The Claire Denis solution...
I'm totally gaga for Claire Denis. Her films offer quiet ecstasies and teeth that sink into your psyche. Until last night, I'd never seen her first film Chocolat, a seriously beautiful reflection on visual fields of power and desire as remembered from her own childhood in colonial Cameroon. Maybe I was holding off because that title was corrupted by the stupid Johnny Depp movie of the same name. I also have an irrational fear that an artitsts' early works will be inferior to their later ones.
Her "textured, contemplative examinations of cross-cultural tensions and alienation" won't be for everyone, but they're high on my list of great things. Some other titles: The Intruder, 35 Shots of Rum, I Can't Sleep, Nenette and Boni, Beau Travail (English titles). Probably hold off on Trouble Every Day though (unless graphic depictions of urban cannibalism are your thing). It doesn't fit into her body of work, which of course makes it interesting, but still tough to watch.
If you do see Chocolat, read Hilary Neroni's excellent piece on the film afterwards.