The Alternative List


It’s time to diversify your watch list. Here are a few of our favourite films, documentaries and more.

Tomorrow – Tushar Rajan Sharma, (2019)

Tomorrow is hair, make up and prostetics artist Natalia Rogalska top pick. “TOMORROW is an interactive film installation which puts the viewer in an awkward situation. Amongst calm lights and beautiful haze, the film attracts the viewer to come near and admire the panoramic scenery. Our planet could have been this wonderful. But we all crossed the line. And in a jiffy, the film switches from a beautiful dreamy landscape to a dystopian future which is daunting and scary.”

Recommendation by Natalia Rogalska

Before Sunrise – Richard Linkalter, (1995)

This film will make you yearn for a European summer and an interrail pass. Two strangers meet, fall in love and start thinking of big ideas. Beautifully filmed with a bittersweet undercurrent running throughout the narrative. It hones in on the fleeting connections that we all cherish and experience. We unconsciously examine our own lives and pull out similar moments. It leaves a fuzzy feeling, somewhere between deja-vu and optimism, with a realism that’s hard to shake.

The Peanut Butter Falcon – Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, (2019) 

This is a heart-warming adventure story about a young man with Downs Syndrome (Zack Gottsagen) who runs away from the nursing home where he lives to follow his dream to attend Salt Water Wrestling School. On his travels he befriends a troubled fisherman (Shia LaBeouf) and they form an unlikely bond. A sweet tale that tugs on the heartstrings and ends with you smiling.

Coffee and Cigarettes – Jim Jarmursh, (2003) 

Comprised from a series of vignettes surrounding the everyday relationships and interactions between people. This skilful comedy shows the real, raw and mundane elements of life centred around drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee and binge smoking cigarettes. Expect cameos of popular and famous celebrities paying either themselves or someone similar. A prime example is Bill Murray who waits for the Wu Tang Clan. All in all, a funny observant and somewhat uplifting gem.

Withnail and I – Bruce Robinson, (1987)

A dark black comedy about two struggling actors who spend their time drinking, smoking and getting on each other’s nerves. Then, they take an accidental holiday to the remote English countryside where they bring chaos, contempt for one another and comedy brilliance. An unusual but nonetheless hilarious film.


High and Low – Akira Kurosawa, (1963)

With inspiration from Ed McBain’s novel, King Ransom, Kurosawa’s 1963 crime film noir will have you on the edge of your seat. A wealthy Japanese family finds their lives entangled with a brutal kidnapper and a race against the clock to find the suspect. Expect suspense, tension, and lots of it. Samurai’s and Japan’s dynasty’s are exempt from this Kurosawa film, instead we find commentary on the societal and class structure of postwar Japan. 

Old Boy – Park Chan-Wook, (2003)

The seasoned film lovers out there will already know this mind-bending gem. Yet for the others, Korean director Park Chan-Wook burst onto the western radar this year with Parasite. Whilst we employ you to watch Parasite but it is really Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy you should get your teeth stuck into. Arguably the best, and second in the trilogy, Old Boy deserves a cult status as a blood splattering, violence drenched and painstakingly meticulous revenge thriller. Not for the faint hearted. It unveils the deepest and darkest human emotions and the extremes someone can be pushed to revenge. 

Ashima – Dekel Berenson, (2018)

With news breaking that the peaks of the Himalayas are visible for the first time in thirty years, it feels right to suggest this short documentary. Ashima takes us on a journey to the Himalayas in Nepal. Here a 13 year-old girl Ashima works packing the bags of tourists who come to her town to paraglide from the tallest mountain range in the world. We follow her tale as she skips school to help support her financially struggling family. 

Lost & Found – Andrew Goldsmith & Bradley Slabe, (2018)

Lost & Found is an Oscar shortlisted stop-motion animation about two knitted stuffed toys, a fox and a dinosaur in a sushi restaurant. Without any dialogue, this story is full of emotion as the dinosaur sacrifices everything for the love of his life. You end up forgetting they are only toys…and not even real. Watch it on Youtube. 

What are some of your favourite films? Comment below and share them with us!