Essay Movies

Here we collected the best essay movies in order of popularity
Elemental

Elemental

2015
40,000 years in the making: Kogonada's video essay created for The Connected Series.
L'affaire Valérie

L'affaire Valérie

2004
A film-maker travels through mountain villages and along the shores of Alpine lakes to investigate the disappearance of Valérie 20 years earlier. She allegedly murdered a Canadian tourist before disap...
2 or 3 Things I Know About Her

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her

5.67
1967
As the city of Paris and the French people grow in consumer culture, a housewife living in a high-rise apartment with her husband and two children takes to prostitution to help pay their bills.
Ars

Ars

1959
A portrait of Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney, the parish priest of Ars, whose humble and loving life led to sainthood.
Once There Was Everything

Once There Was Everything

2017
Kogonada looks at how the motif of doors reverberates through Robert Bresson's work.
Karl's Perfect Day

Karl's Perfect Day

A day in the life of a poet.
Frankenstein (Re)Membered

Frankenstein (Re)Membered

2018
Since its publication 200 years ago, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has influenced vast swathes of popular culture. Adaptations have starred cinema legends from Boris Karloff to Robert De Niro – and even...
Fungus

Fungus

2000
This film essay about mushrooms and their connections to other living things tries to use the structure of mushrooms to explain nature, science, and civilization, all the while searching for various a...
Criterion Designs

Criterion Designs

2014
Kogonada's video essay made in conjunction with the release of Criterion Designs, a 300-page book, which features highlights from cover art commissioned by the Criterion Collection, including never-be...
Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons

Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons

1974
Penthesilea, the first of six films made by Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, traverses thousands of years to look at the image of the Amazonian woman in myth. It asks, among other questions, is the Amaz...
John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection

John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection

2018
A film essay on tennis legend John McEnroe at the height of his career as the world champion, documenting his strive for perfection, frustrations, and the hardest loss of his career at the 1984 French...
Dr Tscharniblues

Dr Tscharniblues

1979
Bern, 1979: a tower block called Tscharnergut. A group of friends get together to make a film about their experiences growing up in suburban Switzerland.
The Hag

The Hag

A terrifying and deadly chain of events begins with an innocent essay in a college-creative writing class. Will they be able to stop her, or will they let her take them all?
The Truth About the Imaginary Passion of an Unknown

The Truth About the Imaginary Passion of an Unknown

1974
The passion of the Christ According to St is a very personal interpretation. John is a person.
Filmfarsi

Filmfarsi

2019
A found-footage essay, Filmfarsi salvages low budget thrillers and melodramas suppressed following the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Letters from Panduranga

Letters from Panduranga

2016
In Vietnamese artist Thi Nguyen’s tranquil essay film, a letter exchange unveils the changing uses of space in various provinces and the different ways its inhabitants remember history.
The Drone Is The Message

The Drone Is The Message

2020
The Drone is the Message. It's not the laptop nor phone that best typifies our relationship to the internet. It's the drone.
We Love Me

We Love Me

2017
The heavily compressed time and space where all survival images from my memory live in. After journey, what will remain could be something we cannot talk to, but perceive.
Visions of Europe

Visions of Europe

2004
There are 25 films from European countries.
My Korean Cinema

My Korean Cinema

2002
A personal and subjective video essay series on the Korean cinema, consisting of 9 episodes. Its episodes include fragments of memory about Korean films and their ‘field’, actual moments of what is ha...
Fata Morgana

Fata Morgana

2013
Following Bellavista and Totó, Peter Schreiner completes his informal trilogy of epic, black-and-white digital-video essay-films with the utterly monumental Fata Morgana. Shot in the Libyan desert and...
The Black Screen

The Black Screen

2017
What do you see when you see a black screen?
Fram – Forward

Fram – Forward

2020
Is there a correlation between artistic exploration and geographic exploration? Fram is a documentary about two friends journeying to the end of the earth in order to make a dance film. They explore t...
Years When I Was a Child Outside

Years When I Was a Child Outside

2008
Filmmaker John Torres describes his childhood and discusses his father's infidelities.
The Rising of the Moon

The Rising of the Moon

2020
The Rising of the Moon is a video essay which explores the struggle for independence as it has been portrayed throughout the history of Irish cinema, from the rebellion of 1798 through to the 1920s wa...
Still Lives

