Archive

Tag Archives: Love Me If You Dare

Have you always wanted to give foreign films a try but don’t know where to start?

There’s something for everyone in the ‘world cinema’ section of any shop – you just need to know what to look for. Foreign films aren’t all 4 hour-long arthouse softcore snooze-fests; although there are some… The only advice I would give to first-timers is to avoid dub-tracks at all costs and go straight for the subtitles (voice acting is generally stale, lips are out of sync, you lose the performance, and famous voices can distract you)

Below is a list of ‘Entry Level’ movies to get you started. There’s nothing too heavy on dialogue or ideas. These are ‘gateway’ movies to show that there’s an alternative to Hollywood’s churn-and-burn franchises. Some of the choices may seem obvious, but this list is aimed at absolute beginners. Most similar lists I’ve seen seem to stop at around 1970 listing ‘classic after ‘classic’; which aren’t necessarily the most accessible movies for novices.

THE RAID REDEMPTION gareth evans iko Uwais Joe Taslim Donny Alamsyah Yayan Ruhian Pierre Gruno Tegar Setrya Ray Sahetapy kick ass action film fighting scene machete watch streamThe Raid (‘Serbuan Maut‘ – Indonesia): imagine an action film where pretty much the entire runtime is nothing but bone-breaking, innovative, and mesmerising fight sequences! An action film that delivers on real, physical stunts and traditional fighting & filming techniques! An action film that says no to overblown and unnecessarily cheap-looking CGI, and gratuitous back story of 1D characters. The Raid (and The Raid 2) are movies that don’t disappoint. TRAILER

Run Lola Run Lola Rennt Tom Tykwer Moritz Bleibtreu Franka PotenteRun Lola, Run (‘Lola Rennt‘ – Germany): A simple concept played out three times, in a variety of frenetic, stylish, and a adrenaline-pumping ways. The plot follows a girlfriend’s attempts to bail out her debt-ridden boyfriend before his lenders send him to sleep with the fishes. You could watch this and think about free will, chance, the butterfly effect etc – or you can sit back, switch off, and let it hypnotise you. Bright, poppy, and with a pounding dance soundtrack, this plays out like an elongated music video. TRAILER

Hard Boiled 1992 John Woo, Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Teresa Mo, Philip ChanHard Boiled (‘辣手神探‘ – Hong Kong): So you love the iconic gun fights from films like Face/Off, The Matrix, and Shoot ‘Em Up – awww, that’s cute. How about some genre-defining gunplay complete with doves, explosions-ahoy, and slow-motion bodies flying in all directions – delivered by the master of infinite-ammo action, John Woo. This is the peak of the ‘Heroic Bloodshed’ genre of action; basically kung fu but with guns. The final hospital shootout is among the best action scenes ever filmed. TRAILER

Love me if you dare Guillaume Canet, Marion Cotillard Yann Samuell La Vie En Rose Jeux d'enfantsLove me if You Dare (‘Jeux d’enfants‘ – France): Love stories, meh, I’m not usually a fan – but here’s one that’s quirky, cool and doesn’t star Zooey Deschenel (WTF, France?!?). It follows two best friends from children to pensioners as they struggle to be in the right place at the right time for their life-long love to truly work out. Any film this poetic, stylish and charming – to the point of warming your heart – could only be French! TRAILER

The Good Bad Weird Korean Blockbuster Dream CastThe Good, The Bad, The Weird (좋은 놈, 나쁜 놈, 이상한 놈Korea):  one of Korea’s best directors, and a handful of the country’s biggest stars in a story about three outlaws trying to find ancient treasure before the Japanese Army and other bandits. This is a fun historical romp that entertains for the duration, like an Indiana Jones film. It’s an Italian-style spaghetti western, with Hollywood sensibilities, but still remains a very ‘Korean’ feeling movie; combining some of the best aspects of 50 years of ‘world cinema’ together perfectly. TRAILER

