Non-English-Language movies

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Non-English-Language movies

Post by Jusenkyo no Pikachu » Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:27 am

I'd be surprised if I were allowed to continue on these kinds of threads for much longer. Ah well, better than me cluttering up the forum with all sorts of crap. Maybe one of these days I'll actually get up off my arse and post the link to my own personal websites in my sig.

Anyway, this is a thread specifically designed for reviews of non-Anime movies in languages other than English. Some will be really REALLY hard to find, others might be available at the local Blockbuster and some might be something from Ang Lee, Akira Kurosawa and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

The first film I want to get out of the way is Show Me Love (aka Fucking Åmål) by Swedish director Lukas Moodysson.

This was a film made for a budget of about 2 million, shot on 16mm film and released with the arthouse audience in mind...only to go right up against a film with Leonardo DiCaprio and a long scene with an iceberg. And then it went on to do pretty well all over Northern Europe. I'm sure that was not just due to the provocative title. Or the two leads. However, I will admit it's funny seeing that title with subtitles that say a completely different title (NOTE: That only occurs in the Australian TV version--the video replaces it completely).

In the movie, we meet Agnes (Rebecka Liljeberg). Agnes is a 16-year-old with only one friend who is disabled. We open up on the night before her sixteenth birthday, where she writes in her diary that she has a huge lesbian crush on popular 14-year-old Elin (Alexandra Dahlström). Both girls live in a small town called Åmål (which is near the Norwegian border), and Elin is sick of her rather boring life. So, just to be different, she goes to Agnes' birthday on the off chance that there might be some cute guy there. Of course, there isn't and Elin and sister Jessica soon find out the truth. So Jessica dares Elin to kiss Agnes for 20 kroner. Elin goes through with it and subsequently starts to develop feelings for Agnes. But Jessica starts to get snoopy and Elin is forced to date Johan (Mathias Rust), a local neighbourhood loser.

There you have it: a plot that not only caters to the Lesbigay/LGBT crowd, but also to straight teens. Although I should warn your hormones: there is no actual sex in this movie (unlike another misleadingly-titled movie, Romance).

Visually, the film looks like crap. Deceptively so too--some parts look like they have been shot with a handheld camera. But, as we all know, looks aren't everything. Most of the actual appeal comes from the actors--and this time, the teenagers actually are teenagers playing realistic teenage roles. And almost all of the actors are town natives (although, just to be confusing, this movie was not filmed in Åmål but in Trollhättan). Surprisingly, neither of the leads has done much since--Alexandra has stopped films altogether and Rebecka's only done two other films. However, I only know about three sentences of Swedish well and all come from this movie, so I can't tell if Alexandra's accent is that good.

Any other bad things to comment on? Well, while this movie does say that disabled people can have lucid speech, it does portray the sole disabled character negatively.

And finally, yes, that song does appear. Fortunately, it doesn't lower the movie at all.
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Post by RoastedTwinkies » Mon Aug 16, 2004 1:12 am

So far, my favorite movie I've seen is called Love Letter (When I Close My Eyes...). It's a 1995 film from Japan, starring, Miho Nakayama (she plays two completely different, and unrelated girls who could be mistaken for identical twins). The movie is a kind of a lost love one. It's a bit sad. The movie is about a girl named Hiroko Watanabe who lost her fiancee Itsugi Fuuji in a mountain climbing accident two years ago. When she went to visit his family, she got his old address in Otaru from his junior high yearbook and wrote a letter to him which she dubbed 'a letter to heaven'. She wrote it because the address no longer existed because apparently a highway was built over it, and the letter wouldn't ever be delivered. However, Hiroko was plesantly surprised because she got a reply. It turned out that there was a girl her fiancee went to school with who had the same name as he did and she copied the wrong address from the yearbook. Fuuji (her fiancee) had switched schools before graduation, which was why his address wasn't in the yearbook. In this movie, Fuuji shares all her memories of Fuuji in junior high with Hiroko, through their letters. It was a really touching movie, since that both girls lost someone that they once cared about.

