The Hitman’s Cookbook is provocative in the tradition of films by Chan-wook Park (Oldboy), Gaspar Noé (Irreversible), Lars von Trier (Antichrist), Michael Haneke (Funny Games), Todd Solondz (Happiness), Rolf de Heer (Bad Boy Bubby), Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher), Steven Soderbergh (Sex Lies and Videotape), Larry Clark (Kids), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores perros), Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs) and Takeshi Kitano (Brother).
Obviously some of these filmmakers and their films are more risqué than others. Some of their films have been critically acclaimed. Some have not. Some of their films have been commercially successful. Some have not.
There’s no point in shocking audiences for the sake of it. However, the storylines of the above films are rarely gratuitous. Rather, these films are intended to challenge the status quo for a particular reason. Most of these filmmakers took a chance to explore violence and/or sexuality from an intelligent and cinematic perspective. Whatever the result, it’s difficult to disagree that these filmmakers were courageous. What do you think? Which provocateurs have I left off the shortlist?