Clean, mesmerizing, inspiring
September 10, 2012 7:45 PM   Subscribe

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is one of the most beautiful, mesmerizing films I've ever seen, can recommend others like it?

I caught this fantastic documentary on Netflix called Jiro Dreams of Sushi (seriously put everything down and go watch it) and I was completely memorized by the story, the art direction (if that's what you call it), the fluidity, everything about this film, especially what I consider the twist at the end. What other films have you watched that could compare? I'd say Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop could be included as far as a smart, captivating film but Jiro Dreams of Sushi in essence is simply beautiful.

Also I'm not asking for recommendations of documentaries only! Just recommendations of other films that you believe that not only the story but the essence of the entire film is beautiful.
posted by xicana63 to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 143 users marked this as a favorite
posted by un petit cadeau at 7:54 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wong Kar-wai comes to mind, especially Chungking Express.
posted by Lorin at 7:54 PM on September 10, 2012

Between the Folds
posted by chrisulonic at 8:00 PM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]

oh, also Heima, but I don't think it's on Netflix instant.
posted by chrisulonic at 8:11 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Bill Cunningham New York.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:11 PM on September 10, 2012 [11 favorites]

Rivers and Tides
posted by nanojath at 8:14 PM on September 10, 2012 [8 favorites]

In the Mood for Love
posted by DrGirlfriend at 8:15 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

Lost In Translation was pretty beautifully shot.
posted by StrictlyVague at 8:19 PM on September 10, 2012

Microcosmos, if you have a projector and a nice big screen.
posted by The Dutchman at 8:21 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

The behind-the-scenes mini-documentary for Ai Weiwei's "Sunflower Seeds" project is both beautiful and mesmerizing.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:25 PM on September 10, 2012

Man on Wire.
posted by amanda at 8:46 PM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]

Spirited Away and probably just about anything else by the same director (Miyazaki). IIRC: He does a storyboard of his movie plots and the storyboards are so awesome that they end up selling those in their own right after the films are finished. They (people in Japan) named a forest after one in a film he did.
posted by Michele in California at 9:13 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

Hard to tell from this trailer, but Bagdad Cafe has a very distinct visual style (and is pretty damn funny, to boot). Like the desert, it's grittily beautiful.

The cinematography in Pan's Labyrinth blew me away.
posted by smirkette at 9:23 PM on September 10, 2012

Paranoid Park
posted by mannequito at 9:40 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

I got to see Jiro Dreams of Sushi at a documentary film festival last year and have recommended it to several people. I can't think of any thing similar, but the first film that came to mind when I read your question was Chunking Express. It is totally different, but visually stunning.
posted by kaybdc at 9:47 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsey, also produced by Oscilloscope Labs.
posted by effluvia at 9:54 PM on September 10, 2012

The Secret of Kells
posted by TungstenChef at 11:16 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

Cave of Forgoten Dreams
posted by Uncle at 11:42 PM on September 10, 2012 [4 favorites]

I'm not usually one to watch documentaries, but I did enjoy Jiro Dreams of Sushi. For what it's worth, I also really enjoyed Little Dieter Needs to Fly. I'm not sure it has quite as clean a visual style, but I was very moved by the story.
posted by cali59 at 12:03 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Fall. I've seen about an hour of it (the wife bailed on it and I haven't found time for the rest), but what I've seen is visually stunning.
posted by OHSnap at 1:07 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

Melancholia was beautifully, achefully-beautifully shot. The story is beautiful, in it's way.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:46 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

Etre et Avoir [spoiler-ish review] - a French documentary about a rural French primary school.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:55 AM on September 11, 2012

You might like the Made by Hand and Sparrow Songs series of short documentaries. They're generally between 5 and 10 minutes. Made by Hand in particular has a similar tone to the filming.
posted by Su at 3:52 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fast, Cheap and Out of Control would definitely do it for you. You can see where Gelb draws much of his inspiration from.

In terms of an unusual family of unusually talented people unable to come to terms with itself in an understated and sadly poetic way, see Crumb.

(And, good lord, documentary posters in the '90s were terrible. Both of those do nothing to represent what the films are actually about, or convey their tone or intent.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:55 AM on September 11, 2012

Akira Kurosawa's Dreams and Ran are a couple Kurosawa films that had a good bit of can't stop watching thisitude.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:28 AM on September 11, 2012

I also saw a screening of Jiro Dreams of Sushi and embarked on a course to find other visually striking works. A lot of the ones mentioned already are on my list of "to-watch".

Although I haven't seen it and haven't watched Baraka, I'm looking forward to seeing Samsara.
posted by palionex at 7:41 AM on September 11, 2012

Babette's Feast or La Belle Noiseuse.
posted by Egg Shen at 7:53 AM on September 11, 2012

Encounters at the End of the World.
posted by subtle-t at 8:22 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

I Am Love is a beautiful film featuring Tilda Swinton that might be what you're looking for. It does visually remind me of some of Wong Kar Wai's style and there's a food-related theme in the story along with lots of gorgeous architecture.

(It's on Netflix instant!!)
posted by musicismath at 8:41 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Four Seasons Lodge.
posted by jbickers at 10:34 AM on September 11, 2012

Wild China is the most beautiful thing I've seen recently. Six-part docu available on Netflix streaming.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:35 AM on September 11, 2012

Its not a documentary, but I immediately think of Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppolla when I think of a film like Jiro Dreams of Sushi. The story is great, but just looking at the movie is almost better. Absolutely beautiful and chock full of Japanese minimalism and quietness.
posted by teriyaki_tornado at 6:10 AM on September 12, 2012

I found Beasts of the Southern Wild to be aesthetically near-perfect. A feel-good movie, but in the best way possible (I tend to use "feel-good movie" disparagingly). Beautiful, beautiful imagery, a satisfying story, an absolutely loveable main character. I was rapt for every single minute of it.
posted by taltalim at 1:45 PM on September 12, 2012

While watching it tonight I thought of Koyaanisqatsi, and I'm sure it was something they thought of too since the sound track reminded me of Philip Glass.
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 6:43 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Heima and Rivers and Tides.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 6:14 AM on September 13, 2012

"A bite of China" is a series of food documentary that has great visuals. It just came out earlier this year, and you can find subtitled episodes on youtube like this -
posted by of strange foe at 12:03 PM on September 13, 2012

One of my all time favorites is Wim Wender's "Wings of Desire". Beautifully filmed and very romantic.
posted by hick57 at 10:01 PM on September 14, 2012

Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Baraka
posted by xulu at 1:38 PM on October 8, 2012

Before Night Falls.
posted by mayurasana at 9:06 PM on October 9, 2012

« Older Did we buy the wrong sink?   |   Prescription contact lenses, online, without an... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.