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Nihilism - no meaning or purpose to life. No morals. Awesome Cinema. I wanted this list to include films with little to no happiness or bright spots. Every character is either immoral or is at least in the shadows. A good example would be Detour (1945) or pretty much any other noir for that matter. Please recommend any films that may apply that I've skipped over.
One of the most complex characters in cinema, Johnny definitely has some good in him, but he rattles on about his apocalyptic philosophy in this masterpiece, and Jeremy is one of the most vile characters in film.
Early on, the man sets his date. If this was an average film, by the end (SPOILER) he'd find a new lease on life. Instead it ends in a dreary fashion, accompanied by one of the most depressing pieces of music ever - gymnopedie no 1 - Satie.
I've actually never seen this film, but I've heard enough about it to safely say it belongs here. Plus a great romantic score that seems like it has no place here!
We feel sorry for this poor woman, until she gives us a reason not to. Every character is a slimeball, inducing pain onto each other.
Our "hero" is fine with using a woman to get the only thing he wants - to get his revenge. Yes, they deserve it, but his actions are still not commendable.
It is Dassin's sheer talent that keeps the viewer on Fabien's side. He is an utter jerk to his girlfriend and the only thing he really cares about is making money in wrestling.
What a wonderful honeymoon!
One of my favorite endings of all time! Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange is also pretty nihilistic, but it's not Criterion of course.
This is straying away a bit from my own criteria, you do feel bad for her, but the film is just so bleak...
Another great Japanese revenge film. An early harakiri scene is very brutal. Again, he has good reason to be mad, but it gets rather bloody.
Kind of a jerk to his mother, beautiful score though.
Rape and murder, what a sunny combination. Knew I had to put a Bergman on here.
The best Renoir, imo. One of the best films period.
I understand he wants a good story...
Don't open the box...
Isn't young love beautiful?
One of the most unique movies ever with some of the best use of colors I can think of. Plus a memorable face-painting scene
Maybe not completely nihilistic, but one character in there I hate more than most, and another great bleak ending.
A film that takes off quickly and never slows down.
The scene where Corinne is raped and Roland shows that he absolutely doesn't care. And then the film itself shows its indifference when the camera pans away.
Tons of other fantastic scenes, one where the light someone on fire, obviously the legendary car wreck...
What people will do for money.
A great recommendation, definitely qualifies, thankfully I've got Hulu plus. Saw some A Clockwork Orange and some Weekend in there. Though, Jarman is no Godard or Kubrick, unfortunately. Loved it when SPOILER they dump the body and she says "I really thought he was the one."
An embarrassing omission to my original list. A very good suggestion! Belmondo is the essence of nihilism in Godard's masterpiece. He is at his best as the wannabe gangster.
This jumpy, confusing tale of a contract killer has some beautiful imagery, and a heavy nihilistic mood, especially from Anna Mari's character who's obsessed with death. (Anna Mari had been considering suicide herself when she was hired)