Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday Movie Meme - Say What?



Today's Monday Movie Meme from the Bumbles is all about movies with subtitles. Some of my friends refuse to watch a movie with subtitles...I agree, it is an acquired talent and requires a little extra work. You have to read really quickly and try not to miss what is actually going on in the movie. But in my opinion, some of the very best movies life has to offer are foreign films, and the extra work is worth it! Please bear in mind that I have such a love for these films, if you asked me this question two weeks from now, you might get different answers. Here some of my very favorites right now at 5:30am on July 6, 2009:

Life is Beautiful - this movie would qualify for many categories...tearjerker, foreign film, Oscar winner, and just plain the best movie ever made. I've mentioned it before, and I'm sure I'll mention it again!

Cinema Paradiso - again, another movie you will see repeatedly mentioned at You've GOTTA read this.

Ikiru - translated, this means "to live", which is the perfect title of this film that shows a cranky Japanese man that discovers he has cancer, and decides he needs to make his last days count.

The Bicycle Thief - an oldie but goodie. I've seen this one called one of the best films of all times...not sure about that, but I've seen it several times and loved it on each viewing.

Il Postino - this is another I've seen multiple times that has something for everyone...love, loss, frienship and politics.

Amelie - I dare anyone to watch this and NOT fall in love with it. It is one of the sweetest movies ever made.

Downfall - the last couple of weeks in Hitler's life, from the viewpoint of his secretary. Really phenomenal movie, but dark and disturbing.

Pan's Labrynth - another dark and disturbing one, but very visually artistic. I admit, I'm sick and twisted but I saw this one a few times.

Red, White & Blue trilogy - my husband led me to these because they are directed by one of Poland's stars, Kieslowski, but they are all fabulous. Kieslowski is most famous for his collection of short films, each representing a commandment, called "Decalogue" which I could put on this list as well.


OK, I guess I'd better stop. I could list fifty if you asked me to. But then you'd get weary of me and move on. What are your favorite movies that required that extra effort of navigating through subtitles? Do you think they are worth the work?

12 comments:

Melody said...

I haven't watched any of those movies you listed, except Pan's Labrynth! My 5-yr-old daughter is scared of this one!

Susan said...

I loved 'Amelie', of course. Other favorites are 'Like Water for Chocolate' and 'Eat Drink Man Woman' and 'The Wedding Banquet'. In fact, I tried watching 'Eat...' dubbed in English (after watching with subtitles) and couldn't finish it.

I really want to see the Red, White & Blue trilogy. Ruth recommended those to me because I love Juliette Binoche. 'Downfall' sounds interesting,too.

farmlanebooks said...

For once I can actually comment on your movie meme with a bit of knowledge!

I love films with subtitles, not because they have subtitles, but because they come from other countries and so the stories are often unusual and different from the blockbusters we are used to.

I have watched half of the ones you mentioned but my favourite films of all time are both subtitled. Manon des Sources and The Lives of Others.

I think you'd love The Lives of Others - if you haven't seen it yet then do try to get hold of a copy.

Lauren said...

I love, love, love Amelie. When I went to Paris two years ago, my friend and I made a point of taking pictures in the photo booths located in their train stations. So fun!

Also, I've only see Life is Beautiful in Italian (sans subtitles); I got most of it, but know I missed some important lines. I really should re-watch it...with subtitles this time.

Frances said...

Great list!! How about The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Babette's Feast? Love both of those also.

Literary Feline said...

I have only seen four of those on your list. I'll have to add the others to my netflix queue. I find that when I watch subtitled movies, I eventually forget I'm reading while watching.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Melody - Pan's Labrynth is incredibly scary, even for adults. The crime with this movie is that it did look like it could be for kids. NOT!

Susan - I forgot about Like Water for Chocolate, except wasn't that one dubbed too? I hate dubbing...I'll take those subtitles every time!

Jackie - I remembered "The Lives of Others" right after I posted. I loved that movie. I just think foreign films have more depth, in general, than US films. I will take a foreign one over an English one any day.

Lauren - Amelie made my heart melt. One of the few movies when you leave the theater feeling giddy and warm all over. Definitely try to get Life is Beautiful with the subtitles, it is worth it!

Frances - I know! Babette's Feast was another one I thought of as soon as I hit "post". I loved that movie. I used it a few weeks ago as an example of a movie I'd like to be in.

Wendy - I'm the same way. I just forget that its even in subtitles after awhile. We had some movies in common, huh?

ds said...

Wow. I knew them all except for Red White & Bue, Ikiru, and Downfall.Cinema Paradiso even makes it onto Mr. Long-Suffering's list (quite a feat, that).You are absolutely right about Pan's Labyrinth on all counts. And I spent the evening of the 4th watching Phillipe Claudel's "I Will Always Love You" starring Kristin Scott Thomas (English, but she lives in France & her French is impeccable)as a woman just released from prison who goes to live with her baby sister...wonderful. (L-S wanted NASCAR; CS was out--hurrah!)

Sandy Nawrot said...

ds - My sister the movie nut (I think she literally watches six a week minimum) said that I Will Always Love You was a great movie, so I've added it to my Q. It's just like books...not enough time in the day!

Carleen said...

I'm with you -- I think that foreign films have greater depth than the average American film; they also tend to deal with social and political issues as well.

There are a few films on your list that I haven't seen yet, so thank you for giving me some to add to my gotta watch list. :)

The Bumbles said...

Bumbles are going out on a BIG shaky limb and adding Ikiru to their queue. Way outside of our normal zone but with your recommendation we take a leap of faith.

heidenkind said...

I forgot about Amelie--that's a great movie. :)