no longer escape, lost between passions and exotic foods.
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
‘Synecdoche, New York’ is a 2008 film written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, known for its complex storylines and deep existential themes. This film belongs to the drama genre and is distinguished by its surreal and metaphysical nature.
The plot follows the life of Caden Cotard, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, a hypochondriac and insecure theater director living in Schenectady, upstate New York. After winning a major arts grant, Caden decides to stage an epic and ambitious play. The production becomes an ever-evolving portrayal of her life, involving an ever-expanding cast of characters playing the real people in her life.
The film explores themes of identity, creativity, human relationships, the effect of time on life and the very nature of art. The line between fiction and reality becomes increasingly blurred as the line between Caden’s play and his personal life blurs, leading to a loss of sense of reality itself.
“Synecdoche, New York” uses a surreal setting and an enigmatic narrative, which unfolds in an intricate and engaging way. The film is known for its philosophical depth and the multiple interpretations it can elicit. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance was particularly praised and helped make the film an immersive and intense experience for audiences.
The film received critical acclaim for its originality, Charlie Kaufman’s direction, and the strength of the cast’s performances. However, due to its complexity and introspective themes, the film may not be easy for all viewers to understand. Nonetheless, “Synecdoche, New York” is regarded as a groundbreaking and compelling cinematic work, prized by those seeking films that challenge convention and offer a profound reflection on life and art.
Enter the Void (2009)
“Enter the Void” is a 2009 film written and directed by Gaspar Noé, an Argentine director known for his bold and provocative style. The film is a visual and psychedelic experience, and fits into the genres of drama, psychological thriller and science fiction.
The story follows the life of Oscar, played by Nathaniel Brown, a young American drug addict who lives in Tokyo, together with his sister Linda, played by Paz de la Huerta. Oscar is involved in drug trafficking and, following a police raid, finds himself trapped in a bathroom with a lethal dose of drugs. As he dies, his consciousness seems to detach from his body and he becomes a spectator of the world around him.
From this point on, much of the film is presented through the subjective point of view of Oscar’s consciousness traveling between the worlds of the living and the dead. The camera moves through spaces and places in a fluid and disjointed way, creating an intense and hypnotic viewing experience.
“Enter the Void” explores themes of death, reincarnation, spirituality and the concept of karma. The film deals with the perception of life and death in an experimental and provocative way, challenging narrative conventions and taking viewers on a psychedelic and hallucinatory journey.
The film was lauded for its boldness and innovative cinematic technique. However, it has also been the subject of controversy due to its explicit imagery, strong language and themes. “Enter the Void” is a film that polarizes audiences, as some appreciate it for its unique and provocative vision, while others find it too disturbing or difficult to follow.
In any case, “Enter the Void” remains a compelling and original cinematic work, offering a unique visual and conceptual experience for those willing to engage in an experimental and provocative storytelling.
Mr. Nobody (2009)
“Mr. Nobody” is a 2009 film directed by Jaco Van Dormael, the same director of “The Eighth Day” (1996) mentioned above. This film belongs to the genres of drama, science fiction and romance, and is known for its narrative complexity and philosophical reflections on life and choices.
The story takes place in a dystopian future where the discovery of immortality has led to the existence of a man named Nemo Nobody, played by Jared Leto, the last mortal human on Earth. The man is elderly and is trying to tell his story and his life choices to a journalist. However, his memory is fragmented and uncertain, and so Nemo begins to tell different versions of his life, each of which is based on different choices he could have made in the past.
The film explores the concept of infinite possibilities and the different branches of life that open up as a result of the choices we make. Each version of Nemo’s story is an alternate reality, and the film illustrates what his life might have been like if he had made different choices in love, career, and family.
“Mr. Nobody” is an exciting journey through time and space, in which the past, present and future intertwine, leading to a profound reflection on existence, memory and the ephemeral nature of human life.
The film was critically acclaimed for its originality and visually captivating style. Jared Leto’s performance as Nemo Nobody was particularly praised, showcasing his versatility as an actor.
“Mr. Nobody” is a film that invites the viewer to reflect on his life, the choices made and the roads not travelled. It is a meditation on the nature of time and the infinite possibilities that open up before us, leaving the viewer’s mind full of questions and suggestions after viewing.
