Beginner's Guide to World Cinema: Staff Favorites
We love film from around the world! Here's a collection of some our staff favorites.
Fists of Fury2001Get this item
This film has a strong nostalgic hold on me. As a kid, I was in awe of the stunts and choreography. Plus, every emotion Chen Zhen (Bruce Lee's character) felt, I felt. Suggested by Melody.
Awāra2000Get this item
Awaara is the perfect example of what makes an excellent Bollywood movie: drama, romance, music, comedy, and action in a package that appeals to large audiences. It is reminiscent of both 1940's film-noir with its menacing shadows, and the social conscience of neo-realist films without ever romancing the slums. Raj Kapoor and Nargis make one of my favorite screen couples of all time. Suggested by Rummanah.
The Story of the Weeping Camel2005Get this item
This docudrama from Mongolian filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa received an Oscar nod for Best Documentary, and it introduced viewers to an adorable rare white baby camel whose mother rejects it. As a last resort, the nomadic shepherd family sends their two boys into town to bring back a musician to perform a ritual that should unite the mother and calf. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies. Suggested by Sharon.
The Celebration2004Get this item
This film manages to be funny, scary, high drama, and cathartic. It's also the best example of the Dogme 95 school of filmmaking, if that means anything to you. It also has the worst DVD cover I have ever seen, which doesn't reflect the movie at all. Suggested by Liz.
Breathless2007Get this item
I’m not as obsessed with French New Wave as I’m probably supposed to be, but this is a movie I go back to again and again. I was lucky enough to travel to Paris twice and will admit to shouting “New York Herald Tribune!” in an extremely American accent a few times, just to see if anyone noticed. Suggested by Jane.
Paris, Je T'aime2007Get this item
A stellar cast, 18 vignettes, and the backdrop of Paris are only a few reasons to love this film. Whether or not you are familiar with the City of Light, this film is still a wonderful choice as it both an artistic exploration and a celebration of this magical city. Suggested by Paul.
La Haine2007Get this item
This film features a day in the life of three friends living in France. Truly it is an allegory for a question that will haunt you: What does it mean, as a society, to say that one is doing well? Suggested by Angela.
La Ciénaga: The Swamp2015Get this item
This feature of Argentina's Lucrecia Martel may not be her greatest work, though it was probably the most impressive debut of the still young 21st century. It's a work of preternatural confidence, her template of mixing the mundane with the uncanny, moods and atmosphere, already firmly in place. A marvel. Suggested by Chris.
Enchanted April2009Get this item
A wonderful adaptation of Elizabeth Von Arnim’s novel. Sheer joy! Suggested by Mary.
Black girl2017Get this item
My favorite genre of global cinema has to be third cinema, the anticolonial cinema produced in the 1960s mostly by filmmakers in Latin America, but also in Africa and other colonized places. The political and militant lens these filmmakers used make for some of the most striking, educational, and revolutionary films I’ve seen. Suggested by Lill.
Toni Erdmann2017Get this item
How do you recommend a three-hour long German comedy? Or tell folks it's one of the best films of the still youngish 21st century? How about, it's a film that rebels against the norm, the expected, the serious, the 9-5, the drudgery. It's also a complex, sweet, weird, and deeply loving portrait of a father and a daughter. It's exhilarating! Suggested by Chris.
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