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Are you an aspiring cinephile trying to get into the world of film? Check out our must watch list of starter movies every film nerd must know here.

Prove you’re a cinephile and binge these must-watch movies

If you’re trying to dip your toes into the film world – and no, when we say the “film world”, we don’t mean cash-grab blockbusters, then we can understand how daunting it must seem at first. After all, there’s thousands upon thousands of movies out there and plenty of lists such as “Top 100 movies you need to see in your lifetime”, so where should you even start? 

There’s way too many award-winning and critically acclaimed films out there that it feels almost impossible to narrow those “top 100” lists down for those just trying to dabble into the world of arthouse cinema. However, we’ll try our very best to do just that for you. Here are a few great movies you must watch in order to truly call yourself a real cinephile. 

Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Italian neorealism has been considered as one of the most important movements in film, so these movies are a must watch for an aspiring cinephile. Italian neorealism emerged in the post-World War two era after the fall of Benito Mussolini’s government. Neorealism films shifted their attention to the Italian working-class, focusing on poorer areas and highlighting the injustice of poverty and oppression. 

Bicycle Thieves is the perfect starter film for Italian neorealism. When a family is forced to sell their sheets so the unemployed father can get a bike to get a job, disaster strikes when the bicycle is stolen. The movie follows him and his son running around town in search of the bicycle in desperation. It’s devastating, gritty, and the perfect example of a classic Italian neorealist movie.

Breathless (1960)

Next up on the list of must watch movies for aspiring cinephiles is one from the French New Wave, another pivotal movement in film history. This art film period thought outside of the box in terms of traditional filmmaking and paved the way for unique styles of editing, narrative, and more. French New Wave included existential themes & experimentation, and was incredibly influential. 

While there are many excellent films from this era, a good one to begin with is Breathless, while we would also recommend any other film from director Jean-Luc Godard. The film begins with a murder of a policeman from main character Michel, and leads to a wild journey filled with trying to run and hide from his crimes. It’s witty, entertaining, and raises many questions of existentialism and the idea of free will. 

Double Indemnity (1944)

Chances are, if you’ve even seen one example of film noir, you’re bound to know what to expect with the rest. Dark, gritty, femme fatales, mysteries, crime, and more. . . Film noirs are must watch movies for any cinephile, and Double Indemnity is considered one of the greatest examples from that time period. 

Directed by the legendary Billy Wilder, this film begins when an insurance salesman gets lured into a murder after falling head over heels for a beautiful woman intent on killing her husband. We don’t want to give away too much, but we promise that this is a movie filled with surprises, dark humor, and suspense that is sure to keep you at the edge of your seat throughout. 

Parasite (2019)

We’ve figured we should probably end this list with a must watch film that’s much more modern as opposed to the other movies from decades ago. Let’s fast-forward in time to a groundbreaking film that’s bound to be studied in film history books soon if not already. Parasite is a must watch film for any aspiring cinephile, not just because it’s an actual masterpiece, but also because of the history it’s made. 

Parasite did a sweep during Awards season, and it became the first non-English-language film to take home the Best Picture Oscar Award. Yes, it really is that good. It’s entertaining, full of dark humor, tension, and suspense. The last half of the movie will have you losing your dang minds. 

This film tackles many socially relevant issues such as class, capitalism, and climate change all wrapped up in an incredibly intense and gripping film. The story begins when the lower class Kim family one by one begin to work for the wealthy Park family, and start to get just a little too greedy with the benefits they enjoy in the Park household. We assure you that every cinephile needs to watch this one. 

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