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Post by yamijounouchi » Mon Aug 16, 2004 2:45 am

a french movie called 8 femmes. it's about this guy who gets murdered leaving his wife, her mother, her sister, his 2 daughters, his sister, and their 2 maids to figure out which one of them committed the murder. it's a cheesy technocolor musical, but i love it. it's full of lies, and many tales of interest. the songs are very cheesy, but enjoyable. the characters are all very diverse, and all have very much to hide.
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Post by Jusenkyo no Pikachu » Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:02 am

...how can I forget what is probably the funniest French comedy ever?

Delicatessen.

If you haven't seen it, the only reason you shouldn't is if you don't like bizarre black comedies.

The plot? Butcher Clapet is a regular Sweeney Todd--he kills off his employees and then sells their flesh for sacks of rice. He does this solely because it brings him money, and instead of some Tobias Ragg character, we get a bunch of vegetarian terrorists and other crazy characters.

The film has loads of memorable scenes--from Aurore's extravagant suicide schemes to a scene where Clapet's daughter Julie tries to get by without her glasses to the classic duet between a cello and a musical saw.

And there's the knife known as The Australian. I feel kinda honoured really.
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Post by Tiff » Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:12 pm

Hero is an awesome movie. It's just coming out to the theaters, but I saw it beforehand. It's a chinese movie, and incredibly beautiful when it comes to cinematics.

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Post by Vagabond » Sun Sep 05, 2004 2:04 am

Hero is an awesome movie. It's just coming out to the theaters, but I saw it beforehand. It's a chinese movie, and incredibly beautiful when it comes to cinematics.
Alright Tiff! I was hoping someone would mention Hero. As a veteran to Hong Kong cinema, I can honestly say this is one of the best looking kung fu films I have ever seen. It's pseudo pro-fascist tone near the end might turn some people off (so I've heard at least) but I did not mind it.

I've seen a lot of Hong Kong cinema, so I can list some of the better ones. As a general rule to Hong Kong cinema, you shouldn't focus too much on plot, because they tend to not make a lot of sense. If you like slapstick comedy, try Stephen Chow. I heard Shaolin soccer came to America, and it is hilarious. The story is about a former soccer player Golden Leg who has his leg broken and if reduced to becoming a lowly go-for. However, he decides to regain his former glory by creating a super team of soccer players from Shaolin martial artists (one of them being Stephen Chow.) After a series of wire-fu training and Matrix-esque soccer matches, they confront Golden Leg's former employers' soccer team, Team Evil :lol: (Seriously, that's their name.)

If you like the bright colors and martial arts action of Hero, you could try finding "The Storm Riders." It's based on a Chinese comic book and has big name stars like Sonny Chiba, Andy Lau, and Ekin Cheung. It's about two orphans who are called Wind and Cloud. They are adopted by Lord Conquer of the Conquer Clan, who surprisingly [spoiler]wants to conquer the world.[/spoiler] However, he later finds out that a prophecy says that Wind and Cloud will be his downfall, so he tries to kill them both. Wind and Cloud then go seek revenge. If the plot sounds kind of campy, it is. But for those who like to look at purty pictures, Final-Fantasy-esque special effects, and Sonny Chiba hamming it up, this is the movie for you.
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Post by Jusenkyo no Pikachu » Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:50 am

Since I have brought the subject up twice now, let's temporarily stop the Hero discussion to discuss Romance. I promise I won't go into too much detail, but...

a) Despite the title, there's little to no romance
b) Nothing is simulated, and
c) If you left the film feeling horny, there's something seriously wrong with you.

I only ever saw this film once, and I think that was quite enough.

The plot? A schoolteacher's husband is uninterested in sex, so she explores several alternatives, including Rocco Siffredi, Bondage and a guy on the street. All of these are degrading and leave her feeling part overjoyed, part sickened and degraded (and leave us feeling almost totally horrified). Unsurprisingly, the film has been both banned (in Australia) and cut (in Britain). And, as such, it was referred to in news articles describing the banning of Baise-Moi (which I probably will never see).

