Thursday Movie Picks: Middle Eastern Films

It's another foreign language edition at Wandering Through The Shelves. This time Wanderer asks us to focus on films in Middle Eastern languages. I look forward to these foreign weeks the most because it opens me up to films I may have missed. I love watching films from other countries and seeing what the world has to offer cinema wise. Regrettably, I haven't seen many films from the Middle East, but here's what I've enjoyed..

1) A Separation

From Iran -  This film is about a married couple that faced with some difficult life decisions and how those decisions may drive them apart. It stars the wonderful Peyman Moaadi who I cannot get enough of. This movie was wonderful, but the ending made me rage. I think both me and my husband yelled "what?" a little too loudly when we first saw it. 

2) A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

From Iran* -  This film is about a lonely vampire who lives in a town aptly named Bad City. This is one of the most stylish black and white movies I've ever seen. It was gorgeous. *It was produced by the US, but the cast is Iranian and it's in their native language, so I went with it. 

3) Paradise Now

From Palestine:  Two men who were childhood friends become suicide bombers. When their mission goes awry, they're forced to rethink their decisions. I saw this in theaters when it first came out and I found it to be really thought provoking. I'm ashamed that I only saw it that one time, it's something I need to watch again.

20 comments:

  1. I haven't seen many films from the region, guess this is the week to fix that.

    I haven't seen A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night but did make a mention of its importance when discussing the film I picked (Under the Shadow).

    I loved A Separation and actually just planned to see Paradise Now following your recommendation.

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    1. I need to re-watch Paradise Now myself to see if it holds up. It's been so long. This was a hard week.

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  2. I've seen very little from the Middle East but I've heard of all three of these though haven't seen any. I'm not surprised to see A Separation as the title of the week, I've been meaning to see it but just haven't gotten there yet.

    Well my dearth of knowledge in this particular category actually made it easy to come up with picks. I simply chose the three I could remember that I had seen.

    Dostana (2008)-Sameer “Sam” and Kunal are two handsome, single womanizers and casual acquaintances happily living in Miami. While apartment hunting they both want the same sublet but the landlord Neha wants only female roommates. What to do? They decide to pretend to be a couple to get around the problem which goes well until both fall for their roommate while still trying to maintain the façade that they’re gay. Fun romantic comedy which seems to go out of its way to objectify John Abraham who plays Kunal.

    New York (2009)-New York cabbie Omar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is set up by the FBI in a ploy to force him to spy on his friend, Samir (John Abraham), a suspected terrorist. As Omar recounts his relationship with Samir he also reflects on his friendship with Maya (Katrina Kaif), now Samir's wife, and how their lives changed after 9/11. Agreeing to become an FBI spy Omar learns that this isn't the first time Samir has been targeted by the government.

    Jail (2009)-Honest citizen Parag Dixit (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is falsely accused in a drug case though his friend is actually to blame and imprisoned. Due to evidence against him and an overburdened organization he is denied bail suffering extensively at the hands of a callous, corrupt system. A strong indictment of Indian prisons.

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    1. You should definitely watch A Separation, it's a very powerful film. I haven't seen any of your picks, it's very sad the amount of films I haven't seen from this area of the world.

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  3. I have to see A Separation because I hear only great things about it. These other 2 films are really different and sound intriguing especially an Iranian Vampire

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    1. AGWHAAN is stunningly beautiful. I think you'd like A Separation.

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  4. The only film in that list I've seen so far is A Separation which is definitely a masterwork in cinema as it really says a lot and show what Iranian cinema is at. I'm just fortunate that I have seen some of the films of Abbas Kiarostami who I think is the godfather of modern Iranian cinema.

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    1. Looking through his filmography, I haven't seen any of them. What would you recommend?

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    2. For me, Close-Up is his masterpiece as if you get the Criterion DVD/Blu-Ray. One of his first films is there as an extra as it's worth watching. Then do Taste of Cherry which is the first film of his that I saw as I really liked that one a lot. His non-Iranian films such as Certified Copy and are just incredible.

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    3. Thank you! I'll check those out.

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  5. I REALLY need to see A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. Like, NOW. I've heard a lot of good things about Paradise Now, to. A Separation is just awe-inspiring.

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    1. I know some think A Girl lacks in story, but I didn't think so. Plus it's so lovely to look at.

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  6. I sat out this week, needed a break after October. Had I participated, I was definitely picking those first two you have. Great movies, both.

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    1. I was wondering where yours was. I don't blame you for being burnt out after all the content you put out last month.

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  7. I loved A Girl Walks... such a great film. It was actually shot in California! I was annoyed I missed this at the cinema -only on for one day - but I got blu ray with the awesome little graphic novel a prequel to the film - highly recommend it

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    1. I'll have to see if the prequel thing is available online. I knew it was shot in Cali, so I almost didn't include it, but I haven't seen enough Middle Eastern films so it had to go in there.

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  8. Great picks! A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is such a great film! I can't believe I totally forgot about it. Also loved (and picked) A Separation, and Paradise Now is on my watchlist.

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    1. A Separation was definitely the film of the week, and rightfully so.

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  9. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is the only one I haven't seen and definitely one I do want to see. It looks soo interesting and I do love a good vampire movie.

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.