Great cinema is driven by great ambition. Without ambition, movies wouldn’t exist. Because every project that finds its way into the production stages – even those that don’t turn out right in the end or fail to succeed at the box office – is loaded with ambition: somebody has to pursue the dream that one day this thing will get into a theatre and people will watch it. Almost every picture will have that person somewhere in its midst. It must, otherwise what’s the point?
There are movies made with a different kind of ambition, though. A relentless inner drive that borders on (and often crosses over into) the delusional, the obsessive, the insane… we’re talking about motion pictures that might never have been released if the director had stopped to consider what the hell they were doing for just one single moment. Instead, they ploughed onwards, not letting nothing or nobody get in the way of their extraordinary vision
Of course, not all ambitious films can be deemed so on just a technical account. There are motion pictures that strive for much more than to just tell a simple story, after all: movies which aim to sum up our very existence as conscious entities, to outline what it means to be a human being, to encompass all of space and time in its entirety… whether or not they succeed is… well, that’s a different matter.
Here we’ve assembled 10 movie projects, each one extremely ambitious in its own way. Be it technically, intellectually, creatively or downrightly impossibly, these are the ones that cost their filmmakers the most sweat and blood. The aim was to encompass a real spectrum of movies from throughout history, the first of which dates all the way back to 1916.