That is all from me on this. Go back to your regularly scheduled topic.
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Post by Tiff » Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:01 pm

Jusenkyo no Pikachu wrote: c) If you left the film feeling horny, there's something seriously wrong with you.

The plot? A schoolteacher's husband is uninterested in sex, so she explores several alternatives, including Rocco Siffredi, Bondage and a guy on the street. All of these are degrading and leave her feeling part overjoyed, part sickened and degraded (and leave us feeling almost totally horrified). Unsurprisingly, the film has been both banned (in Australia) and cut (in Britain). And, as such, it was referred to in news articles describing the banning of Baise-Moi (which I probably will never see).

That is all from me on this. Go back to your regularly scheduled topic.
...It sounds interesting to me, actually.

And bondage doesn't have to be degrading. It can be a simple thrill if done correctly. It's the feeling of having no control over your inhibitions, feeling free and letting yourself go to those feelings while someone else pleasures you that makes it not degrading.

o_O; From what you described, I doubt I'd be horrified in the slightest. Hell, i'd probably be horny. Does that mean there's somethign wrong with me? No. I have no problem with bondage. And how is sleeping with a porn star and someone on the street degrading? The street part is a bit slutty, yes, but....some porn stars have boyfriends and girlfriends, y'know. It's not degrading for someone to sleep with them.

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Post by SailorArtemis » Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:51 am

I watched Saaz last night. It is a movie in Hindi with english subtitles, a rather old film but none the less great. It is about two sisters who are competing to make it in the music industry. The oldest sister makes it first and is very sucessful and she knows he sister sings just as well. She marries her sister off to prevent her sister from singing. Yet, teh younger sister does begining singing and becomes very succesful also. Her husband is an abusive man and vents his angeron her. As her older sister is rich she buys her younger sister out of the marrige and they both live together for a while. The movie is very good and well worth seeing but it is as i have said old and I don't know where you would find it. I seen it on a channel celebrating bollywood movies.

Genre: Family/Musical
Age: PG

I just realised throught this whole post I never actually said the sisters names, the eldest was Bansi and the youngest Mansi.

Sorry if I did'nt explain myself very well in this post.

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Post by ParaKiss_Groupie » Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:59 pm

Suicide Club. It's a Japanese film about kids and teenagers who decide to kill themselves for inexplicable reasons, and it becomes a fad across Japan. The police are constantly trying to find out why these kids (and adults) keep doing it, and why there are so many variables involved. For instance, at some of the locations, a bag is found with a coil of human skin, but not at others. It's a brilliant film, and a strong social commentary on youth culture and the tendency to follow a trend unquestioningly.

Hero is amazing. Visually stunning, the story is wonderful, and the characterization is near-divine. Flying Snow pwnz all.
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Post by Sakuya » Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:19 am

I have many. Is it ok to post in a row or should I wait until another person posts first? Anyway, I'll be looking at the Japanese movie Azumi. It's a manga adaptation and is basically about a teacher who must kill three rebellious lords to thwart civil war. He gathers orphans from all over the place (one of which is a little girl named Azumi) and trains them to be assassins. When the movie starts, they are already adults and the teacher announces to them that they can start their mission. Since the title is Azumi, one can guess that Azumi is the strongest and is the main character. :P By the way, this takes place in feudal Japan with the Tokugawa and the era like in The Last Samurai. If you liked Kill Bill and The Last Samurai, this movie is like a mix of both.

Unlike Kill Bill, flying blood are kept to a minimum (but there are blood). They use swords for battle so there are many slaying. And there are several scenes where they're about to rape. The fight choreography is so good, you just have to see it for yourself! Camera angles are also pretty original and impactful.

If you have money, go buy the Japanese R2 DVD. It has really awesome English subtitles! If you want to practice Japanese, there is also Japanese subs. The audio has Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, and the greatest of them all DTS 5.1. There is a 40-page booklet that comes with it along with an extra DVD of the making of the trailers, etc. The extras don't have English subs. The 2-disc set is a limited edition. The regular edition just has the main movie (subs and those three audio versions intact) along with sub-less trailers. Highly recommended for action fans! :) They are currently creating Azumi 2, the sequel.