Los Cronocrímenes Timecrimes Karra Elejalde, Candela Fernandez, Barbara Goenaga, Nacho Vigalondo, Juan InciarteTimecrimes (Spain): Whilst on vacation with his wife everyman Hector sees a lady undressing at the edge of his property, which sets off an elaborate chain of events. Here’s to the highconcept, low-budget timetravel film with no SFX! It’s hard to say more without ruining the film, but this one stands out for being completely rooted in the real world; the characters feel human, the baddie fumbles around, the settings are banal but creepy. Simple, clever, and effective. TRAILER (contains spoilers)

01 - The Streetfighter Street Fighter 1974 Sonny Chiba, Shinichi Chiba, Yutaka Nakajima, Goichi Yamada, Masashi Ishibashi, Jirō Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, Masafumi Suzuki, Nobuo Kawai, Ken Kazama, Fumio WatanabeThe Street Fighter (激突!殺人拳 – Japan): when he refuses to kidnap a billionaire heir for the Yakuza, they try to kill the street fighter – which turns out to be a terrible decision for all involved. This is the first movie to get an R rating for violence alone, a major influence of a Mr Tarantino, and while it’s not as shocking as it would have been 40 years ago, it’s still a brilliant Martial Arts movie. It’s also been deemed important enough to be made available for free on the public domain (LINK) TRAILER

Troll Hunter Norway Film Review Movie Pics Screenshots Screencaps Otto Jespersen Glenn Erland Tosterud Johanna Mørck Tomas Alf Larsen Urmila Berg-Domaas Hans Morten Hansen Robert Stoltenberg Knut Nærum Eirik Bech André ØvredalTrollhunter (‘Trolljegeren‘ – Norway): mockdocumentary following an old school troll-hunter (mythical ones, not internet trolls) as he helps keep these magnificent beasts hidden from the unsuspecting public. This one’s a dead-pan slow-burner that packed with loads of tiny details about trolls and their mythology. The central character is played superbly, taking his job very seriously, which engages the viewer. Great black comedy / fantasy satire. TRAILER

Ring Ringu Nanako Matsushima Hiroyuki Sanada Rikiya Ōtaka Yoichi Numata Hideo NakataRing (Ringu – Japan): You know the drill; after watching a cursed VHS you get a phone call saying “you gonna die lol”, and you spend your last week in a pants-shittingly terrifying nightmare scenario. A victim of its own success, having being parodied everywhere, it’s easy to forget how scary this film is; it’s broody, atmospheric, restrained, and genuinely terrifying. The haunted mother of the J-Horror genre, which kick-started the trend of (usually botched) Asian horror remakes. TRAILER

Micmacs à tire-larigot Jean-Pierre Jeunet Non-stop shenanigans Dany Boon Yolande Moreau Dominique Pinon André Dussollier Jean-Pierre MarielleMicMacs (‘MicMacs à tire-larigot‘ – France): after losing his dad to a landmine, and being hit by a stray bullet  Brazil sets out to take his revenge on the two weapons manufacturers responsible. Despite being a sharp commentary on the arms industry the title translates as “non-stop shenanigans”, and that exactly what this is. A fun take on the classic ‘revenge’ story, this is from French visionary Jean-Pierre Jeunet; who somehow manages to capture surreal and dream-like worlds perfectly – and manages to make this modern film look and feel like a Golden Age classic. TRAILER

Which foreign film would you recommend for a beginner and why?

Please leave your film suggestions and reasons in the comments.
I’ll hopefully have enough to create a follow-up post – which would credit your entry and link back to your website.
Remember though, these are NOT the best foreign films per se, but the best ones for introducing people to world cinema.

