Thursday Movie Picks: Non-English Movies

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves asks us again to talk about films that aren't in the English language. I gave myself a rule where I would try to avoid the foreign films I talk about the most (you probably know my favs) so here are three other excellent films not in the English language. 

1) The Lunchbox (Hindi)

This movie is just so damn charming. It's about a man who subscribes to a lunch box delivery service in India, only to receive the wrong lunch box and strike up a friendship through letters with the person making his lunches. 

2) Memories of Murder (Korean)

Being a big fan of director Joon-ho Bong's English language work, I finally started to go back and watch the films he made in his native language and this murder mystery was gripping from start to finish

3) Mustang (Turkish)

I'm still annoyed this didn't win the Oscar in 2016. It's about 5 sisters and how their lives change after they are married off by their conservative parents.

16 comments:

  1. I'm so with you on Mustang. What an incredible film. I've been wanting to see Memories of Murder for quite some time. I've only heard good things about it. Haven't heard of your other pick, but it sounds pretty good.

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    1. When you talked about H today you made me think of it again. it's really a wonderful film.

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  2. In what I'm sure will be a pattern this week I have to say that I've seen none of these though all sound worthwhile. I'm not terribly strong in foreign language films and the ones I've seen fall into the Italian, German and French categories.

    That being said while there are many fine foreign films in a variety of languages my picks speak with a French accent this week!

    A Man Escaped (1956)-Director Robert Bresson tells the tale of Fontaine (François Leterrier), a member of the French Resistance, who is being held by the Nazis at Fort Montluc. Notified that he is scheduled for execution he begins to devise a plan to break out. Things are coming together slowly when he is assigned a new roommate. At first wary but needing to proceed Fontaine grudgingly brings the newcomer into the escape effort relying on crudely made weapons and an intricate knowledge of the prison’s layout to try for his freedom. Tense and involving this is based on fact.

    Elevator to the Gallows (1958)-Duplicitous Florence (an extraordinary Jeanne Moreau) married to the wealthy arms dealer Simon Carala (Jean Wall) is carrying on an illicit affair with one of his employees, Julien (an equally fine Maurice Ronet). They make a pact to dispose of Simon so late one night Julien climbs a rope into Simon's office, kills him and leaves unnoticed. Anxious to get away from the site Julien accidentally leaves the rope at the crime scene. After retrieving it he becomes stuck in the building's elevator while Florence desperately waits below. Frantic he soon finds that his bad luck is just beginning. Compelling, nerve jangling noir filmed with enormous style by Louis Malle.

    Police Python 357 (1976)-One night while pursuing a crook loner police inspector Marc Ferrot (Yves Montand) meets and is immediately smitten with the alluring Sylvia (Stefania Sandrelli) and they begin an affair. Unknown to Ferrot Sylvia is the mistress of his direct superior Commissaire Ganay (François Périer) who when he discovers the liaison murders Sylvia in a fit of jealousy. Panicked Ganay confesses his crime to his paralyzed wife Thérèse (Simone Signoret) who offers him advice on how to shift the evidence away from himself. Once the death is discovered Ferrot is assigned to investigate and as he wades through the case finds that all evidence points to him. Now he must race the clock to reveal the true culprit. A reworking of the 1948 Charles Laughton/Ray Milland film The Big Clock and rethought again in 1987 as the Kevin Costner/Gene Hackman No Way Out.

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    1. I haven't seen any of your picks this week. I didn't realize No Way Out was a sort of remake.

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    2. I had known it was a remake of The Big Clock but I had no idea when I started watching Police Python 357 that it was also based on the 40's film, TCM showed it with several other Simone Signoret films. But as I watched it I started picking up various hints but it was changed enough to make the film its own beast as is the case with No Way Out. I suppose that shows how durable the story is.

      I think this is the only instance I know of where an American film was adapted into a foreign language and then back again into English.

      As good as both it and A Man Escaped are it's Elevator to the Gallows that is really essential.

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    3. I can't think of another one either. It reminded me of a Korean film Thirst and an American one In Secret. I was like "man these two stories are so similar" and it turns out they were adapted from the same source material. Whoops lol

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  3. AAAWWWWW The Lunchbox! That is just the cutest movie. I still haven't seen Memories of Murder and Mustang, and I really need to.

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    1. It really is. I adore it. You need to see the other two.

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  4. I haven't seen Memories of Murder but I need to. I loved the other two.

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  5. ok, I have not seen any of these but they all sound so good and I placed them on my list to see

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    1. I think you'd especially enjoy The Lunchbox, it's just so sweet.

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  6. The only film in that list I've seen is Memories of Murder as it's one of my favorite films by Bong Joon-ho. I really want to see The Lunchbox as it was on TV but disappeared immediately. I've also heard good things about Mustang.

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    1. They're both really great. You should check them out if you get the chance again!

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  7. I want to see Mustang...it sort of gives The Virgin Suicides vibes.

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    1. I can see why it gets a lot of those comparisons. It feels very different though.

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