“I think cinema has this beautiful component. It’s a universal language.” – quote by Paolo Sorrentino
I never saw a foreign film until my late twenties. I had heard that some people didn’t like watching them because of the subtitles, but I wanted to try them anyway, and I’m very glad that I did because I absolutely enjoy them, and have discovered quite a few that I really love. Starting with the picture above, called “Dumplings“, made in 2004, Hong Kong. It is a horror film that is so well made, I’ve watched it several times. I should really buy it, because I would probably watch it every Halloween. I like the idea of this movie, very different. I know it’s not for everyone, but I liked it. Summary: The infamous Aunt Mei (Bai Ling), a former gynecologist who performed abortions, makes dumplings with miraculous youth-restoring abilities. Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung), a former actress desperate to make her womanizing husband (Tony Leung Ka Fai) pay attention to her again, initially refuses to eat them. However, after discovering their potency, she offers to pay Mei any price for more. Things are complicated when Mei is forced to flee the country and the dumplings’ power begins to fade.
French movie, “Blue is the warmest Color“, came out in 2013, and is a wonderful film about a young French girl, who meets a free living lesbian girl with blue hair, and she is fascinated with the girl, so they begin to talk, and they start having a relationship. Again, not a film for everyone, but I have to say, this is a great film. The writing is funny and smart. It does contain explicit sex scenes, so if that bothers you, then this film isn’t for you. But it’s a beautiful story about a young girls first really love. And it works. Summary: Adèle’s life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.
Another fun foreign film, “Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai”, came out 2000, and is a very enjoyable Bollywood film. Now, I have watched a good amount of Bollywood films, but this one stands out to me because of the excellent acting, and the dancing, and the songs. I love, love a good Bollywood dance song! And one of the stars, Rajesh Roshan…”wow”. Easy to watch in just about any movie! Summary: “Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai” is a tender-hearted love story about an upright young man who brings cheer, music and warmth into the life of a sweet-natured girl. For the innocent twosome, life is almost like paradise till fate intervenes. Separated by circumstances beyond their control, the girl is in a state of shock. Her very existence is meaningless without that wondrous feeling called love.
Another French film, “The Women on the 6th Floor“, came out 2010. I really loved this movie, and yes, it’s incredibly funny. If you like movies where women are strong, and a little quirky, then I highly recommend this film. (I think I saw a little bit of myself too in this movie, which was even more fun to me). Summary: Set in Paris in 1962, the story alternates between two different worlds. One is a traditional wealthy bourgeois family in a comfortable apartment, whose lives are devoted to making money and meaningless socializing. The other is the underpaid and overworked domestic servants living in cramped conditions above them. As few French people want such work, the jobs are taken by Spanish women, eager to escape the poverty and oppression of the Franco dictatorship, who bring with them their native solidarity and human warmth.
It shouldn’t matter if a movie is with subtitles, or black and white, or whatever. If a film is done well, that’s all that matters to me. I think people are missing out on some fantastic movies if they aren’t willing to watch a foreign film. Am I always in the mood to read the subtitles? No, but then I wait until I am. I usually like to watch these types of movies when I’m alone anyway, without any major interruptions. Often times, the foreign movies have some much more emotions, I’m not sure why that is, but that’s what I think. Life appear to be larger somehow, it’s really interesting to me. So go ahead, grab some popcorn, a soda or maybe some French cheeses and some crackers, and relax to a foreign film, I think you’ll be very happy that you did!