Advertisements

Love Me If You Dare: Two children start a game that plays through both of their lives. As they grow up the game consumes them, eventually blurring the line between what’s playtime and genuine. Because of this the film is fully-stocked in the drama department, and it’s heightened even more by Cotillard and Canet‘s knockout performances & fantastic chemistry – especially as the game intensifies and the characters should become less likable. The film’s style slowly transforms from trippy and dream-like through to bleak and gritty, echoing the characters as they age from cute kids to jaded adults. The story and script are so poetic, stylish and quirky that it could only be French! A dozen versions of ‘La Vie En Rose’ dominate the soundtrack but it never gets boring – may have even subliminally got Marion Cotillard cast as Édith Piaf in her biographical film. The ending comes out of nowhere. and is quite bittersweet given the tone of the majority of the film, however the last few scenes leave a sweet taste in your mouth. Yes, they’re not role models and yes it gets silly at times but this is one of the most unforgettable romances I’ve ever seen. Definitely a Desert Island DVD.

Score: 7.5/10

Picture the scene, your author here gets kidnapped by an angry band of disagreeable movie bloggers and left for dead on a remote Desert Island. After 3 months of living off of tree bark and spring water he finds a rusty old lamp, tries to polish it up and WHAM – out pops a Genie. “Oh great one” Says the Genie, stretching, and giving his balls a seriously overdue scratch “You have awoken me from a 10,000 year slumber, and while I’m eternally grateful my wife will be pissed so I need to nip off home and do some washing up. Quickly, tell me eight things you would like…”

After a short think Paul replies. “I’ll have a solar-powered hot tub, an everlasting bottle of chilled Dos Equis, a bottomless bag of hot McChicken Sandwiches and the five most attractive Swedish female volleyball players the history books will ever see”

Fast-forward 25 years and Paul’s getting old, terminally jaded, has serious weight issues, no sexual boundaries left, alcoholism and 5 moody women / 47 unwanted children running around. He yearns to re-live the days where he sat around watching movies all day without a care in the world. It’s even more annoying that he found a 50″ TV and DVD player under a rock some 24 years ago… If he could go back to that fateful day and ask for eight of his finest movies, he would have probably said…

1) BASEketball: This film never fails to make me laugh. Watched it dozens of times growing up, know the script inside out and will never get bored of this. Anything featuring the minds behind Airplane! The Naked Gun and South Park is a surefire winner. Best Scene: pretty much every psyche-out

2) Kill Bill I:
nothing comes closer to filling a man’s insatiable lust for a great revenge tale like Tarrantino’s first Kill Bill Movie. With an epic story and more action than you could shake a stick at. Everything about this is textbook cool. Best Scene: House of Blue Leaves showdown.

3) Goodfellas: one of the best movies ever made and definitely the best gangster film. Screw the Godfather Trilogy, this is where it’s at. Diamond cast and technically it’s still one of the slickest films out there. Best Scene: Shoe Shine / In What Way Am I Funny?

4) Happiness: Every single subject brought up in this film is totally wrong. Rape, paedophilia, sodomy, abuse, massacre, masturbation… yet Todd Solondz manages to make this one of the most unforgettable black comedies known to man. Best scene: Seymour Hoffman’s phone manner.

5) Love Me If You Dare:
outstanding French movie about a life-long romance that starts off brilliantly but strains with age. Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard set the screen on fire long before they were household names. Best scene: the dares in school.

6) Oldboy: Korean masterpiece that’s just too damn good to never see again for the rest of your life. Everything about it is just stunning. Best scene: the single-take corridor fight.

7) The Wire: bit of a cheat here but seeing as I rate this higher than any film I’ve seen to date I’d love nothing more than to have the free time to watch it again, and again, and again. Best Scene: Omar, Stringer Bell and Brother Mouzone in the empty building.

8) Swedish Nymph Volleyball Milfs Go Wild*: On a practical note, any red-blooded male’s going to need some company until he’s rescued, dies or tries to escape!

Click here to see the full list of everyone’s Desert Island DVDs

Note: now you know why this isn’t a creative writing blog… *May not be a real movie, but you get the picture!