Saturday, March 17, 2007

Foreign Films

I swiped this idea, with some modifications, from jali's house. Below are some foreign films worth seeing. They aren't ranked in order of preference, or any particular order.

Rabbit-Proof Fence: An Australian film about some half-aborigine children who escape from an orphanage and go on an impossibly long trek to reunite with their family. Very sad.

Lagaan: An Indian film about a group of villagers who respond to a British wager and form a rag-tag cricket team. If they win the match, their villages will avoid the crushing British taxes for three years. If they lose, they'll have to pay three times as much. The film runs about four hours, so be prepared.

Dirty Pretty Things: Murder complicates the lives of illegal immigrants struggling to survive in London. Very sympathetic characters.

The "Up" Series: Starting in 1964 with Seven Up, British director Michael Apted began what has to be the longest-running reality series. A group of seven-year-old children were filmed and interviewed and every seven years a new film is released showing how they're doing. In the most recent movie, the "kids" are now 49-years-old.

Most of them turned out about the way you'd expect -- the wealthy kids with the benefits of good schooling ended up with good careers. The biracial kid whose mom put him in a boys home for a year when he was seven (because it was embarrassing back then for a white girl to have a black kid) ended up working factory jobs and running a forklift. There were some surprises, such as how badly all of the girls ended up emotionally regardless of economic background. And one guy from a solid middle-class background dropped out of university and began a long downward spiral into homelessness before being rescued by another subject who was the son of a missionary.

Once Were Warriors: A drunken, out of work, violent father. Two sons in gangs. A battered wife and her young daughter try to hold the family together. Sounds like any of a number of inner-city American movies, but this one takes place in New Zealand. Stars Temuera Morrison, long before his role as Jango Fett in Star Wars: Episode II.

Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love: Nope, not a porn movie. Actually, pretty damn depressing. A wealthy woman and her servant, whom she treats like shit, grow up together, grow apart, and have really bad luck with men. Stars Naveen Andrews (Sayid from Lost) as a mean asshole.

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