Inspiration strikes us all at different moments; in the car, the shower, or even that moment of slowly slipping consciousness, right before bed. And just the same, we all encounter some sort of creative mental block at one point or another. Here are five films to help ignite that innovative spark you might be in need of.
1) MirrorMask (2005)
With plenty of cheeky humor and whimsy around every corner, you won’t be disappointed with MirrorMask. Directed by renowned artist Dave McKean with a screenplay from graphic novel guru Neil Gaiman, this film might be right on par with a retelling of Alice in Wonderland but the visual feast brought forth by McKean is unlike anything you’ve seen before.
2) Waking Life (2001)
Shot on digital cameras and then rotoscoped frame by frame, Richard Linklater’s exploration of the human psyche, consciousness, dreams, and existentialism, is one of the most introspective films I’ve ever seen. The film moves along in a series of dreamlike, thôtful conversations between people, often sparking real life conversations between friends of mine about life. This movie easily makes it’s way up into my Top 10 Fav’s of all time. And perfect to watch before bed. Sweet dreams.
3) Big Fish (2003)
This enchanting southern tall tale deals with the reconciliation between an estranged father and son, and though adapted from the novel by Daniel Wallace, Tim Burton (who’s own father passed in 2000) helms the director’s chair, and it shows. If not for visual acuity and musical styling (with longtime collaborator Danny Elfman), the overarching sense of magical and sometimes exaggerated storytelling reaches far and wide.
4) Where The Wild Things Are (2009)
You may have read Maurice Sendak’s children’s book at some point in your life and remember Max, the poor tempered kid who gets sent to his room without dinner, only to find himself surrounded by wild creatures quite like himself. Spike Jonze representation of Max and the wild things is marvelous, evoking a childhood frustration nearly every adult has felt at one point or another. Guaranteed to make me cry like a baby.
5) The Door In The Floor (2004)
Adapted from the beginning of John Irving’s novel A Widow For One Year, this film may feel melancholic as it should, but it also exudes creativity with words that only Mr. Irving could pen. There’s a scene in which a young Elle Fanning wakes her father, played by Jeff Bridges, and she tells him she heard a noise in her room, and when he asks to describe the sound she tells him “It was a sound like someone trying not to make a sound.”