The Fifth Season (2012)
In a small town in the Ardennes lives a community that is about to celebrate the end of winter with a traditional bonfire. A boy and a girl are discovering love and desire. Pol, a nomadic beekeeper, also arrives in the village and settles in the center of the village in his trailer, together with his disabled son. The joy of the party vanishes when a strange event occurs, interpreted by the villagers as a bad omen: the fire of the stake does not light. The village quickly becomes a wasteland, nature seems to have gone mad. Pol’s bees disappear, the soil no longer bears fruit, the trees die and fall.
Are we truly free and can man follow his wishes, whatever they may be? According to the esoteric tradition this is not the case. The universe is a hierarchical universe, we could call it military. The universe exists within a matrix, and every existing form is controlled by this matrix. Concept told in a banal and spectacular way, with one dystopian and negative vision, in the famous film Matrix. In reality, the matrix of which esotericism speaks has nothing negative: it is a mathematical structure.
Man is not an equal being with those who govern the universe, and through his free will misinterpreted he can create irreparable damage. This happens because one of the is not respected main universal rules: think and act ethically. Many human beings, especially those in power, don’t even know what this word means.
Thinking ed acting ethically means working for the growth of civilization and values. Man rarely manages to act ethically with a long-term plan. There are short brackets of lucidity, which produce extraordinary results, and then the darkness. To act unethically means to act against universal laws.
In a world against universal laws, even nature could rebel and no longer do what we take for granted. Nature may no longer take care of us. It is man who could continue to accumulate negative Karma.
Beyond the Mist (2017)
Thriller of 2017 shot in Italy by Giuseppe Varlotta. A week before Easter, a great actor disappears from the set where a historical film is being made. A private investigator is immediately assigned to investigate the events that have occurred. From the beginning he feels the disturbing perception of being somehow involved in the past events of the missing man. The places, including a former chocolate factory, where a little girl had died years earlier under mysterious circumstances, are imbued with esoteric signs.
Employee’s Mystery (2019)
Employee’s Mystery is the story of the employee Giuseppe Russo leading a extremely homologated and consumerist life. He suddenly discovers that he does not really know his own identity. His identity is nothing more than a puppet built by the society around him, including his wife and family.
A film on the theme of the control that power can pervasively exert on the common human being, through technology and cultural conditioning. A powerful and prophetic film that we would have defined dystopian until a few years ago. Now we are in it and things previously perceived as science fiction become the norm.
There are many esoteric references to decipher, starting with the encounter with the vagabond, in which we can find the esoteric truth handed down over the millennia of the encounter with an invisible master, an entity that lives in the areas further away in ours unconscious. Until arriving at the end of the myth of Plato’s cave, which today is told of modern esotericism as the secret place of our soul where we find access to the afterlife and to timeless dimensions.
Occupied House (2020)
A large room, a lonely pianist, a mysterious presence and the world outside, within lonely streets, around a swimming pool, along a river, still her, still her. Hollow memories of a love story. An assiduous game of mirrors awaits the man, when a strange woman knocking on his door is too much like the soul that dwells in his house.
A film that can activate interesting esoteric food for thought. We love life but something at the bottom of our soul makes us feel dissatisfied, like in a cage. Man is never satisfied with his material life, with his physical experience. Inside him, even if buried by great layers of consumerist life where the imperative is to enjoy, the flame of the yearning for immortality burns.
According to the esoteric tradition, the human being is in fact immortal, physical life is only a brief parenthesis made up of infinite reincarnations. In this perspective, many things are explained, such as the dissatisfaction that remains even if we reach wealth, fame, affection and love. The final goal told through the ancient Tradition is in fact to transcend, to access upper floors. How much earthly love can enter into agreement with an initiatory path?
Corona Days (2020)
A man is stranded alone at home alone, due to the lockdown for the Covid-19 epidemic. It is a time to take life, to mourn the loss of the father, and to dream of travels to distant and exotic places. While on TV propaganda spreads fear and death reports, and the streets are patrolled by the armed forces. An unreal silence, never heard before, at any time of day or night. However, the doubts that penetrate through contradictory news are really many. In the meantime, spring arrives and even simply watching a flower blossom becomes an act of freedom.
It really exists loneliness or is it just a state of consciousness? Which could be the lesson mankind needs to learn from the coronavirus pandemic? What does it mean to mourn a parent in a society that seems increasingly out of control? A film that reflects in depth on one of the fundamental concepts of esotericism: you are not your body. There is no need to physically travel to travel through unknown and surprising worlds. There is no need sometimes between people to meet and communicate physically. Communication can also come on more subtle planes of existence, beyond time and space.