Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Expand your horizons

As a former mall rat and after-school TV junkie, at one time in my life I relegated films with subtitles into the category of "those things which make me uncomfortable." Part of the reason I now love foreign films so much, is because I once spent so much of my life avoiding and despising sub-titled films. Then I watched one (La Double Vie De Veronique), and then another, and then another until I found them an essential part of my film diet. Just as you wouldn't want to eat the food of only one country your whole life, you don't want to watch only films from the U.S.
Or, to quote a piece of graffiti I once saw, "The American Dream is Not the Only Dream".

If you may know someone that needs to be convinced of the merit of foreign films, or if you yourself need to be, here are 3 films at the Urbana Free that I think of as capable of converting the most subtitle-hating film viewers among us.

1. Amelie French

Amélie is a young woman who had a decidedly unusual childhood; misdiagnosed with an unusual heart condition, Amélie didn't attend school with other children, but spent most of her time in her room, where she developed a keen imagination and an active fantasy life. Despite all this, Amélie has grown into a healthy and beautiful young woman who works in a cafe and has a whimsical, romantic nature. She decides to step into the lives of others around her to help them out.

2. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Chinese

Set in 19th-century China, two master warriors are faced with their greatest challenge when the treasured Green Destiny sword is stolen. A young aristocratic woman prepares for an arranged marriage, but soon reveals her superior fighting talents and her romantic past. As each warrior battles for justice, they come face-to-face with their worst enemy, and the enduring power of love.

3. Together, Swedish

A tale of the life in a commune in Sweden in the mid-70's.

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