In the last ten years more International films, even with subtitles are doing well at the box office. American movie goers are expanding their idea of a good film. Need I say we are getting more sophisticated?
1.” Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,” 2000, Taiwan, directed by Ang Lee
The film is known to be the best box office success of an International film in US history.
The story is of a female worrior, that surprises men with her incredible strategy and strength.
“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” has exquisite footage and amazing martial arts tricks that create a fantastical quality to the film. Warriors fly through the air and flip gracefully over one another. A very entertaining film visually. ”Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” is an ancient story of love, betrayal and loyalty. The film is a magical experience.
2. “Nouvo Cinema Paradiso/Cinema Paradiso,” 1988 Italy, director by Giuseppe Tornatore
“Cinema Paradiso “is one of my favorite films. It is enchanting to watch. The story is so engrossing and transport you into a different word. It is the world of a small boy who finds the joy of film and it’s power to ability for your imagination to travel without leaving the cinema. ”Cinema Paradiso is about dreams, visual escape and love. If you wish to get lost in a character’s journey this is the film to watch.
3.”The Untouchable, “ 2012, France, directed by Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
A touching film that unveils the relationship between a millionaire and an unlikely caregiver. The story is both funny and sad. It is rewarding to watch the characters discovery their common bond of being disadvantage. It documents the unlikely relationship between a very cold Caucasians rich man and an African man, who enters the wealthy man’s life who is physically disabled. This film was another great hit at the box office. It was based on a true story that was skillfully recreated. It is very poignant.
4. “Dus Boot,” 1981 Germany, director by Wolfgang Petersen
“Dus Boot” is the direct opposite of “Untouchables”. It is not heart warming in any shape or form. It illustrates the terror of war. Some parts of the film are disturbing film to watch and unsettling. This film takes place on a German submarine during WWII. The struggles the men face on the submarine are not only tragic, but brutal. The soldiers face fear, lack of oxygen, witnessing death of enemies and their own. It is clear their whole beings changes and their minds will never be the same. It is well written, shot and edited, so worth watching, especially if you are intrigued by war.
5. “Wings of Desire,” 1987 German, directed by Wim Wenders
This film is full of philosophical questions and the reality of a war torn Berlin. The black and white footage represents the world of angels. The film is full of color when an angel experiences a human feeling. Peter Faulk plays an interesting role that fits him like a glove. He guides the angels to understand the human condition. The film’s narrative is the angels hearing the thoughts of individuals who are scared and haunted by their lives. The angels attempt to comfort these humans. One angel falls in love with a human and decides to leave his world and experience human emotions.
I throughly enjoyed this thought provoking and meaningful film. I highly recommend it, plus Peter Faulk’s humor is an added plus. A must see. It also won a great deal of awards, including best director at The Cannes Film Festival.
6. “Franny and Alexandra” 1982 Swedish, directed by Ingmar Bergman
This Ingmar Bergman film is an incredible tale of two children who lives drastically change when their father dies of a stroke. Their mother and father were involved in theater and incredible warm parents. Their mother remarries to a cold strict clergyman, whom she thought would warm up after they married. Unfortunately the children’s creativity is squashed by his inability to develop warmth. The children are banished to their rooms and their now pregnant mother tries to flee.
The film winds the viewer through many twist and turns as their mother plans how to escape her clergy husband. Bergman is a genius in creating characters with great depth, who are constantly challenged to define their true reality.
It takes place in Sweden at turn-of-the-century. It is film is shot through the eyes of Franny and Alexander. Off course it is gorgeously filmed and won numerous awards. I was in High School when I saw it and was very WOWED!
7. ”Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain”/ American “Amelie” 2001,directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet,
Amelie was nominated for 5 Academy Awards was another international film that did very well in the United States. It premiere at the Cannes FIlm Festival. This very sweet story demonstrated how one person can make a difference. She lost her mom at 8 years old and her father was not available.
After Princess Diana dies she decides that life is fleeting and it is important to dedicate herself to improving the the lives of others. Slowly she falls in love while enriching others lives in need. “Amelie” is a cute and entertaining movie.
8. “My life as a dog” Sweden 1985, director: Lasse Hallström
Similar to “Amelie” this film is a story of hope. This film is very moving and funny as well. The story of two brothers who are separated when their mother becomes very sick. Even in times of great sadness the oldest boy dins humor. He is relocated to his Uncle’s house in a small village where he finds comfort and a sense of belonging. He has the usual experiences of a twelve year old boy. The Swedish director Lasse Hallström was nominated for an Oscar. The movie also did well at the box office.
9. “A Separation” 2012 Irandirected by Asghar Farhad
Iran wins it’s first Oscar for “A Separation” in 2012, Iran is a Muslim country where women are second class citizens. This film takes a close look at a divorce in a society that does not regard women equal to men. This film was made under scrutiny and censorship.
A very brave film that exposes the challenges of women who want to be independent and improve their lives and their children’s.
A film that did well in the US as well as all over the world. A huge accomplish for those Iranians who wish for a different society in their country.
10. “Knife in Water” 1962 Polish , directed byRoman Polanski
” Knife in Water” is Roman Polanski first film and Oscar Nomination. Some critics feel this film is Polanski’s best work. The story is a thriller that is not only creeps into your skin with violences, but the emotional manipulation too. An older couple decides to take a hitchhiker along for a weekend trip on their yacht. It a chilling film that touches on how men are not that far from wild instincts to fight for a mate. May the best man win.