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Post by LilEva » Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:26 pm

Just watched Ghost in the Shell 2 recently. Really interesting movie. Though provoking and really nice graphics. Should be out in limited theatres, although maybe not for a long time.

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Post by Strawbaby » Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:11 pm

In English class we've watched a Japanese film from 96 called Shall We Dansu, and it's really very cute.
A man named Sugiyama, bored with his life and infatuated with the woman he sees in a dance class window every day on his way from work goes to take ballroom lessons, something that, in Japan, 'only perverts do'. It's all about his progress, the relationships with his partners, colleagues, family...
A copy of the movie is probably pretty hard to find; our teacher taped it from the Australian version of the International Channel some time ago. They're remaking it with Richard Gere (and Ms Lopez :|), but I don't know how well it'll compare to the one we saw.
Looking around, however, it would seem to be on video!

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Post by Sailorasteroid » Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:19 pm

Shall We Dance is currently being aired on the Starz family of networks. It's on twice this friday on Starz Love Stories and then on Sunday on Starz Cinema. I watched a few minutes of it and found it mildly entertaining, but I couldn't quite get into the nervous businessman's character. If I happen to catch it I will probably watch the whole thing.
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Post by Sakuya » Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:30 pm

I watched that 2 times for Japanese class. Pretty funny. Especially that "one" dancer. :?

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Post by MarioKnight » Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:39 pm

Ah, I remember seeing that movie, we watched it in International Club in high school years ago, pretty good, but I hardly remember a thing about it since it was like 5 - 6 years ago. ^^;;
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Post by Sakuya » Fri Oct 15, 2004 12:32 am

I noticed that the plump woman dancer also plays the head for Natsumi and Miyuki in the You're Under Arrest! live-action drama.

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Post by isaisa » Mon Oct 25, 2004 10:41 pm

Well I just recently saw the Motorcycle Diaries...and I thought it was great. Gael Garcia Bernal is a great actor. The Motorcycle Diaries is about Ernesto "Che" Guevara and his travels with his friend something Granado. I recommend people to see it.
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Post by Akarui Kibuno » Sun Oct 31, 2004 6:38 am

If you could see those two movies...

"Un long dimanche de fiançailles" by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with Audrey Tautou, who played in "Amélie Poulain". *translation of title: A long sunday of engagement*

It's about Mathilde, a girl, who's in love with Manech, in the days of 1917, before the war. The guy is called to the war, and she gets one day a death notice. But she doesn't believe in it and does everything she can to find him. Jodie Foster appears in the movie briefly :)

Then there is "Alive" , a movie about a musical director who's been dumped by his wife cause he worked too much. Three years after that, he find her old letters she wrote when they were still in love and write this awesome musical. He goes to see his old producer who rejects him. So he thinks he'll do this alone (casting, music, all). A friend help him and give him a place to do the auditions and all. Really interesting, and cute guys in this XD !
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Post by doodlebuguk » Fri Nov 05, 2004 9:02 am

If you can understand German, I really recommend you check out Gegen die Wand (Against the wall, I think... bleh I suck at German...) It's set part in Germany and part in Istanbul, and is about a young turkish woman named Sibel. Sibel wants to escape her opressive family, but the only way to leave the family home is to get married. So she enters into a false marriage with a 40-year old alchoholic named Cahit and starts to enjoy her freedom. Unfortunately, events soon spiral out of control and cause more catastophy than Cahit or Sibel could ever imagine...

The film is really interesting because it highlights problems facing young turkish women in Germany, because of the differences between the cultures. Even though it is very related to german culture, the meaning of the film could easily transfer to other countries, when there are similar problems faced by different cultures in that country. The film is quite brutal though, in the last half of the movie we see Sibel
(Please don't read next bit if easily offended)
[spoiler]Being raped and then beaten up and stabbed by a group of men[/spoiler]
which is very schocking. The film won a golden bear award at the Berlin film festival. I'm really hoping it gets a release in the UK or America one day, but it's unlikely. :( Still, I do recommend trying to see this film. :)
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