Monday, July 25, 2011


Today was a rather unproductive day at home. My day literally consisted of starting a new workout, reading some blogs, talking to a few friends and downloading music. That means that don't really have much to talk about today, but after missing two days this weekend, I can't start to fall into the habit! For that reason, I'm going to write a BS entry about one of my favorite things: international film. While I am not the most avid filmhead, I know a good movie when I see one, and I know that most of the movies that I've seen from other countries are pretty darn good! In fact, my favorite movie, Prague, is an indie from Denmark that has crazy amounts of drama, suspense and love. While the reason for being my favorite movie is not hidden in it's country of origin, I still love it nonetheless. I highly suggest that if you get a chance, to get it from Netflix and watch it with a friend who knows how to appreciate subtitles. Yes I know, most people don't like international movies because they don't like reading subtitles. It makes sense, it's hard to read both emotions and words at the same time, I agree. However I feel that in many other languages, even in Danish, emotions literally explode off of the screen. I've seen a few American movies where the acting has been good enough to allow the script to flow from the page and into an imaginative reality. However, only a few. Even my most loved American drama's have trouble making their scripts seem as authentic as many international actors and actresses. Perhaps it's the mystique of having a language that I am unfamiliar with spoken in such a powerful tone that really draws me in. However, it's not just the acting that really reels me in, we obviously have great actors here in the US, but also the stories as well.

Screenshot from the french film Angel-A.
All credit due to the owners of this photo.

I attended the Cleveland Film Festival a few years back, and had the pleasure of seeing a very simple Japanese movie. While the name escapes me (it's been like, five years), I do recall the story. It was about a big shot photographer who comes to visit his family in his one-horse hometown after his mother's death. While there, he is reunited with an old flame who he had once had feelings for. However, it would turn out that his older brother, who still lives in the town has also developed feelings for this girl. No doubt a typical love triangle, the story turns sour when the three are out for a walk, and the main character moves ahead of the group for some reason. At this point, the older brother confronts the girl, explaining his love for her, only for him to reject him. We are then presented with a slight twist in the story: her demise. Though just in time to see, it turns out that the younger brother witnessed it all. From this point on, the movie becomes a tragic confrontation for the young man. Having to choose between keeping his family together with the protection of his brother, or getting revenge for the girl that he had begun to love. While I'm sure this doesn't sound all too unique, it is driven home with a very unique cinematography and excellent scenery, which is something that we are honestly lacking here in the states. Movies all seem to be the same thing for the most part. It's as if cinema has become a creature of habit. If it breaks away and does something different, then we hail it as one of best movies out. Hell, even if it doesn't do anything different, it will still be hailed as one of the best movies out. (Avatar?) Well I'm not going to stand on my soap box and pronounce all American movies trash, but I will say that it's good to ground oneself with movies that you'd never expect. Get a good insight into the cultures that populate the world. What better way to do that than watch a movie? If you can't speak, read or understand the language, then watch a movie, throw on the subtitles and learn to multitask, because otherwise you're missing out on something spectacular.

Artwork from Akira Kirosawa's Yojimbo.
All credit due to the owners of this photo.

You haven't lived until you've seen an Akira Kurosawa film. 

P.S. That being said, most people won't like Akira Kurosawa films. Haha.

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