Still Lives

2016
The trilogy of films by Patrick Sheard are anthologized here in their entirety.
Dust of America

Dust of America

2011
A dream walk through the United States of America, a meditation on the thoughts and ideals of its inhabitants, as they are exposed in their silent but eloquent home movies.
Impressions of Upper Mongolia

Impressions of Upper Mongolia

1976
The genius Spanish painter Salvador Dalí undertakes an amazing journey through the unknown mental territories of Upper Mongolia in search of a giant hallucinogenic mushroom while paying an experimenta...
How to Write an Autobiogaphy

How to Write an Autobiogaphy

2010
This video will teach you how to write your own autobiography, with examples from the narrator’s life.
Linklater // On Cinema & Time

Linklater // On Cinema & Time

2013
If cinema is the art of time, Linklater is one of its most thoughtful and engaged directors. Unlike other filmmakers identified as auteurs, Linklater’s distinction is not found on the surface of his f...
Arrebatad@s

Arrebatad@s

2019
An audiovisual investigation into the way Spanish cinema has represented its audience throughout history, and a tribute to those who, for over a hundred years, have inhabited the theaters, mutually nu...
The Indispensable Practice of Vagueness

The Indispensable Practice of Vagueness

2014
By the director: "Ar.Co embodies each person’s geography, it escapes normalisation. Each individual’s experience is his own. This film is my experience, our experience. Pieced together from the school...
Twilight

Twilight

2021
A person feels lost and takes a vacation, only to discover a world that is meaningless. There is a film about an essay. There is a movie at home. A music video. A documentary about travel. Taking a to...
Can Limbo

Can Limbo

2019
A group of musicians seem isolated from the world playing beautiful pieces. But in the darkness of the night, and from their minds, there are melancholies on earth, loves and families that they left b...
Mission to Mongo

Mission to Mongo

1977
First, I wanted to make a kind of reflexively impoverished Busby Berkeley extravaganza. Second, I was interested in juxtaposing two cultural artifacts–which could be schematized as East/West, socialis...
7FF on¢idia

7FF on¢idia

2016
"In ancient China the tiger skin represented 'continuous change'. In the Maya’s world, Bolom Chon’s (jaguar) hide, allowed the constellations to be read: the cosmos’ dance." Ж In 7FF on¢idia Rio de ...
Záviš, kníže pornofolku pod vlivem Griffithovy Intolerance a Tatiho Prázdnin pana Hulota aneb Vznik a zánik Československa (1918 - 1992)

Záviš, kníže pornofolku pod vlivem Griffithovy Intolerance a Tatiho Prázdnin pana Hulota aneb Vznik a zánik Československa (1918 - 1992)

2006
A dog's funeral becomes part of a chain of absurd events including a tomato ketchup battle, a reconstruction of the battle of Austerlitz and a motorbike show. Its common denominator is the commercial ...
Magritte or the Object Lesson

Magritte or the Object Lesson

1960
The surrealist painter René Magritte questions the objective reality and emphasizes the arbitrariness of the relationship between an object, its image and its name: the evocation of mystery consists o...
Hands Up!

Hands Up!

1981
A group of former medical students are having a reunion.
El Estado soy Yo

El Estado soy Yo

1981
The images from the landing of the first expedition of the spaceship Columbia are juxtaposed to a reflection on the function of the visual medium, and artistic creation as a whole.
Dave Rubin's Battle of Ideas

Dave Rubin's Battle of Ideas

2019
The host of the "classical liberal" talk show is Dave Rubin.
City of Signs

City of Signs

2009
Italy, March 1980. César travels to the ruins of Pompeii with the extravagant intention of recording psychophonies, supernatural echoes of the great eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed the city ...
2006 the only year that i remember

2006 the only year that i remember

2019
Alberto Van den Eynde's work investigates two conceptions of the image: as a capturer or rescuer of past moments and as a cause of the anguish implied by its recovery. The author's approach to his twe...
Sarasota Half in Dream

Sarasota Half in Dream

2017
An experimental documentary about dead turtles, crab swarms, decaying tennis courts, and microscopic histories. The filmmakers shot their explorations into the abandoned golf courses, factories, and r...
Morena

Morena

2019
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